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bagould
12-11-2007, 01:43 PM
http://www.ualberta.ca/~bagould/transit/TRUElogos/true.jpg

Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Transit Riders’ Union of Edmonton
[email protected]

Transit Riders Challenge Council to Give Up Vehicles for One Week

Challenge Launch
Date: Monday, November 19th, 2007
Time: 10:15am to 10:45am
Location: City Hall - Front Steps



The Transit Riders’ Union of Edmonton believes that to make the best decisions for ETS, city council needs to understand what it means to be transit dependent in this city. Therefore, TRUE has challenged all city councillors and the mayor to rely exclusively on transit for the week of November 19-25. Three councillors have already accepted the TRUE Transit Challenge.

Council will be expected to run all errands and attend all appointments by use of only buses and the LRT. We understand the jobs of councillor and mayor require mobility, punctuality and efficiency, but these needs are shared by transit riders.

On Monday, November 19th, we are asking all members of city council to speak to the media about why they chose to accept or reject the challenge. Councillor Don Iveson has been confirmed to speak and we hope other council members will join him. We have chosen this time, before discussion on the new budget, in hopes that this experience will encourage council to both increase transit funding and reconsider the proposed fare increases. Accepting the challenge will afford council members critical insight into the needs of transit riders in Edmonton.

Full Text of the TRUE Transit Challenge to City Council:
http://www.ualberta.ca/~bagould/true/TRUEchallenge.pdf

More About TRUE:
The Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton (TRUE) is a group of concerned transit users currently researching and developing strategies to improve transit in Edmonton. TRUE’s goal is to provide a unified voice for an efficient and affordable public transit system that is accessible to everyone. TRUE is supported by the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG).

bagould
12-11-2007, 01:47 PM
I just want to add to the release to say that regardless of your particular views, I think this is a cause most members of C2E can get behind.

It would be great if you could attend the rally to show your support, and I hope to see you there.

We've created a Facebook event to RSVP
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=7265196089

Or you can just post here/PM me for info.



Challenge Launch
Date: Monday, November 19th, 2007
Time: 10:15am to 10:45am
Location: City Hall - Front Steps

DebraW
12-11-2007, 01:55 PM
Interesting.

Medwards
12-11-2007, 02:21 PM
not to nitpik, but I just noticed it right away reading this -

you've used fair when you should use "fare" I hope you correct this before it goes out to the actual media.

bagould
12-11-2007, 02:25 PM
not to nitpik, but I just noticed it right away reading this -

you've used fair when you should use "fare" I hope you correct this before it goes out to the actual media.
Thanks, I didn't write it but thought I did a better job proofing than that...

Ins
12-11-2007, 02:45 PM
Great idea.

Sonic Death Monkey
12-11-2007, 03:40 PM
Good luck trying to get Councillor Caterina to accept the challenge. He's already gone on record as saying that transit is a monetary black hole.

peeved
12-11-2007, 08:29 PM
I can't see Dave Thiele accepting this unless he is provided with a free bus pass. I hope your challange (if accepted by council) will require that they pay there fare. If they accept the challange they should donate one week of their vechile allowance to charity;if this happened Thiele would never accept this challange.

bagould
12-11-2007, 08:52 PM
I'm not going to speak to your comments about Thiele, but we're not supplying them with fare and I hope that ETS wouldn't waive it for them either. Part of the point would be that they see what the cost is.

Obviously it wouldn't mean the same to them as to some other people, but unless they're willing to buy a monthly pass and only get a week out of it, they're going to be forking over a lot of cash or buying a lot of tickets/day passes.

As for SDM's comment, yes, some councillors are certainly more likely to accept than others. Anderson is the only one to reject it thus far.

peeved
12-11-2007, 09:37 PM
The monthly pass (purchased by them) would work just fine; I believe that using the transit system and paying for it will give them a better appreciation of what regular transit users deal with on a daily basis. I hope Thiele accepts.

Denizen
12-11-2007, 10:32 PM
I have a car, but I choose to take transit. However, luckily where I live I can drive and park at the transit station, which is well used. That is a major stumbling block to people who want to use transit but have no park and ride facilities. People have things to do after work, pick up kids, go grocery shopping, visit a relative, whatever. If the city wants adult tax payers to use the system then our councillors should try it for a month, no parking mind, bus A to B to get to C.

Bring it on!

Bryguy
13-11-2007, 03:54 AM
Well there is always bus tickets as well.

