Here we are again at this blog’s anniversary. Looking back over the past year, let alone ahead to the next one, I regret that I am not in an up-beat, optimistic mood.

A year ago, I wrote:

In Ontario, there is hope that opposition will coalesce to drive the Premier and his band of incompetent fools from office. Whether we will get a new band of fools remains to be seen, but a Toronto, an Ontario in which nobody named “Ford” has any power is long overdue. Simplistic, populist slogans and dogma are no replacement for competent, dare I say, inspiring government.

This year I really do want to look forward, even with some misgivings on the social and political landscape.

The NDP and Liberal opposition did not manage to seize power, and won’t even have a shot at this until 2026. Meanwhile, we are stuck with Doug Ford and his gang of rogues who will sell off the province to their pals. Between rhetoric for the cameras, and legislation working against any interest that does not contribute to his party, Ford’s reign brings fresh disasters at every turn.

If there were a credible alternate view at the municipal level, I might hope at least for some balance, an alternate voice, but Mayor Tory continues to focus on doing whatever he can to cheapen Toronto. Some effects are not immediately visible, but they are cumulative. The City’s ability to be great, to inspire citizens to hope for more, drifts further and further out of reach.

Both “leaders” share a common problem: their egos and their dislike of criticism or opposition. They are right and everyone else is wrong, part of a rabble opposition who can be dismissed, if need be by legislative fiat.

On the transit front, their respective agencies echo this stance. Metrolinx and the TTC are run by CEOs who want things their way, and who answer, if that is the word, to boards utterly unwilling to challenge their rule (or under marching orders to shut up and vote the right way).

Without question, three years of the pandemic have stretched every agency thin. The lights stay on, flickering, only by infusion of special subsidies that already wane and could disappear within one fiscal year. That environment gave management a chance to take more power from their boards who, especially at the TTC, had many other problems as Councillors. That power will not likely be clawed back and delegated authority will be the “new normal”.

Riders and Service

Both Metrolinx and the TTC face a loss of ridership through work-from-home effects, and these will not be fully reversed. Whether the conventional commuting population will grow back to pre-pandemic levels depends on how quickly, if ever, the current glut of space fills up. This is no time to be building new office towers. For the TTC, those commuters were once about a third of their ridership.

Demand recovered well in other areas, notably on the suburban bus network and off-peak travel. This mirrors some 905 bus services.

The subway, which carried the lion’s share of inside-416 commuting demand, is not back to its old crowding and service level. Yet-to-be-announced cuts may fall disproportionately on this part of the network. A major problem for infrastructure-heavy modes is that service, proportionately, does not offer as large a potential for savings. Whether the trains run or not, there are substantial, unavoidable costs.

At Metrolinx, the problem is even more severe because they are so dependent on commuters. Yes, their off-peak demand is climbing thanks in part to promotional campaigns and discounted fares, but that growth is on a small base. Weekend tourist excursions do not build a regional commuter network.

The TTC’s policy on crowding was to restore pre-pandemic service standards once ridership was back to striking distance of “normal”. However, thanks to the 2023 budget crunch, they went further upping the allowed crowding during off-peak periods to levels not seen in over two decades.

The Ridership Growth Strategy of 2003 deliberately provided enough service that there was a margin for growth. This incentive, now lost, will be hard to regain with limited resources.

Two related problems undermine hopes for better service:

  • The quality of service actually operated can bear little resemblance to the advertised frequency. This quality has declined through the covid era with a combination of short-staffing and laissez-faire service management. The TTC’s own metrics focus on “on time performance” with a generous margin for error, and hide common problems of bunching, gaps and missing vehicles. They often do not achieve even their own easy targets.
  • The TTC does not regularly report crowding statistics on a route by route basis, and especially not at the vehicle level where chronic problems of uneven loads might be evident.

The factors every rider survey tells us matter most – reliability and comfort – are buried in simplistic averages. These hide from view the very measures by which Toronto might judge the quality of service the TTC provides, and the need for improvement wherever that might be.

We must take it on faith that management will do their best, but this is always subject to budgetary limits and their invisible hand on the balance between service and cost.

Transit Agencies as Construction Companies

A failing common to both provincial and municipal systems is the focus on megaprojects, capital construction intended to add future capacity, while day-to-day service at the local level takes a back seat. Nowhere is this more evident than in the limited provincial funding for operating subsidies. Three years by special contributions to offset covid losses masked this, but the underlying subsidy level remains quite low.

