Brian Gould

Another step forward

In 2008, when I began writing In Transit, the Alberta government’s $2-billion GreenTRIP program was already off to a slow start.Two years later, as I write this final column, I want to be able to tell you that all those LRT expansion plans I’ve reported on are finally getting a big share of that...

Monday, June 28, 2010, 5:30 AM

Giving Edmontonians car-free options

Last week, I introduced the City Centre Airport lands as a blank canvas for transit-oriented development and sketched out a few ideas. This week, I’ll make some broad brush strokes to show a possible way to lay out one section. In terms of design constraints, the centre of the site is wide open....

Monday, June 14, 2010, 3:30 PM

Some transit ideas worth chewing on

I normally use this space to critique other people’s plans and actions, meaning I come across as more negative than I would like. Unfortunately, with no direct power to influence most processes, this is my role as a columnist. With my departure from this space approaching, however, I want to try...

Monday, June 7, 2010, 3:30 PM

Make the Transit Challenge an Everyday Challenge

The Transit Riders’ Union of Edmonton’s third annual Transit Challenge begins Thursday, kicking off a week of walking, bicycling and, of course, taking transit, while leaving the car at home. Brendan Van Alstine — my former partner in writing this column, my successor in the public relations role...

Monday, May 31, 2010, 3:30 PM

Signal woes add fuel to anti-LRT fire

Good morning, south LRT riders. Enjoyed your first three weeks on the new extension? Might want to speak up, because there’s a lot of negativity to drown out. Take the Edmonton Journal’s front-page headline from two days before the first real commute: “LRT extension brings parking woes.” It’s in...

Monday, May 17, 2010, 3:30 PM

Projects shift congestion

When I heard that plans to widen Gateway Boulevard to five lanes between 23 Avenue and Whitemud Drive could be delayed due to provincial funding cuts, it came as something of a surprise. Not a surprise that the province would cut funding to cities — especially transportation funding — but rather...

Monday, April 19, 2010, 5:30 AM

There's a lot to learn from Portland

I recently took a “city planner’s holiday” to Portland, Ore. — a trip resulting from growing tired of hearing constant references to projects and precedents without having seen them first-hand. Portland is a left coast city with a metropolitan population of a little more than two million. It’s...

Monday, April 5, 2010, 1:30 PM

'Perverse and regressive' LRT park-and-ride scheme

LRT park-and-ride pricing is back to council Wednesday, but this time the proposal is to reserve a fraction of the spaces for those willing to pay around $40 or $50 per month. The plan has already been recommended by council’s Transportation and Public Works committee and, with any luck, the one-...

Monday, March 22, 2010, 11:16 AM

Green TRIP reveals a lot about attitude toward transit

It's been twenty months to the day since the provincial government pledged $2 billion in "Green TRIP" funding for transit, but the program still hasn't produced much of anything except excuses.Announced in July 2008, just before the record peak in oil prices, Green TRIP was created when the...

Monday, March 8, 2010, 11:16 AM

Mixed feelings about bus station bike lockers

Anyone who’s been to South Campus Transit Station lately has likely noticed the hulking metal bike lockers that have taken over a significant portion of the concrete bus island. As ETS spokesman Dennis Nowicki explains, the recently installed lockers are part of an ETS’ pilot project, slated to...

Monday, March 1, 2010, 11:16 AM

Smart card fares should be the first step

With smart cards for fare payment taking another step toward funding at council, I can’t help but think about other things to “smarten” up. For example, fare boxes on buses can’t tell the difference between the toonie-and-three-quarters cash fare and a fistful of nickels. On the other hand, ETS...

Monday, February 22, 2010, 11:16 AM

Council setting the right tone for LRT expansion

Things are looking up for Edmonton’s urban future, with council setting the right tone for LRT expansion and airport redevelopment. As far as LRT goes, NAIT is the first priority, followed by the combined west and southeast lines - a decision that prioritizes strengthening existing urban areas....

Monday, February 8, 2010, 11:16 AM

Bus network revised

It might not be as glamorous as laying new LRT track to Southgate, but revising the bus network to match is just as important.While opening day is still three months away, a preliminary list of changes has surfaced online. I’m feeling a little underwhelmed, but it’s certainly an improvement on the...

Monday, February 1, 2010, 11:16 AM

Expo or no Expo, let's just get this LRT extension built

I’m alternately excited and worried by the recent push, led by Mayor Stephen Mandel, to expand the planned LRT lines to NAIT, west Edmonton, and Mill Woods by 2016. The excitement is for obvious reasons — this is a huge extension that would double the network’s length and radically improve the city...

Monday, January 25, 2010, 1:30 PM

City continues to milk the farebox for all it's worth

It’s fare hike season again in Edmonton, and this year cash fares are up a quarter to $2.75, a 10-pack of tickets will set you back $22, and monthly passes continue to skyrocket, reaching $81.50. Regular fares aren’t scheduled to increase again until 2013, when the cash fare will reach $3 and the...

Monday, January 18, 2010, 1:30 PM

More bicycle racks among welcome changes to Edmonton bus fleet

The dawn of a new decade has brought with it two significant, yet subtle, changes to ETS’ bus fleet. Eleven routes now boast bicycle racks — up from three — while the entire system is now served by low-floor buses. ETS’ bicycle accommodations are still rather spotty compared to many other operators...

Monday, January 11, 2010, 1:30 PM

Reasons for an Edmonton transit user to be thankful

Ah, the holidays: No season of transit riding is quite so interesting. Free service into the wee hours of Jan. 1 made New Year’s Eve a treat. The rest, however, was often downright frustrating. Paper schedules became completely useless, what with reduced Sunday service on a Friday, increased...

Monday, January 4, 2010, 1:30 PM

Time to show us the money on Edmonton LRT

Heading into part two of the LRT public hearing, it was looking like the best-case result would see the lines to the north and southeast passed, but the west leg held hostage to indecision. However, I’m happy — and surprised — to report that the vote ended up 9-4 in favour of the whole package,...

Monday, December 21, 2009, 1:30 PM

Do Edmonton's bus drivers need to be behind shields?

The savage attack on bus driver Tom Bregg has raised a lot of questions among riders and Edmontonians in general, but the main one is rather simple: Why? The attack was random and completely unwarranted, which explains the public outcry. Acts of violence aren’t especially uncommon, but the...

Monday, December 14, 2009, 1:30 PM

Do Edmonton's bus drivers need to be behind shields?

The savage attack on bus driver Tom Bregg has raised a lot of questions among riders and Edmontonians in general, but the main one is rather simple: Why? The attack was random and completely unwarranted, which explains the public outcry. Acts of violence aren’t especially uncommon, but the...

Monday, December 14, 2009, 1:30 PM