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Transportation Shift: FAQ

What is Transportation Shift?

In conversations across Canada during the first phase of the Green Resilience Project, we heard repeatedly that transportation needs are not being equitably met, if they are met. The consequences of this can range from isolation, financial hardship, or significant loss of personal time, to the inability to remain living in a community or particular location. We also heard that transportation can be redesigned to be more affordable and accessible and produce fewer emissions.

Transportation Shift is a series of community conversations focused on how communities’ transportation needs are being met, what’s missing, what could be better, and how these needs interact with the transition to electric vehicles or electric mobility solutions, like e-bikes.

Transportation Shift is a project of the Green Resilience Project, managed by Energy Mix Productions. We partnered with individuals and organisations who hosted conversations focused on the future of transportation in their community. You can define ‘community’ by geography, or it could be a community of people connected by culture, health, economic status, livelihood, identity, faith, or other factors.

Some additional background context for this project is available here.

Who hosted these conversations?

This project focused primarily (but not exclusively) on Northern provinces and territories, Atlantic Canada, and the Prairie provinces, and was meant to engage with people in population groups that may experience transportation gaps or access issues, barriers to participation in the EV transition, or may be in a unique position to benefit from a transition to EV’s or micro-mobility solutions. Project partners hosting conversations did not need to have special knowledge of the transition to electric vehicles nor be enthusiastic about them.

The GRP’s approach to this project started with the understanding that local people know their communities best, so a local community partner could design the project experience.

What kinds of support did the Green Resilience Project provide?

The GRP offered project partners $3,000 in funding to offset the cost of hosting a conversation (this could include staff time, participant stipends, rentals, etc). Additional funds were available to cover specific logistical expenses. Our resources supported 9 partners hosting 12 events across Canada. We shared materials available to help host the session, including a customizable script, but the use of our materials was optional.

What does Energy Mix Productions / Green Resilience get out of this?

We initiated this project because the initial phase of the Green Resilience Project shone a light on the shortfalls and inequitable realities of transportation, and the wide-ranging impacts that result for community members. And because we know that the people most likely to be harmed by climate change are often the least able to participate in climate solutions due to systemic barriers. With the transition to electric vehicles upon us and widely supported by government and industry, community members must have the opportunity to discuss their unique needs and how to ensure a path forward that is fair and equitable to all.

We compiled what was heard in conversations across the country and shared the results with community leaders, industry stakeholders, government, and policy-makers. Ideally, the discussion generated by community conversations will be useful and informative within those communities and beyond. Our goal is to help move the dial on community-led climate solutions and policies that prioritize social justice.

Who attended these conversations?

Anyone who relies on transportation to get from point A to point B, whether it’s personal vehicles, public transit, walking, biking, or other means, actively participated in this conversation. Special knowledge of transportation or a personal interest in electric vehicles was not necessary. For many of us, household finances or logistical barriers put EV ownership, and/or personal vehicle ownership, out of reach. For others, existing public transportation doesn’t match our abilities, lifestyle, or daily schedule. Communities may have unique needs based on geographic location, cultural practices, livelihoods, or socio-economic status. These are the kinds of day-to-day-realities that helped create dynamic conversations and shaped the ideas and issues that were discussed.

What was the timeline for these conversations?

Community conversations were held between November, 2023 and February, 2024. Summary reports sharing what was heard in these conversations will be made available in June, 2024.