Cities

The United Kingdom's deregulated bus system and why it's a big flop, explained

The United Kingdom's deregulated bus system and why it's a big flop, explained

Buses in the UK are the most commonly used mode of public transportation, with 4.44 billion trips being made in England in the 2016/2017 reporting period ending in March, with journeys inside London accounting for half the country’s total. Local bus services across the Great Britain — made up of England, Wales and Scotland — accounted for 59.2 percent of all public transportation trips, compared to only 20.7 percent for the National Rail network.

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Uber is lobbying for a congestion charge in NYC — but whether it will work is uncertain

Uber is lobbying for a congestion charge in NYC — but whether it will work is uncertain

Two months ago New York City approved a limit on the number of Uber, Lyft and other on-demand ride services and voted to halt issuing for-hire licenses for 12 months while it studies the industry in more detail. During the cap, both companies will still be granted licenses for wheelchair-accessible vehicles and by 2021, 25 percent of vehicles in their fleet will be required to be wheelchair accessible, which Uber isn’t happy about. Now Uber is putting its money and resources into helping fix New York City’s traffic congestion problem, by investing $10 million over three years on a “campaign for sustainable mobility” — with the centrepiece being congestion pricing in high-density parts of the city. This is surprising, coming from a company that accounts for 65,000 of the 103,000 for-hire vehicles in NYC.

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In building a new capital city, Egypt could end up in a Chinese debt trap

In building a new capital city, Egypt could end up in a Chinese debt trap

Egypt is building a new capital city in a desert plot 45 kilometres east of Cairo — currently a vast construction site sits there, but by 2020 it will resemble a sprawling megacity in the making. Situated between the Nile River and Suez Canal, it is being built to boost Egypt’s economy, curb congestion throughout the capital region and inject new development in the country, hopefully boosting the economy in the process. Work is already far underway on the city, with government institutions set to move to the space by the end of 2018. More than 1.5 million new jobs will be created during the construction period and eventually, the unnamed city will house between 6.5-7 million people, boasts President Abdel-Fattah el-Siss.

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Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Currently many countries in Europe are facing a dire crisis, with fertility rates falling drastically and increasing government costs as a result. An older population requires more space in elderly homes, more to be spent on healthcare and an increase in registered nurses to care for the aging sector of the population. Between 2010-2015, 83 countries had below-replacement fertility levels, accounting for 46 percent of the world’s population. These countries included China, the USA, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Germany and the UK. Even worse is the predicted global fertility rate, which is expected to fall from the current 2.5 births per woman to 2.2 in 2045-2050 and 2.0 in 2095 to 2100, according to projections.

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Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Massachusetts state officials are looking to the future of public transit, with the DoT and MBTA publishing a draft 25-year investment plan positioning the region to meet the needs of the population by 2040 titled Focus40. The report "reflects what the region will need to be sustainable, livable, equitable, and economically competitive," and is meant to be a framework for changes that will help the agency adapt to a more technological era and withstand the worsening New England winters.

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When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

There's specific reasoning behind why some public transportation routes and systems as a whole are successful while others aren't, and a 2016 study by TransitCentre seeks to find out why that is — though the study is slightly outdated, the principles of it still apply today. For example, Seattle's light rail extension from the downtown core to the University of Washington has boosted ridership from 35,000 to nearly 57,000 riders per day, but the ridership of the Atlanta streetcar is only 1,200 riders per day. This survey aims to find out why there's such a disparity between different transit systems and their ridership, and what makes them more successful in the eyes of riders.

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The number of deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is a lot more than reported

The number of deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is a lot more than reported

The government of Puerto Rico is acknowledging that the official death toll from Hurricane Maria is more than 1,400 — much higher than the 64 people reported dead by the government initially. More than 527,000 homeowners reported damages to their dwellings and 40 schools were forced to permanently close because of damages. The death count grew as people died from suicide, bacterial illnesses and a lack of access to healthcare and despite new counts, the death tally has never changed until now.

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The Ford administration has changed its mind on Ontario's basic income pilot tests

The Ford administration has changed its mind on Ontario's basic income pilot tests

The Ontario government has changed course on Ontario's Basic Income pilot and will be cancelling it as soon as possible, and will also cut the planned 3 percent welfare increase in half. Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said that the increase scheduled by the previous Liberal party would be reduced to 1.5 percent while the PCs begin a 100-day revamp of social assistance programs that help more than one million people. The Conservatives did not pledge to cut welfare increases during their campaign, but did promise to cut $6 billion from the budget without impacting jobs.

