Comment 112464

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 25, 2015 at 10:02:57

He definitely loves is buses though, he used to be employed by McCormick Rankin Consulting now MMM Consulting, a builder of both Ottawa's and Brisbane's BRT systems. He was part of that company's travelling road show that sells BRT to anyone whom will listen. That Road show came to Hamilton many years ago during the early part of the LRT vs. BRT debate between 2007-2009. The main person doing the promotion was not him but Helen Gault, the former head of Ottawa's OC Transpo and the agency's planning department, a transit agency with much obvious experience in operating BRT.

I have worked with him before, he is a good guy as well as very bright guy however, as much as he claims not to be biased in his transit technology choices he generally leans on his large amount of expertise in BRT, bus route design and bus system logistics. He has a tendency to play down the choice of transit technology as mostly a political process. In my experience, the choice of operating technology can not only lead to big operational issues after a rapid transit system starts running but, can lead to explosive political issues as well, unfortunately as a hired gun he is never around to clean up after his decisions are implemented, unlike a planner who works for the agency itself. Its the only remotely bad thing I can say about the guy and unfortunately that comment describes myself also, as a hired gun consultant.

His book is well crafted and does make some excellent points that many planners, including me, have made before. That's the great thing about a book, you can say what you want and as long as someone reads it, they see your ideas. As consultants we can only advise and can't implement that is the job of city staff and senior decision makers. I wish sometimes we could tie some of those decision makers down and force them to listen to us. Sometimes just for their own good!

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