January 31, 2006, a new blog crawled out into the world with the prosaic name Steve Munro’s Web Site, now simply Steve Munro.
Over those five years, we have wrestled with budgets, debated the merits of LRT vs Subways (not to mention Swan Boats), talked about service quality and system management, and pondered the future of our local part of the universe, naturally the most important one. We have even gone to the movies occasionally — apologies to readers in 2010 when I was remiss in getting out all my reviews for Hotdocs and TIFF.
There are now 1,152 articles and 20,190 comments. We, or rather you, the readers, passed the 20k line about two weeks ago. That’s a lot of writing and editing for me, and a lot of thought — some cogent, some funny, some, well, the less said the better — from you.
Thank you for making this site work. Its reputation comes from being a forum where people, within reason, can talk about many aspects of transit’s future in the GTA. I know that the comments are appreciated by a large audience of “lurkers” among the professionals and the pols out there on the Internet because of the variety of viewpoints available in one place unpolluted by comment trolls and spam.
There are days — right after the last election was one of them — when I despair that we will ever see the kind of transit system Toronto’s reputation should have brought us over past decades. If you could build and operate service simply on reputation, Toronto would be a transit nirvana, and we might not endure unkind comparisons to so many other cities. We can and must do better, although in an environment where saving money takes precedence over even common sense, this is a challenge.
After that despair came a renewed sense of what must be done, of the importance of keeping the discussions going, the fight for better transit alive. Over the past months, I was heartened to read so many comments on other sites and in the media generally that reflect a stronger sense of what transit could be, of what the options are. We won’t agree, but at least the debate is starting from a much better-informed level than it would have 10 or more years ago when a former mega-mayor claimed that “real cities don’t use streetcars”.
There’s a lot brewing in the next year, and you can read about it all (as much as I have time to write, at least) here, in these pages.