Wanna Buy a Subway?

For Sale:  One Transit System.  Slightly Used.  A Faded Beauty and a Handyman’s Special.  No reasonable offer refused.  Call Honest Rob’s Transit Hotline for details!

Adam Radwanski’s article in this morning’s Globe and Mail triggered a flood of emails between the latté-sipping chattering classes today as journalists, politicians and transit advocates tried to make sense of Mayor Ford’s scheme to upload the TTC, or at least its subway lines, to Queen’s Park.  By the end of the day, the McGuinty government had replied “no thanks” to the offer, but the issue will still get lots of debate.

I have to wonder if the Mayor has really thought through what he has proposed.  Here are a few small questions.

  • The City’s share of the operating and capital deficits for the entire TTC, including Wheel Trans, is over $1-billion.  How much of this would the province actually take over?  If Toronto wants better service — things like trains every 5 minutes at 1 am on a line carrying almost nobody — would Queen’s Park send us a bill for service in excess of their own standards?
  • If Queen’s Park got only the subway system, how would revenue for the TTC as a whole be shared?  Would the subway become a separate fare zone with its own GO-like premium fares?  Would the revenue split be skewed to make the subway “profitable” even though it depends for its huge demand on the surface feeder network?
  • If Toronto wanted a subway on Sheppard, but Queen’s Park thought that an LRT line was all the street really needed, (a) how would the City force Queen’s Park to build it and (b) would Toronto have to pay the difference in construction and operating costs for a subway?  Why should provincial planning trump local preferences when this almost never happens in any other sphere of provincial influence worth mentioning?
  • If Queen’s Park took over the bus and streetcar services, who would riders complain to about overcrowding, service quality, system cutbacks and fares?  Would Liberal ridings (at least while they’re in power) get better service than Tory and NDP ridings?  If people living in Long Branch elected a new government, would service on the Queen car improve?  (They’ve tried everything else.)
  • How much will it cost Queen’s Park to buy out objections from Hamilton, Mississauga, Ottawa and every other transit operator about an unfair subsidy by way of a Toronto upload?

Anyone who has dealt with GO Transit on a construction project, or with Metrolinx on transit financing, will know that “transparency” is not their watchword, information is difficult to come by, and future planning consists of whatever is announced in the provincial budget.  Don’t look for a politician because the board is a collection of untouchable agents of the private sector bringing their expertise to bear, don’t ya know, but certainly not interacting with the public on a day-to-day basis.

Radwanski reports that Queen’s Park wants ownership of lines it pays for to stay on its books.  At first, this looks like little more than accounting dodge — a way to show an asset to balance of the debt floated to build, say, a new subway.  However, a book asset’s real value is that it can be sold.  Remember Highway 407?  What would prevent Metrolinx from selling the Sheppard line to a private owner with no control over what the new proprietor might charge us for the use of “their” subway?  Would fares go through the roof just like highway tolls?

Selling or uploading the TTC is a hare-brained idea that does nothing to address the basic transit problems both Toronto and the GTA face.  Transit is a big, expensive business, and somebody has to pay for it.  Cook the books all you like, there is only one rider, one taxpayer, one citizenry stuck with the bills at the end of the day.

Debating who might “own” the transit system diverts attention from vital transit advocacy.  Mayor Ford and Premier McGuinty should concentrate on transit plans and strategies that are achievable, and convince voters of the need for good transit funding, even if this means new sources of revenue.

61 thoughts on “Wanna Buy a Subway?

  1. As well, regional integration and schedule coordination won’t happen as long as the TTC remains a separate operational entity. We need one GTA
    system — one logo and one vehicle paint scheme that takes in GO, TTC, MT, BT, and YRT and rebrands them as one service.

    I would agree.

    I’ve heard the analogy “a marriage of a mouse and an elephant”, but it does not necessarily follow logically that it won’t work because the sizes of the two organisations are different- especially if the merged entity retains many TTC staff. There is a solution here: get the elephant to eat the mouse. Consider merging MetroLinx and the TTC to form a G-TTC by widening the scope and area of the TTC.

    Steve: The problem is that some advocates of the merger hope to strip the TTC of its problematic management and labour relations (without getting into a debate about where specifically the problems lie). If the TTC eats Metrolinx, then the claimed advantages of Metrolinx expertise relative to the TTC (which I would dispute) is lost. In any takeover or merger, it is important to keep track of what your goal actually is.