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The company building the Eglinton Crosstown has sued Metrolinx for more time and money

The company building the Eglinton Crosstown has sued Metrolinx for more time and money

Metrolinx is being sued by the group of companies building the $5.3 billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT line in Toronto, who are looking for more time and money to complete the already-delayed project. The consortium working on the project filed a notice of motion, accusing Metrolinx and other stakeholders of delaying their work, giving the public insight into the failed talks that were meant to settle the dispute. Metrolinx has yet to respond to the claims and has 30 days to do so (as of the legal filing on July 11), but has remained firm on its commitment to open the line in the fall of 2021.

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The TTC board wants the transit agency to become a integrated mobility agency

The TTC board wants the transit agency to become a integrated mobility agency

The Toronto Transit Commission board has passed a motion exploring a move to give the transit agency new, broader responsibilities over taxi permits, the city's bike share program, the Toronto Island ferries and more. Studying the feasibility and cost of this move is the next step for the city manager, but the changes would help turn the TTC into an agency more akin to Transport for London, the UK capital's integrated transit authority that is responsible for all forms of transportation within the city and suburbs.

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Toronto now has a higher homicide rate than New York City — but don't panic yet

Toronto now has a higher homicide rate than New York City — but don't panic yet

Toronto Police have confirmed that 51 homicides have happened within the city since the beginning of the year, double the amount at this time in 2017. Just this weekend five people were killed, four of which with guns, prompting both Police Chief Mark Saunders and Mayor John Tory to express major concerns over the spike in crime.

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Doug Ford is obsessed with subways — so much that he wants them built to Pickering and Markham

Doug Ford is obsessed with subways — so much that he wants them built to Pickering and Markham

Incoming Premier Doug Ford envisions a future where one day Toronto's subways will extend to Pickering and Markham, cities that are both already served by GO Transit rail lines and BRT. Ford made this claim at a news conference in Pickering when questioned on a recent study suggesting Toronto has the worst commute in North America.

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The TTC has launched discounted fares, but only for some people

The TTC has launched discounted fares, but only for some people

Toronto is already one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but for thousands of vulnerable residents, help is on the way in the form of discounted transit passes. The first phase of the city's Fair Fare Pass program is now in effect, offering discounted transit to recipients of Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works payments.

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Hamilton comes second-last in index ranking city's attractiveness to youth

Hamilton comes second-last in index ranking city's attractiveness to youth

Hamilton, the steel capital of Canada, has ranked second-last out of 13 cities measured by YouthfulCities for how well they accommodate young people, including for things like public transportation, free-to-use WiFi, access to healthcare, employment levels, affordability and more. Youth in Hamilton make up 19.5 percent of the population.

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Saskatoon Transit is a confusing mess, but BRT could help fix it

Saskatoon Transit is a confusing mess, but BRT could help fix it

Saskatoon Transit is expecting new high-frequency routes in the northeast part of the city to have major impacts on how people move around. New routes are being introduced which will offer 10 minute service and limited stops on Preston Avenue and Attridge Drive to the intersection of Nelson and Lowe Roads, but during evenings, weekends and holidays service will be reduced to 30 minute frequencies.

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Bus ridership in New York City is falling, but the MTA has a plan to fix it

Bus ridership in New York City is falling, but the MTA has a plan to fix it

New York City bus service, which is already the slowest in the country according to a 2017 report, causing the MTA to lose out on an estimated 100 million trips. There have been moves to better the services in the city through Select Bus Service, bus lanes and transit signal priority, but these improvements are being implemented halfheartedly and slowly, the report concludes.

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Mini Metro will show you the science behind designing a subway

Mini Metro will show you the science behind designing a subway

For city-goers, the New York subway map as it is today might be easy to read, but for tourists and foreigners, it's a mess that's in need of a redesign. This is where Mini Metro comes in, allowing players to plan subway systems across a variety of cities including New York, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Mumbai and more. Each line has a different colour, making it incredibly easy to distinguish from separate subway services, especially those that run on the same tracks. The game is minimalist and elegant, while easy to understand, and teaches some basic concepts like overcrowding and building transfer options into a system.

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SmartTrack, Toronto's surface subway transit proposal, is nothing like what was promised originally

SmartTrack, Toronto's surface subway transit proposal, is nothing like what was promised originally

SmartTrack was originally proposed as a major part of John Tory's 2014 mayoral campaign, bringing rapid and reliable commuter rail service to 22 stations across 53 kilometres of track. The concept for the transit line has since been pared down drastically to only six new stations, but will still extend from the airport lands to Markham.

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Cities should look to Seattle on how to stop the transit ridership crisis

Cities should look to Seattle on how to stop the transit ridership crisis

There's some strange objection most people have to riding buses, but those same people are fine with riding other forms of transportation, like streetcars, subways and commuter rail. It's evident that this is happening in the 35 top United States transit markets, where ridership has fallen in all but four of them.

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