Public Transit a Quiet Issue this Election

Transit has just barely been talked about this federal election.. we can only hope it will be more significant in the Vancouver civic election, considering GVRD residents believe public transit is the most needed improvement in the region.

A story in The Montreal Gazette a week ago brought up the point that "it's been a zero campaign" as far as gaining discussion. This is an obvious oversight in an election where 'the environment' has been a major topic (at least, until 'The Economy" went completely sideways).

It seems that as usual, no major party wants to lay the environmental problems the world is facing at the feet of the 'ordinary' Canadian, but only the industries they work for. Concrete funding of public transit networks is one way this can be addressed in a positive manner, however, without blaming individuals for their transportation habits.

There has been some discussion, with the NDP leading the pack. They have announced that up to $750 million a year would be funneled from the federal gas tax already in place, and the sale of carbon permits to heavy industrial polluters, into public transit programs.

Jack Layton mentioned some projects that would receive the money, picked up by the Globe and Mail:
The NDP plan would result in as many as 2,000 new buses in Toronto, 1,400 in Montreal, 324 in Ottawa and 62 new light-rail SkyTrains in Vancouver.

It sounds like a bit of a throwaway plan, but would certainly be welcomed by the various transit authorities. There's no word on whether a high-speed rail link between Toronto and Montreal would be built with the money, though the idea has been brought up.