As the Canadian national average spent in our cars commuting is increasing, Vancouver’s is decreasing. Much of this can be attributed to transit and road improvements over the last decade. But a lot is the result of the city’s impeccable urban planning. There are still many more improvements which can be made.
These stats aren’t the newest and the true value of infrastructure improvements will not be realized until the Port Mann bridge amongst other improvements are complete. Therefore, credit goes to Vancouverism and the “Live, Work, Play” motto. I’m talking about the downtown core being so efficiently planned, for those confused.
With that being said, Canada is still one of the worst countries in the world according to the recent Maclean’s Magazine (Jan 17). And they made several suggestions on how to suppress traffic congestion. The main goal was to charge for each road commuted on, via satellite and gps technology. The reason being, people will know the true cost of traveling rather than the hidden opportunity cost (e.g. financial, health, environmental). A free market price (higher rates during rush hour) would force many to level congestion throughout the day and give incentive for people to drive less. The cost would essentially be the same, just more transparent through this method.
This system is already being used in Singapore and embraced.
Major cities such as London have toll systems throughout and are getting rave reviews after initial public opposition. In the end, people will pay because they hate traffic. It comes at a financial cost, but more a harmful physical toll on the body and environment.
I will discuss this more practical method, tolls, next week.
Daily Avg Commuting Time (mins)
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Source: Statistics Canada