Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Learnings form the Other Municipalities - Edmonton #2

Editorial writers at the Edmonton Journal had their City of Champions shorts in a knot over public transit recently.

Seems that the creation of a new student transit pass has meant the system has "absorbed" five million more riders than expected.

This low blow to property taxpayers came about when college and university students took advantage of a annual pass that was offered at a bargain price.

The result was that student ridership averaged 40 trips per month instead of the anticipated 25. Clearly the pass price of $78.75 per year should be revisited.

But the Journal pontificators really jumped offside when they questioned the appropriateness of property taxes going to public transit. Then - a warning please move young children away from the screen - they used the S-Word (i.e., subsidy) while talking about public transit. No mention of the massive subsidies given to automobile users every day.

So Edmonton bureaucrats get the price right.

More people on public transit should be a good news story - especially in Alberta.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Learnings from Other Municipalities - Edmonton #1

Hamilton (the City of Waterfalls) has 77 or so of them and one high level bridge.

Edmonton (the City of Champions) has but one waterfall and it flows off their high level bridge, or did until this summer.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the Great Divide Waterfall which usually "operates" about five times a year is turned off until 2010.

While it is speculated that tourists will be disappointed, they'll have to wait until the city has figured a way to get the chlorine out of the water as it is detrimental to fish and natural habitats in the North Saskatchewan River.

Thirty million litres of water cascades off the bridge each year adding 0.4% of chlorinated discharge into the river.

A "hired" consultant is going to sort out the options and the cost of dechlorinating the water and report back later this year.

Disappointed tourists can, hopefully, check out some of the areas more natural water features until the taps start to flow again.