Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Saving the Streetcar, Transit City and Toronto

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Here is the second installment in this video series which pokes fun at streetcar fans and highlights some of the problems with TTC operations (click here for part one)…

And here is the third installment dealing with more recent events…

Rob Ford says, “Transit City is Dead”

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

At Rob Ford’s first press conference as mayor he declared that Transit City is Dead, that there will be no more construction of streetcar tracks down the middle of roads.

Of course, that declaration may be a little premature as council will have to vote on that. It should be rather interesting, given that he made this announcement without first letting council know about it. Then there is also the little issue that the funded Transit City projects are owned by Metrolinx, not the TTC. The TTC is simply the project manager and would have been the operator. It is possible that Metrolinx could cut all ties with the TTC and build it themselves. Possible, but not likely probable as there would still have to be some co-operation with the city on these projects. Perhaps if anything is not going to go ahead, Metrolinx could shift the funding to build VIVA Phase 3 (LRT lines) at this time in York Region!

Now the declaration that Transit City is dead does not mean that the central section of the Eglinton-Crosstown line will be cancelled. Given that it cuts right through the ward of the new TTC Chair, it will likely survive. That, and the fact that it does not involve building tracks down the middle of a road. Watch for a new brand name on this line: “Oh, that is not the Eglinton-Crosstown Transit City Line, that is the Eglinton-Crosstown XXXX Line!”

Sometimes, Logic Gets Ignored

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

This video is funny, but it demonstrates how some people get certain thoughts and ideas stuck in their head…

Is the TTC Dirty?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Don’t try to answer that question, because you couldn’t possibly know how to determine the answer.

That is why, according to Anthony Furey in today’s 24Hrs, Adam Giambrone has pledged $100,000 to, wait for it… pay a firm to develop a plan to look at ways to implement a strategy to determine whether or not the TTC is dirty or not.

This is not money to clean up the TTC. This is not money to determine if the TTC is clean or not. This is not money to create a strategy to determine if the TTC is clean or not. It is money to pay for a plan to look at ways to implement those strategies.

As Furey suggests, the TTC has cleaners on staff and the cleaners have supervisors. Figuring out if trains are clean or dirty is in the job description of those supervisors. If the supervisors are not doing their job, they need to be fired, and if figuring out if the trains are clean or dirty is not in their job descriptions, then senior management who wrote those job descriptions need to be fired.

I guess the TTC simply has so much money lying around that there is no room to build new lines or increase service levels where it is needed, so they need some new way to spend money.

Rob Ford’s Transit Fantasy

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Update (September 22, 8:45 am):Yesterday, Rob Ford was on Newstalk 1010 to clarify how he will be able to make up the $250 million revenue that would be lost if he cut the Land Transfer Tax and Vehicle Registration Tax. In the interview, he was asked about the Transit City funding and how it is the province’s decision to allow it to be redirected to other things, such as his plan to extend the Sheppard and Bloor-Danforth subways (see the rest of the original post after the break). He basically felt that if the province deny the use of the money for what “70 percent” of the public in Toronto want, they will have to face what that does for them in the provincial election next year.

This man really has no idea about just how different this funding is, compared with previous projects. In the past, and this includes the Spadina-Vaughan subway extension currently under construction, the funding provided allowed the TTC and the city to build new infrastructure that became their property. The funding in place for three Transit City lines is to build infrastructure that will be owned by the province (under Metrolinx). The TTC  will be heading up the construction project and will be the operator of the lines. Of course, Rob doesn’t seem to realize that if the city wants nothing to do with these lines,  Metrolinx does not have to use the TTC to build them, nor to operate them. We could very well have LRVs sporting a green GO Transit livery that are part of the GO network.

As for the “70 percent” who want the subways, I wonder what happens to that figure when the question is framed around having 16 km of new subway instead of 55 km of LRT lines, including the 13 km under Eglinton. I suspect there are a lot of people not so in favour of two subways to Scarborough Town Centre if it means losing out on something else close to their home. Then, there are the people in Malvern. They would benefit from these two subway extensions, compared to what they have now, but not compared to what they will be getting. The subways would virtually seal the fate of no extensions out their way.

The original posting follows the break…