Comment 11117

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 04, 2007 at 10:41:43

I think Monbiot gets it wrong on a few counts:

  1. If you build a hub for fast, efficient transportation, people will build around it. Putting that hub on the edge of town will increase development on the edge of town, period.

  2. He vastly underestimates the emotional appeal of rail over buses. Some people will not ride a bus no matter how nice it is inside, because buses carry a huge negative connotation. People who wouldn't dream of getting on a bus will line up to get on a streetcar.

  3. Light rail is more expensive to build but much cheaper to operate per passenger than buses (25-75% cheaper in most cases). It's also cleaner and quieter.

  4. Light rail can be powered renewably like the Calgary line, which is 100% powered by wind. Buses generally cannot, because they are not grid connected, and grid connected electricity is vastly more energy efficient than portable electricity in batteries or fuel cells.

  5. Downtown Hamilton has abundant under-used space, including whole blocks given over to surface parking. Finding room is not a big problem.

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