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Reimagining the future of Canada's public transit

March/April 2022 Issue

From the Editor

All's fare?

Public transit budgets deserve better than farebox recovery revenue.

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In this Issue

Settler Work: Equity and safety gaps in Canada's public transit systems

Exploring the structural, organizational and systemic barriers to equitable public transit service, using the Thunder Bay system as a case study.

Building cities for everyone: In conversation with Leslie Kern

Kern sat down with the Monitor and CCPA National Office Senior Researcher, Katherine Scott to talk about her research and building more equitable, accessible cities.

An equitable recovery for Para Transpo

Para Transpo assumes that para riders’ time is not valuable, that they have few important obligations and that their lives should be limited due to mobility and accessibility needs.

Five resources to understand the future of transportation

Electric vehicles have emerged as the poster child of the zero-carbon economy. If we could only manage to replace all our internal combustion engines with batteries, it seems, we’d be well on our way to a greener world. But is achieving net-zero emissions really that straightforward? And is a society and economy dependent on personal vehicles—zero-emission though they may be—actually the future we aspire to?

The future of Ottawa’s transit after the light rail debacle

I remember the excitement I felt when Ottawa’s long-awaited light rail train finally opened to the public. But what it promised and what it delivered turned out to be two very different realities. Why did this happen, and what does this mean for the future of Ottawa’s transit?

Out of service: Creating accessible transit is a win for everyone

Have you taken the bus recently? Your answer says a lot about where you live, your income and more.

Pandemic, privatization and people power

A brief history on the attack of Canada’s public transit system and how we’re trying to defend it

Preventing a downward spiral for transit isn’t complicated

Convenient, accessible public transit isn’t a nice-to-have for cities. It’s an essential part of urban life and can’t be left to wither.

China’s transport project meets stiff resistance in Balochistan

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of China's BELT and Road Initiative, has met fierce resistance in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Here, CPEC is seen as unlawful occupation of Baloch land that contravenes international human rights law.

Free to ROAM: Fare-free public transportation arrives in Alberta

One solution to the transit death spiral is to make transit free for riders and find alternative funding. In the past decade, at least six towns in Canada have made public transit free on local routes, including three in Alberta.

Commuting by the numbers

How we commute was changing even before the pandemic began. If public transit is going to replace single passenger cars for the daily drive, understanding these shifts is critical.


Authors appearing in this issue

Róisín West

Róisín West

Róisín (they/she) is the Senior Editor of the Monitor and Behind the Numbers. They write about disability and accessibility, civic engagement, and media. Find them on Twitter at @RoisinWest.

Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (he/him) is a senior researcher at the CCPA, where he focuses on international trade and climate change policy in Canada. Follow Hadrian on Twitter at @hadrianmk. He runs the Shift Storm newsletter about work and climate change—sign up for it here.

Laura Shantz

Laura Shantz

Laura Shantz (she/her/they) is a long-time transit rider and a member of Ottawa Transit Riders, a local grassroots organization that works to improve transit for all riders, especially those with mobility challenges. Find them on twitter at @Laura_Shantz

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas (she/her) is a two-time Paralympic alumna and a long-time transit advocate, pushing for greater accessibility of transit and equity for Para Transpo users. Find her on twitter at @sallycthomas.

John Di Nino

John Di Nino

John Di Nino (he/him) is the National President of ATU Canada, the country's largest transit union consisting of over 34,000 members. A transit mechanic by trade, John has been president since 2018 and involved in the labour movement for the past three decades. Follow ATU Canada on twitter at @atu_canada.

Marco D’Angelo

Marco D’Angelo

Marco D’Angelo (he/him) is President of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. Follow CUTA on twitter at @CanadianTransit

Emma Bainbridge

Emma Bainbridge

Emma Bainbridge (she/her) is a student journalist studying political science and urban studies at McGill University. Find her on twitter at @emmakbainbridge

Shelagh Pizey-Allen

Shelagh Pizey-Allen

Shelagh Pizey-Allen (she/her) is the Executive Director of TTCriders (@TTCriders), a membership-based group of transit users in Toronto. TTCriders participates in the pan-Canadian Keep Transit Moving Coalition, which campaigns for the federal provision of transit operations funding.

Ari Vangeest

Ari Vangeest

Ari Vangeest (he/him) is an activist situated in Toronto. He wrote his master’s thesis on

the rise of free public transit in Canada. Follow him on twitter at @arivangeest