Metrolinx Green Papers: What to do about Transit (Part 2)

In the first post of this series, I discussed some of the philosophy behind the coming Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan.  Rather than getting into a lot of detail (that deserves a separate post), I want to talk about process.

[Oh no!  He’s going to go all policy wonk on us!  Let’s just go somewhere else for our evening’s entertainment!]

Sorry, folks, but how this process is going on is at least as important as the nitty gritty of all those reports and charts and maps.

Once upon a time, governments announced grand schemes, but nothing happened for quite a while.  Politicians fought over which line would be built first.  Then the engineers studied it, held public meetings, produced an Environmental Assessment, and waited for the money to flow.  Finally, a line was built (or not) and opened (or not), and the whole mess started over.

Then someone discovered that the Toronto way to build transit might be a tad short of world class, and that other cities just went out and did things.  It helped that the star attraction was in a European tourist haven, Madrid, rather than someplace with a lot of snow and a dour government.

Presto, chango!  Let’s get the EA process down from two years to one.  No sooner do we do that, than we want it down to 6 months!  We want results!  Now!  Today!  Before the next election! Continue reading