I would be extremely impressed if any councilors took detailed notes for the week. Specifically how many tickets they had to use, how many times were they forced to use a taxi or their own vehicle (and why) and an estimate of how much time they spent riding, waiting for, and walking to catch a bus.

If they used a taxi or their vehicle was it weather related, ETS service not available at that time/location, or would they end up late for an appointment?

They could gain a lot of information with notes like that...
I hope most of them take on the challenge.

bagould
13-11-2007, 09:56 AM
UPDATE: Councillor Amarjeet Sohi will speak at the challenge launch.


If they used a taxi or their vehicle was it weather related, ETS service not available at that time/location, or would they end up late for an appointment?
We've worded it to define using anything but ETS as a challenge failure; we're looking for them to do it anyway and see what it's like. How late would they be? How bad would waiting at the bus stop in freezing rain be? Etc. While admitting that they "couldn't" make it work is helpful, I don't know if it's quite as helpful as doing it anyway.

On the other hand, hopefully they'll discover some positive things as well.

I like the notes idea, I'll pass that on.

DebraW
13-11-2007, 11:20 AM
For those who are PBS fans there is a show on Sunday nights entitled "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard" which is about a British woman who becomes PM.

Description:
A supermarket manager, fed up with politics as usual, decides to run for Parliament, and to everyone's surprise, Mrs. Pritchard wins her seat. But then the revolution takes a surprising extra twist, landing her at 10 Downing Street as the newest Prime Minister. Can it get any funnier? Watch Jane Horrocks in the first six episodes of a crackling new series about the dreams and nightmares of a citizen intent on public service.

In the November 11th episode Mrs. Pritchard announces at a G8 meeting (in Vancouver Island) that she is committing the entire British public to "No Private Car Use Wednesday" ...because someone has to do something about for the climate, the over-utilization of private vehicles and the need for massive support for the public transit system.

This event reminds me of this episode.

Jeff
13-11-2007, 11:41 AM
Good luck trying to get Councillor Caterina to accept the challenge. He's already gone on record as saying that transit is a monetary black hole.

:-D Oh please... I missed this! Google isn't my friend on this one as I can't seem to find anything showing Caterina's transit/black hole "foot-in-mouth" comments. C'mon, say it ain's so :twisted:

Sonic Death Monkey
13-11-2007, 11:58 AM
:-D Oh please... I missed this! Google isn't my friend on this one as I can't seem to find anything showing Caterina's transit/black hole "foot-in-mouth" comments. C'mon, say it ain's so :twisted:

Here you be, kind sir:

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/cityplus/story.html?id=a8f0a217-ae88-4dfd-8587-465c1877f5cb


Rookie Coun. Tony Caterina, who campaigned for the city to concentrate on areas that bring in money, said he'll look closely at public transit, which he called a financial "black hole" that uses more money than any other department except police.

Granted, he's not advocating killing transit or anything like that. I just hope his mandate is to find efficiencies and not try to kill ETS/BRT/LRT expansion.

240GLT
13-11-2007, 12:08 PM
^ I doubt he's advocating that, especially given that many people in his ward use the LRT... and he's pretty much correct about transit being that costly. He should have phrased his comments differently.

Elk Islander
13-11-2007, 02:05 PM
The solution to Edmonton's transit woes is staring us in the face!

Force Councillors and senior Pyamids Admin types to use transit ALL THE TIME to get to work!

You would be amazed at how quickly and how sensibly the ETS system would evolve if this suggestion were implemented!

And if, after six months, we gave them the option of cycling as well, we would see safe cycle commuting routes bloom across the entire city!

And I say give 'em a free ETS pass, but also fire 'em if they're recognized by the cops driving to work! This might be the only way to get rid of completely useless councillors like David Thiele.

murman
13-11-2007, 04:06 PM
I just want to add to the release to say that regardless of your particular views, I think this is a cause most members of C2E can get behind.

HUH? Someone who's against this should support you? That's pretty bloody full of yourself.

bagould
13-11-2007, 04:47 PM
I meant that in the sense of whether you think we should be concentrating on making transit attractive to business people or affordable/accessible to seniors, whether you think we should build LRT or BRT, whether you think we should implement night service or beef up day service, whether you think we should build nLRT or wLRT first, etc.

I'm not saying people who think we shouldn't fund transit at all should support it. But we haven't focused on any issue in particular, we've just said that if you're in charge of something you should have a good idea of its strengths and weaknesses. The same logic would apply if you'd rather we spent money on roads: would you want councillors who have never driven in their lives to decide which pieces of the road network are a priority?