    What other ‘effective’ transit bodies (not transit systems, but transit bodies) can you think of that we could we model it after? Sure would be
    nice to get back to the days when we had the transit system that everyone else emulated.

    It depends on what you mean by “effective”. Brisbane’s TransLink (funnily enough, modelled in part after Vancouver’s TransLink!) actually covers four cities (Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast), 7 regions and 23 fare zones. The entire thing is integrated by one organisation — the fares, the ticketing, the timetables, the marketing material — everything.

    The distance between the northernmost rail station and the southern most rail station is about ~ 242 km, it is a huge area six and a half times the size of London’s oyster network.

    TransLink service area.

    Steve: Also on the subject of the goals of integration, the proposal from the Mayor is intended primarily to dump the cost of providing transit for Toronto (and the attendant political headaches) onto the province. This has nothing to do with efficient management, regional integration, or all the other wonderful things a “G-TTC” is supposed to achieve. Ford is trying to dump a large operating and capital subsidy from his books — making the city’s budget look better — but in the process adding about a billion to ongoing costs for the province. That’s a municipal subsidy no matter how you do the accounting, and contrary to Ford’s premise that savings would be found by internal efficiencies.


  2. @Nick & Andrew

    I see your points now and it does make sense, but instead of assigning the role of “daddy” to levels of government, I see it the other way around.

    I see the Taxpayer as Daddy. The 3 children are Feds, Province & City who just can’t stop asking for money because they don’t know how to get by without it. Even when they do have “enough” to suit their needs they are still reluctant to share with other levels. It’s our job as the parent to work on a formula to distribute the available resources effectively and how WE want (like on effective Transportation).

    The dream would be to have a municipal election, provincial election and federal election all on the same day. Then we could make them collectively campaign on promises for transportation issues and make them realize that they ALL have an obligation to help share the load.

    Steve: Then the entire country could campaign against Toronto at the same time, including most of the “Toronto” politicians who still haven’t absorbed amalgamation into their world views.


  3. Ron, the only major difference between Transit City’s Eglinton-Crosstown Line and the proposal to use ICTS Mark II vehicles is the automation – and the fact that the Eglinton-Crosstown Line could be built from end to end far faster than if the line were ICTS Mark II.

    Regarding automation, it seems pretty clear that we are not at the point where automation of public transport / no operator presence is going to be acceptable to the public.

    Regarding the length of the line, the whole point of Transit City was to build kilometer after kilometer of LRT line rather than just a few kilometers of subway.

    Ford’s logic seems to be coming out this way:

    Plan A – It seems to me to be that Toronto had lost lots of money in a pool of gravy and that money would be found when the gravy was drained.

    Plan B – If we cannot find the money, ask someone with deeper pockets to help

    Uploading the TTC to Metrolinx would be quite hilarious, even if it were just the subways. We would end up with something like what we got in Kuala Lumpur in 2003, when the government took over the STAR and PUTRA LRT lines plus two money-losing bus companies and put them all under one brand, RapidKL. The government-owned infrastructure company later took over the money-losing KL Monorail in 2007.

    8 years later, the LRT and bus systems are still completely separate except for brand and monthly pass, and the Monorail has its own brand but accepts the same monthly pass.

    And passengers who travel between modes (even between LRT lines) get hit with RM1 ‘starting fares’ for each new rail trip that they make (RM0.50 for bus starting fares).

    My guess is that, like Steve said, Metrolinx would not be able to handle things and would have to absorb the TTC’s subway division as a separate service, with separate management, fares, etc. and that arrangement of “Subway” and “GO” would have to last for at least a decade while bus service feeding into the “subway” would become progressively worse.

    If Metrolinx could figure things out, perhaps we would end up with an arrangement like Transport for London, which now owns all the underground line concessions (in 3 packages, as I recall – one of which was taken back recently), and contract out most of the surface bus routes to private bus operators.

    But honestly, I doubt that Metrolinx would ever be as proactive as Transport for London. And I doubt that private bus operators are really that interested in providing service in Toronto. In fact, was there any competition among operators to operate the VIVA service in York Region (the closest example of privatization of a new service that we have in the GTA)?

    It would also be interesting to see how the Conservatives could turn this into an election issue – vote for McGuinty and he will take over the TTC and jack up your taxes – even though he said he’s not interested.

    Perhaps after the election we will see the Provincial Government (of whatever party) do their best to please everyone without pleasing anyone – like they did with Downsview Station.

