Divine Intervention May, Or May Not, Affect Service

The Atheist Bus Campaign reports that the TTC has approved the text of advertisements suggesting that “There’s Probably No God”.  This campaign has stirred controversy in the U.K. where it first appeared, but at last report the island kingdom has not sunk beneath the waves.

Before anyone starts blasting my site with a bunch of religious drivel, no matter what your persuasion, don’t waste your time.  It will be deleted mercilessly.  I take the Old Testament approach to smiting, and there will be much smiting if you readers don’t toe the line!

For my own part, my view of immortal forces owes a lot to sundry polytheisms, and not a little to the novels of Terry Pratchett where the gods are a bunch of quarrelling, self-centred and not always competent folk rather like what passes for senior management in any organization.

Whether they exist in an absolute sense we will never know.  One hopes that things like the Scarborough RT were the product of a god-in-training who could never get things to come out right, but wrote a lot of impressive reports for the big guy upstairs in the hope that he would never actually ride the thing.

What intrigues me is that these ads come to Toronto with comparatively little fuss, although that may come once they start appearing and word gets around.  If anything, this should be a big yawn, just one more sideshow in our wonderfully diverse city.

Council Calls for Relief Line Study

Wednesday saw a long debate at Toronto Council on the Yonge Subway Richmond Hill extension.  As I write this (January 29, just after midnight), I do not have all of the details of Council’s final decision.

However, this much I know:

  • Council has requested a study of the Downtown Relief Line.
  • Some Councillors used the debate as a springboard for attacks on the TTC’s project management costs and proposals for private sector participation.
  • Council agreed that Transit City is the top priority for transit spending.

I find myself in the unusual position of being part of a wave of advocacy for the DRL, a line that will almost certainly be a conventional subway.  If this seems odd, my reasoning is that we must look at how the network operates as a whole.  The core of the network needs more capacity, and jamming more people into the existing Yonge line (getting more out of existing infrastructure as the TTC so delicately puts it) is irresponsible and possibly reckless.

If the studies that really need to be done emerge, we will look at both TTC and Metrolinx plans, and question what will work best for the core area, the outer 416 and the 905.  Both agencies have much to answer for in their shortsighted, misleading planning and their inadequate evaluation of alternatives to network structure and staging.

As details emerge, I will add to the information here.