I received a voicemail the other day from a well-known consultant whose identity I will protect out of consideration for his venerable reputation in these parts. He had an intriguing question that went something like this.
In looking at all of the various options for transit in Scarborough for the Mayor’s plan [Transit City] and the RT, what three existing LRT systems elsewhere should we use as examples of what could be built in Toronto?
While it is somewhat flattering to be asked, one would hope that the assembled community of engineers, planners and hangers-on to the transit industry hereabouts might have some ideas about answering this question themselves. Has the capability of our consultant friends dropped so low that they have to ask the advocates, the fans, the “foamers” (as an article in today’s Globe describes us), for information about the state of the art?
Let us take pity on these poor folk. They have been designing highways and subways and BRT systems for decades, and we can’t expect them to become LRT experts overnight. They will need rehabilitation, they will need to spend a lot of time looking at photos, they will have to go on fantrips at 3 o’clock in the morning. These things take time.
Meanwhile, you, YES YOU, can help these unfortunate souls. You don’t even have to send me one dollar a day, you can do this pro bono!
Thinking of the various types of LRT implementation we would like to see in Toronto, please nominate your best examples of systems elsewhere. What works on Finch won’t work on Eglinton or on the Waterfront, but I’m sure you can rise to the challenge.
Don’t leave those poor consultants starving!