Sustainable Transportation in Canadian Cities

I live in Ottawa Canada where a public bike sharing system and segregated bike lanes in the downtown core were finally introduced last year, some thirty years after these concepts became the norm in Denmark. While these initiatives do provide a healthier/greener transportation alternative, they are seasonal (at least in Ottawa) and they mainly target city dwellers, who likely already have an active lifestyle and whose carbon footprint (transport component) is already lower than the average suburbanite’s footprint. Similarly to other Canadian cities, much of our transportation dollars are invested in non sustainable transportation options. Take for example, the city of Montreal, where $3 billion is being invested into rebuilding one of the busiest interchanges (links 3 main highways), thus facilitating/endorsing the use of personal vehicles for commuting into the city.

Could we not invest in more sustainable transportation to make ‘green’ commuting more palatable than daily driving? With continually increasing volumes of cars, our governments continue to pave wider roads and add more lanes, while no attention is given to the archaic (from the 1970s) public transit system. Astute consumers will not give up driving – even if it’s 1hour each way – if it is more comfortable, more affordable and more time efficient than public transit!

Individuals must make responsible choices, but the infrastructure must be in place!

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Posted in community, sustainable living
4 comments on “Sustainable Transportation in Canadian Cities
  1. jeremy says:

    In Singapore, the Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) system is a model for other cities to follow. Admittedly, the distances aren’t as great, but if the full costs of commuting by car were calculated, a comprehensive public transport system in most cities would probably work out to be relatively low cost.

  2. Toshibumi IINUMA says:

    I’m interesting with the public bike, it is not exist yet in Tokyo. I want to know about the maintenance fee for the system. In a sense of cost efficiency, it does work well?

  3. tonhublog says:

    I believe a one year membership costs $80.50 (about 65 euros). This allows you to pick up and drop off bikes from any station within the city (there are 10 stations around the downtown core in Ottawa). In many large cities, these bike sharing systems are quite elaborate and there are bike stations every 2nd block. you swipe your member card, pick up a bike, ride to your destination, return the bike to a station at your destination and voila!

  4. mpmreims says:

    I was able to visit Denmark in December of last year. I was so impressed to see so many people riding their bicycles even when it was dark, cold and raining. That’s commitment! It also appears to bridge social divides – young and old, rich and not-so-rich, women and men, the fashionistas and common folk.

    Personally, I love the idea. Paris has a similar program. Does this share-a-bike solution work in the winter in Ottawa?

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