Just how bad are the transit cuts?

As I have mentioned here many times, BC Transit is one of the few transit agencies in North America not currently cutting service. How bad are those cuts? Here is a map of US transit cuts compiled by Transportation for America:

View United States of Transit Cutbacks in a larger map

What about Canada? Calgary is cutting service, but that was only the one I could find good information about. Ottawa narrowly avoided cutting services, as did Vancouver & Toronto, while Montreal is staring potential cuts in the face. Those that didn’t cut service often did so by raising fares, which will drive ridership away just as surely as cuts will. Overall 2010 looks to be a pretty grim year, although public outrage will likely not appear, as the Transport Politic points out. Transit cuts that were avoided this year will likely come next year, as rising gas further drives cost up. Get ready for a bumpy ride.

2 thoughts on “Just how bad are the transit cuts?”

  1. Greetings from California, the other CA. I live in an area that is served by both LA and Orange County transit, and it’s interesting (if a bit disheartening at times) to compare the two. LA Metro has managed to maintain a relatively stable level of service, mostly by dipping into tax revenues originally planned to expand the train system, but nevertheless will be increasing fares in the next year or so. Orange County, not having any local funds to draw on, is facing massive cuts. Service has been drastically reduced, some routes have been halved in length or dropped entirely. Around the country, many transit systems are in the same situation; I visited St. Louis last year and they’re cutting all train service after 8pm.

    One of the things I admire about Canada (other than that it successfully converted to the metric system) is that it has a sensible amount of freeways. Ever since we in the US implemented the $200 billion interstate highway system, it’s been a giant drain on transportation funds, preventing the feds from spending money on anything but maintaining the freeways they already have. When I visited Vancouver, I was impressed by the fact that, despite there not being hundreds of miles/km of freeway, no one seemed to be that unhappy. Perhaps if the US had stuck with the highway system we had in the early 50s, our public transit wouldn’t be in such dire straits, and people wouldn’t have come to consider 10 lane freeways as their birthright.

    Good work here, this will be the first place I come for advice if I have the opportunity to visit BC again.

  2. Drew, it is amazing that everytime we turn around the cuts that we thought were bad already are getting worse. Here in BC we are lucky that we get provincial operating funds, usually in a 1/1 matching scenario with the region, but some parts of Canada like Toronto aren’t so lucky.

    As for highways, I think we were just slower to build out the highways, so by the time the major protests started, the US was further along than we were.

    If you come to BC, feel free to look me up.

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