$40.4 billion annual cost of roads, Financement des transports collectifs

Powerful tools.
Barack Obama joins Transport Action in testing Google+

On Wednesday the President of the United States, like Transport Action Canada, started "kicking the tires" of  Google+. You can follow Transport Action Canada at our test page.

On Nov. 23 a Transport Action Canada working group tested the hangout feature, a video conference with shared access to linked computer screens, spreadsheets, documents and video feeds. The group developed a 10-minute workshop on how to use openstreetmap to make maps like this one.

The group observed the value of the tool for board meetings and other collaborations. It notes a Facebook or Google+ site invites issues around "brand discipline" and coherent messaging. Social media use will require careful curating by the organization.  The Transport Action Canada working group invites you to our next hangout on Wednesday Nov. 30 at 12:00 Pacific time 3:00 PM Eastern. Check this previous post for more information on Google+ project.

Financement des transports collectifs et politiques tarifaires

 L’association Transport 2000 Québec, annonce la tenue d’un forum national sur le financement des transports en commun et les politiques de tarification en transport des personnes, qui auront lieu dans la Capitale et dans la Métropole les:

le 28 novembre, Québec, École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) de 8h30 à 16h30

le 30 novembre, Montréal, à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) De 13h00 à 16h30

le 30 novembre, Montréal, à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) De 19h00 à 21h30

Ce forum sera l’occasion de faire un bilan de la politique québécoise du  transport collectif adoptée par le gouvernement du Québec en 2006, et qui se termine fin décembre, de lancer un débat sur le renouvellement des  politiques d’investissement et tarifaires, en présence de conférenciers du Canada et des États-Unis, du regroupement Alliance TRANSIT, d’URBA  2015; l’Association présentera un mémoire à cette fin aux participants. On peut s’inscrire à l’adresse.

Government revenues from vehicles cover one-third of the $40.4 billion annual cost of roads

"What do the terms cordon pricing, congestion charges, mobility pricing and traffic demand management have in common? They are the modern euphemisms for road tolls and car taxes —part of a carefully constructed range of terms being designed to take the edge off toxic ideas to fund transportation improvements in the face of government deficits," Toronto Star city columnist, Royson James wrote on Nov. 23.

James reported: “Traffic psychologist — yes, there is such a field of study — Jens Schade from Germany told attendees that it’s a fool’s errand to expect citizens to embrace tolls, fees and other road charges. But experience shows that opposition decreases once the measures are in."

The Toronto Star columnist wrote: “We already pay for the road in gas taxes and licence fees,” you say. Wait.  A 2008 Transport Canada study, “Estimates of the Full Cost of Transportation in Canada,” says the country’s annual capital cost for roads is $28.7 billion, with a further $4.9 billion in operating costs and $6.8 billion for land. Total, $40.4 billion. This does not include social and health costs such as accidents and pollution. All the gas taxes, fuel fees, licence fees and vehicle charges cover barely one-third of the $40.4 billion."

Transport Canada eliminates its road safety plan

On Nov. 23, 2011 the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities news release marked the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims without talking about Canada's plan to make our roads the safest in the world. The plan was launched in May by the Alberta Transportation Minister in the name of the Council of Ministers. Up until this week Transport Canada took ownership of Road Safety Vision. For Transport Canada road safety is a cost to be cut. http://is.gd/7wGdun

1000 signatures wanted, Pembroke-Mattawa railway

Petition Pdf hard copy

Online petition

The week Michael Stephens reports, "Well over 350 people have now signed the hardcopy version of the petition to save the Pembroke-Mattawa railway.  Over 150 have signed the on-line version.  Volunteers are explaining the petition and collecting signatures up and down the Valley.  An item on the topic aired several nights last week on TV Cogeco Pembroke in the Valley news broadcast at 7 and 9 pm, and the interview is now posted on the TV Cogeco website.

 "I’ve been asked why saving this section of railway matters, especially as recently some track southeast of Pembroke was removed from the Canadian Pacific (CP) line that goes down to Smiths Falls.  Even with that track gone, a complete rail line between Ottawa and Sudbury is still in place through the full length of the Ottawa Valley.  The CP tracks are still intact from south of Pembroke all the way to Mattawa.  Another existing line, the Canadian National (CN) line (called “the Beachburg Sub”) runs from Pembroke southeast to Ottawa through Renfrew and Pontiac Counties.  The Pembroke-Mattawa section of CP track connects to the CN line at Pembroke, and it also connects at Mattawa to a railway going west to North Bay and Sudbury.

"This is the last existing rail line that goes all the way through the Valley.  It is the shortest rail route between eastern and western Canada.  With the CP line through the Valley now not in operation, eastbound trains must turn south at Sudbury to go to Toronto and then east and back north to the vicinity of Ottawa (and vice-versa for westbound trains).  That takes nearly a full extra day and creates corresponding extra costs.

"There are other excellent reasons for saving this line: to serve existing businesses and support future economic development in the Upper Ottawa Valley, to improve safety on the two-lane Highway 17 section of the Trans-Canada Highway by reducing the number of transport trucks now using it, to supply Canadian Forces Base Petawawa and support its deployments efficiently, to provide a commuter service to Ottawa, to support the development of a passenger rail network in eastern Ontario, to make Canada’s rail network more flexible and resilient, and in the long term to provide a more efficient, sustainable, all-weather transportation option than highways as fuel costs continue to rise.

