This publication would normally be an unlikely destination for persons looking for a re-posting of opinion emanating from the David Suzuki foundation, but we came across an interesting article from that very source regarding public transit. In an article for Toronto Urbanized, Gideon Forman, transportation policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, and Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director of the transit advocacy group TTC Riders, made a case for more federal funding for public transit post-pandemic. What struck us was their absolute neutrality on the question of LRT vs Bus Rapid Transit. They wrote:
Especially important during the climate crisis is electrified transportation, including e-buses and LRT. The federal government has said it will soon dedicate transit cash to these zero-emission services. It has committed to helping with the purchase of 5,000 non-polluting transit and school buses. That’s good news for the environment and the economy.
Canada already has several e-bus manufacturers and, with a federal commitment to order thousands of new vehicles, we could see these firms grow and additional ones spring up. Clean Energy Canada, a think tank at Simon Fraser University, estimates that in 2018 the global e-bus sector was worth C$46 billion. This is a large and growing industry; our country should be one of its leaders.
Electric buses don’t create smog, but they do create jobs. If the government acts quickly, zero-emission transit could play a key role in our country’s economic recovery, making it truly “green.”
Locally, LRT supporters’ continue to circulate the absolutely false claim that Bus Rapid Transit was “studied to death.” The fact is that BRT was not studied at all. It was rejected out of hand in a contrived public consultation process that was dominated by LRT zealots. If anybody can point us to a study of Bus Rapid Transit for Hamilton we would like to see it. The Provincial auditor general has reported that no such study exists. We believe her. Thankfully Transportation Minister Mulroney has finally ordered that detailed study.
Here is the full article that appeared in Toronto Urbanized.