Thursday, April 24, 2008

World's best transit systems

Environmental Graffiti, self-proclaimed as "the most trafficked environmental blog in the UK and the third largest worldwide", published an article today surveying "The 5 Best Mass Transit Systems in the World". No Canadian cities made the list, which was as follows:
  1. Hong Kong
  2. New York
  3. London
  4. Paris
  5. Chicago

Regarding Hong Kong, blogger Ben wrote:

For sheer volume, Hong Kong is the most effective system in the world: 90% of all traveling is done by mass transit. The 7 million daily riders have access to something known as an “octopus card” which is accepted as currency not just to move them around the city, but also at parking meters, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. Looking towards the future, shouldn’t all cities be copying this system?

In comparison to Hong Kong's 90%, I believe somewhere around 22% of Ottawa commuters use public transit. I can barely even imagine living in this city without a vehicle, as more than half the households in New York travel without owning a car. And the Octopus Card? Sure would make things easier for Ottawans; maybe this city should try its hand at something like an "Ottawa Card" or something (preferably a more creative name).