If I'd really meant what you think I did that wouldn't just be arrogant of me, it would be mindbogglingly stupid. Of course if you're against something you're not going to support it.

Elk Islander
13-11-2007, 10:03 PM
I meant that in the sense of whether you think we should be concentrating on making transit attractive to business people or affordable/accessible to seniors.........

I think that you are making the somewhat grievous error that you are preaching to the converted. That members of C2E are somehow de factor transit boosters.

Of course, we all support transit, except those of us with kids, those of us with flashy SUVs, those of us who work in obscure places that are barely reachable by transit from some quadrants of the city (the U of A!), those of us who work for big oil, those of us who are patriotically supporting the war for cheap oil, and, of course, those of us who sit on council being paid to keep a cushion warm for years on end (THAT MEANS YOU DAVID!).

What people should realize is that some citizens actually crave the notion of efficient, relaxing, Stuttgartesque transit. And some other people actually commute by by foot or by cycling. But we have to remember that, unfortunately, we live in the most American of all provinces, and it will take decades to change people's prejudices.

As I said before, if it were left to me, councillors would be forced to use transit on pain of being fired sans pension. But this is just my own rather extreme position...........

bagould
13-11-2007, 11:15 PM
I think that you are making the somewhat grievous error that you are preaching to the converted. That members of C2E are somehow de factor transit boosters.
Well, there are a number of polls on variations of "transit vs roads" that tend to result in transit coming out ahead, but again, I'm not really trying to argue that everyone on C2E would just funnel all the city's money into transit.

Let's say you don't really care about transit. What you probably do care is how your money is getting spent on it, and how we could spend that money more efficiently. Decision makers need first hand knowledge to make those decisions. That's basically the point of the exercise.

Unless you outright hate transit and assume this will automatically lead to more funding, I don't see how this can really be seen as a bad thing, and I don't think there are that many people on the board who hate transit. Having said that, someone will prove me wrong rather quickly I imagine.

Let's flip this one around on me. Most people are aware of my "anti-car" bias. Back it up to the debate over 23 Avenue, something which I personally opposed. Now imagine if out of the thirteen members of council, only one has used the interchange in the last month, two others use it yearly, and half have never used it. Even if I was opposed to the interchange, I would want the councillors to see it first so they could make a better decision.


Actually, you know what, I'm kind of arguing myself around in circles here and there are other motivations for the challenge, so I'll just admit I'm wrong (now there's a cause people will support) in advance in the hope we can move on.

peeved
14-11-2007, 01:21 AM
I like Elk Islander's idea I'm sure we could get rid of Thiele the first day;he could then become a soccer referee and car pool with one of his soccer groupies.

Sonic Death Monkey
14-11-2007, 08:00 AM
^ The opportunity to fire Thiele happened just last month (election) but it didn't happen. Let it go already, will ya?

murman
14-11-2007, 10:00 AM
I meant that in the sense of whether you think we should be concentrating on making transit attractive to business people or affordable/accessible to seniors, whether you think we should build LRT or BRT, whether you think we should implement night service or beef up day service, whether you think we should build nLRT or wLRT first, etc.

I'm not saying people who think we shouldn't fund transit at all should support it. But we haven't focused on any issue in particular, we've just said that if you're in charge of something you should have a good idea of its strengths and weaknesses. The same logic would apply if you'd rather we spent money on roads: would you want councillors who have never driven in their lives to decide which pieces of the road network are a priority?

If I'd really meant what you think I did that wouldn't just be arrogant of me, it would be mindbogglingly stupid. Of course if you're against something you're not going to support it.

Well, guess what, Bagould: the wife and I have gone from a two-car to a one-car family, and I walk to work. And I still don't agree with what you're trying to do.

As I see it, transit just doesn't work for the vast majority of the populace. To that end, trying to force something upon someone that doesn't work for them is just bloodymindedness for the sake of trying to make a point (and, in the end, just lose you points).

Elk Islander
14-11-2007, 10:15 AM
As I see it, transit just doesn't work for the vast majority of the populace.

You are absolutely right! But do we just give up and smile benignly on the next batch of polution-belching monster SUVs basking in midwinter gridlock? Or do we try to do something about it?

If the whole thing is pointless, then why not just follow the British model and privatize the ETS? Get it out of the public sector so we don't have to argue about tax dollars being used....... Or just close it down completely?

