Everybody has a transit plan these days. Even if it ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on, nothing stops an endless deluge of photo ops. Look at me! Look at the wonderful things I am doing for YOU!
I am not a Mayor nor a Minister, and the likelihood of my getting a series of photo ops beyond selfies (and never mind that page in the Globe) is rather small.
My needs are simple. My demands are few.
I just want a pony.
This will bring inevitable cries that precious resources desperately needed by the horsey sector out there in suburbia are being diverted to downtown.
There will have to be a regional plan where ponies are included as a potential transit mode. Funding will be required. Environmental assessments. Business cases. Demand models.
Consultants will grow rich studying the (re-)integration of four legged motive power into our transit mix while lobbyists, indistinguishable from used car salesmen, who will show us how the byproduct of this new(old) technology can solve all of our energy needs.
Mayoral candidates will saddle up to endorse the scheme, along with their cohorts, a motley band of planners who cannot read maps, professors who grade on any curve as long as it results in an A+, and financiers who claim that equine transport will be self-financing.
There will be an election. There are always elections. Every party will jump on the bandwagon saying that swan boats are outdated. Fie on old technology that doesn’t give the voters what they need, nay, what they deserve!
Politicians will discover that well-trained ponies can be “self-guiding” and take riders to and fro without the need for a driver. A provincial agency will be created to harness this stunning new development! Its first hires will be a photographer and a publicist.
The feds might even concoct a Pony Transportation Investment Fund.
But I just want a pony, and I want it NOW.
Alas, it cannot be. It is the process, the claims, the studies and above all the photo ops on which the transport world turns, not on actual delivery. We might even see a new pony barn built, but reining in taxes will prevent any actual ponies from cluttering up the civic plans and budgets.