Five Years, Seven Goals: Where Will The TTC Be In 2018

TTC CEO Andy Byford addressed the Empire Club on May 13, 2013 setting out a strong argument for political and financial support for the transit system (full text at the Torontoist site).  After last week’s debacle at Council where almost nobody took any sense of responsibility for the future of transit beyond their own doorsteps, arguing for the TTC is a hard battle.

On one hand, we have an intensely local debate at the ward, if not the neighbourhood level, with the worst of petulant “I-want-a-subway-too” politics.

On the other, the region and the province are preoccupied with funding a large-scale plan that happens to have a spin-off for local transit, but one that will only give Toronto a fraction of what it costs to run and maintain the TTC today, let alone make substantive improvements.

In some ways, the TTC has been its own worst enemy managing on one hand to alienate potential supporters with poor community relations, unreliable budgeting and declining service quality, but on the other managing to attract riders and be more financially “efficient” in spite of itself.  When political support for better funding and service is needed, the “success story” is that the TTC has managed to cram more riders into fewer buses and streetcars.

This is not a sustainable approach to transit.  Growth – which has come disproportionately in off-peak periods when there is still some capacity in parts of the system – cannot continue on this basis.

Byford will formally launch a Five Year Plan for the TTC in the week of May 27, 2013, but his speech gives a broad outline of his goals.  Are they enough, or is there too much concentration on the decor while the house rots around us?

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Spadina Reconstruction News (Updated May 15, 2013)

Updated May 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm:

TTC CEO Andy Byford spoke at a meeting of the York Quay Neighbourhood Association yesterday evening and the status of transit service to Queens Quay was a major topic.  There appears to be some confusion among and within agencies about the date when service will return to Queens Quay on the 510 as a through route and as a streetcar.

The TTC Service Planning memo for the schedule period beginning June 23 says that the current operation is expected to last until the end of that period (late July).  However, Waterfront Toronto and Andy Byford himself speak of November or even December dates.  The TTC website has given June 2013 as a date for service resumption for quite some time, although this is to be corrected, presuming someone knows what the information should be.

Part of the confusion may arise from the fact that streetcar service will be suspended for reconstruction of the intersections at King and at Dundas and this will require bus replacement on the route.  Those buses will be able to run through to Queen’s Quay replacing the shuttle and so there will be “through” service, just not with streetcars.

I have asked the TTC for definitive information on the date for resumption of streetcar service to Queens Quay.

The Service Planning  memo also notes that a planned shutdown for reconstruction of the platform at Spadina Station Loop has been deferred to 2014.  One can only hope that this will include changes to allow two LFLRVs to serve the platform simultaneously for unloading and loading.

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