Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Last Word on Rational Transit Fares

Picking up from my last post I want to be clear that I’m not expecting any one municipality to go it alone on implementing funding for a restructured transit and transportation system.

Presumably Metrolinx is taking the lead on this.  Progress is painfully slow.

But municipalities ought to make some effort to, as the Mayor of Burlington said recently, find a rational way to set transit rates.

On some levels the City of Burlington has made an effort to develop a rational policy.  At least they have to the extent they’ve gone and found expertise to help them plan.

Take a look at the 1998 Transit White Paper informed by IBI consultants; lots to say in this report re establishing a fare structure.

Or the 2006-15 Transit Service Review authored by another consultant (iTrans) in 2006.  It ran 189 pages and right there on pages 67 through 71 there is a rational plan to establish fares.

Important aspects of these reports were ignored by Council and yet another consultant was hired in 2011.  At that time I was told by a Councillor that Dilllon consultants weren’t like the previous two consultants. No siree.  They would bring a business-like approach and not simply respond to a public who just keep demanding more service that really isn’t affordable.

Well, Dillon did a fair bit of work on The Route Ahead.  But they didn’t finish the job.   Perhaps their plan for rational fare structure wasn’t what Councillors wanted either.

 Do you see a pattern here?

 Anyway, here is the first public meeting last year where staff had great difficulty bringing Dillon’s report forward without Dillon or the report being present.  Former Mayor Walter Mulkewich asks some good questions in the video.