For a Better Brisbane

Canada Transit Special: Toronto

Video: ‘My Toronto’ by Tom Davis (Vimeo)

The BrisUrbane blog begins its series on transit in Canada with our first city, Toronto. Why is this blog doing a transit special about Canada? For cities of similar population size, Canadian cities appear to consistently outperform Australian and US cities on journey to work mode share. The books A very public solution and Transport for Sububia by Dr Paul Mees also draws heavily on Canadian examples such as Toronto.

As Brisbane grows it will seek out examples of how to other cities have organised their transportation.  Only recently the first calls for metro or subway systems in Brisbane have emerged, inspired by European cities such as London, Paris or Barcelona. This blog’s opinion is that Brisbane is probably more similar to American and Canadian cities, and that the North American systems would therefore also be worth looking at. London or Paris are not the only models of livable cities. Toronto also has development galore around its subway stations.

With the election of a new mayor, Toronto’s Transit City transportation Light Rail plan is pitted up against subway expansion. Ottawa, the city that inspired Brisbane’s busways, is planning to convert their busways to high-end light rail. Vancouver’s Light Metro, Skytrain, may also give an interesting insight on what future rapid transit options for Brisbane might be. None of this is to say that their systems are somehow perfect they are not, but it’s a good insight into what could be and the challenges that Brisbane is yet to face…

“Across the Atlantic, density is not a valid excuse for poor public transport either. Many US cities have higher densities than the Canadian cities that so strikingly outperform them; others are similar to their Canadian counterparts. The same applies with even more force to Australian urban areas, which have similar densities to their Canadian cousins, as well as stronger CBDs and much more extensive rail systems.”

– P. Mees, Transport for Suburbia, p200

Video clip: Toronto Roger’s centre sports stadium (Brisbane equivalent Suncorp stadium), Via long distance passenger rail, Union Station (Brisbane equivalent-Roma Street), GO Transit long distance commuter rail, Toronto Streets, Toronto CBD buildings, TTC Subway, TTC streetcar at Union Station underground interchange, TTC bus.


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April 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Public Transport

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