Government / Politics
As gas prices keep rising, the public demand for buses and trains keeps growing. Yet in some cities, government is actually cutting back transit service, because rising gas prices make transit vehicles more expensive to operate.(1) But as a matter of substantive policy, service reductions are not only less desirable than service increases, but also less desirable than fare increases. As a bus rider, I’d rather pay $1.50 and know that my service is safe from fiscal crises than pay $1 and worry that my service might be reduced or canceled next month. Moreover, if fairness means spreading pain equally throughout the population, it is fairer to have everyone pay a little more than to have some neighborhoods be left without service.
As a grassroots North American organization for “people involved in planning,” Planners Network (PN) attracts not just professionals and academics but laypersons and activists as well. This year’s PN conference was a dramatic debut for the Winnipeg chapter of PN, which was only formed in January of 2006. The conference title, “Flat not Boring” was an amusing reference to southern Manitoba’s notoriously unvarying geography.