Thursday, May 28, 2015

Why is Vancouver the Greenest City in the world and How is it Planning to Be Better?

Eleven Reasons to Support Vancouver’s Transportation Tax (11 page pdf, Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Mar. 19, 2015)

Also discussed here: The case for the mayors’ transit plan -- 10 reasons to vote Yes - For one thing, the tax increase of about $200 per household would finance savings of $1,000 (Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun, Mar.31, 2015)

  transit ridership    

Key Quotes:  

automobile travel is peaking in B.C., while increasingly popular walking and cycling options now represent 10 to 15 per cent of all trips.”

Some benefits from walking, cycling and taking transit:
  • Saves households money - The proposed tax increase would cost average households about $200 annually but provides over $1,000….Vancouver region has the lowest portion of household expenditures devoted to transportation among Canadian cities
  • Increases safety - The Lower Mainland’s traffic fatality rate (3.9 deaths per 100,000 residents) is among the lowest of all North American cities.
  • Congestion reductions -High quality, grade-separated transit service reduces traffic congestion
  • Reduces parking problems and costs -Parking costs range from $5,000 per space for surface parking up to $50,000 for structured or underground parking.
  • Improves mobility for non-drivers - In a typical community, 20-40% of residents cannot or should not drive. High quality public transit helps non-drivers access school and jobs, increasing their productivity,
  • Reduces chauffeuring burdens- Many drivers spend several hours per week chauffeuring non-drivers for trips that they could make independently if better transportation options were available.
  • Improves public health.
  • Supports Economic Development
  • Energy conservation and pollution emission reductions - Residents of transit-oriented communities consume 20-60% less energy, and reduce their pollution emissions by similar amounts
  • Supports strategic development objectives (reduces sprawl)
  • Prepares Vancouver for your future.
Public transit service often seems costly, in part, because of the way we account for transportation facilities and services. Public transit budgets include all costs: right-of-way (rail tracks), terminals (stations), vehicles, fuel and drivers. In contrast, automobile travel requires roads, parking spaces at each destination, vehicles, fuel and drivers, the costs of which are seldom totaled. As a result, public transit costs per passenger-mile often seem higher than the costs of building and maintaining roads, but this ignores the costs to consumers of owning and operating their vehicles, and the costs to consumers, businesses and governments of providing abundant parking”

“using standard transportation system performance indicators, including automobile mode share (low and declining), per capita transit ridership (high and growing), and per capita traffic fatalities (among the lowest among North American cities) and portion of household budgets devoted to transportation (the lowest of all major Canadian cities), Vancouver performs very well compared with peer cities”

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