Smarter Transportation

November 20, 2012


I am attending a QUEST (Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow) conference and just heard from transit leaders from across the country. Here are some of their observations – in no particular order:

  • Younger demographics are using transit more
  • Fewer younger people are getting their licence
  • Younger people care less about the mode of transportation and more about integrated urban mobility – being able to move from one mode to another with ease
  • Every trip starts with a walk
  • A choice of attractive alternatives is being sought
  • Exceptional experiences from the bus to the bus stop to the station to the ease of payment is key
  • Focus on the attributes you want not the mode or technology – make it about choice, frequency, and connectedness
  • It is about where you want to go and when
  • Reliability, reliability, reliability
  • It is about wherever life takes you (nice slogan)
  • Modern buses are clean and efficient – not your father’s bus
  • Not a matter of if but when for electric buses – next 10 to 15 years – currently not cost effective with other issues like range anxiety and battery life and repurposing being addressed
  • Availability and price of parking a key policy issue
  • BRT means bus rapid transit but should be bus reliable transit
  • Different financial models exist – some that have a single incentive to increase ridership from all demographics
  • Frequency critical in colder climates
  • Flexible pick ups being introduced
  • Smaller shuttle busses under development in Canada to provide greater flexibility
  • New BRT corridors in Canadian cities are seeing double digit ridership increases
  • Estimated $425,000 savings in life cycle operating costs over 12 years for an electric bus

Lots to consider as we transition our transit system to meet the needs of a growing urban centre and an emerging demographic who want a new paradigm – integrated urban mobility.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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