Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rapid Transit Assignment

Here's a geography lesson developed by Bill Bulmer at KCI based entirely around rapid transit development. It was made with academic grade nines in mind, but it could be adapted to suit other grades and levels as well.

In groups, students study various methods of rapid transit then select the method they think is best for our area. Then they have to plan a route throughout the region including every stop and justify their choices.

The lesson will take about three hours of class time. It's part of the human/environmental interactions stream. Students will learn how local participation in the development process can help to build sustainable communities, how human-induced changes in natural systems can dimish their capacity for supporting human activity, and be able to identify the social, economic, cultural, political, or ecological components of selected geographic issues.

Cut and paste the following handouts into a word program, and alter it to suit your needs:

Rapid Transit in Waterloo Region – PowerPoint Presentation

Since 1973, Waterloo Region has consistently ranked as one of the ____________________________________________________. Waterloo Region is now the __________ largest urban
area in Canada, with a population of more than _______________________ people.

Forecasts estimate that by the year ____________, the population of Waterloo Region will be as
high as _____________________ people. This represents a nearly ______% increase in the next 25 years.

The cost of rapid growth can be huge:

  • Consumption of _____________________________ and ____________________ sprawl

  • _______________________ impacts

  • Increased _______________________________

  • Deterioration of _________________ _________________ areas

One of the biggest challenges facing our urban environment (including KCI) is that there are
________________of road opportunities within the downtown core. We need to consider alternatives.

Rapid transit is __________________________________________________________________


It is designed to increase travel ______________, _________________, passenger comfort, as well
as _______________________.

By selecting a rapid transit system for Waterloo Region, we will:

  • promote urban ___________________ and intensification

  • we will have a balanced and integrated ____________________ system
    improved _________________________ and public health
    Rapid Transit Assignment

    Your task is to determine where we should locate a new rapid transit line. The transit line must go through Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, and it must be within the study area.

    The following steps are crucial to your success in this assignment.

    Step 1 – Understanding the Data

    • Get into groups of four people
    • Read through the sheet entitled “Characteristics of Rapid Transit Technologies.”
    • Two people can prepare a list of advantages and disadvantages for any five of the types of transit; the other two people do the same for the other five types of transit. (i.e. frequency of service, capacity, cost)
    • Share your findings with your group members.
    • You will be given a map of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge. All maps are to the same scale, but oriented differently. Tape them together so you can get a better picture of the 3 cities. * Hint: Try to line up King St. and/or the highway system that runs through the region.
    • The solid dotted lines represent the study area, or the area that has the potential for a rapid transit line to exist.

    Step 2 – What and Where?

    · In your groups, you must agree on what type of rapid transit technology you are going to choose and where it will be located. Compile your answers on the Rapid Transit Technologies worksheet. This will be handed in. (7 marks)

    · On your map: (10 marks)

    o Create a symbol (and colour) – to show between ten and fifteen stops for your new rapid transit line. Think carefully about this. What major landmarks (i.e. specific malls, streets, subdivisions, universities…) do you want the rapid transit system to stop at along the way?

    o Decide on a symbol (and colour) that best represents a rapid transit line and after careful consideration, place that route on your map. The line must pass through each of your new stops. * Hint: use pencil first to lightly shade potential routes, and only add colour once you have decided as a group.

    · Answer the Group Discussion Question Sheet. Please write neatly, as this will be handed in as part of your assessment. (23 marks)

    Rapid Transit Group Members ______________________________________________

    Group Discussion Questions

    1. What stops in the study area should your rapid transit line serve? (i.e. specific malls, streets, subdivisions, universities…) (2 Marks)


    1. Why does your group feel these stops are important for a rapid transit line? Justify your reasoning for each stop. (10 Marks)

    2. In your group’s opinion, what are the most important characteristics for a rapid transit system in Waterloo Region? Explain your characteristics. (i.e. what will make a new line successful?) (5 Marks)

    3. Be critical of your work. List three advantages and three disadvantages to the route your group agreed upon. In other words, why would it be good for some people in Waterloo region and not good for others? (6 Marks)

    Group Members ______________________________________

    Rapid Transit Technologies Worksheet

    The rapid transit technology our group has agreed upon is: (1 Mark)


    These are the three reasons our group decided on going with this technology AND an explanation of why we chose this technology over other possibilities. (2x3 = 6 Marks)



    Group Members ___________________________________________________

    Rapid Transit Evaluation




    Transit Technologies – realistic choice, explanation


    Map – route clearly labeled, stops labeled (10-15 of them), legend (2 colour choices)


    Group Discussion Questions

    - all answers complete, well thought our responses, evidence of critical thinking




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