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

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A single-vehicle incident impacted the morning commute on the Pat Bay Highway. (Black Press Media file photo)
TRAFFIC: Single-vehicle incident closes section of Pat Bay

Northbound traffic down to one lane, southbound reopened

Four residents and two cats were displaced from their home in James Bay when a fire broke out Sunday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
No injuries in James Bay house fire

Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday

Coun. Bob Thompson wants authorities to delay the June 30 deadline for submissions to BC Housing’s request-for-proposal to run the supportive housing project at Prosser Road. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich calls for delay in supportive housing project deadline

Municipality wants more say in eventual choice of contractor to run supportive housing project

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read