Or, we could force councillors to ride ETS every day. If the folks that make the decisions actually had to ride the thing, then you would be gobsmacked at how quickly the system would evolve to server the needs of the people. It would also be a good was of getting rid of that pesky Monster-SUV allowance that councillors get! And also, it would expunge cushion warmers such as David Thiele from city hall. I really don't see a downside here!

murman
14-11-2007, 11:13 AM
As I see it, transit just doesn't work for the vast majority of the populace.

You are absolutely right! But do we just give up and smile benignly on the next batch of polution-belching monster SUVs basking in midwinter gridlock? Or do we try to do something about it?

If the whole thing is pointless, then why not just follow the British model and privatize the ETS? Get it out of the public sector so we don't have to argue about tax dollars being used....... Or just close it down completely?

Or, we could force councillors to ride ETS every day. If the folks that make the decisions actually had to ride the thing, then you would be gobsmacked at how quickly the system would evolve to server the needs of the people. It would also be a good was of getting rid of that pesky Monster-SUV allowance that councillors get! And also, it would expunge cushion warmers such as David Thiele from city hall. I really don't see a downside here!

Your downside is FORCING people to use something that is simply not the be-all end-all answer. It really is as simple as that. This isn't new math.

Elk Islander
14-11-2007, 12:05 PM
Your downside is FORCING people to use something that is simply not the be-all end-all answer. It really is as simple as that. This isn't new math.

But surely you can see the poetic justice in forcing councillors to use the system that they have inflicted on the rest of us? This is about accountability. And possibly cushion-warmer persecution.

Of course, I realise that my version of bagould's idea is too extreme for most tastes. It is just a manifestation of my Eurotrashy background......

bagould
14-11-2007, 12:06 PM
Keep in mind that we're talking about councillors taking transit for one week, not some conspiracy to ban all cars. You're blowing this up in to some kind of secret plot to take your car away.

Oh, and to give credit where it's due, this wasn't even my idea, so debating me and things I've said in other threads makes even less sense.

RichardS
14-11-2007, 12:13 PM
If I were in office, I'd take your challenge. The only thing I would worry about (especially the higher one got on the poltiical ladder) would be security.

Let's just say...imagine Klein on an LRT car during Bill 11...and stopping at the Health Sciences station.

bagould
14-11-2007, 08:14 PM
UPDATE: Councillor Ben Henderson has accepted and will attend the challenge launch.

Andrew Knack
16-11-2007, 02:16 AM
As I see it, transit just doesn't work for the vast majority of the populace.

This is exactly the problem which is why we need to try and make it work for the vast majority. I would love to use public transit but it's not efficient. I used to take the bus from Meadowlark to the U of A for about 4 years - the #4 or #106. Even though I was on a direct route and did not need to transfer, it still took about 20 minutes longer to get to the U of A then it would when I drove. I haven't used public transit since I finished my degree at the U of A a year and a half ago because the 4 years that I did use it left a bad taste in my mouth.

I'm seriously considering doing this challenge just to see if anything has changed. I only work at West Edmonton Mall now so it shouldn't be too painful to get to work from Meadowlark but I worry about trying to make it to other parts of town and how long it will end up taking me.

I'm pretty certain that the transit system still needs some serious work and hopefully this challenge will open up councillor's eyes to a system that needs some attention.

One question, is there an official list of councillors who have either accepted or declined the challenge? Or should I just keep checking this thread to find out who is taking the challenge?

bagould
16-11-2007, 12:30 PM
UPDATE: Councillor Dave Thiele has accepted.

I assume this will make some people in this thread happy for what are possibly not the kindest reasons.


Andrew, this thread is as up to date as anything else. We're supposed to be getting webspace from APIRG pretty quickly. We're expecting the media will take over reporting if anyone accepts at the challenge or after, but at this point it's kind of a fight between media not covering it if there aren't enough councillors and councillors not accepting if there isn't enough media attention. I think we've about reached critical mass with the number of coucillors, and we're feeling pretty good about the challenge.

peeved
16-11-2007, 06:14 PM
bagould do you know if the councillors are paying their way or is the city giving them a free ride.

grish
16-11-2007, 06:44 PM
bagould do you know if the councillors are paying their way or is the city giving them a free ride.
$5 a day for 5 days? That's $25 which I am sure is less for the taxpayer than a car allowance. I don't mind if the city pays for it.

