Friday, November 13, 2009

News Roundup

First we go for Quebec. In Montreal, they are spending $1.5 billion to reconstruct the Turcot Freeway Interchange. According to the CBC, "A report from Quebec's environmental board that slams renovation plans for a busy Montreal highway interchange doesn't offer enough suggestions to better promote 'mass transit,' the city says."
"At the very least, the Turcot project should be done to deal with mass transit and to deal with the whole question of how we can get people to convert from their cars into other means of transportation," DeSouza told CBC News on Thursday
Meanwhile in Calgary, it look like transit service will be cut according to the Calgary Herald.
After rapidly expanding service to meet a booming city's needs and encourage people to drive less, Calgary Transit is cutting back several routes in the city's hard-times budget for 2010.

"From a percentage point of view, it's not very big," Ald. Brian Pincott said.

"We've got to make sure we're providing service that allows regular Calgarians to get to work, especially in these times, and I want to make sure we're not harming that."

Back at home, the Vancouver Sun is demanding that the Province step up and fund transit properly in Metro Vancouver.
The management structure of TransLink does need fixing, as the comptroller-general suggests. We need a system that won't get so bogged down in regional squabbling over priorities. We may also be able to reduce administration costs. But those changes alone won't address the major challenge facing TransLink, the need for more general revenue.

That means looking for funding from senior levels of government. If that's not forthcoming, it means looking at some measures that won't be popular -- raising fares, higher fuel taxes, more tolls or congestion levies. One surprising finding in the comptroller-general's report is that the transit portion of property and utility taxes collected in Vancouver is the lowest of any of Canada's major cities.
Finally in the Toronto Star "Making a case for toll roads":
Should we put tolls on existing roads in the Greater Toronto Area?

The case for tolls, or "congestion charges," was strengthened this week by a report from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report makes a compelling argument for tolls as an effective tool for regulating traffic congestion, cutting air pollution and funding public transit.

According to the OECD, tolls elsewhere have successfully reduced congestion – by levels ranging up to 22 per cent in Stockholm – and also cut carbon dioxide emissions.

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