Thursday, January 28, 2010

Edmonton - continuing intelligent discussion of free transit

Fares have never been used to fund transit capital expenditures. Fares barely fund 45% of operating expenses and even if you doubled fares, the net revenue would be marginal as a large portion of your ridership would find alternates to using transit. A net zero sum game.

Going free transit may cause a ridership boom which may encourage civic leaders to re-think transit and have enough clout to go after funding from provincial and federal dollars as part of an effective green strategy.

I think it is worth a shot to even try a three month period in off peak months like June-August to see if ridership can be improved significantly. Programs like the U-pass were tried and have become successful, why not a larger program? Most other programs including massive LRT expenditures have not increased overall ridership above the nominal 9% of Edmonton's transit needs in more than 20 years.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Private auto transport system is unjust

Cooperative Justice and Free Public Transit - Urban transportation is a central issue for theories of urban justice. The current car culture is unjust because it discriminates against those who cannot afford to be a part of it, and it is inefficient because it creates a collectively disadvantageous situation. In this paper, I will first argue that public policies should encourage a modal transfer from car to public transit. Drawing on a theory of cooperative justice, I will then argue that free public transit is mutually advantageous and can be defended from both the perspectives of equality and efficiency. Patrick Turmel in the Candadian Association of Research Libraries

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2006 - Scientists predict climate change will cause earthquakes

Climate change could cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, scientists say

"What happens is the weight of this thick ice puts a lot of stress on the earth," says Wu. "The weight sort of suppresses the earthquakes but when you melt the ice the earthquakes get triggered."
When a quake happens under water it can cause a tsunami. Wu said melting of the Antarctic ice is already causing earthquakes and underground landslides although they get little attention. He predicted climate warming will bring "lots of earthquakes." U.S. Climate Emergency Council

Friday, January 8, 2010

Climate emergency threatens mass extinctions this century

...What needs to be done? Right now it is fairly impossible to do anything — the biggest step in many cities has been to ban plastic bags. But if people were really convinced that this is an emergency — that this is a race against time to save billions of people — many measures would come to mind.

Here’s a short list: Eliminate non-essential goods and services and implement fair distribution of the basic necessary supplies of non-renewable energy, food, water, shelter, health care, in terms of peoples’ needs and not their wealth; expand public goods such as libraries, parks, community rec centres, museums, education; reduce work-time; implement massive income redistribution; ration personal use of air travel and restrict carbon intensive aviation and shipping to essential services (no mangos in winter); introduce free public transit; [our emphasis] halt the tar sands operations; massively expand renewable energy supplies; restore agricultural land and utilize urban space for farming; protect watersheds; retrofit existing buildings; and globally, convert the carbon intensive military complex to a civilian conservation corps....ecosocialism Canada

see also

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Save up to $5,000 a year!

It costs around $10,000 per year to own and drive a car for 18,000km (according to the Canadian Automobile Association). Which means that transportation eats up a huge and often unnecessary part of your income!

And with rising gas prices, it's not going to get any cheaper.

Now, imagine if you could get rid of a car -- go car-free if you live downtown, or shed a car if you have several cars in the suburbs. Actually, you still get to drive a car. You just don't have to pay all the costs of owning one!

We can save you $5,000 a year, just by matching the best transportation options to your needs! You'll also find you'll spend more time shopping locally, meeting neighbours, and helping your local economy. GreenOntario