Commuting concerns represent an important consideration when purchasing a new home and it is set to become an even bigger issue here in Ottawa and globally, in the not too distant future.
In previous posts we have discussed some of the benefits of living in Urban communities, given the improved access that it offers to many desirable city amenities, as well as the reduced time and cost that long commutes from suburbia can impose. Well, Mckinsey&Company have just published an article entitled “Urban mobility at a tipping point“, in which they describe how fundamental changes are coming to transportation and commuting within cities. Some of what they are citing, regarding current issues, don’t really apply to Ottawa, however, the general trends certainly do. In particular, they cite tipping points in key trends including:
- A fall in car ownership and a move towards car sharing services
- Greater use of bicycles and walking
- Autonomous vehicles
- Increased investment in light rail and related public transit
- Increased electrification of transportation
We are already seeing the beginning of these trends, in particular within Ottawa’s urban core, and those in Urban communities will be in the best position to take advantage of these trends and avoid the high costs of legacy transportation – gas guzzling cars.
Car share services first set up drop off points within urban communities, and due to the higher density of Urban communities, car share spots are pretty conveniently located within an easy walk of many urban homes already.
Urban communities already benefit from an extensive network of bike paths and reserved sections of roads, that enable enjoyable bike rides around the city’s core. It is likely that as autonomous vehicles and increased electrification becomes a reality, that the more compact urban core will receive the required infrastructure earlier. An example of this would be the new LRT system that is being built today. Certainly the system will always serve urban communities better than the suburbs due to the greater clustering of homes near stations as well as the fact that they will generally be better protected from the elements in the urban core. Just as a hint of things to come, we have included a video introduction of the new light rail system, below: