Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tax Time

I was doing my income tax this morning before work (nothing says “fun” like taxes at 5am), and I got to the transit pass credit section. Since I got rid of my car last May, I have collected six months worth of transit passes that add up to a pretty nice tax credit. While the federal government can do a whole lot more to improve the environment and give people transportation choice in urban centres, the tax credit is kind of like a “look at you, you take the bus, how nice, here’s some money.” I do like money and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy, but sadly according to an article in the Toronto Star:

A tax credit intended to encourage public transit use, part of the maiden Tory budget in 2006, will "lead to negligible reductions" in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions and the tools to measure its impact don't yet exist, Scott Vaughn's audit of the government's tools for cutting air emissions found.
There is more work to be done. Anyway, Joe posted about VIA Rail and I got the following message from a friend that just got back from a VIA Rail Cross-Canada Tour:

Yes, we took VIA. It was AWFUL until we hit Toronto, but between there and Quebec City, the train was fast, efficient and comfortable.

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