We have discussed the evidence showing that living near public transportation is a good decision. It saves you money, transportation is the 2nd largest household expense in Canada and taking public transit is cheaper than owing a car. Good public transportation, or the choice, makes people happier. No one likes being stuck in traffic.
Money and happiness aside how else can we measure our success for providing options?
WalkScore.com issued their first Transit Score Rankings for Canadian cities this year. The rankings are based on an algorithm which measures how well a location is served by public transit. Cities with a score of 90-100 are considered “Rider’s Paradise”; Places with a score of 70-89 have Excellent Transit; Scores of 50-69 indicate Good Transit and ratings lower than 49 indicate areas with Some or Minimal Transit Options.
For Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa we measure up and even exceed some scores in nearby US Cities. Below the top 5 all cities have a score under 49 indicating existence of Some Transit Options. Calgary ranks 9th with a Transit Score of 43 and ranks as the 10th most walkable city. TalkScore.com indicates most errands require a car in Calgary. Results were limited to cities with a population of 500,000 or more.
This week the 2013 Human Development Report made headlines reporting that Canada has slipped out of the UN’s list of top 10 developed countries. We are now in 11th place with some very strong result areas such as inflation and employment growth. Some of our areas of opportunity include productivity and attracting global investment. The National Post reports that this productivity refers to employees working smarter and gives the following example from Kip Beckman, principal economist at the independent research organization: “For example, If a company brings in a robot on a car assembly line and they can produce with the same workers more cars – that’s an improvement in productivity and that leads to a higher standard of living”
We think your productivity starts to improve with how you get to work, before we build more robots to produce let’s look at improving the way we spend our valuable time. And maybe do something for the cities with fewer than 500,000 people. We also think private undertakings such as HSBanff can improve rankings for attracting global investment and encouraging innovation.
How do you handle the transportation concerns of a town like Banff with a permanent population of less than 10,000 and with an annual visitation of more than 3 million? Follow along. We have some ideas and options.