17 Oct
2019

Issues with Toronto subway raise questions about citys position as major hub

first_imgTORONTO – A combination of emergencies on board a train, signal malfunctions and a cracked rail brought much of Toronto’s subway system to a halt last week, raising questions about the city’s readiness to become a major business, sports and entertainment centre in North America.Even without the frequent service delays, subway overcrowding during rush hours has become a frequent cause of frustration for commuters, who are increasingly relying on ride-hailing services to get to their destinations.Mayor John Tory is the first to acknowledge that the 60-year-old subway system no longer meets the needs of Canada’s largest city, which is bursting at the seams.“Toronto is growing fast, and we have to keep up,” Tory said at a recent news conference. “Strong and robust transit is vital to the residents and to their lives. It’s vital to the economy, and to the whole city and province in terms of our liveability and competitiveness.”Tory, who is facing a municipal election in October, has ambitious goals for the city, including hosting Amazon’s second North American headquarters — a $5-billion project that would create 50,000 new technology jobs. Toronto is also bidding to host several games for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. And the city has partnered with Google parent company Alphabet in a project that aims to build a futuristic “mini-city” on the lakeshore.However, experts say Toronto needs to move faster.“We need to be mindful not only about attracting talent, but also with keeping up with the growth that we’re already projecting to occur in Toronto,” said Cherise Burda, the executive director at Ryerson’s City Building Institute.Burda said the population of the city’s downtown core — currently 240,000 people — is expected to double over the next 25 years.“We cannot double the number of cars on the road. So in my opinion, we are not moving fast enough to build transit,” she said.Murtaza Haider, a transportation engineer also with Ryerson University, says the city desperately needs a relief subway line — another east-west line about a kilometre south of the existing one, which he calls a necessary redundancy.“We have built the wrong transit in the last 20 years,” said Haider, adding that people have been calling for a relief line for decades. “Where transit is really needed, we find excuses not to build it.”Meanwhile, commuter frustration came to the fore last Tuesday, when thousands of people faced long delays during morning rush hour following the shutdown of one of the two major north-south subway lines due to technical and emergency issues. Commuters expressed their anger on social media, with many posting photos of overcrowded subway platforms and complaining about lack of information.Teddy Wilson, who works near one of the city’s busiest subway stations, was caught in the Tuesday delay.“I was trying to save money on Uber, so I thought I’d take the subway to work,” he said, but that proved to be a mistake.“When I got on the platform, there was nowhere to go, because it was a sea of people. It was like gridlock, but people.”Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross said the city has done a good job of integrating different transportation modes, such as streetcars, subways and buses, but some of the other infrastructure is out of date and slow.“Every city is unique, every city has its own challenges, every city does some things really well and suffers at others. Toronto is the same,” he said. “That is something that we are addressing through the replacement of the existing system … The problem is that it takes time.”Tory agrees there’s been quite a lot of discussion about the relief line.“It sits at the top of the priority list, but it sits at the top of the priority list with a necessary schedule to be followed,” he said.The municipal, provincial and federal governments have pledged $100 million to the design and planning of the relief line, which the city projects will be built by 2031.“That’s not soon enough,” said Burda. “Without a downtown relief line, it’s just going to get worse and more congested,” she said.In the meantime, the relief line is in the planning phase, and there are steps the city can take to help relieve the excess pressure on the existing subway, she said.“In the downtown core, a huge percentage of people walk or cycle. It’s growing. And I think it’s growing because people are frustrated with the transit system,” Burda said.The city should build up its network of bike lanes, Burda said. Cyclists, along with pedestrians, reduce the number of people waiting on train platforms.“Compare that to building a subway. It’s cheaper and it’s faster.”last_img read more

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3 Sep
2019

Gunmen kill 10 villagers in Nigeria officials

first_img.Gunmen have killed 10 people in attacks on two Christian-dominated villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, a hotbed of ethnic and religous strife, officials said Tuesday.On Christmas Eve, six people were killed when gunmen suspected to be ethnic Fulani Muslims stormed Ungwan Mailafiya, they said.The killings followed an attack in nearby Nindem late Friday where gunmen opened fire on a congregation, killing four and injuring 10, said a local lawmaker.”While we were mourning the deaths at Nindem … the security personnel received distress calls of another attack at Ungwan Mailafiya”, parliamentarian Shehu Nicholas Garba said in a statement.”By daybreak on Christmas, six persons had been confirmed killed, including a child of about six years old, and many others injured,” he said.A spokesman from the state government said troops had been deployed to prevent further violence.Southern Kaduna has for three decades been locked in tit-for-tat killings between indigenous Christian farming communities and Muslim Hausa and Fulani settlers.The dispute was originally over land and grazing rights but has lately degenerated into ethnic and religious conflicts, leaving hundreds dead.last_img read more

