There is a renewed engagement with the role planners should take in the pursuit of social justice and social equity. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities. On the one hand, they can decide to use their privilege to their benefit by wielding power, status and knowledge and yet on the other hand assume positions of superiority during struggles for equality, Furthermore, they potentially sideline segments of marginalized communities with different concepts of social justice or how it should be achieved. Planners therefore hold power over theoretical and substantive knowledge that enables them to see what others cannot. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities.
David Pickeral, a consultant, posted a LinkedIn message that caught my attention. Within his message was a link to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) statistics which showed a 2% decline from the previous year in United States transit system ridership. There was a 6% increase for Canadian systems, but should still ring some alarm bells on both sides of the border.
Why the difference? More people are using new mobility options in American cities because there are quite a few more options. Dan Sperling predicts that new mobility will have more ridership than conventional transit.
Transportation equity cannot be ignored as the evolution of shared mobility is fast approaching.
The transit file has reared its ugly head yet again.
During Tuesday’s podcast of On the Ledge podcast with Dave Trafford, John Wright and Keith Leslie, they discussed how the Provincial Tories have an opportunity to stake their claim and become a “Legacy Government” on the transportation – namely transit, infrastructure, health care, and education files. Two things stood out for me during the podcast.
First, was the panel’s assumption that the Conservatives, namely Premier Doug Ford, is seemingly amenable to above ground transit technology, aka light rail transit.
Second, with respect to the subway upload, the assertion is that the upload is for the design and build of future subway lines and not existing ones. Dave Trafford confirmed with the Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek this morning on the Moore in the AM radio talk show that the Province, ie Metrolinx, would also include maintenance. Maintenance does take up a considerable chunk out of a transit system’s budget. Therefore, the proposed upload could entail the TTC maintaining and operating the existing network, while only operating the newer systems.