Public-private partnerships for public transit

The Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation is something unheard of in North America – the profitable public transit operator. In 2012, the MTRC published a tidy two billion US dollar profit. The Atlantic summed up their model thusly: In exchange for transporting customers, the transit agency receives a cut of the mall’s profit, signs a co-ownership agreement, or accepts a percentage of property development fees. In many cases, the MTR owns the entire mall itself. The Hong Kong metro essentially functions as part of a vertically integrated business that, through a “rail plus property” model,  controls both the means of transit … Continue reading Public-private partnerships for public transit

Rebranding the flu vaccine

“It is estimated that in a given year an average of 12,200 hospitalizations related to influenza may occur; and that approximately 3,500 deaths attributable to influenza occur annually.” “All Canadians are encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu to protect themselves and their families as vaccination is the best protection available against flu.” – Public Health Agency of Canada Every year public health authorities exhort the public to get the flu vaccine, and every year they fret about why so few people actually get it. An Environics survey for the federal government pegged the rate at 37% in 2006 for … Continue reading Rebranding the flu vaccine

City living

There are a lot of good reasons for living in the city: smaller eco-footprint, shorter commute; a walkable lifestyle; or access to dining and culture. Although I certainly appreciate the shorter commute, some of the reasons don’t really apply to me. I own a car and although often destinations are well within biking range often I just opt to drive out of speed and convenience. So although I do drive, I drive much less. As for dining and culture,  the number of times we’ve gone out to eat or watch a show in a year wouldn’t justify living within a … Continue reading City living

Written test!

Since I had ignored everyone’s advice on taking the written test before the flight test, I was in the awkward position of having told everyone that I’d passed my flight test but that I still didn’t have my licence. After explaining this situation to three or four people I started to get a bit embarrassed and resolved to get the written test done. Although Transport Canada does provide a private pilot written test study guide online, it’s pretty vague and still leaves you with the task of hunting through source material. Instead I bought the 2013 Private Pilot Exam Guide … Continue reading Written test!