Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Ottawa announces national transit strategy to improve collaboration

with 3 comments

Ottawa announces national transit strategy to improve collaboration

The trouble is that there is no strategy. Just a recognition that one is needed. So they are going to consult all the usual suspects and see if they can come up with one. The trouble is, before they even start that process one thing is made very clear. There won’t be any more money. So everyone knows going in that they are wasting their time.

[Federal Transport Minister Lawrence] Cannon said the strategy won’t add new funding beyond $33 billion currently earmarked for infrastructure projects.

“This national transit strategy is not about new funding beyond what is already committed, nor is it about federal intrusion,” he said.

“It is about facilitating greater co-ordination and co-operation and collaboration between key funders and stakeholders.”

I will translate that for you – the Conservatives want to find ways to enable private sector investments get even more unusually large profits with little or no risk by forcing transit systems into P3s.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 3, 2007 at 8:48 am

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Ottawa announces national transit strategy to improve collaboration  Quick ‘appreciation’ of that headline […]

  2. “I will translate that for you – the Conservatives want to find ways to enable private sector investments get even more unusually large profits with little or no risk by forcing transit systems into P3s.”

    As a regular person off the street, I have no idea what you just said there. Can you expand how this works in practice? What’s the process of a private company profiting off the back of a public transit system?

    Francois Vincent

    June 5, 2007 at 12:11 pm

  3. That might take a while to explain. They are known as public private partnerships or P3s. They have been widely used in both Britain and Australia, as a way of getting private investment in public facilities. Not just transit but schools and hospitals. Instead of the government building a project using borrowed money on bonds repaid over time from taxes, the private company raises money on the market (shares and borrowing) and gets a fee for service or the revenue from the project. This is supposed to shift the risk to private sector who are supposed to be better at project management.
    Some have been fairly successful, bringing a new entrepreneurial spirit to moribund systems. The majority have been disasters. Among the worst currently are British railways, which now cost the exchequer three times the subsidy they did as a public sector operation. Or the London Underground which seems at present likely to send some firms into bankruptcy. Australian transit systems such as Melbourne are seeing widespread public dissatisfaction with poor service and rising fares.
    In the United States, some private sector companies now have exclusive rights to toll roads which extend to preventing new projects being built that might compete with them, creating local monopolies and outrageous profits.
    You could also look up “public private partnerships” on Google – which brings up 1.2 million pages! Or my favourite place to start
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public-private_partnership

    Stephen Rees

    June 5, 2007 at 9:39 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: