Could ride sharing be the answer to reducing gridlock in Canada's cities?
Traffic chaos: Cities everywhere are struggling to reduce congestion and improve the movement of people and goods. While roads carry the bulk, planners look to public transit and carpooling to lighten traffic. But new ride sharing options such as UberPool offer different ways of getting around. What do you think?
DOWNLOAD MP3 (right click, choose 'Save Target As')
Ever since the first donkey dug in his hoofs and refused to budge from the middle of the entrance to the town market, people have been looking for solutions to traffic slow-downs. In Toronto this week it wasn't donkeys people were worrying about. With over a million cars on the roads it was HOV lanes, VIP traffic, not to mention irate commuters as the Pan Am Games rode into town. Earlier this month we learned Vancouver voters soundly rejected a bid to increase taxes to beef up their transit system. But their anger was directed at the regional transportation agency TransLink for not making better use of the roughly one-and-a-half-billion dollars they already spend annually.
Politicians know that keeping the people happy is not an easy task but one sure way is to spend more money on road construction. But more roads usually just means more cars and many are now thinking seriously about better ways of moving people around and in and out of cities. Experts say more and better transit is the way to go. But what happens in the meantime, look how long it takes to get relatively small projects completed.
The Vancouver referendum was the hope of many in that city ...now it is back to the drawing board. One thing is clear - Canadians love their cars and enticing them out is not going to be easy. Uber thinks they can do it. The ride-sharing company is moving into cities around the world and offering cheaper and easier alternatives to taxis and carpooling. They are wildy popular in some places but they're giving city administrators headaches and taxi drivers are taking to the streets in sometimes violent protest.
We want to know what you think. How bad is congestion in your city? Is it a mug's game trying to keep up with it, or are there good tools and new approaches that can dramatically improve the situation quickly? What do you think of all the measures designed to get cars off the roads? There is car sharing, ride sharing, carpooling, there are tolls, no-go zones, and alternate day restrictions. And, what about the new digitally based solutions such as Uber? Will they help the overall situation?
Our question today: "Could ride sharing be the answer to reducing gridlock in Canada's cities?" I'm David Common ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius XM, satellite radio channel 169 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.
President of Fenn Advisory Services, senior advisor at StrategyCorp, former Ontario Deputy Minister and the founding CEO of Metrolinx.
- Pan Am Games prompt Uber to bring its carpooling service to GTA
- Will the Pan Am Games HOV rules make more people carpool?
- GO Transit buses benefiting from Pan Am HOV rules
- Transit referendum: Voters say No to new Metro Vancouver tax, transit improvements
- Why Canada has fallen so far behind on public transit" by Lucas Powers
- Long Beach cabs take a page from Uber's playbook
- Uber drivers face fines in Toronto, but should passengers also pay?
- New forms of regulation urged for Uber and the rest of the sharing economy (Feb. 17, 2015)
- Toronto is Canada's second worst city for traffic congestion (Jun. 3, 2014)
- Edmonton taxi company joins national anti-Uber campaign (Nov. 11, 2014)
- Uber pushes Canadian cities to re-evaluate taxi industry
- Uber launches car-pooling service in Toronto, despite city council crackdown, by Kristine Owram
- Toronto city councillor suggests UberX passengers could be fined up to $20,000 for using 'bandit taxis'
- Uber now tops taxi rides for business travellers in some cities (AP Apr. 7, 2015)
- Uber isn't the first to disrupt the transit space - and it won't be the last, by Ryan Holmes
- Taxation and regulation in the era of Uber and Airbnb present new hurdles for government, by Finn Poschmann
Globe and Mail
- Toronto UberX drivers face licensing charges as city works on regulation
- Pan Am's HOV lanes spur 'huge growth' in ride-sharing
- Editorial: Greater Vancouver says 'no,' and the gridlock continues
- Piecemeal is a dubious way to go for Metro Vancouver transit, by Gary Mason
- Vancouver's transit system hangs in the balance as plebiscite draws to an end (May 29, 2015)
- Metro Vancouver residents say No to tax to fund transportation projects
- Pan Am Games officials implore residents to take transit
- Toronto's traffic time bomb: Is it too late to fix? (Mar. 24, 2015)
- Stuck in traffic, by Andrew Coyne (Jan. 2011)
- HOV lane experiment proves we're no dummies
- Uber launches car-pooling service during Pan Am Games
- UberX drivers face 72 city bylaw charges in enforcement crackdown
- Uber has its flaws but overall it's a blessing: Olive, by David Olive
- Uber sees Toronto as ideal for new car-pooling app, by Vanessa Lu
New York Times
Saturday Evening Post
- Mode of transportation and average commuting time to get to work in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas" (2010 census.