Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
One to watch
Stage 2 of the Southwest
Rapid Transit Corridor
A recent survey by the Natural Resources Defense Council -- a Washington environmental-advocacy group that is pro-transit -- found Americans would love to have more public transit -- as long as they don't have to pay for it.
Support was highest in the Philadelphia suburbs, where more local spending on transit was favoured by a ratio of 82 per cent to 13 per cent.
So here's a shout out to you, City of Brotherly Love, from the city of Bargainly Love.
We, too, want more public transit without the inconvenience of having to shell out for it.
Take Stage 2 of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor. Even though the city is already arguing about routes, nobody has ponied up the cash to extend Winnipeg's rapid transit route to the University of Manitoba.
One theory about how it can be paid for is to use the taxes generated through development of housing and businesses along the route.
Well, the NRDC survey does that one better. Why not have the developers pay for the rapid-transit link up front? That's the option the Philadelphia survey respondents favoured. The developers could get their money back through tax breaks after the fact.
Would developers in Winnipeg be willing to take a risk for rapid transit? That's something to think about next time you are taking that long, slow bus ride down Pembina Highway.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 15, 2012 J2
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