Yesterday, the TTC unveiled the first test vehicle of the new streetcar fleet that will be plying the city’s roads in 2014. They look very sleek and I’m sure they’ll be very well received by riders who will appreciate the all-door loading and proof-of-payment fares which should help speed up service. But, I do have two questions: Continue reading
In my last post, The Friday Rush, I proposed that we work with universities and colleges within GO Transit’s service area to give students PRESTO cards. Outside of Toronto and its inner suburbs, most university and college students receive a local transit pass as part of their tuition, but giving them the same discount on a PRESTO card allows students to save money on out-of-town travel as well. In addition to the benefits that the transit agency will see, this will nearly eliminate the cascading delays GO experiences every Friday when students attempt to purchase tickets on board the bus instead of from the ticket counter.
After some offline discussion amongst friends and colleagues, I would like to throw this question out to the world:
Whereas giving riders PRESTO cards will result in much higher instances of use and re-use than if riders are required to seek out and purchase the cards, would it be a good policy decision to replace single-ride GO tickets entirely with pre-loaded, pre-activated PRESTO cards?
As I sit down to write this blog post, my GO bus is about to leave the lovely Hamilton GO Centre eastbound to York University. After snaking through downtown Hamilton, the bus will arrive at McMaster University, where it will be delayed by 10 minutes or more loading the typical Friday rush of post secondary students going home for the weekend. Despite GO putting up “buy before you board” signs at stations and terminals, and despite there being ticket booths on campus, many will choose to buy their single-ride tickets from the driver – delaying service for both students and commuters alike. This situation will occur on campus and in university towns across southern Ontario, but in my opinion, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As gas prices continue to increase to the point at which the average family will no longer be able to afford to drive their cars, we may see a great upheaval. The demand for housing close to transit will increase to the point where the desire to keep urban neighbourhoods stable will buckle under development pressure. At the same time, owners of homes in auto-dependent suburbs will be unable to sell their properties due to the high cost of commuting. This will not happen overnight, but signs of such a future are visible today. As such, we must change our transportation network to change the way we build and navigate around cities. In this third post about building an integrated transportation network for our region, I will look at a bold, game-changing move that will best integrate the various transit providers operating in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.