Doug Ford will build four new transit projects for the Toronto network, but their purpose is as much to buy votes with “subways, subways, subways” as to carry riders. John Tory will fund new GO stations under the tattered SmartTrack banner, and rebuild an elevated expressway to serve a fraction of daily commuting demand. Those are the priorities we see from our “leaders”.

Toronto pays the vast majority of TTC capital costs, but the City’s ability to fund needed projects is badly constrained. Spending does not necessarily go where it would do the most good. The fifteen-year capital plan is just shy of $40 billion, but achievement of this spending will depend on large contributions from the federal and provincial levels that have yet to materialize. Meanwhile, billions flow to construction of new lines and extensions, not to mention non-transit spending on roads.

Looking at things on a long timescale, the pandemic gave the TTC a respite in demand growth that might take a decade or more to recover, and some projects that should have begun “yesterday” can be parked for a while. However, that is only a temporary reprieve, and capital for state of good repair, boring stuff like fixing tracks, signals, tunnels, stations and vehicles, is still in short supply. Infrastructure ages even without riders riding.

Construction brings many photo ops, and is largely immune from a funding crunch once it is underway. There are plenty of jobs and an ability every day to see “your tax dollars at work”. Much routine maintenance is visible only when service disappears: a weekend subway closure, seemingly endless road and utility works on the streetcar network, reconstruction of an escalator or elevator. Much more is out of sight.

We were down this road in the early 1990s when a recession stripped the TTC of a fifth of its ridership. Each year, management would dutifully claim that the system was not compromised by limited funding. Years of penny pinching and making do had tragic consequences.

Equally bad was the big ridership hole from which the TTC only slowly recovered. Although the political landscape for transit improved after the Mike Harris era, funding did not. Toronto did not actively court new ridership until the early 2000s.

Rebuilding Transit

Transit already had a problem being attractive, dare I say, competitive in much of the 416 let alone beyond into the 905 in pre-covid years. In the “old” City of Toronto, with its fine-grained network and history of good transit usage, the market share of transit trips dropped off quickly from the core business district.

The trope of transit as a service for the poor, for those who cannot afford a car, is a dangerous political message. There is a real danger that, between service cuts and lacklustre service management, transit’s second-place role will solidify. With that, transit will lose a political constituency especially when promised improvements lie in the next decade.

The TTC has a large fleet of buses, streetcars and subway trains, many more than they actually use to field service today thanks to pandemic-era cutbacks. Toronto could have more transit service, but there is no budget to operate the fleet we own.

Metrolinx too has many trains surplus to current service. They have the added problem of being in the early days of a very ambitious expansion program when the future demand is far from certain. Their plans looks ahead to an all-day service, in effect a regional rapid transit network, where show-up-and-go will be the way riders think of transit. The gaping hole in their plans lies in the “last mile problem” because the network’s design depends on park-and-ride, not on local bus service, as the feeder-distributor at stations. That only works for commuters, and even then only to the extent that parking is available.

“Regional integration” is an oft-touted solution to soft demand, but many interwoven factors have blocked this for years.

Rather than building stronger regional and local bus networks, Ontario dithers with concepts like self-driving cars and hopes that redevelopment near stations will fill up their trains. This does little for much of the region and particularly for trips that the rail network does not serve.

This is not about a power grab, the urge to create a single agency to rule as transit czar. “Governance” does not fix the underlying problems limiting transit’s attractiveness.

For many trips, transit does not go where people want to travel, or it is so infrequent to have no credibility as an alternative. Fares might be “integrated” between many agencies in the 905, but a cheaper fare is worthless without good service.

Within Toronto, there is no fare integration because Queen’s Park is too cheap to pay for it, and GO, at least until the pandemic hit, worried about losing train capacity for short hop trips withing the city.

A truly regional network requires good service everywhere-to-everywhere and a recognition that transit should exist as a public good. That might be an unpopular stance for current governments, but the shortsighted outlook on what transit could be goes back well before the Ford era. It is baked in to decades of regional planning.

Safety on the TTC

It is impossible to write about the future of the TTC without mentioning the question of passenger and staff safety. As I write this, a series of violent incidents make would-be riders wonder if the TTC is a safe place to be. Much simplistic discussion focuses on specific types of events and groups of possible perpetrators. The situation is much more complex, and I do not claim to have any brilliant solutions.

