I confess it’s been overwhelming keeping up with all the debate over the Metro Vancouver public transportation plebiscite, but no matter where you come from, the Moving Forward project by Discourse Media has certainly made an earnest attempt to present and inform the broad complexities involved when it comes to accounting for all of the costs involved, personal and social, when it comes to travelling around a big city. It’s a great illustration and easier for me to appreciate this “full-cost accounting” approach given my background, but also demonstrates the elusiveness of explaining the impact of our choice of commuting modes in a complete and comprehensible way that the general public can digest.
The authors acknowledge their model isn’t perfect. They appear to have omitted discussing or did not include the region’s biking network investments in their bike commuter costs to society. In addition, the costs in terms of real estate to accommodate car use, both for roads and parking spaces, would definitely have raised the cost of car commuting significantly (a subject I touched upon in the Public transportation and urban density post). However, this website is worth reviewing to at least help get a better understanding of most of the factors in play in our choice of means of travel.