In local government, the assumption is often made that a good road system means that public transit must suffer, and vice versa.
Sometime roadways and transit are at odds, when light rail or streetcar projects remove lanes of traffic, or when road design does not accommodate the needs of buses.
But both needs can be accommodated at the same time.
Since buses share the road with private vehicles, minimizing the conflict between the two is in everyone’s interest.
Adding dedicated bus lanes can greatly reduce the number of cars that might otherwise have to fight with the bus to get through.
The recent election in Winnipeg saw a bit of a fight between those favouring improved transit, and some candidates who argued that better lanes for cars must be job one, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
When done right, expanded public transit can improve roadways for drivers and take some number of them off the street altogether, helping to relieve congestion.
It will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but when it’s completed, Winnipeg’s rapid transit network will provide other cities with a good example of how to balance the needs of drivers and transit users.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on policy issues facing local governments, visit www.fcpp.org.