Rant mode on: (I am peeved)
I also get a theme that some people are peeved at council for some of the things they get for doing the work they do. People complain about salaries, car or transportation allowance. What is next? Are going to be peeved at them for using pencils and paper bought by city money? Using city-purchased telephones and computers? Why don't we get peeved at them for using public electricity while we are at it?
Rant mode off. I feel better as I am no longer peeved at anyone anyomre. It helped to get my irritations off my chest. Now that I am no longer peeved, I might go and write more poetry about potholes. Oops, there goes--I am peeved again!

bagould
16-11-2007, 07:52 PM
$5 a day for 5 days? That's $25 which I am sure is less for the taxpayer than a car allowance. I don't mind if the city pays for it.
The cheapest way might actually be to grab daily passes if they have to go somewhere other than city hall during the day and run errands like they're supposed to. It's actually seven days (what good is taking ETS if you don't get to experience Sunday service?), so it might be more like $50. Either way, I think outside this challenge all councillors should be provided with monthly passes regardless of any cost or whether they use them or not.

In this situation, though, I hope the councillors will be digging change out of their own pockets so that they'll experience the hit of cash fare. Not for the same reason as peeved, mind.

moahunter
16-11-2007, 08:21 PM
I also get a theme that some people are peeved at council for some of the things they get for doing the work they do.
Agreed, all jobs have perks, but downsides too. I am actually really impressed Councilors are accepting this challenge, it must be much more challenging for public figures to use transit than us regular folks (saftey issues from upset citizens, etc.)

peeved
16-11-2007, 08:31 PM
You no grish you should pratice what you preech ,wasn't it only today that you were advising me (in another thread) that the purpose of this form is to comment on the topic and not attack other members. I am getting really sick and tired of you taking every opportunity you can to belittle me by critizing the name I choose. You jump to conculsions and assume to much. Did you ever think that I felt that they would get a true picture of transit life if they had to make sure that they had the correct change every day or that they didn't forget their bus pass at home(off course not because I choose the name peeved) . You made reference to my user name 6 times in your post making sure you put me down ever time you used it.YOUR POST WASN"T ABOUT COUNCILLORS USING THE TRANSIT IT WAS ABOUT ME AND THE NAME I CHOOSE.Ihope you got your kicks for the knight at my expense.MAYBE YOU COULD START A NEW TOPIC I SUPPOSE YOU COULD CALL IT LETS TRASH PEEVED :shock:

grish
16-11-2007, 08:40 PM
You no grish you should...

What do you mean? I am grish.


I was expressing my irritation and annoyance at a particular topic. That's the meaning of the word peeved, isn't it?

ok, I'll change my post:

Rant mode on: (I am ANNOYED)
I also get a theme that some people are IRRITATED at council for some of the things they get for doing the work they do. People complain about salaries, car or transportation allowance. What is next? Are going to be ANNOYED at them for using pencils and paper bought by city money? Using city-purchased telephones and computers? Why don't we get IRRITATED at them for using public electricity while we are at it?
Rant mode off. I feel better as I am no longer ANNOYED at anyone anyomre. It helped to get my irritations off my chest. Now that I am no longer IRRITATED, I might go and write more poetry about potholes. Oops, there goes--I am ANNOYED again!

peeved
16-11-2007, 09:33 PM
I don't understant how you can get away with postings like that it was obivious what you were doing;that was directed at me.I believe your ego is a little to big and you try to hide behind your passive agressivness.I have an opinion and I don't need your permission or approval to express it,a little respect would be nice but I understand that your ego won't allow that.

moahunter
16-11-2007, 09:50 PM
and you try to hide behind your passive agressivness.
Passive agressivness? Are you a psycologist Peeved? I had to look that one up! Something about "negative personality disorder", a "controversial personality disorder" per Wiki, the bible of all truths. I learned something today, I am happy now :lol:

Grish, you are in trouble (which I think I know anyway, as we normally seem to disagree), because treatment for this disorder can be difficult, someone will need to convince you of your unconcious feelings that are being expressed passivley. :wink:

grish
16-11-2007, 09:55 PM
I am working on it. With any luck I'll let the "passive" go sometime soon.

peeved
16-11-2007, 11:07 PM
Re:writing the post is a start, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you have character defects. Believe it or not I was pleased to hear that Dave Thiele accepted the challange;I hope it opens his eyes to what dependent transit users expirence on a daily basis.

grish
17-11-2007, 12:22 AM
Re:writing the post is a start, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you have character defects. Believe it or not I was pleased to hear that Dave Thiele accepted the challange;I hope it opens his eyes to what dependent transit users expirence on a daily basis.

perhaps you and I will go through this process together and we shall both be cured of our aflictions.

peeved
17-11-2007, 12:39 AM
That wouldn't be a bad thing a support group.