    What I mean is that perhaps they will push for the amalgamation of MiWay (Mississauga) & Brampton Transit to create Peel Region Transit, as well as Oakville & Burlington Transit to create a Halton Region Transit – and maybe fund a few more GO services to stations in Toronto.

    That way it will look like they are doing something when they are actually doing nothing.


    Moaz Yusuf Ahmad


  4. Steve said: Then the entire country could campaign against Toronto at the same time, including most of the “Toronto” politicians who still haven’t absorbed amalgamation into their world views.

    Response: At least it would only be for a few months during the consolidated campaign period – instead of on again, off again, again and again with each election.

    I am sure there are municipal elections in Northern Alberta (or anywhere else in the RoC – Rest of Canada) where the candidates have found a way to blame Toronto for their local issues.


    Moaz Yusuf Ahmad


  5. This has nothing to do with efficient management, regional integration, or all the other wonderful things a “G-TTC” is supposed to achieve. Ford is trying to dump a large operating and capital subsidy from his books — making the city’s budget look better — but in the process adding about a billion to ongoing costs for the province. That’s a municipal subsidy no matter how you do the accounting, and contrary to Ford’s premise that savings would be found by internal efficiencies.

    Is the goal to punish Rob Ford and show him up in a bad light for breaking promises (and what politician hasn’t broken promises? Don’t broken promises go with the territory of politics?) or get a properly funded TTC?

    The means may certainly look bold and perhaps outrageous, but the end result might actually be good. I just can’t see the TTC becoming well funded and well run AND continue being 100% controlled and owned by the City of Toronto. The legacy of a regional TTC will be there long after Rob Ford has departed office…

    Either something happens to the efficiency of the TTC to increase the farebox ratio from 70% to 1oo% which makes the TTC turn a commercial profit (seems highly unlikely, but not impossible) or taxes increase (seems also unlikely) or some kind of arrangement like uploading and/or diversified revenue sources from different levels of government is put in place.

    Yes it is a subsidy. But no extra subsidy = no extra service.
    The TTC just can’t be run on air.


  6. Take care when or if you privatize or contract things out. Pay the operators based on per kilometre in service, not patronage. Competition at the route level/vs rail will destroy the integration and reduce efficiency.

    The surface bus feeder system is very important- the rail system patronage will collapse if it is uncoupled from the buses.


  7. Steve wrote, “Also, the TTC stopped cutting off cars late at night years ago because they needed a small army of yard crews to handle moving the two-car sets into the yards.”

    Just to clarify, as this conjures up images of two-car trains being shuttled about…

    When this was done, trains had two cars cut off at Kennedy and Finch (perhaps other places as well, but those are the only ones I witnessed personally). The two cars were then pulled out onto the tail track beyond the station where they were coupled with other pairs cut from other trains. Once a six-car consist was made up on the tail track, it was dead-headed to the yard.

    Even this required, as Steve said, a small army of yard crews. Not only that, but it meant that additional work was needed either late at night or early in the morning to re-assemble the evening’s four-car trains into six-car trains for the morning.

    Steve: There were also cutoffs southbound at Davisville in the olden days. However, given the length of the Yonge line today, it isn’t practical to store all of the two-car sets there, and cutoffs would also be needed on the west side of the line with the cutoff sets going into Wilson.


  8. The only way for the public to become accepting of an automated system would be to have the Eglinton Crosstown line be entirely automated and, in my opinion, owned and operated by Metrolinx as a seperate entity.

    Despite both TTC and Metrolinx being publicly owned, commuters in Toronto will soon realize how bad TTC operations really are.

    Competition always leads to improved services and cutting waste. While it is risky and maybe regretful to go to the private route, i am sure that two public entities with different managements will be the only way that the TTC will change its ways.

    Telling a monopoly to change its ways is nothing more than talk. It takes a true competitor to force change. TTC will never ever change as long as it has nobody else to compare to.


  9. Steve asks: ” If people living in Long Branch elected a new government, would service on the Queen car improve? (They’ve tried everything else.)”

    As someone living in Long Branch and a regular Queen car user, I can say that the number of short turns is way down from the dark days of 2006-7. I rarely see Kipling cars, and almost never the Roncesvalles or Shaw short turns that were dismayingly frequent back then.

    Bunching can still be an issue, but I put up Darwin O’Connor’s TranSee and the run numbers tell me which is a Long Branch car (anything below 20, it seems; 30+ are Humber cars). Using the real-time countdown, I can go down the elevator at Queen and Yonge, and if I haven’t cut it too close, I stroll across to Queen and Victoria and the 501 LONG BRANCH arrives within seconds. (If I cut it too close, I have to run to Queen and Yonge, and get to stand for a while.)

