I don’t hate cars. I learned to drive when I was twelve. I am a supporter of transit, and I think our city needs to increase and improve transit. Transit is a more cost-affordable option than cars. It is not a more convenient option. I was raised in a family with five children; in situations like this, transit (and even small cars) won’t work. If you have children and you need to get them to soccer practise, music lessons, and swimming lessons, transit doesn’t work. If your commute time is twenty minutes and transit takes you forty minutes, transit doesn’t work. I think our city needs to put a priority on transit development so it does work.
Simple cost effective plans to change the way transit works in this city already exist, they just need to implemented. Once implemented, if your commute by bus drops from forty minutes to twenty-five minutes, combined with reduced fuel expense, transit should become a more desirable option. My ferry plan does not stop the workers from driving and parking at Shannon Park, it ensures the ingress and egress to the shipyard is by boat, not by widened roads through the North End. This requires a long-term commitment from the citizens of HRM. Transit is something we are all paying for; if we make a commitment to improve and increase transit, we all need to make an effort to use it when possible.
Let’s talk about cars for a minute. I will fully admit that a car is a wonderful way to travel. It is convenient, it is relatively safe, and it is comfortable. Cars are also a depreciating asset that loses 70% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. Not a single car is produced in HRM. Other than the small markup and repair cost, cars are an exporter of wealth. Other than the tax revenue, almost the entire value of fuel is exported wealth. While cars may be convenient, relatively safe, and comfortable, their value is almost entirely exported wealth.
Lets talk about roads for a minute. Starting in the 50s, this country began a massive expansion of the road system. It cost tons of money at the time, but the car was gaining in use, dropping in price, and increasing in quality, so this expansion was required. 60 years later, it turns out that roads really only last about 50 years, and then the maintenance starts to get really expensive. If we do not start changing the way we move around our city, we are going to be in big trouble. This issue is not going to go away.
Slow and gradual change to less roads and fewer cars is the only solution.