Public Transportation

More low-income fare programs for transit could reduce or reverse ridership decline

More low-income fare programs for transit could reduce or reverse ridership decline

It’s news to nobody that transit ridership is down across the majority of transit systems in the United States — with cities looking at network redesigns, as is the case with New York and Seattle. But another way cities are able to bring on new riders is to introduce, or expand, their affordable fare programs to include more low-income people.

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Don't be so quick to blame the TTC for delays on the subway

Don't be so quick to blame the TTC for delays on the subway

In 2018 Toronto’s subway system had 153 delays caused by door issues, 532 because of speed control equipment and a staggering 3,216 caused by ill passengers. The city dealt with more than 47,682 minutes of delays in total — which equates to approximately 33.11 days — due to 182 different reasons. It’s important to note that many of these delays aren’t the actual fault of the TTC, but are caused by customers who are unruly and disruptive, ill, or those who pull the passenger assistance alarm for no reason. These precise numbers come from Toronto’s Open Data catalogue, which is a regularly updated online resource to track things like TTC delays, bikeshare usage and more.

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The GTHA still doesn't have harmonized fare payments and it's hurting commuters

The GTHA still doesn't have harmonized fare payments and it's hurting commuters

The rollout of PRESTO has inarguably been a bumpy ride — with consistently unreliable machines leading to an estimated million free rides to calls from the transit union and mayor for the issues to be fixed, a website dedicated to hating it and even a 1.5 star review on Yelp — things certainly haven’t gone to plan. But with one payment device working in each vehicle 99.5 percent of the time, things are certainly getting better for the technology, which is laying the groundwork for an improved system that could allow for a regionally integrated fare system.

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San Francisco just removed parking requirements on new developments and other cities should take note

San Francisco just removed parking requirements on new developments and other cities should take note

Throughout the United States, cities are built with parking and automobiles in mind — but with public transportation being better for the environment and for cities, they’re slowly correcting this mistake. On January 20, a new bylaw will go into effect in San Francisco eliminating the minimum parking requirements citywide, which was unanimously recommended after a review of the city’s transit, walking and cycling corridors. It will become the first city to remove minimum parking requirements for new housing and will greatly help with the new “transit first” policy.

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A few questions that Toronto's SmartTrack project brings up

A few questions that Toronto's SmartTrack project brings up

The City of Toronto, Metrolinx and the TTC have been working on their GO Regional Express Rail and SmartTrack projects since 2015, with them blending with each other to offer not much differentiation between the two. Even though the latter has been pared down significantly since it was proposed by John Tory as part of his campaign for mayorship in 2014, it’s still going strong and remains a centrepiece of his second term.

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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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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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Central Conference is a new conference for urban issues in the GTA

Central Conference is a new conference for urban issues in the GTA

Throughout Toronto and surrounding cities, there's always issues being brought up about relevant urban issues like public and active transportation, affordable housing and how our government can operate both more efficiently and openly. Central Conference, a new conference in Toronto, is aiming to inform the public of these issues through a full day packed with talks from the likes of Ilana Altman, Director of Programming at The Bentway and Kevin Vuong, founder of King Street Eats. There'll also be Tricia Wood, who teaches geography at York University and Cheryll Case, a researcher and planner connecting community groups, professionals and non-profits to increase the availability of affordable housing.

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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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Train crash in South Carolina highlights the need for positive train control

Train crash in South Carolina highlights the need for positive train control

In another incident, an Amtrak train was diverted to a side track and crashed into an empty freight train in South Carolina, injuring 116 people and killing two employees. Had positive train control been turned on, this accident could have been avoided.

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With Metrolinx' new Bombardier contract, streetcars are oddly more expensive than before

With Metrolinx' new Bombardier contract, streetcars are oddly more expensive than before

Toronto's regional transportation planning agency, Metrolinx, is cutting its order of low-floor streetcars from Bombardier Transportation in more than half. The initial order for 182 vehicles has been lowered to to 76, a reduction of 106 vehicles that were intended to run on the Eglinton Crosstown, Finch West and other light rail transit lines throughout Toronto.

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Chinese bike shares are flooding the streets, but people aren't using them

Chinese bike shares are flooding the streets, but people aren't using them

In China, bike shares are all the frenzy. They're convenient since in the internet-connected nation, all you need is a phone to access them. Renting out a bike only costs cents and is as easy as entering a code on your phone, but throughout the country, city streets are being piled high with unused bikes.

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The Seattle train accident might not have occurred if positive train control was turned on

An Amtrak train derailed at 7:40 am in DuPont, Washington this morning while en-route to Seattle. The derailment occurred when thirteen carriages jumped the tracks. The accident brings up a question: if there was safety controls installed on the tracks, why were they switched off at the time of the crash?

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