The Busway
Sometimes, motorists need to suffer for the greater good.
Phillip Hong
16 November, 2008
I'm sick of the mentality that it is a requirement that drivers be given free and open space no matter what. I'm sick of governments bowing to folk who only drive themselves to the city and pollute the environment due to "convenience". I'm tired of people bowing down and out towards transit improvements because they inconvenience motorists without thinking of a more important crowd: the public.
Growing up, I was conditioned to believe that driving an automobile whether it'd be a car or otherwise is as important and vital as breathing. Receiving a drivers' licence is part of the sick, twisted bar mitzvah that all must take to live in the Toronto area. We may live very diverse lives and come from so diverse backgrounds, but we've been taught at least unintentionally that owning a car and paying a fortune for maintenance and insurance is required and as vital as breathing.
Brisbane, Australia is not too different from Toronto: It contains a smaller population and although it doesn't contain a subway (of the train kind of course), the city boasts a very interesting experiment located near its downtown and into its suburbs: the busway, a dedicated road and associated infrastructure for buses.
The TTC are constructing something similar near York University while the long-delayed subway extension into Vaughan is under construction, and York Region is still carefully looking into putting a system similar to Brisbane's into place, but have received concerns about increased traffic for motorists.
I am strangely jealous of Brisbane. My family has relatives who live in what used to be called just a "large country (a word similar to rural back home) town". They have set up stops that look like subway stations and the buses contain a contactless card system that requires a small beep to get on.
A ride on the bus in Brisbane is zoned as you pay for how many zones you cross. The fares start from not more than $1.70 (Canadian) a ride.
Toronto would have had a very similar system and we've seen some very interesting proposals for transit through the years, but what has stopped some of these projects is the anger one receives from drivers. "Oh no, it's going to cause more traffic for us (polluting gits who drive a four-seater with only one occupied twice a day)".
I am ashamed to say that I am part of the "git" crowd I described, but I take transit as much as possible because it gives my legs a good exercise. And sightseeing in this tropical Australian city is completely simple.
I want those drivers who complain of the existence of transit vehicles to stew in their cars until well done while in traffic while buses, streetcars and light rail vehicles speed by. I'm sick of people who are so near-sighted.
Phillip Hong, a Woodbridge resident, is a an endless tourist. Check out the interesting experiences of his journeys on The Travelling Briefcase.
Editor: Phillip Hong
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