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31 Aug
2019

Irate CM lashes out at Manekas comment on death of Lalgarh tiger

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reacted sharply to Union Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi’s comment on the killing of the Royal Bengal tiger in Lalgarh.Calling the incident a deliberate attempt to malign the state government, Banerjee said that Gandhi should apologise to the tribal people for her derogatory remarks. The Union minister has insulted the Adivasis, Banerjee said.”I am saddened that a Union minister has made unwarranted comments about a community. She said that Adivasis are poachers and they torture animals. I feel she should apologise to the Adivasi community,” an irate Chief Minister maintained. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsShe further went on to say: “I completely condemn the statements made by the Union minister. Adivasi brothers and sisters are our assets. Is she aware how many forests and deep forests are there in Bengal?” Banerjee also raised a question on how Gandhi knew that the tiger was killed by Adivasis. “Common people were living in fear for over a month. Police and Forest department officials took all measures to capture the tiger. Drones were used by the Forest department to catch the animal. Villagers who went to collect kendu leaves in the forest were also injured by the animal. Two persons are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. One should know about Bengal’s culture and its people before commenting on an issue,” the Chief Minister reminded. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLaunching a scathing attack on the BJP, she said: “During elections they use Adivasis armed with bows and arrows. They hold Ram Navami rallies with arms. Don’t they feel ashamed then? A few days ago, they had brought Adivasis from Jharkhand, armed with bows and arrows.” At a time when Dalits are being persecuted across the country, her comments reflect BJP’s stand on SC/STs, Dalits, Adivasis and common people of the country, Banerjee added.”She must apologise to the nation. Bengal has a rich culture and heritage. She has no right to insult Bengal and Adivasis. We will not tolerate it. People of Bengal will give a fitting reply,” Banerjee stated.”Did she use a telescope? A tiger died and curious people came to see it. Even when people die, relatives and others come to pay their respects. How can she compare this with Shikar Utsav? She cannot ridicule a tradition of the Adivasi community,” the Chief Minister said.It may be mentioned that Gandhi had said earlier in the day that Bengal is the only place in the country where illegal killing of wild animals is “allowed and encouraged”.last_img read more

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30 Aug
2019

The Health Care Industry

first_img 6 min read Register Now » When a client checks out a health care site, he is looking for information on physicians, insurance policies the health care provider accepts and medical information about the health concern he has.The EssentialsA health care site should provide easy access to information via menus designed consistently throughout the site. Redesign is a good idea if it’s not been updated for two to three years. Ask your web professional for a fresh design using “CSS” (cascading style sheets) rather than “tables.” This will not only make you sound like an expert, it will help you later on as you focus on improving your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).Have a statement on the home page that also lets the customer know why they should use your business. What sets your services apart and why should they visit your site again? A medical news feed with RSS subscription capability should exist on the homepage as well as the medical facility’s news.Make sure to have complete and up-to-date information on all physicians and health care providers, preferably including contact information for each, a photo and basic background info. This should be on a separate page or pages separating physicians by specialty/department. Also, if different physicians accept different insurance policies, make sure to include that information.Your site needs to become a health resource for the community it serves. Make this a main objective of your site’s concept, strive to become a local authority on health care issues and your traffic will increase exponentially.Update the content on your site monthly especially the homepage. As a rule of thumb update the look and feel of the site every one- to-two years. Don’t get stuck in a hosted content management system with limited capabilities–make sure your web developer is able to add functionality to the site easily as your organization grows, and that he or she is willing to consider other options besides a content management system.Hire an SEO professional with a proven record and ask that he or she concentrate on location(s) to drive searches in the area along with the specialties of the business in order to drive searches by longer-distance customers.Mistakes to AvoidMost medical websites that are not successful in converting customers and not successful on the web have the following issues:Bad design. Messy layouts and inconsistent menus cause visitors to feel lost in your site and surf away in frustration. The site needs to be easy-to-read and aesthetically pleasing (e.g., if your customers are older, consider using white background and larger text). Consult with a web development firm and have them tell you what they can do to improve your site, these services are often complimentary.The site development included “frames.” This is frowned upon by the majority of the search engines out there. A site redesign and SEO is highly recommended.A good site is updated regularly and visitors will notice if it’s not. They won’t feel the need to come back, and repeat website customers relate directly to conversion numbers. Empower people in your organization–make them a part of updating the site rather than having a single individual responsible for the entire site.If your content is insufficient and inaccessible or if most of your content consists of bulleted lists, it’s time to look at reorganizing it and adding more content. There’s no such thing as too much content when it’s properly organized. Make sure each physician has a photograph, contact info and basic bio added to the site. If needed, consider using a professional copywriter who specializes in website copy and can work with your SEO specialist.No search engine visibility. From content to design issues, SEO professionals are often able to tell you what your site really needs. Consider this just as important as having a site designed.Poor marketing. Just like in traditional marketing, you need to have a web marketing plan in place and make sure it drives the customers to the site and provides you with web traffic statistics so you know what’s driving traffic.Places to BeDefinitely promote your site and blog to the search engines and most of the web directories including DMOZ. Stay out of link farm sites. Your SEO specialist will also recommend local sites and blogs where a listing or comments may be beneficial.Look for forums where specific conditions you specialize in are being talked about and offer advice without making it seem as though you’re trying to win business in doing so. In your signature on the forum response add the address of your site and blog as links if permitted. There’s a fine line between a well-crafted response and one that will be perceived as trying to spam the forum.”Medical News” with RSS feed, and “Company News” with an RSS feed should be on the homepage of the site. A blog not only will help promote the site, it will also help provide content for feeds (the homepage company news could use the feed provided by the blog). Feeds like these are great as they can then be syndicated by other sites giving you a much larger exposure or footprint. E-newsletters are fine but the ROI is definitely lower than a blog. Press releases should always be included in the company news as excerpts and/or blogged about and a link given to the page or pages on your site where the full text of the release should exist.Keep in mind that the blog will be read by your customers and not medical professionals, so try to keep their interest up with catchy titles and don’t get hung up on medical jargon.Ask you SEO professional to make sure that your blog has the social networking links shown after each post so your readers can help promote your site. And always ask your employees to frequent and comment on your blog and site, as sometimes their input can be very valuable.Researched and written by Liz Wilson. Additional information provided by UrbanVerve, a leading web development and SEO solutions company and CI Web Design Inc., an innovative web design and development company. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global January 13, 2009 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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