Medwards
17-11-2007, 09:14 AM
^^ ok, lets try to stay on topic here.

microbus
17-11-2007, 11:01 AM
I think it's a great idea, and another benefit is it let's councillor's
see a worksite, per se`.
I think city councillor's should try to visit as many work sites of
city employees as they can.
Hmm, I wonder if any of them live up in Klarvatten or Ozerna :)

bagould
19-11-2007, 01:42 PM
Take your pick of channels for the six o'clock news, pretty much everybody was there.

RichardS
19-11-2007, 02:11 PM
Riding the bus
Four councillors take the bus to boost transit support

Gordon Kent
edmontonjournal.com


Monday, November 19, 2007



CREDIT: Supplied
ETS bus.

EDMONTON - Four city councillors are showing their support for public transit by relying on the bus and LRT to travel around Edmonton this week.

"Participating councillors will be able to see the benefits and challenges of using transit," Coun. Don Iveson said during a news conference this morning sponsored by the Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton.

He's taking part in the scheme along with Amarjeet Sohi, Ben Henderson and Dave Thiele.



REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE (http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=340a7e4d-ebad-4dad-a626-a23b6f5830a5&k=55388)

Cleisthenis
20-11-2007, 07:38 PM
Was very glad to be a part of this, and help with the videography. Look for a youtube video soon!

The_Cat
21-11-2007, 12:38 AM
I'm sure that our volunteer councillors will get an eye opener about the bus service in Edmonton. Kudos to them for walking (or riding) a mile in the shoes of Edmonton Transit riders.

Duckie
27-11-2007, 01:07 PM
The week is up, and I don't recall seeing anything in the paper summing up the councillors' experiences, blah, blah... did the transit riders' union get any feedback?

bagould
27-11-2007, 02:12 PM
Deleted by author.

Dusty Bear
28-11-2007, 10:17 AM
From car to bus, it's a new ride for councillors
Gordon Kent, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 3:05 am
EDMONTON - It was the best of rides, it was the worst of rides -- four city councillors say they saw the good and bad sides of public transit when they gave up their vehicles to take the bus.

Ben Henderson, Don Iveson, Amarjeet Sohi and Dave Thiele accepted a challenge from the Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton to travel around the city last week using only buses and the LRT.

Henderson was surprised by the large number of passengers on the bus, a result of the 7.5-per-cent increase in ridership this year, and found it easy to reach appointments in the city core.

But he fell into a service "black hole" one night when he waited for the bus from downtown to NAIT's Souch Campus, 7110 Gateway Blvd., only to discover it didn't run that late.

"Waiting for a bus that's obviously never going to show up, it's kind of like standing in a Fringe (theatre festival) lineup. It's a very social experience."

As a Rossdale resident who often walks to work, Henderson wound up going to Whyte Avenue on another bus and hiking eight or nine blocks to the school.

"Given that it's a place where we were having an open house, I would think it would be accessible to transit."

Don Iveson was on the bus from three to 10 times a day, poring over schedules to ensure he made the best connections. He shaved about five minutes off his morning commute by taking the No. 17 express from his Malmo Plains home to City Hall rather than driving.

"With a Blackberry or some reading material and an iPod, it was quite pleasant ... to be off-peak, out of the (city) core, you have to be organized as to schedules."

Even the 65 minutes and two transfers needed to reach a wedding reception at the Chateau Louis one evening wasn't so bad as long as he caught the bus on time for the return trip.

"I learned a valuable lesson I knew in university, that the bus waits for no person. The five-minute elasticity that you have with a car isn't there."

Former Edmonton Transit driver Amarjeet Sohi says it was nice to get back on the bus and talk to passengers, but he still finds service "mediocre."

He spent 50 minutes travelling from Mill Woods to city hall, and about 75 minutes going home at night, when he was usually outside peak hours, compared to the half-hour it takes to drive.

He also missed a Summerside planning meeting because the bus does not run late enough at night in the area.

However, he was happy he could spend a week without using his vehicle.

"People will leave their car behind if you are able to provide an alternative."

Dave Thiele liked being able to ride from Mill Woods to downtown with his wife, who usually takes transit to her job at Grandin school.

One pleasant surprise was hearing passengers on many of the roughly 20 trips he took thank the driver as they got off the bus.

"It was a lot better experience than I anticipated at the outset. You hear all the bad stories about transit not having enough service, and some of that is true, but it worked well."

While he and his colleagues all plan to continue using buses when practical, they say the number of times councillors must travel for events and meetings around the city make it unlikely they'll be able to rely on transit exclusively.

