Here in Perth, the transit commission called Transperth (sorry, guys, but you scored a big zero for originality) has done something that we in Canada should learn from.
There are 3 bus lines in the city: Red, Blue and Yellow, that all operate in most areas of the downtown core. There are some overlaps but these 3 lines cover pretty much all the downtown core.
There are, of course, a number of other bus lines which cover the outlying suburban areas.
The blue, red and yellow lines have one thing in common: You guessed it, they’re free.
So your faithful servant spent a good part of the day today riding these lines.
And I have to tell you that despite their awful name, Transperth seems to have got it right. Not perfect, of course, but the transit gurus in Waterloo Region (my home area) could learn a thing or two.
The buses stop frequently, the buses are air conditioned, drivers are approachable and will help a dumbass like me to figure out where I am, and all the buses I saw and rode on were powered by natural gas. No inky clouds of gunk coming out of bus tailpipes poisoning the air and our lungs.
Now, the population of Perth make surrounding communities sits at about 1.24 million. Clearly Perth has a larger population base to draw property taxes from. And the current mining boom certainly helps too.
(Some say, by the way, that the mining boom is over, or at least passing. But that’s for another day.)
But, hey, if they can do it here, why not in Waterloo Region too?
I just hope we can come up with a better name.