– We want a transit system we can afford

Vancouver Sun

A dose of private enterprise might help curb TransLink’s desire for more of our tax dollars

By Harvey Enchin

It’s not hard to make a case for an efficient public transit system. It makes cities more livable by reducing congestion and pollution and helps us get where we’re going, safely and, according to some estimates, at a lower cost than car travel. One study found the average cost per passenger-kilometre in five large Canadian cities was 12 cents by transit, compared with 46 cents by car.

Some people catch up on work during their commute on public transit and the Canadian Urban Transit Association estimates that if five per cent of rail and subway commuters did so, the annual productivity benefit would amount to $33 million. The association also cites a study showing homes close to a rapid transit station are worth $4,000 more than others in the same area. One might argue then that public transit raises property values and thereby creates wealth.

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