There was a time in our country when public transit ruled the rails

There was a time in our country when public transit ruled the rails and roads. With the advent of the automobile, we have seen a steady, if not now slowed, decline in public transit that connects us with each other.
With any growing region comes more traffic. This traffic clogs roads and nearby highways that are already strained from years of neglect by all levels of government. People are looking for ways to save time and money and are seeking out what alternative travel options are available to them.
Unfortunately, this country has a public transportation system that is three decades out of date. Our already financially strained public transit systems can no longer afford to maintain existing service and provide new service to their growing cities without ongoing, stable help from the other levels of government. We have some of the most important economic development opportunities in this area. Projected population growth means there will be more jobs here which will require more transportation. If we are going to serve those employees and maintain our quality of life, we need to have all levels of government to start seriously investing in both between roads and transit. Neither approach works by itself but together can make quite an impact.
One way to help people cope is through a well-designed, well-managed local, regional and provincial (GO Transit) public transit system.
Obviously, public transit is not a total cure for all these issues but would help take the pressure off the already strained roads system. Some people simply need a vehicle to do or get to their job. Some will also need drive due location and others because they must get to work in a reasonable time period that public transit can’t provide.
It is inevitable that, as gas prices and living costs rise higher, more and more people will start to choose public transit over driving their car to work, play and shop.
The big challenge for our city and region is to ensure that the transit system in this area is ready for these people.
Our region basically needs to get maximum efficiency out of the system we have. This will be done by making sure it is well-managed systems, that are kept in a state of good repair, with more frequent service on the busy routes. For example, a commuter misses his 7:00 a.m. bus by couple of minutes, he is not left stranded for half-an-hour until the next one arrives. Get the basics right first before adding a whole bunch of new things.
Unprecedented demands will be placed on public transit in the region in the coming years. With the Places to Grow strategy, our regional population growth will be huge, and with rising gas prices to boot, there will be the potential for less cars on the road, and more transit users.
It is very vital Ottawa and Queen’s Park to continue to properly fund public transit. It is important that the cities get more people involved in making the regional transit system better. If these regions transit systems aren’t ready to handle all this growth, the economy of the entire region will suffer.
Not only is that unacceptable, but it would mark a collective failure of all three levels of government and a betrayal of the public they are supposed to serve.
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