Jonathan English is a Toronto-based PhD candidate in urban planning at Columbia University.
In discussions about the recipe for transit success, the key ingredient is always land use. Is there enough density? Is it walkable?
Certainly, these elements are very important. But the assumption that land use must be perfect for transit to succeed has led to fatalism about the fate of transit in neighbourhoods built around the car. Climate change is an imminent crisis. We need a way to get people out of their cars faster than we can rebuild the suburbs where most people live. Fortunately, Canadian cities such as Toronto are a model of successful transit in seemingly unlikely environments.