Problems have grown for some time through many factors. Homelessness and the lack of services for those with mental problems are often cited, but issues with anti-social behaviour (not necessarily violent, but unsettling for riders) existed even pre-covid on the TTC and in the wider city. There is an inherent conflict between wanting the transit system to be rid of “people like that” and deciding just what we are supposed to do with them.

A visible presence by security (either TTC or police) coupled with actual action, not simply walking by, will comfort riders, although the degree to which this might reduce events remains to be seen. Actual behaviour and the focus of any routine patrols could, if past experience is a guide, be selective in the people it affects.

Stats published by the TTC do not offer enough context in breaking down the types of incidents, their location, the nature of offenders and whether they acted benignly or threatened others. There is a big difference between a group of people camped out in Spadina Station, a menacing panhandler wandering through a train, and an unprovoked attack on riders.

Not to be forgotten is the far-flung surface network with erratic and less than frequent service on many routes. Just waiting for a bus compounds the stress of “will it ever arrive” with physical isolation.

The transit system is today’s framework for debates, but we see problems with violence in schools and in neighbourhoods well-removed from transit. On a wider scale, the acceptance of violence as a political tool validates striking out as a response to personal ills. These social changes have been underway for years.

How current events and perceptions will affect future ridership is difficult to say. I suspect that many are still in a “wait and see” mode hoping that violence will not become endemic and a common threat to riders. But doing nothing, or giving the impression of action with “security theatre” and no real change, is not an option.

A good start would see the City and TTC actually hire the constables and social workers provided for in their budgets, positions that have remained vacant to save money. When Mayor Tory announced the TTC’s 2023 budget, it had a “law and order” spin even though actual spending on that aspect was trivial. Now he must deal with real crimes, the restoration of public faith in transit, and the desperate need for support services for those who need them.

The Role of Advocacy

I’ve been at the barricades, so to speak, of transit advocacy for a very long time. People ask where I find the energy. Frankly there are days when I would rather be watching a good movie, great music or brilliant theatre. Those recharge the batteries, an appropriate metaphor in our greening age. Transit needs defenders and advocates, not simply caretakers who keep the lights on.

Over many years, Toronto’s merry band of advocates has grown with fellow bloggers, video reporters, and community activists. Some have even infiltrated the ranks of professional journalism.

We don’t always agree with each other, but have a common goal to improve public understanding of transit issues and, through that, the political context for transit debates. It would be easy to dismiss us as so many of the Ford-and-Tory crowd do, but we’re not going away.

For my part, I have lived through ups and downs in the quality and friendliness of transit management. There were dark days under the TTC’s Al Leach where I was persona-very-non-grata at the TTC, and bright days sharing a common rail enthusiast background with David Gunn, or sitting in the Rebel House having beer with Andy Byford.

As for Metrolinx, the day when they stop viewing the public as something to be managed, to be misled and smothered under self-serving marketing and communication, that day will be the start of a truly public spirited agency. I am not holding my breath.

Hard though it might be, I believe Toronto can be better and that we should all demand better. For those thin-skinned critics who wish I would simply vanish, there’s no such luck. I will continue writing about transit, and if that means skewering a few people and their pet projects along the way, so be it.

23 thoughts on “Seventeen

  1. Thank you for the work you do Steve. I have read your blog on and off for a few years now, and your coverage is always poignant and often sobering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “For my part, I have lived through ups and downs in the quality and friendliness of transit management. There were dark days under the TTC’s Al Leach where I was persona-very-non-grata at the TTC, and bright days sharing a common rail enthusiast background with David Gunn, or sitting in the Rebel House having beer with Andy Byford”

    This here, a good CEO/GM can make or break the system. David Gunn with the massive funding cuts, yet maintain some pride for TTC. Despite the political landscape. But also look at Andy Byford, again, anti transit landscape, but yet, pulled TTC through. I can’t wait until we get a new CEO, hopefully sooner rather than later. The other part of me thinks a new CEO can still be worse than Rick Leary. But I’ll hold on to this potentially false sense of hope for a new CEO.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very much appreciative of the effort and dedication you have towards transit in Toronto and GTA. Im either always sharing your blogs or someone is sharing it with me. It shows the impact and credibility that you have. And how you simplify a lot of the meetings to a wider audience. Easy to share what you have to say with others. Keep up the great work, and I and many others look forward to more of your work. Congrats to 17 years. Thank you.

    Steve: You’re very welcome!


  4. Hi Steve.

    First of all, Congratulations on 17yrs of the blog! I dare say, I’ve been here almost from the start, wow, its been a wild ride hasn’t it my friend.

