Now Also In NOW!

Starting this week, I will be writing a column for NOW magazine.

Fear not. The deep dive articles on budgets and operations and transit policy will still appear in this site, but for smaller nibbles, I will have the column.

There will also be the occasional article in Spacing magazine including the winter issue that should come out quite soon.

The first NOW column is an introductory piece about the many things people expect public transit to accomplish, a tiny manifesto.

What Is Transit For?

5 thoughts on “Now Also In NOW!

  1. Will you be re-posting the NOW content here, for those of us who don’t read that paper regularly?

    Steve: The first article is online at the link I provided. Some articles will appear in the print edition, but there will always be an online version.


  2. Congratulations! As a TTC Operator, I really look forward to your in depth analysis of the Commission. I love that you are working so hard to pressure them into real change and transparency.

    I’m bound by a confidentiality agreement so am not allowed to talk to anyone in the press (officially). But, believe me, you are so right about so many things.

    Good luck with the NOW column and keep up the good work. You have a lot of fans among the Operators.


  3. Similar to (I infer) Joe, I don’t always remember to look up Now Magazine on the internet. It would be appreciated if you published a link each time your column appeared.


  4. What I really, really love about this article is the way that Steve accurately writes about conflicting goals for public transit. Yes, transit achieves many different goals, and we need to think clearly about what our priorities are and how to measure the success of a transit system.

    Jarrett Walker does an excellent job of describing the trade-off between the goals of maximizing ridership vs. coverage (IE access for all) in this video.

    A lot of the ways that politicians criticise transit are just plain wrong, because they do not understand what goals are being met.

    On the other hand, once again Steve demonstrates a puzzling blind spot about bicycle use in Toronto. To quote from the NOW article:

    “The transit network is a patchwork of service levels, connections and fare policies that grew since the TTC was created in 1921. Back then, transit was the only choice.”

    This was very much not true in 1921, and had been untrue for many years. To quote from Toronto’s own Dandyhorse Magazine:

    “In 1895 in a city with just over 180,000 residents, at least 13 different Toronto firms built cycles and 90 bike stores sold an estimated 18,000 bicycles.”

    In just one year, 1895, the number of bicycles sold was about 10% of Toronto’s entire population. Needless to say, people had not stopped riding in 1921 and would not stop riding until the post-WWII era of automobile dominance made riding unsafe and inconvenient.

    Steve: My point was that the compact city, good transit and the lack of affordable automobiles made for a transit oriented city. The same could be true of bicycles as you point out, but I was writing about transit. Both cycling and transit were victims not just of autos, but of the sprawl that autos permitted and the increased home-to-work trip lengths.

    In the current environment, the challenge is to somehow address those longer suburban-based trips with an alternative to the automobile, and cycling is not going to do this for the majority of trips.


  5. I haven’t read NOW magazine regularly, for years. But I’ll start now.

    Steve: You can read the article online. My first column was not in the print edition anyhow.


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