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Posted by on Mar 23, 2011 in Transit | 10 comments

Transit Causes Cancer! Oh My!

A coworker of mine dabbles in blogging and this week’s blogpost doesn’t disappoint. LYNX recently added service to Conway Rd south of the 408. Ridership has increased quite a bit, with some stops averaging 60 riders or more a day. Yay for transit, right? Well, not for some people.

Read on


  1. When I started reading I thought it was about how diesel fumes cause cancer.

    Maybe the “those people” in the apartments can’t even afford a souped up high speed internet line advertised on their analog cable connected tv? Or maybe they can’t google? Or maybe they have difficulty reading. We all must have a pecking order.

  2. even though the part of me that strives for social responsibility objects, i really hate buses. they’re big, slow, loud, and they stink. i don’t know about cancer, but bus exhaust certainly contributes to the noxious film built up in my throat whenever i arrive at my destination. that is to say nothing of all the encounters i’ve had with disrespectful drivers who pass too close, only to stop 30 yards down the road blocking an entire lane and making it impossible to pass with oncoming traffic. i’m stuck waiting until they pull away, bathing me once again in soot and fumes.

    back to the topic presented though, i live in Conway, and Conway Road really is well suited to have buses on it, and i’m not just saying that because i already avoid that road like the plague. i’m surprised it took so long to start seeing them there.

    • LYNX’ fleet of buses is fairly young with an average age of 3.5 yrs. If you see any black smoke or soot coming out of a LYNX bus’ tailpipe, please report the problem as the new exhaust systems have reburners that burn any particulate matter prior to leaving the tail pipe.

      Also, for those that don’t know, LYNX buses use B20 biodiesel blend. Recent analysis of the fleet show that particulate matter is greatly reduced by using biodiesel.

      As far as rude drivers, LYNX takes complaints seriously. If something happens, note the the bus number, time of day, direction, and route number and feel free to report it.

      Don’t think of it as the bus blocking the lane, think of it as the bus controlling the lane. When we speak of sharing the road, it’s not just sharing with cars or bikes or even peds.

  3. In reality, it is cars that cause cancer. Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, produced a report that concluded that car pollution kills 440 people in Toronto each year and injures 1,700 so seriouisly that they have to be hospitalised. See:

    Needless to say, this is a great advocacy tool.

    We can say things like “We wouldn’t tolerate a terrorist gang that poisoned and killed 440 people each year and injured 1,700 so seriously that they have to be hospitalised. Why shouldn’t car drivers be given the same amount of tolerance – zero – for their violent, dangerous behaviour?”

    • Perhaps because we tolerate entities that kill in the name of freedom? And we all know cars give us freedom.

      • Yes, cars give us freedom–to make payments, to pay into insurance companies who then refuse to pay if we don’t get every jot and tittle on the claim form correct, to pay half our share of road maintenance instead of all our share PLUS, to endanger ourselves and those around us if we aren’t paying absolute attention to our surroundings, to support raping our environment with pollution and damage wrought by inattentive drivers…

        Yeah, cars give us freedom. They also impose fiefdom and fealty to oil barons.

        I’d rather ride a bike, most of the time… 😉

        • I don’t know if I’ll be quoted on this, but in response to a question about transit funding (and its lack of public support) I told a newspaper reporter:

          The private automobile represents “freedom” to most Americans. But it is much more an illusion of freedom. When you look at the true cost, it’s more like indentured servitude. People have simply adjusted and made peace with the cost of driving, like boiling frogs…

          • Boiling frogs is right Keri. It’s fun debating with folks caught up in this mindset. Particularly when they speak of how other modes are so subsidized. Maybe it’s because I enjoy pulling off the wings of flies, it’s really so easy.

            At a public event recently I spent about 20 minutes discussing with someone the value of high capacity transit. He was shocked to learn how many people actually ride the bus every day to get to work. And they PAY to ride the bus, unlike many drivers that don’t pay to get on the roadway in front of their house.

  4. Absolutely true, Keri! How else could we as a society accept more deaths per month than were caused by the World Trade Center disaster (over which, well, wait, this isn’t a political blog…)?

  5. From The Author –

    Hey thanks for reading my story. Looks like it has spurred some discussion…even off topic 🙂 But it’s all good. Just so ya know – we have bike racks on all our buses, so instead of following one of them, why dontcha put your bike on the rack & ride along!