    Yes, I call you a friend, as we’ve had so many incredible conversations & you have taught me a massive amount & have helped me challenge my own self, to do more advocate work than I thought possible.

    Ok, so onto the issues in my head, some making me literally want to throat punch ppl verbally.

    I’m going to just say, that I had to take some time off, from advocacy work around TTC, as I was getting more & more frustrated with the lack of commitment to people with physical disabilities, especially around the attitude of operators, the riding public & most of all, upper management.

    Safety issues for ppl with disabilities, are an afterthought to the TTC upper management, especially with certain departures of some key people.

    I can tell you that I am one of those who has been attacked, numerous times.

    When 12 elevator reinforced glass windows are smashed within a 4hr span, rendering some of the most vital elevators out of service, & it’s not seen as a hate crime, that says a lot about the attitude of upper management towards people with disabilities & others who require the elevators to get around the TTC.

    I have had to literally beg my way onto buses, as operators often see us, wheelchair users, as nothing more than a burden, a nuisance & something to be hated & avoided at all costs. Sadly even the newest operators are even doing it. Using the excuse, that it’s not safe for them to do even the most basic job of what their supposed to do when a wheelchair user needs boarding, is a ages old excuse to deny people with disabilities the basic human right of taking transit.

    (There are a few bright spots out there, a few operators who are incredible at doing their job & are wonderful ppl, but sadly, it’s few & far between.)

    The new crowding standards & cuts are only going to make this far worse.

    Meanwhile Wheeltrans continues to actively force people in wheelchairs/mobility devices, into FOS, which in itself is a complete fail. (I won’t even get started on that, here)

    The last 2 things I am going to mention about TTC, the recent election, has brought even more Anti-AODA thinking councillors than ever before, several have been appointed to the TTC board, this in itself, is a very dangerous precedent, especially given that in the budget deliberations, Accessibility seemed to be almost an afterthought.

    Where were the budget slides focusing on the AODA standards & capital infrastructure investments, Easier Access ♿ documentation was sadly lacking, (especially Warden & Islington Stations). I do know, they are actively working on Donlands, Lansdowne, College, as far as I’ve seen. (I don’t get out a lot in the deep winter)..

    Ok, enough with my raging on TTC.

    On Metrolinx.

    All I’m going to say, is that they actively discriminated against ppl with physical disabilities, by making little to zero effort on the wheelchair accessibile area of train coaches, during COVID, few to none of the same measures were put in place, as they were on every other coach level.

    Added to this their less than AODA standards, on recent building efforts, (need I mention Kipling transit tunnel between MiWay & TTC), as well as the placement of accessible door buttons at most newly built/renovated train stations.

    Recently the AAC application has gone out, from Metrolinx, I am somewhat hopeful that this will bring a better focus on accessibility, than there has been in the last 3yrs, but I’m not holding my breath.

    In conclusion.

    Steve, I’ve been doing Accessibility Advocate work for just over 30yrs, & we are not in a better place, especially with David’s recent passing, we are in a far darker place, as far as attitude about accessibility on transit goes.

    I’m not talking about basic physical infrastructure, as much as societal attitudes & political interference & complete disregard for ppl like myself.

    The sheer lack of training of operators, using actual conventional system users, instead of members of a committee who mainly use wheeltrans & (most who only are on there for the free metropass, & barely can get the work done) is astoundingly disingenuous to the regular system users, & those being forced off wheeltrans at least part time, onto a system that is definitely not safe, for us, a system where the very basic human decency is sadly lacking..

    I’m fed up, I attempted to retire from doing TTC work, as I feel like I’m just screaming into a void..

    But your blog, as usual, give me faint hopes.

    Thank You for all your hard work..

    Steve: And thank you, too!

    The whole FOS thing was born on the premise that the system, especially off peak, was uncrowded enough and somewhat mobile riders could use it. That was a farce from the out given service irregularities, gaps and crowding, but now the off peak standard will be almost as bad as peak.

    As for the makeup of the new TTC board, it’s a disgrace. That said, I know at least one Councillor did not want to be reappointed because trying to get anything done was a waste of time.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Happy Anniversary of your Blog, Steve! Many congratulations!

    On a side note, based on what you wrote, I had the chance to discuss transit with my local councillor resently. It was a short talk but I mentioned that if the city wants people to use transit then they need to make it convenient. I said that if people walk to their local transit stop then a bus, streetcar, subway, etc. should come by within a couple of minutes. If people are made to wait too long then they will be more likely to use a car.

