PS: Densification

A couple of days ago I noted the similar struggles in city politics around real estate in Berlin and Vancouver.

This week, I noticed another funny similarity: urban public transit. Berlin public transit clearly plays in a different league than Vancouver’s. From our apartment, two city train stations, one subway stations, and five different bus stops are within a ten-minute walk. Subways run every 3-5 minutes during the day. For Ingm’s commute, there are at least five different ways we can go that differ in no more than four minutes for the trip and involve multiple bus, train or subway lines. Pretty cool! And to top it off, with my monthly pass, kids and one more adult ride free on weekends.

But all that doesn’t mean that Berliners don’t complain about the lack of public transit and that the parties don’t emphasize public transit as a counter measure in reducing GHG emissions in the current election campaign.

So, newspapers reported this week that the Greens are calling for shorter trains at more frequent intervals. Hello Sky Train!

The first time I rode the Sky Train I thought that the trains were “cute”, but then over a couple of trips I realized that they are more frequent because they are short. Terrific for users. We’d all rather have more trains with less capacity than fewer trains with more capacity, I think. Translink was not mentioned explicitly, but the comparison seemed obvious to me.


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