    The other thing that’s quite clear from Darwin’s site is that the runs almost always keep up the proper alternation of Humber/Long Branch. Again, this is a great improvement over the bad ol’ days, where three or four Humber and assorted-short-turn cars might arrive before a Long Branch car.

    Just wanted to point out this piece of good news. The service frequency could still be improved, and certain operators should be told to stop their tricks, but on the whole the TTC has greatly ameliorated the Queen car situation in the past year.

    Steve: This is good to hear. I have to get a fresh set of Queen car tracking data once the weather is a bit better to do a comparison with past data. On a more general note, however, some of the line management tricks the TTC is using are possible only because the 501 goes right past the carhouses where it is easy to shuffle crews and cars around. This would not be as simple on, say, Carlton or St. Clair.


  10. Competition always leads to improved services and cutting waste. While it is risky and maybe regretful to go to the private route, i am sure that two public entities with different managements will be the only way that the TTC will change its ways.

    The key word here is always. It depends on how and what is done.

    While privatisation or contracting can have its place (our bus routes are mostly run by private operators with gross area contracts) a public agency must be in control of the strategic planning, contracts, network and route planning.

    If a public agency is not in control of the strategic level, there will be problems:

    If buses were run in competition with trains and different operators started offering different fares and tickets or the bus yards were split up so that economies of scale were lost that would result in inefficiency . Auckland is having a problem with the bus operators all offering their own ticketing leading to a dog’s breakfast of ticketing options where operators don’t accept other operators tickets (that’s going to be a huge problem to getting around), and multi-modal ones that are high priced to discourage use.

    The other problem would be the break-down of integration. If the subway is not fed, patronage will collapse on it reducing frequency in response, and increasing subsidy required to keep it open. These issues and others are covered in Transport for Suburbia.

    The fundamental problems seem to be disruptions in long term TTC planning (The stubway, ripping up transit city, Scarborough RT) and the unreasonable expectation that the TTC can provide the service people expect while being run on air. It needs to be funded. If it is not funded, it can’t pay to keep the lights on, let alone grow. 70% farebox ratio indicates to me that there isn’t as much waste as people think there is, and certainly not so much to make the TTC run and grow services under its own steam.

    Steve: It should be remembered that by Mayoral fiat, the TTC, which had planned for a 10-cent fare increase, was forced to drop this proposal, and with it, at least $24m in new revenue. The “crisis” is a direct result of not raising fares. For the City’s part, failure to raise property taxes at least in line with inflation, and foregoing the Vehicle Registration Tax, itself equivalent to almost 2% on the property tax, constrains the City’s ability to fund its programs. I am not saying we should let the province off the hook on transit funding, but Toronto has created some of the current problem with its own neo-con attitude to taxation and public sector spending.


  11. For those of you that are opposed to uploading the TTC and funding it from provincial taxes, let me ask you this … do you think it’s fair that the Toronto taxpayer should continue to subsidize riders from the 905 for every trip they take? It would be interesting to find out how many of the TTC’s daily riders are 905ers. Suppose the TTC made proof of residency a requirement for purchasing the current fare and then slapped a surcharge of x% on non-resident fares (equal to the subsidy per ride), I wonder how much more they would pull in every year.

    Steve: Remember that a lot of the capital assets of the TTC were bought with taxes paid by those folks in the 905. Also, if we had to provide road space for those 905ers, the effect on Toronto would be far worse than giving them an unsubsidized ride.


  12. Hare-brained is about right! Any private purchaser will maximize profit by balancing the fare against the service (Same as 407 is doing) or by demanding additional subsidy from the city. Free transfers could easily be a thing of the past.

    Much of the subway construction has been done with provincial assistance. If the province was the buyer, they would of course reduce the price based on their contribution in the past. If the buyer was other than the province, the province would be justified in demanding a portion of the price based also on their contribution in the past. The City’s contribution has been paid for, so any price paid by the province would go into the general coffers of the city. The buyer of course now needs to recoup what he paid, so up goes the fares or subsidy. The city is effectively raising taxes on the sector of the population least able to carry the load. Worse this ‘new found money’ is usually reserved for someone’s pet project rather than the normal tax budget. An example is use of proceeds from selling the hydro network to build a cultural center.


  13. It should be remembered that by Mayoral fiat, the TTC, which had planned for a 10-cent fare increase, was forced to drop this proposal, and with it, at least $24m in new revenue. The “crisis” is a direct result of not raising fares.