Michael Stephens reports, "You can read the petition and sign it online at rotarynr.ca.  If you would like to support this initiative further, you can download and print copies of the petition and ask your friends and neighbours to read and sign it.  Please send completed copies to me at the address indicated at the bottom of the petition. When collection of signatures on the petition finishes on November 30, the entire set will be presented to our MP Cheryl Gallant, MPP John Yakabuski and other involved public officials. If you have any questions about this effort or would like to help, please send an email."

Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, AGM November 29, Sault Ste. Marie

CAPT's Town Hall Meeting that  takes place on Tuesday, November 29th at 7PM in the Doc Brown Lounge at  Algoma University. We have a full schedule for the evening with the  release of an extended trailer for "De-Railed: The National Dream",  updates on CAPT's activities in the community, and several guest  speakers. We want to generate a healthy discussion on the benefits of  passenger rail, and hope that you will be able to attend and take part - listening counts as participation!

Half an hour prior to the Town Hall Meeting, CAPT will be holding its  Annual General Meeting. Please attend if interested, it will also be in the Doc Brown Lounge (6:30 PM start). The Town Hall Meeting will also serve as your first opportunity to  purchase the 2012 CAPT Calendar. This year's calendar features some  great photography along the rails, don't miss out! Refreshments will be served and entry is free, so we hope to see you on Tuesday night!

Ken Gray, Choose high-speed rail over F-35s

"Canada faces a much clearer and more present danger than the threat from anything the F-35 fighter jets will shoot down. That's the hollowing out of Canada's manufacturing industry in southern Ontario and Quebec. Without the tax revenue that vital economic sector produces, Canada might not be able to purchase the military hardware and execute the effective foreign policy the country needs," Ken Gray wrote for the Ottawa Citizen on Nov. 23.

"If Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is concerned about the federal deficit, why is his government spending between $9 billion and $30 billion for the F-35 jets that now even U.S. hawks are concerned will cost, over their life cycle, more than $1 trillion south of the border? Would not this money be better spent to build the infrastructure to spur development of the Canadian economy so the federal government could afford jets sometime in the future?," Ken Gray wrote for the Ottawa Citizen.

"So rather than save $9 billion or $30 billion on jets or, say, $2.5 billion over five years for provincial and federal governments on new crime legislation in the face of declining law-breaking statistics, the federal and provincial politicians have thrown cold water on one infrastructure project that could stimulate and revolutionize Canada's critical economic corridor from Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal - the high-speed rail project, the subject of a recent feasibility report. High-speed rail could do the same for travel that now-dated freeways did for commerce," the Ottawa Citizen column said.

Le Soleil, Desserte maritime des grands chantiers du Nord

« Les maires des principales villes du Bas-Saint-Laurent tiennent à ce que d'autres circuits maritimes sur la rive sud du fleuve soient pris en compte comme point de départ éventuel de la desserte maritime en marchandises des grands chantiers vers un port de la Côte-Nord Interrogé à ce propos par Le Soleil, qui dévoilait hier de grandes lignes de l'étude, le maire de Rimouski, Éric Forest, veut que plusieurs circuits maritimes soient étudiés. «Pour prendre une décision éclairée, il faut avoir une analyse comparative de différents circuits. Le port de Québec est une possibilité, mais il y a aussi des avantages ailleurs. Il y a aussi d'autres considérations comme l'intermodalité, l'accès 12 mois par année au fleuve, le fait de ne pas avoir de besoin de pilote en bas de Gros-Cacouna vers l'Est...», a dit M. Forest » Carl Thériault a rapporté pour Le Soleil.

Victoria Transport Policy Institute,  New reports 

"Evaluating Public Transit As An Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Strategy": This report investigates the role that public transit improvements can play in conserving energy and reducing emissions. High quality transit service that attracts large numbers of travelers who would otherwise drive and supports transit-oriented development can provide significant energy conservation and emission reduction benefits, plus other savings and benefits. When these factors are considered, public transit service improvements often turn out to be cost effective emission reduction strategies, particularly if implemented as an integrated package with other transport and land use policy reforms.

"Transport Land Requirements Spreadsheet" ). This spreadsheet calculates and compares the land area required for a typical commute by various modes.

"Universal Access to Bus Rapid Transit: Design, Operation, And Working With The Community" , by Tom Rickert describes practical ways to accommodate people with mobility impairments in public transit system planning. It describes three composite case studies of typical experiences of BRT passengers with mobility impairments.

Mobility pricing and parking efficiencies: Getting Toronto moving again

In Ontario most politicians oppose tolls and gas taxes. A Toronto gathering looking at ways to make our transportation system work better was advised:
- propose no Taj Mahals
- sprawl is as contentious as intensification
- don't let technology dictate choices
- carrots, not sticks, choice, choice, choice
- plan with the economy not against it

The  Nov. 22, 2011 Transport Futures “Mobility Pricing Stakeholder Forum” the sixth in a series of learning events staged by Healthy Transport Consulting was told:
- flush-out hidden subsidies
- transparency, is not necessarily a friend, consider a refinery gate tax on fuel
- get what you pay for
- tie payments directly to transit benefits
- equity issues are better addressed through other mechanisms
- all politics is local
- don't sell the flight, sell the beach

Canada lags in use of road tolls, Andre Mayer, CBC News

Laval veut un train aérien | Montréal

DOT grants $928.6 million for California HSR

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1141, Nov. 25, 2011
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
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Dec. 14, Vancouver,  Meeting of Transport Action BC, 5:45pm to 7:45 pm, Firehall Library, 1455 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC http://is.gd/Y3Vy7k