We need to do a better job promoting transit, urban densification

Government savings can ultimately be had by more aggressively promoting mass transit

The announcements of investments by senior levels of government in the E&N rail and other transit systems will reduce government operating costs.

Recently an international network for public transport authorities estimated that in North America, the costs of trips as a proportion of the gross domestic product is 12.7 per cent, whereas in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore it is only 5.4 per cent. The difference is a productive advantage for the Asian economies.

At the government level, transportation authorities are spending ever-increasing amounts of funds just to service the next subdivision.

Governments should not be in the business of promoting and financing urban sprawl, which increases operating costs to all levels of government, but particularly the province.

Encouraging mass transit and urban densification will entail the following cost implications:

Government will reduce costs for service provision as we move towards more compact communities.

For instance, out-patient health-care providers, social workers and transportation providers are now increasingly travelling farther to service clients. If a service provider can attend two or three appointments within walking distance, or commute a short distance by transit or even automobile, this is a time saver and also a fuel cost saver.

Existing road capacity is used more efficiently, thus delaying or negating the need for further road investments for expansion. This will help deliver our goods to the Far East markets more efficiently. Trucks stuck in traffic benefit nobody.

Correspondingly, there will be measurable decreases in road maintenance and rehabilitation costs.

Governments will also receive direct cost savings from decreased incidence of automobile accidents involving those commuters who switch modes of travel, through decreased exposure – a tangible benefit measured in millions of vehicle kilometres travelled.

Countries with the highest levels of walking and biking also have the lowest levels of obesity. This preventative measure is very important as our health-care costs are projected to increase exponentially.

Avi Ickovich

Langford

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read