Thursday, January 17, 2008

20 Traffic Tally

These are the results of my unscientific traffic poll. Even though I've tried to be thorough, this is a very rough approximation -- I probably counted several cars twice or more times, even though statistically speaking that shouldn't have fudged the results too much. I was just as likely to count twice the cars with one occupant as with two. If I couldn't clearly see the passenger seat, I did not count that vehicle at all. I only counted between Dorval and the time we exited 720 in downtown Montreal, and of course I could only count the cars that were passing our bus. "Commercial" vehicles include taxis, trucks, buses, and clearly designated business-related cars.

Anyway, the results are as such:
single-occupancy cars -- 153 (68%)
two or more people -- 32 (13%)
commercial vehicles -- 44 (19%)

If we exclude commercial vehicles, the percentages are:
single-occupancy cars -- 82%
two or more people -- 18%

This is really sad, people, especially for a city that likes to proudly thump its chest when it comes to announcing "green initiatives." It's clear that high gas prices are not enough of an influence on people's habits, even though around here it's about $1.10 per litre (~$4.18 per gallon for those of you South of the border). Clearly, there's room here for a couple of incentives -- for example, raise the price of gas to about $3 per litre and use the difference to fund the public transit infrastructure. Perhaps, you know, use the money to fix the roads, too. Or get Bombardier build some more commuter trains -- good for the local economy. But just so price of basic commodities doesn't skyrocket, we should let businesses apply for gas rebates if they prove that they provide essential services.

Or, you know, we can wait until that happens naturally anyway in another 5-10 years -- give or take a few.

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