    $24 million in the grand scheme of things would help, but probably not explain the permanent financial crisis the TTC seems to have been in since the 1990s. To put this in perspective, 1km of Light Rail probably costs $24 million or more.

    Steve: The $24m is on the operating budget side of things. I agree that there are much more serious issues on the capital side. The crisis there, as you discuss below, has partly been triggered by an appetite for most expensive type of transit infrastructure.

    I feel the comment above highlights the other problem: The TTC just can’t do anything without the local politicians completely scuttling its infrastructure and fare revenue plans and causing gross interference and disruption to its operations.

    In Brisbane, there is some leeway for local councils to have their pet projects, but they are asked to fund it. Recently our mayor wanted a special bus route, he got money for it from the state, but was asked to fund 50% of the cost burden of running the service. This keeps pet projects in check.

    It takes time and effort for the TTC to make these plans, the TTC was part way though doing its Transit City plan and ordering vehicles, when, it is asked to rip them up and change course entirely based on, not good planning principles, but on pet project ideas. Even worse, the planning is done backwards — the mode is chosen first (subways) and then the TTC is asked to make a plan around that.

    This is the exact opposite of how planning should be done — the problem should be defined first, possible solutions discussed and then the modes should pop out as the result of the planning process, and only at the end.

    Our Mayor has no power to set or play with fares. That could never happen in Brisbane. In fact, our state government last week raised fares by 15% to fund more seats on the network. Sure there was outcry, as is expected, but there is no way the state government would cave in on that, if the whole thing were run by our city council there would be a real threat that it could become local council election issue and the revenue (and therefore extra services) would never come.

    So I think the comments in the quote actually strengthens the case for the TTC to take over the functions of MetroLinx and be paid for that too, rather than the City of Toronto to be left in control of everything.


  14. Steve responded: “It should be remembered that by Mayoral fiat, the TTC, which had planned for a 10-cent fare increase, was forced to drop this proposal, and with it, at least $24m in new revenue. The “crisis” is a direct result of not raising fares”.

    I’m a little confused by this — it reads like an endorsement of a fare increase at the same time that some service cuts are being planned. The combination has pretty much always triggered a downward spiral in ridership on transit perception, and to my mind was best avoided at this time. I especially was incensed at the time of the initial announcement that the annual cost of a Metropass would have been rising about the same amount as the annual levy that was dropped from car ownership, which in terms of optics is basically a travesty. There’s been speculation that the announced increase was a ploy to make the later reversal look like a positive intervention from the mayor’s office, which may indeed have been the case but doesn’t change my belief that a Metropass fare increase should rightly have been off-the-table all along.

    Steve: My response was in the context that a “crisis” in TTC funding has been created by the City’s refusal to increase property taxes or transit fares by proposed amounts that were quite reasonable in current economic situations. One cannot blame our problems on Queen’s Park and look to upload the TTC as a way of shifting responsibility for funding without first asking whether by failing to increase revenues under our own control, the City has voluntarily impoverished itself. Also it’s worth noting that TTC’s ridership went up on 2010 despite a 25-cent fare increase because there is a basic demand, and service continues to increase, even if not as fast as I would like to see this happen.

    On that note, and as an aside from this posting/thread, I’m looking forward to your future fare-related postings, especially as they pertain to discounted bulk-use fare plans. My personal beef wasn’t with a fare increase on individual ride tickets, but instead on the continual notion that a discounted fare policy must always rise in lock-step. I’m not clear on why the TTC is insistent that the fare rate of the Metropass must always be equal to x-number of tokens per month, and wondered why the proposed increase this time could not have been a compromise on increasing individual rides and tokens by 10 or even 15-cents while flatlining the bulk-use Metropass (i.e., grab some increase in revenue from fares without punishing your most loyal and frequent customers). Discount plans are supposed to encourage consumers to buy, and I suspect one could even argue that in this case a flatlined Metropass might have increased purchases of it over token-hoarding, perhaps to the point of even achieving equal or increased revenue from what the raised Metropass price would bring. The proposed increase was akin to two token fares — one trip out and back — and surely could have been absorbed in some other method that actually rewarded their biggest customers, no?

    Sadly, the TTC’s accounting seems so simplistic to me on the fare-structure front that I can’t help but think they’re trapped in a formulaic response around it that doesn’t even broach options for renewed thinking or change. So much so that maybe the Province as operator could be an improvement in that at least there’d be a CHANCE of some different ideas. But chalk that as simply one checkmark in the “Pro” column that’s outweighed by numerous “Con” scenarios in any discussion of Provincial uploading.

