Leading With Transit is a community based initiative sponsored by more than 20 public, private, institutional and NGO partners. This grassroots movement is advocating for a bold vision for the future of public transit. Our mission is to make transit the first and best choice for getting around in HRM.
Ultimately, investment in great transit is not a choice. It is the only way to meet our collective expectations for healthier, more environmentally responsible and economically vibrant communities. It also makes it possible to rethink public spaces (particularly streets) as places that are not increasingly dominated by cars, focused on parking and designed primarily for movement. For those who can’t afford a car and for those who may be too old or too young or just not up to driving, transit is key to connecting with friends, discovering the city and providing access to jobs and services.
Why are we “Leading With Transit”?
Because public transit is the key to change. When you look at it from health, economic, and environmental standpoints, the arguments for transit are all there. Great transit is for everyone: it connects us all, shifts our perspectives of streets, and shapes the development of our communities. When you lead with transit, everything else follows.
The difficulty with transit plans developed by government agencies is that they are limited, not only in terms of budget and policy, but also in their scope. By developing a plan that is “for the people and by the people”, we are not operating under these same constraints and are therefore free to do the kind of visioning that is desperately needed. The next step is to decide what kind of transit we want to enjoy, not only in 5 or 10 years, but 50 or 100 years down the road. We recognize that transit must integrate into a larger context: the Regional Centre is within HRM, central Nova Scotia, and the Atlantic Region as a whole. These different scales are connected and should be considered within a future transit system.
The Significance of LwT:
Adjust the Scope.
The timeline becomes 75 years. The boundaries become more extensive. The targets for ridership are more ambitious.
Think about Transit holistically.
Transit is viewed as a system and a service linked to land use, built form, equity, environment, and economy.
Make Transit permanent.
Transit is fixed and integrated infrastructure. We build with it, around it, and on top of it. New buildings help pay for it and benefit from it.
Commit to investment.
Public and private sector investment starting now. Plan for investment for decades to come.