In 1849, Toronto cabinetmaker Burt Williams launched a public transit service from the St. Lawrence Market all the way to the far-flung Red Lion Hotel in distant Yorkville. Called the Williams Omnibus Bus Lines, it was the first mass transit system in Canada and, notably, was a very successful private sector venture.
Uber is everywhere. While it is not yet in all communities, it is at the forefront of the minds of travellers. Uber—which connects potential passengers with private drivers through the use of a digital app—has done more than just offer cheap transportation fares; it poses perhaps the most substantial disruption yet to the entrenched system that governs the taxi industry.
Construction of the Union Pearson (UP) Express—the express rail link between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Toronto’s Pearson Airport—is near completion, and there is now a growing debate about how much people should pay to use it.
Canadians are used to higher air fares resulting from a variety of fees and taxes. For many, however, these higher fares provide an incentive to cross the border to find lower fares. The aviation fuel tax in Ontario, which the Ontario budget proposes to increase by 4 cents, is one contributor to those higher air fares.
As our public infrastructure struggles to keep pace with the demands of goods and people movement, there are growing calls for a national transportation strategy or policy. But transportation policy means different things to different people.
Most commuters would be able to tell you what their average commute time is. But if you ask them how reliable their commuting time is you will likely be given a less straight-forward answer. But reliability matters, because people tend to plan for the worst in order to avoid being late.
Earlier this year, The Conference Board of Canada released a report that quantified the demand for truck drivers in Canada, driven by the growth of the economy and the resulting pressure that the trucking industry will face to attract new drivers. In that research, we found that not only was the average age of a truck driver higher than it was for the average worker (44 year vs. 40 years), but that average age had also been increasing more rapidly than the age of the average worker.