The Federal NDP suddenly Discouver Transit

The Federal NDP have never really cared about regional transit and desperately need some sort of policy to try to show the public they care and and have a plan in time for the 2015 election.

Throwing more money at transit won’t solve transportation problems and will drive up transit costs. Canadian cities need a sensible public transportation policy using buses, light rail and even metros, if the ridership supports the investment.

What the region doesn’t need is more SkyTrain of the Canada Line, which has drastically driven up costs, yet have not attracted ridership.

A good start would be funding a new Faculty of Public Transport at major Universities across Canada, so we have people who actually understand the science of public transport and not the cadre of planners and engineers who do not what the difference is between an articulated or a gangwayed vehicle.

How about a “two rooms and a bath” car?

What we do not need in the region is another subway because subway eat up precious transit dollars, yet provide no benefits except when ridership on a transit line exceeds what can be carried on-street. Subways are not a cure all for transit woes, rather they are a hindrance to affordable transit expansion.

I hope followers of this blog, let the NDP know that we need transit funding for projects that will improve the livability of the region and not just be a multi billion dollar project built strictly for political prestige, such as the Broadway Subway.

Building the politically prestigious SkyTrain has given

Metro Vancouver a much higher cost per revenue passenger than other Canadian cities.

Federal NDP vows to make transit a plank in 2015 platform

By Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun September 8, 2014

Read more:

They haven’t attached a dollar figure to it, but the Federal NDP on Monday promised to make a long-term national public transit strategy part of their platform for the 2015 general election.

While not long on specifics about how such a strategy would contribute to TransLink’s 30-year, $7.5-billion capital plan for Metro Vancouver, NDP trade critic Don Davies vowed it would be 15 to 20-year commitment and an improvement on the federal Conservative government’s Build Canada infrastructure plan that has earmarked $2.76 billion of the federal gasoline tax to B.C.

Standing outside the Broadway-City Hall Canada Line station in Vancouver, Davies described the Conservative plan as “an ad hoc (program) on a short-term time frame” that is difficult for municipalities to work with.

“Municipalities and provinces have repeatedly said, and continue to say that they can’t plan long-term, large-scale infrastructure projects unless they have a commitment from the federal government over an extended period,” said Davies, the MP for Vancouver Kingsway.

Infrastructure critic Finn Donnelly added that Canada is the only G8 country without a long-term public transit plan.

Donnelly added that the NDP will reveal a dollar figure for the program closer to the election date, but the NDP would look to see if they can improve upon their promise from the last election campaign to devote $420 million a year of the federal gas tax to transit funding.

In June, the federal government said 53 per cent ai??i?? about $1.5 billion ai??i?? of the $2.76 billion committed to B.C. over the next decade and most of that would go to TransLink for capital projects, such bus replacements, the purchase of new rail cars for the West Coast Express and upgrades of transit centres.

However, at the time, Metro Vancouver vice-chairman Raymond Louie said the region will need more funding for system expansion plans, such as the proposals for a $2 billion subway on the Broadway corridor towards the University of B.C. and $2 billion in light-rail extensions of transit in Surrey.

TransLink unveiled its 30-year plan in mid-June, which included a $980-million replacement of the Pattullo Bridge in its $7.5-billion mix.

The federal NDP’s B.C. caucus staged the announcement along with a canvassing campaign at the station that saw party volunteers circulate a petition in support of better national funding for transit.



One Response to “The Federal NDP suddenly Discouver Transit”
  1. Haveacow says:

    About 22 years a go the federal NDP did have a national transit policy! I studied it in Planning School. The crux of it was that, they would fund cities based on their need! They however did not answer the question, what was a need? They could also never fully get around whether you give capital or operational money or some combination of the 2. The last and most important point, you had to get an agreement with the provinces to also guarantee a certain level of funding would be guaranteed or a national spending standard (just like in healthcare) for transit was followed.

    Toronto’s TTC’s ridership strategy that went hand in hand with the Transit City plan was a good attempt at building ridership without adding to much extra capacity at peak times. They identified non peak times to build up ridership and put extra service in those periods. It worked too well, now the TTC’s problem is two fold. Due to the antics of the Ford administration, LRT lines that would know be in service or well under construction are just in the early phases of construction. This means that the extra buses that would have been freed up by the LRT lines
    are not available yet and now Toronto has a real operational budget service crisis. It needs 100+ extra buses and by extension hire more drivers but it has no extra money to buy the busses or hire the manpower for them. Plus the extra ridership made maintenance more expensive and difficult because a greater percentage of the fleet is running at all times. Bringing in more ridership yes, but now they are having problems keeping maintenance schedules up. If a national transit strategy only funds capital funding operational funding suffers and transit agencies have to cut basic service. If the money goes to mostly operational funding, people will complain that the new rapid transit lines not being built. If you try to do both areas never get enough money.

    Ontario is spending huge amounts playing catch up building rapid transit but operational grants haven’t kept pace and they are still forcing transit properties to buy expensive technology for legal, social and other reasons, not practical operational reasons. The Presto Transit Fare Card System for example, it isn’t too bad if you are a small operation but if you are a large transit operation like OC Transpo, the required support infrastructure costs are massive compared to other fare systems. In Ontario all transit agencies were forced by the court to provide a non driver based system that called out stops for visually and audio disabled riders by a certain date (which has now passed) or they would be fined each day it was not in operation. Ontario’s transit agencies had to pay for this themselves with little provincial help.

    Zwei replies: It really seems that the NDP announcement was made with the Broadway subway in mind. All TV and radio interviews with NDP types all mentioned the Broadway subway. It looks like SNC and bombardier are calling in their markers!

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