    She seemed to be supportive, and asked what I thought about using small electric transit vehicles to help moving people onto the larger routes (i.e. the electric vehicles would travel deeper into communities than current routes.) So there seems to be people who are thinking, it’s just too bad more people aren’t thinking.

    Steve: The problem with mini vehicles is that they address the last mile problem, but not the fundamental issue of having decent, reliable service on the trunk routes. We can spend a lot of staff time messing around with band-aids, but not making the system fundamentally better. It’s sort of like saying that, yes, “transit” would be more attractive if they sent a taxi to my door whenever I wanted to travel, but the basic system is still the basic system.

    Also, and I will be quite blunt about this, there are both carpetbaggers with new wonder technologies that will solve all of our problems and bureaucrats who are more than happy to find an “innovation” program to manage. This is at a minimum counter productive, and in some cases outright fraud.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. How come, the older I get, your blog anniversaries come more and more quickly? Wasn’t the last anniversary just a few months ago?


    Steve: That was the 50th anniversary piece for the decision to retain streetcars in November 1972. Normally I only do one piece like this each year, but that anniversary was special.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on 17 years! Please accept my best wishes for many more years in which you may enjoy good health and advocacy for a better Toronto for all its people.

    “Ford’s reign brings fresh disasters at every turn.”

    In my opinion, the root problem with Mr. Ford is his attitude of contempt and petty, vindictive, low-class hatred of everyone who is not himself, his cronies and their political class. He started as soon as he was appointed premier with his decision to casually override the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to achieve petty revenge upon his former rivals at Toronto City Council. Things have not gotten better since then.

    I believe that the worst thing that Mr. Ford has done is to spread his politics of selfishness. To reject the idea of solidarity. The idea that we are all in this together and can all succeed together if we pull together and work together. Instead, we get the ideology that we are only mere individuals, who can only achieve mere individual success by putting down other people. That kind of vicious selfishness may destroy society, but appealing to the worst demons of human nature can bring short-term political success.

    Mr. Ford’s transportation policies put this vicious selfishness onto full display. I applaud our medical professionals, including Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, who have done an excellent job of documenting how private motor vehicle operators poison and kill the people of Toronto. Poison and kill with their lethal cancer-causing fine particles. So that in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area:

    • Motor vehicle operators poison and kill between 712 to 997 people every year.
    • Motor vehicle operators poison and injure between 2,812 and 3,939 people every year so seriously that they have to be hospitalized.
    • The cost of all this death and injury is over $4.6 billion every year.

    Source at Page 20

    Most profoundly disturbing of all is that young children, elderly people and pregnant women are disproportionately killed and injured by being poisoned by motor vehicle operators.

    Source at Page 6

    I do not understand how someone like Mr. Ford can be so vicious and violent as to not merely tolerate this slaughter of innocent children but to encourage and take political advantage of these horrific deaths and injuries of children. Horrific deaths and injuries of children that are so unnecessary, because there is a clear alternative: The TTC is phasing out its diesel buses to become a safe all-electric system.

    I may not be able to understand the violence of a man such as Doug Ford, but I do know how to fight him. And will encourage others to do the same, and to fight for a government that is committed to building a better Toronto and Province of Ontario for all of its people.

    You, Steve, have done just that ever since your work in 1972 with “Streetcars for Toronto” to the present day. Please accept my thanks for all your work, and my sincere best wishes for your good health that this work may continue for many years to come.

    Steve: You are very welcome!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Buschic wrote:

    “…operators often see us, wheelchair users, as nothing more than a burden, a nuisance & something to be hated & avoided at all costs.”

    I recently saw an elderly man with a walker struggle aboard the Finch bus and say to the driver, “May I please have a minute to get to my seat?” The driver’s response was, “A minute is a long time.”


  9. Well, that was terrible. 🙂

    I am not in or from Toronto[1] but I do watch transit in Montreal, NYC, and Boston so I am aware that their names of the agencies, cities, transit authorities and states/provinces are *all interchangeble* with the ones in your piece – it’s the same, or at least quite similar, BS everywhere. I do get some international intel from Alon (not Elon) Levy and know that some Eurocities are seeing the same BS.

    About the only thing I care to add here is that paying for more cops will result in exactly one thing: A larger police budget. Nothing else will change. If you think transit agencies have become unaccountable to uninterested political oversight, wait until you get a load of law enforcement. At least transit workers don’t intentionally kill or maim people.

