Ridership across country to soar shows study

Passengers wait to board Viva.

Passengers wait to board Viva. A new study shows that ridership will greatly increase in the coming decades.

Transit ridership is expected to nearly double in Canada over the next 30 years as the population rises to 42 million, with most of those people living in urban centres.

This is according to a report released recently by the Canadian Urban Transit Association, which represents public transit agencies across the country.

The report, titled Vision 2040, suggests all levels of government must work together to put transit at the centre of community planning and design. This will help create communities that reduce dependency on cars.

“Today, national transit ridership and investment are both at all-time highs,” states the report. “Transit is widely recognized as an important part of the solution to national challenges including economic prosperity, climate change, public health, safety and security.”

When factoring population growth, ridership will increase from 1.76 billion trips in 2007 to 3.28 billion trips in 2040.

To deal with this increase, CUTA says large cities and major metropolitan areas such as York Region and Toronto, must focus on integrating transit services and expanding rapid transit.

It sounds like vivaNext is on the right track with subway extensions that will be the backbone of a seamless transit system. The subway extensions and dedicated lanes will improve travel times throughout the Viva network and help to shape successful urban revitalization.

Read the final report.

Watch the video and see how transit will play a role in the future: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Transit Vision 2040 Video”.

What do you think of this vision? What do you see as the role of transit in the future?

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2 Responses to “Ridership across country to soar shows study”

  1. Michael says:

    Future transit needs need to be properly funded.

    Currently the Yonge Street Subway extension is in danger. A Yorkregion.com article (http://www.yorkregion.com/article/96566) points out:

    ” ‘Metrolinx has made it clear that they are not in a position to fund work on this project for the foreseeable future,’one of the reports reviewed last week by the region’s Rapid Transit Board states.”

    Further on in the article it says:

    “While the funds will come from regional reserves, it is hoped they will be recovered from the provincial and federal governments later.”

    So as of September 16th, the date of the article being published, Metrolinx (the provincial transit planning agency) is saying that as of right now the Yonge Subway is NOT going to be funded.

    Yet the region, according to the article, is planning on using money from the reserve funds and hope (pray?) that the provincial and federal governments come through with the funding. However, as of right now it seems the province, via Metrolinx, is saying there is no money for this.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Fisch, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Scarpitti are headed to Ottawa calling on the federal government for money during a budget meeting.

    So here is the main questions that I would love answered:

    1. Why no mention by VIVAnext of Metrolinx’s report and notice given on this website and/or blog that the funding for the Yonge Street extension being in jeopardy at this point?

    2. With the above, how can people readers of this blog and VIVAnext’s website get involved to ensure the Yonge Subway extension does get funded and come to fruition?

    Until those questions are answered, this statement by VIVAnext on this blog post will not come to fruition as NO subway extension will be built:

    “It sounds like vivaNext is on the right track with subway extensions that will be the backbone of a seamless transit system.”

    DaleA: Thanks for your comment and showing support for the Yonge subway extension. I don’t want you to feel like the project is in jeopardy because I don’t believe it is.

    Here’s where things stand.

    The Province committed $11.5 billion to Metrolinx in 2007 for 52 projects throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, with the expectation that the Federal Government would also come to the table with about $6 billion to help fund “shovel ready” projects. I believe most of the $11.5 billion has been committed to various projects – including $1.4 billion to vivaNext rapidways. That’s why the report said what it did.

    We must remember that the Yonge subway extension has been identified by Metrolinx as a priority project and a benefits case analysis has been prepared. All of the projects must have this analysis conducted before they can move forward. Currently, we are working with Metrolinx and other transit operators to conduct further studies related to the overall transit network along this area.

    Last week, we secured $4 million from the Region to conduct conceptual design work on the project. With this latest commitment, the Region has committed over $7 million to this project, having completed the required environmental assessment earlier this year.

    Therefore, its position as a “shovel ready” project will increase and strengthen our chance of securing funding from senior levels of government in the future. That’s why it’s important that we take steps now to make the project as “shovel ready” as possible.

    To address part two of your question, many others, including politicians, have taken note of this blog and comments being made on it. So, please keep the comments coming.

    Many businesses in the Region have also expressed their support by writing formal letters. You can read exerts from these letters on our website and they’ll be profiled in our fall newsletter that is about to go to print. We are about to launch other efforts to get more people talking about the need for the Yonge subway extension and will have more details on this blog in the coming weeks.

    In the meantime, please continue to express your support amongst your friends, family, community, elected officials and, of course, in online forums such as this one.

  2. Sasha says:

    What about population growth in the urban and suburban centers? If population growth is more than double than regardless of public transit congestion will still be much worse.

    I am an advocate of public transit but I think steps need to be taken to convince people to leave their cars at home. Designing transit systems that are integrated is essential to the answer. As part of the integration I believe that carpool and parking lots will also play a key role.

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