The experience reminded Iveson, who bought his home based on good transit access, of the two years he lived in Toronto and didn't need a car.

"We're getting to the point where that lifestyle is practical. You have to be near transit in the first place ... so it's not going to work for everybody, but the city is moving in that direction."

[email protected]




© The Edmonton Journal 2007

Medwards
28-11-2007, 10:25 AM
Don Iveson was on the bus from three to 10 times a day, poring over schedules to ensure he made the best connections. He shaved about five minutes off his morning commute by taking the No. 17 express from his Malmo Plains home to City Hall rather than driving.

"With a Blackberry or some reading material and an iPod, it was quite pleasant ...
This says alot - and if we can make transit more time competive with a car, more people will use it - especially if you even save 5 minutes, such as Don did.


to be off-peak, out of the (city) core, you have to be organized as to schedules."

But this is where the transit system fails - we cater to the 20% of so that actually ride the transit during peak hours, but we fail to realize that this is a 24/7 working city that needs service to all areas at almost all times. The 9-5 mentality within ETS needs to be scrapped, pronto.



ormer Edmonton Transit driver Amarjeet Sohi says it was nice to get back on the bus and talk to passengers, but he still finds service "mediocre."

He spent 50 minutes travelling from Mill Woods to city hall, and about 75 minutes going home at night, when he was usually outside peak hours, compared to the half-hour it takes to drive.

He also missed a Summerside planning meeting because the bus does not run late enough at night in the area.

However, he was happy he could spend a week without using his vehicle.

"People will leave their car behind if you are able to provide an alternative."

Not just an alternative - we already have that - we need a viable, efficent, effective alternative that is fairly time competitive with a car.

bagould
28-11-2007, 01:39 PM
Matt: I think he meant that he didn't consider it an alternative (he still says it's mediocre), but maybe that's just me hearing what I want to. I can read it your way too.

Good to see a follow-up. We had heard that councillors were fielding questions, but had yet to see anything actually materialize.

I personally prefer the different outlets tracking down the councillors themselves to cover the story differently and end up with more diversity.

bagould
28-11-2007, 04:22 PM
CityTV, well worth a watch:

http://www.citytv.com/edmonton/yourcity_50824.aspx

The_Cat
29-11-2007, 01:23 AM
I'm glad to see some city councillors riding the bus, just to get a first-hand idea of the service. I'm sure that the City will see the value of investing in our transit system, and I'm sure that the LRT will be assigned a higher priority.

Also, I think that Edmonton Transit has to change to respond to customer service needs. Why is it that the overwhelming majority of buses go through downtown or university to go from one end of the city to the other? I'm sure this chews up about 15 extra minutes. Sure, university and downtown are hubs, but can we have some routes that bypass those hubs?

I think I'd like to see Edmonton Transit ran more like a business. I'd like to see employees/drivers take more ownership of the decision-making.

Duckie
29-11-2007, 12:19 PM
I pity the poor folks at ETS who try to schedule routes to service the entire city. Edmonton isn't designed to be transit-friendly. The city's sprawling development means buses travel through vast stretches of low-density development, because, well, that's all there is. Transit considerations should be part of planning and development initiatives.

I'm interested to hear from Charles Stolte, ETS manager, and the Edmonton Transit System Advisory Board, with their priorities on how to improve ETS.

bagould
04-12-2007, 01:50 PM
Councillors Take the Test

By Darine Moukhaiber, 24 HOURS, The Times Union

Four city councillors who spent the past week using only public transit had mixed reviews of the system, though they all took something positive from the challenge.

Coun. Dave Thiele got to spend the morning ride to work with his wife. Coun. Amarjeet Sohi had a chance to reconnect with old co-workers and friends. Coun. Ben Henderson enjoyed conversations with city residents.

And Coun. Don Iveson learned a valuable lesson about being organized.

"The bus waits for no person," said the sheepish Ward 5 councillor, who missed his bus while he paid for Sunday brunch yesterday.

The four councillors embarked on a challenge last Monday put forth by the Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton to get around using only public transit for one week.

All councillors agreed yesterday that the public transit system needs improvement.

Though Thiele was able to get through his e-mails on his BlackBerry before getting to work each morning, he thinks the system needs more buses running more frequently.

"We don't need to go with the big fancy bus system -- people just want service."

Sohi and Henderson said there is need for more bus only lanes and signals.

"Buses should not be stuck in the same traffic as a personal vehicle," said Sohi, who said it took him almost two hours to get from the Royal Alberta Museum to his home in Mill Woods one evening last week.