    [1] – The Habs are the only real hockey team and the Expos are the only real baseball team … sorry … being told that … OK, I am being told that the Expos haven’t been a thing in 20 years and that the Habs haven’t won Lord Stanley’s cup in 30 years … that can’t be right, “why I remember … ” Well, my sister lives near The Junction so that may count for something.


  10. Steve said: For those thin-skinned critics who wish I would simply vanish, there’s no such luck.

    Thanks, Steve.
    I appreciate your evidenced based work to demonstate how erratic bus service is. Management issues like a missing operator, buses not leaving the terminal in a timely manner or operators deliberately bunching are factually documented.

    Mayor Tory’s SmartTrack and promotion of the SSE when it was under his domain were truly a waste of money and the ridersip forecasts were evidence of the folly. Premier Ford has done much worse, with the 4 piority projects for Toronto and the lack of public accountability in the way Metrolinx operates.

    I feel buschic’s disappointment.

    Thanks for keeping the faint hope alive.

    Steve: You’re welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ll add my voice to the chorus. I really appreciate the work you’ve done in educating me on issues of transit. The downside is that it’s next to impossible to have an intelligent discussion on transit with civilians or politicians because they tend to be quite uninformed.

    The biggest lesson for me has been learning how providing a transit is about balancing pieces. You can have anything you want, but it has to be paid for. Your emphasis on operations, as well, clearly illustrates the lies that transit agencies tell the public, using stats cooked to make themselves look good. And, of course, there’s the politics of getting things done, which is a reality that is often ignored.

    I’m glad you like doing this. It is an invaluable service. The johnny-come-lateys in the transit/urbanism space are, to my mind, doing more harm than good. Either they have a one-size-fits-all drum they keep banging (“Just make it like Amsterdam” or “Bikes, bikes, bikes!”) or just draw lines on a map with their crayons with no thoughts to what’s on the ground or how to fund capital and operating costs.

    It breaks my heart to see the TTC crippled by its own mismanagement and politicians looking for personal gain. It’s wonderful to have someone calling bullshit on the lies.

    Steve: Many thanks. Yes, the politicians tend to be quite uninformed about a lot of things, and times when they should call management to account, they don’t even know what questions to ask.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. With a tiny bit more time and less press, where else can you read about how cars are subsidized much more than transit is? A fave quote I like to share out and have the last 27 years is from 1996, where a Mr. Ken Cameron of Vacouver was quoted in the Globe of Jan. 12, 1996 as Vancouver realized that each car was getting $2700 per car each year, or about 7 x more than transit, and not that we’ll do anything much to introduce a Vehicle Registration Tax, let alone one that would bring user pay for private cars up to close the level of what the TTC might be, (there’ caronic’ denial often), but at least we can be mentioning such heresy on Steve’s blog, thank you, as well as other concepts like squeezing those transit billions and the odious politricks of it all, as the ‘carservative’ transit is almost feeling like it’s designed to bankrup the system whilst sucking so many people in thinking it’s ‘investment’ vs. Big Spending, though we totally need the investment, yes..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re a legend Steve and thanks for keeping up the good fight. Efficient public transit is critical to any well-functioning 21st century city. We salute you.

    Steve: Thanks!


  14. To say you have added to the transit debate would be an understatement and it has helped all of us get at the truth and be heard.


  15. Hi Steve,

    Joining in the chorus of people saying thank you and congratulations. I know your work will often feel thankless – maybe especially so in recent years! But know that it’s very appreciated by your readers.

    Steve: Many thanks! It’s heartwarming when, from time to time, I discover that my readership reaches into some fairly high places, whether they always agree with me or not. I write the blog for a wide audience, even though there are times it can feel rather like Lear howling into the storm.


  16. If you feel sad about the state of the TTC think about the tremendous improvement experienced on the other GTA transit providers. 17 years ago, only the Lakeshore Line had off-peak train service. 17 years ago, Mississauga barely had any bus service on Sundays and holidays. 17 years ago, York Region Transit was still relatively new and still mostly operating the low-level of service the previous municipalities were operating. It was very difficult to get around outside the city limits of Toronto without a car. What a difference now versus 2006.

    Steve: Yes, there have been major improvements in those 17 years, but I worry that this will plateau at a level where service remains unattractive to anyone with another option. Transit should be a first choice, or at least a strong second, not an option of last resort.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s