Over the next two months, Metro Vancouver residents will decide whether they want to pay $250 million more in sales tax each year to help fund a $7.5 billion capital expansion plan, mainly for public transit.
Its easy to take public infrastructure for granted, but events like the Skagit River Bridge collapse in Washington State are a sharp reminder of how important infrastructure is to our daily lives and the wider economy. After all, roads and bridges allow us to get to and from work and move commercial products over great distances.
Kathleen Wynne, the new Premier of Ontario, recently stated her willingness to consider implementing new methods to raise revenue to help fund expansion of public transit. Furthermore, the 2013 Ontario Budget presented by Minister of Finance Charles Sousa Thursday, specifically indicates that the Province is committing to convert select high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) into high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes as a potential option in this regard. A plan on the conversion is to be brought forward by the end of the year.
For those fortunate enough to travel to Europe this summer, or even some of North Americas older cities, take a good look at the train stations. They reveal much about architecture and cities, but also provide a clue to historic regional economies and the preferences of past travellers.
On a purely visual level, some stations are works of art. For those familiar with New York City, consider Grand Central Station, built in the golden age of rail travel and decorated with Tiffany glass and French sculptures.