For Immediate Release
December 17, 2015
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) is commending the Town of Paradise in its announcement last night of a pilot commuter service program for its residents starting in June 2016. The town announced the $120,000 partnership with Metrobus as part of its 2016 budget.
“This is an important investment for the region,” says Ted Lomond, Executive Director of NEIA. “A more comprehensive and robust public transportation system is important for the future growth potential of the Northeast Avalon.”
Lomond says that an efficient regional public transportation system has many significant economic development benefits. “Public transportation is a factor in the innovative potential of an economy; it links our assets, resources, and people increasing knowledge transfer and idea sharing.” Lomond says that linkage also promotes labour mobility by helping workers reach their places of employment in a timely and cost effective manner.
“An effective public transportation system also mitigates negative economic symptoms of aging networks,” says Lomond. “Congestion, disconnection, and urban sprawl can all be reduced; some of our cities are beginning to see the financial challenges of providing consistent public services across rapidly expanding development borders.”
“From a green economy perspective, an effective public transportation network has environmental advantages,” notes Lomond. “Emissions from road transportation accounts for a significant portion of Newfoundland and Labrador’s carbon emissions, and with much of our population living in the Northeast Avalon region, there is a real opportunity to reduce our contribution to climate change through the implementation of stronger public transportation systems.” Lomond says that planning can lead to more efficient use of the increasingly limited land available. “If people can travel through the region with reasonable ease using public transportation, less land is required to be used for roads and parking lots”
Lomond says that, ultimately, provincial leadership is required in the development of a true regional transportation network. “Despite continued public interest, municipalities in the region have been unable to move forward collectively on public transportation,” says Lomond. “A short term pilot project is an encouraging step, but habits take time to establish – and Newfoundland and Labradorians are not habitual public transportation users.”
“The federal government has made a commitment to support provinces and municipalities in public transportation, green, and climate change infrastructure investment,” says Lomond. “This is the opportune time for the province to leverage these funds and lead in the creation of a new regional public transportation system that will provide economic, environmental, and social benefits for generations to come and support the continued growth of our municipalities.”
NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the growth and development of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 200 members. More information can be found at http://www.neia.org.
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