Christoper Hume and Jeff Gray Write About Transit

The Sunday Star had an article by Christopher Hume called The Error of Our Subways.

While the rest of the world embraced the importance of transit, Toronto wasted time and money on momuments to egotistical politicians and technology boondoggles.

There are a few glitches in Hume’s article, but it’s good to see this whole debate getting an airing.  If we are going to spend money on transit, let’s spend it in the right place.

Meanwhile, Jeff Gray writing in today’s Globe reports that the number crunchers at Queen’s Park have combed through recent Federal Budget papers, and have found not one penny to pay for the Spadina subway extension to York University. 

How long will it take for someone at Queen’s Park to wake up to the fact that they could build a really great LRT network focussed on York U with the $1.3-billion represented by the provincial and municipal shares of the Spadina subway proposal? 

The fact that York U and their supporters have wasted so much time and effort on a subway proposal shows how badly understood the real alternatives are.  That’s the legacy of those wasted decades and the thinking that brought us the Sheppard subway.

I remember former mega-mayor Mel Lastman saying that “real cities don’t use streetcars”.  Sorry Mel, but real cities built transit systems while Toronto argued where to put a few miles of track.

Can Dalton McGuinty and David Miller save us from this folly?  Do we have to wait until both are safely re-elected before we start considering alternatives?