Iveson believes bus routes need to be reworked to travel in straight lines, making it easier for commuters to figure out where they are going.

"Buses meander through neighbourhoods and take forever," he said.

http://www.masstransitmag.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=3&id=4891

McCauley resident
04-12-2007, 09:27 PM
"Buses should not be stuck in the same traffic as a personal vehicle," said Sohi, who said it took him almost two hours to get from the Royal Alberta Museum to his home in Mill Woods one evening last week.

No snowstorm last week - two hours for a trip I can drive in 20 minutes....... :shock:

So we should spend billions building special bus routes......... :roll:

grish
04-12-2007, 09:33 PM
yes because if we don't, soon when there are more cars your car trip will take an hour or two. we have got to learn to see the big picture. :roll: :roll:

Medwards
04-12-2007, 09:42 PM
"Buses should not be stuck in the same traffic as a personal vehicle," said Sohi, who said it took him almost two hours to get from the Royal Alberta Museum to his home in Mill Woods one evening last week.

No snowstorm last week - two hours for a trip I can drive in 20 minutes....... :shock:

So we should spend billions building special bus routes......... :roll:

We should build a transit system that is a lot more time competitive with a SOV, and maybe people would ride it.

McCauley resident
05-12-2007, 04:22 AM
We should build a transit system that is a lot more time competitive with a SOV, and maybe people would ride it.
Let the taxpayers double their taxes for something that people might use......... :roll:

My wife would walk the 15 blocks to work if she felt safe - instead the government has decided hookers & the "hooker infrastructure industries" deserve support & my tax dollars.

There is a direct bus stop to her work two blocks away but I will be driving my wife to work in less than 4 hours from now (without sleep).

One City Councillor wants to spend billions of dollars for a "unique" bus route to their own front door - unless we spend trillions of dollars placing a bus in front of my house, I will continue to drive my wife to work...

The choice is "crack houses supplying city endorsed hookers" or buses - I choose cops busting hookers & crack houses instead of a personalized bus.............

solo
05-12-2007, 05:41 AM
. I dont have hoockers and crack houses anywhere close to where i live. maybe thats your choice :)

for the trasit thing. Only way it will work is if everyone is forced to take public transit. starting with the downtown remove allot of the roads and densify it. kinda like "sim city" if you ever played it and build up. suit 30,000-150,000 in a pod with a cool speed train looping around picking everyone up.

Like WEM , i would live in that sucker,but build it upwards. everything i need around me no driving fighting trafic etc.

McCauley resident
05-12-2007, 08:22 AM
. I dont have hoockers and crack houses anywhere close to where i live. maybe thats your choice :)
How stupid I am - guess the women who got raped walking home in Oliver last week chose to be raped....... :roll:

And that mentally handicapped guy who got murdered last week on 102 Avenue chose that too...... :smt097

solo
05-12-2007, 09:41 AM
i think the creeps and hoocker thing is taking this thread off topic maybe start a new one.

all i was saying is: i do not recall any murders or rapes or hoockers etc in my neighborhood. it is your choice to live around those losers, what right do you have to complain?

Medwards
05-12-2007, 09:46 AM
. I dont have hoockers and crack houses anywhere close to where i live. maybe thats your choice :)
How stupid I am - guess the women who got raped walking home in Oliver last week chose to be raped....... :roll:

And that mentally handicapped guy who got murdered last week on 102 Avenue chose that too...... :smt097

What does this have to do with Transit? Lets keep it on topic please.

If you want to discuss areas in the city that have rape and murder and crack houses, start a new thread.

bagould
05-12-2007, 01:05 PM
Who's asking for personalized buses?

All anyone's saying is that maybe, just maybe, 2 hours is a ridiculous amount of time to take to get 14km (the as-the-crow-flies distance from RAM to where Sohi's house is based on clues in the CityTV piece). That's approaching walking speed.

Duckie
05-12-2007, 01:47 PM
People are getting their noses bent out of shape with the idea of dedicated transit lanes, but it's a solution for rush-hour woes and increased transit efficiency. Other cities have gone down this path with success, you simply put signs up indicating the right-hand lane on major roads is reserved for transit, taxis, and carpools only -- ie, the vehicle must have atleast 3 individuals inside to be in the curb lane. This speeds up transit during congested traffic times, and has the other benefit of supporting carpooling, lessening the overall traffic load. Keep the lanes dedicated for transit during an extended rush hour only if you wish (say, 7am-10am, and again from 4pm-7pm).

The total cost would be manufacturing and installing the signs on major roads.