Would Starbucks and Designer Interiors Get You to Ride Transit?

Toronto's Metrolink brings together city and transportation planners to brainstorm the transit of the future.

"Any transportation system in the future has to be user friendly, seamless and add value because somebody has to pay for it and the public sector won't be able to pay for all of it, said George Hazel, a British transportation planning expert.

Connectivity is key, he said. "How do you join up the buses to the transit, to the parking, to cycling, to walking because there are discontinuities all over the place," he said. "In Singapore, you can get into a taxi and there's a swipe (machine) behind the driver's head. You can use your transit card in a taxi."

Some of yesterday's ideas are pie in the sky, "But we have to be creative," said Al Robinson, GO Transit's director of equipment development, who was part of a brainstorming team rethinking the interiors of transit vehicles.

Among the suggestions: A quiet car equipped with laptops, wireless Internet access and reclining chairs so people who wanted to sleep or work could do so in comfort."

Full Story: Planners dream big for future of transit



Idea from Wynona Ryder movie!

The idea of coffee and cool trains to get people to use mass transit was promoted in the time-capsule movie from the 1990s called "Reality Bites." About a group of earnest 20-somethings trying to change the world, or deal with death, or love or whatever in Seattle.

Our Reality Bites hero proposed coffee on trains to the mayor who said "No, people love their cars." And our hero sunk into deep depression, knocked over his cubicle walls and foam boards, and ate lost of pizza. And look at Seattle now, they will build light rail, but they won't take it to the airport!

If transit planners in Seatle tell me otherwise--I will rejoice.

Mary E. Reynolds, AICP

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