Special Report: Light Rail

Why Transit Matters

Lecture notes and selected slides from Paul Bedford's address to the June 21 Jobs Prosperity Collaborative Luncheon in Hamilton.

By Paul Bedford
Published June 22, 2011

Introduction And Context

21st Century Challenges

City Building Power of Transit

Moving Forward

Selected Slides

Urban growth centres
Urban growth centres

Growth distribution by 2031
Growth distribution by 2031

We have a choice: business as usual or growing smarter
We have a choice: business as usual or growing smarter

Congestion costs billions annually
Congestion costs billions annually

Initial conclusions
Initial conclusions

Global gas prices
Global gas prices

More transit is the better way
More transit is the better way

It would take 4 QEWs and 4 DVPs to carry the people who move through Union Station daily
It would take 4 QEWs and 4 DVPs to carry the people who move through Union Station daily

Building Blocks for the transportation plan
Building Blocks for the transportation plan

The big picture: Dense development around Yonge Subway line
The big picture: Dense development around Yonge Subway line

Regeneration in the King-Spadina and King-Parliament reinvestment areas
Regeneration in the King-Spadina and King-Parliament reinvestment areas

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs

Fitting avenues with the neighbourhoods
Fitting avenues with the neighbourhoods

Shopper's Drug Mart with upstairs apartments
Shopper's Drug Mart with upstairs apartments

St Michael Catholic School with upstairs apartments
St Michael Catholic School with upstairs apartments

What's missing from this picture?
What's missing from this picture?

Drive-through prohibition bylaw
Drive-through prohibition bylaw

GTHA big potential tools estimated
GTHA big potential tools estimated

Lessons learned
Lessons learned

Paul J. Bedford FCIP, RPP is the Chief City Planner Emeritus for the City of Toronto and a passionate advocate of transit and city building throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Paul Bedford is an Adjunct Professor of City Planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University and an Urban Mentor with Paul Bedford & Associates in Toronto, which includes proactive involvement in a wide variety of public planning issues in numerous capacities primarily within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

He is a member of the Waterfront Toronto Urban Design Review Panel, a member of the National Capital Commission Planning Advisory Committee in Ottawa, and a futures columnist in the Ontario Planning Journal and a Senior Associate of the Canadian Urban Institute. He is also a member of the CAMH Property Committee guiding the long-term redevelopment of the Queen Street Mental Health and Addiction Facility.

He is a member of the Metrolinx Board of Directors.

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By RonMiller (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2011 at 01:11:53

Wow, what a story. As the price of fuel increases public transit will become extremely important to a cities economic development. Not only that, but how we make use of the available land we have for habitation. This is posted on a Hamilton site so I will comment accordingly. We need visionaries in City Hall. If Hamilton steps up we will be way above the pact and bring Hamilton to be a world class city. I honestly believe this is possible.

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By Transitto (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 08:02:27

And the current mayor doesn't care and the last one couldn't do any planning to move us forward...we are doomed; doomed I say!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 09:42:31 in reply to Comment 65083

Maybe we should hold a "Transit rally" to show the city how important this is? We could meet at the McNab Street Terminal and walk up to City Hall en masse. Have a picnic in that "welcoming" public gathering space.

We could get the cupcake and grilled cheese food trucks to show up!

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By Blenda (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 09:58:43 in reply to Comment 65087

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 21:54:03 in reply to Comment 65093

Oh, this would be so much funnier if you knew me...

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By PaulV (registered) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 10:17:37

Apparently there were no city officials at the meeting. Say it isn't so?!

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2011 at 10:17:48

If there was one big suggestion I'd make to the people running transit, here and regionally, it would be to look more into bulk sales. Currently, with a few exceptions (ie: McMaster), the most rides you can buy at once is a month of unlimited rides for a single person. As great as this is for ridership otherwise, it doesn't give anyone much data to work with. Most of these sales happen anonymously at convenience stores, so other than card-swipes, we don't know a lot about who's going where, or why.

Selling through venues like workplaces would give a definitive destination point. If we know that three hundred people have purchased passes at a workplace, we can guess when they'll be arriving and leaving, and put a stop right where they'll need it.

Workplaces, hospitals, the airport, appartment building/condo conentrations and various business nodes (Dundas, Westdale etc) could all really use this kind of minor service adjustment, and the boosts to ridership would be enormous. For the system as a whole, it would allow it a chance of capturing the "low hanging fruit" of regularly scheduled mass traffic migrations, and it would become more responsive to consumer demands. This isn't just about getting people to sign up and find their way on our transit map/schedule - it's about making that map work for people.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 14:00:07

Don't be crazy, that would never work here.

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By Blenda (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 18:00:11

I took a walk, and then the laxatives kicked in--I had to take three different kinds to get it all out. Boy was I full of it. And my case worker finally got me a few bucks so I could go back on my mood helping meds. Sorry if I offended, my parents hit me when I was a kid and I could never understand why, until now. I'll be OK now for one or two days anyway and then, well who knows, right? Who'll I be next time? Hmmm My meds good, but make me calm!! No good!!

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By Jane Jacobs A2M (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 23:08:26 in reply to Comment 65123

insult spam deleted

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By poopered (anonymous) | Posted June 24, 2011 at 15:04:36 in reply to Comment 65135

of course they're imposters--that's the point.

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By George (registered) | Posted June 23, 2011 at 19:17:54

I'm sure consensus would be that Hamilton, especially the downtown and lower city, needs drastic change.

We must ask ourselves, what provides the best opportunity for such change, especially when planning for future growth. We already see a slow and steady migration of some GTAers to Hamilton.

All we need to do is look to K-W for an example of progressiveness. And what did they just approve and show a willingness to pay for?

We can't afford to NOT go through with LRT. The sooner the better. Full speed ahead!

Comment edited by George on 2011-06-23 20:45:40

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