    Steve: During the Miller era, there was a deliberate attempt at the political level, despite considerable opposition from TTC management, to reduce the price of the Metropass relative to the token fare. Management comments at times portray passholders as little better than freeloaders who are not paying their way, and would love to drive the multiple up, not further down. They almost snuck through an increase last time out, but it was caught and changed by the Commission.

    During the Ford era, I doubt there will be any love for “marketing” the TTC with more attractive fares, and we will be lucky to avoid fare schemes that move us back to zones or fare by distance. That’s certainly the fare model Metrolinx uses, and if the TTC were uploaded, I think the flat fare within Toronto would fall victim to a desire to establish “more equitable” fares across the GTA. I strongly believe in bulk discounts for transit use because that puts it closer to the footing of car owners who don’t think (or think much) about the marginal cost of making additional trips, especially short ones. No one gives them lectures about stopovers or transfering schemes designed to minimize the cost of a trip.


  15. Re: M. Briganti

    Strictly speaking, it would be fair to have both Toronto and GTA residents support TTC with their taxes, while leaving the rest of Ontario off the hook.

    But that is hard to implement.


  16. TTC suffers from an ROE (Running-On-Empty) “management” lack of funding to do anything NOR attract talent….

    As for financing the TTC that we require and desire, may I suggest a surcharge on parking lots? One that climbs as percentage of non 416/647 plate-holders and peak load on Toronto’s (paid for) road infrastructure increases.


  17. Steve noted: “considerable opposition from TTC management to reduce the price of the Metropass relative to the token fare. Management comments at times portray passholders as little better than freeloaders who are not paying their way, and would love to drive the multiple up, not further down”.

    An unfortunate stance on their part indeed, especially as they run through their current charade about “customer service”. So if I’m following correctly… TTC Management (and sometimes staff) are too set in their ways and often are as much of an impediment to change/renewal/improvement as any other group involved in local transit & governance. The city Executive can no longer be trusted to act in the city’s best interest (at least the downtown portion, if not all), and council involvement even under the Miller team could not ensure a better system in its current set-up, so expecting more from this current council is pointless. The province barely can operate its own system let alone run the heart of it all within 416 especially as over time the TTC’s current modal integration could be at risk, and going private would leave large chunks of the city underserved on sparser-travelled routes.

    What other potentials are there then? From the discourse, it’s sounding pretty hopeless all around… and has me wondering if job #1 then is an upheaval of TTC Management. If it is, then the current mayoral administration and chosen commissioners may potentially be useful as they are far more likely to act rashly and quickly without understanding or concern of the recourse for their actions. If we change Management, we may get new TTC Operations leads who actually aspire to make the system smaller and less effective (cheaper too), but if we stay the course with the type of Management you’ve described above we continue to get nowhere in terms of bettering the TTC experience and product for consumers. Rock – meet Hard Place.

    Change is scary, but change can also be necessary, even when it seems like its for the worse. In the current toss-up of poor options, I’m not certain that provincial uploading is the worst of them, especially as we now finally have 416 Liberal MPPs who are afraid for their seats… perhaps they’d be willing to offer the moon to win again in the fall, including promises of better funding and improved operation. Status quo is getting more and more tedious, however, and not looking like it will meet anyone’s overall goals.

    Steve: The biggest danger with a wholesale upheaval of transit management is the installation of a new crew modelled on the goals of the current administration, and with an attitude that transit is something we provide for people who have no other choice. Before we toss out the current crew, we need to agree on what the “overall goals” actually are.


  18. The problem I find with Mikey’s plan of extending the Sheppard line to McCowan and having it swing south to STC is that people who live east of McCowan still don’t get rapid transit connection. People in Malvern still have to take a 30 minute to 45 minute bus ride to STC before they can get onto the subway. That does not improve their commute at all.


  19. Whatever happened to that “revised Transit City plan” Ford was talking about at the beginning of the month? He gave a time line that it would be ready at the end of the month. The end of the month is here and there is no revised plan.

    Steve: Now advertised for late February, possibly early March.


  20. Is this a sign of what’s to come? If they can’t even get the revised plan finished on time what makes us believe Ford will get his beloved subway within the 4 year timeframe. It was to my understanding the first dead line was Jan 12, then it was pushed back to late Jan early Feb, and now they’re saying late Feb to late March!!!


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