Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laval, QC, SOCIETE DE TRANSPORT DE LAVAL shows how to do transit

  • The STL operates over 20 million runs annually.
  • The overhaul of the bus network, made necessary by the extension of the metro to Laval, gave rise to a 28% increase in service, faster trips and more direct bus routes.
  • The frequency of buses outside rush hours, on evenings and weekends, has doubled on 12 lines since August 2009.
  • The fare policy is particularly designed to encourage families to use public transit: All adults paying their fare on weekends and holidays may be accompanied, free of charge, by up to five children age 11 and under. This policy also applies to every day in the summer, July 1 - Labour Day. In addition, the STL's $1 fares on summer smog days are a first in Québec.
  • The STL is carrying out a feasibility study for a trolleybus network powered by electrical energy.
  • It is financing Éco Mobile à Laval, a major operation by Vélo Québec and aimed at promoting alternate solutions to car use.
  • It is also partnering with the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, Communauto and The Carpooling Network to promote sustainable transportation in Laval.
  • All vehicles on its fleet use biodiesel B5, a fuel that comes from recycled oil that isn't made of corn.
  • At the beginning of 2010, the STL launched STL Synchro, an unprecedented program providing transit user information in real time by means of display units installed at bus stops and inside buses, with the same information available via text messaging and the Internet.
  • The STL has its own page on Facebook, where it announces service notices, and it is also on Twitter.
  • The STL offers riders the opportunity to register on My STL to receive notices on its bus routes that they usually take.
  • Since the roll-out, in 2009, of its vehicle scheduling control system, the STL's on-time performance has been on the rise, up to almost 92%, thereby prompting the envy of transit users of other transit corporations.
CNW Newswire

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Report from the field on the progress of the war

The War on The Car drags on. The Resistance continues to suffer heavy casualties. Our foot soldiers, mounted forces, and transit brigade have launched numerous offensives this past year, but made only minor advances. The strength of our foe is daunting, but our fighters are brave, nimble, and fit. As the battles of 2009 fade into history I feel strangely optimistic, despite The Car's continuing domination.... rabble

Monday, March 22, 2010

Montreal paying people to stay put -- but there is a better way

...The mayor refused to predict how much the new measures would actually cut the steady annual stream of young families exiting Montreal.

Tremblay identified $12.9 million of fresh spending this year on a beefed-up subsidy program for new-home purchases, of which $8.3 million is coming from the provincial government and the other $4.6 million from city coffers:...

Read more in montrealgazette:
There is no guarantee that this plan will work. And that's a lot of money to gamble. It is open to attack as favoring one group over another.
We suggest that Montreal use the money to make public transport fare-free. That will improve life for all, free seniors from dependency, reduce parking problems, increase home and business values, reduce pollution, reduce congestion, attract tourists, reduce collisions and their medical costs, and on and on and on....

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parking Policy Reform More Important Than LEED Certification

...The City Of Vancouver, BC built a 98 unit market rental apartment tower above the new Community Center at Kingsway and Main designed to achieve Leed Gold certification. This building is located in a very walkable area with abundant local services, close to five major bus lines. It is an ideal location to encourage car-free living.
However, the building also has 78 underground parking stalls (0.8 spaces per unit). These parking spaces are unbundled (rented separately from housing units), but priced at just $35 per month, although the cost-recovery price would be about $250, so residents’ parking, and therefore vehicle ownership are still subsidized by about $215 per month. If parking were efficiently priced, apartment rents could be reduced about $200 per month, greatly increasing housing affordability in a city with a severe housing unaffordability problem. ... Todd Litman on Planetizen