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Week in review: March 11, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

ION light rail

Some opposition is forming against light rail in Cambridge. Preston residents are finding in their inboxes angry letters in opposition to the preliminary preferred route for Stage 2 of light rail.

(Fact checks: Nothing is ‘secret’ – the study has been widely publicized and two rounds of public consultations have taken place. Additionally, while some properties may be impacted by the preferred route, nowhere near that many will be ‘wiped’ out, though some slivers and parcels of land may need to be bought along the route, as was the case for Stage 1.)

If you want to counter these negative messages, we’d encourage you to reach out to your Regional Councillors with a quick note of support for Stage 2.

Transit

GRT’s new fareboxes have begun to appear in buses, which will enable electronic fare cards to be used instead of tickets and passes. Meanwhile, talks continue between the Region and bus drivers over their next contract. If a deal isn’t reached before March 20, drivers have voted to go on strike.

Elsewhere, London’s rapid transit plans hit a snag, Saskatoon ambitiously intends to plan a bus rapid transit network in  a year, and Calgary introduces a sliding scale for discounted transit passes. In the US, TransitCenter and Streetfilms celebrate San Fransicso’s improvements to its bus network,  including rolling out the ‘red carpet’ of painted bus lanes and higher transit priority.

Cycling

Advocates are proposing a 300 km Grand Trail network to link walking and cycling trails along the Grand River.  The Kitchener Post supports the plan in their recent editorial.

Cycling reads this week include a look at the connection between women and protected cycleways that offers something of a challenge to the cycling advocacy community, lessons from Copenhagen that can be applied here, and a celebration of the recent growth in bike sharing systems in the US.

The Road Ahead

After a series of scandals and huge losses, CityLab’s’s Laura Bliss asks if Uber is doomed and how competition in the ride-hailing market is changing. And despite extremely low ridership, a partnership between Kansas City and mobility startup Bridj is being hailed as a success in terms of the lessons learned which will be applied to a new on-demand app for passengers with disabilities.

CityLab/The Atlantic looks at the big players in the race to build autonomous vehicles, while Fortune pours cold water on the notion that we’re going to see fully autonomous cars on the market anytime soon, and the New York Times points out that self-driving cars can’t fix traffic, but road pricing can.

One thought on “Week in review: March 11, 2017”

  1. The letter distributed in Preston is disturbing, given its “country talk radio” tone and many factual errors – but mainly because the senders don’t identify themselves or provide any contact info.

    What would y’all think of distributing a respectful and accurate flyer from TriTAG?

    Letters in the Cambridge Times might also be helpful – people do read it. I think Richard Vivian is still the editor: rvivian@cambridgetimes.ca .

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