Archive for September, 2008

The Candidates Speak

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The response to my request for comments on federal candidates’ positions on transit funding and expansion projects (see the previous blog entry) was not encouraging, suggesting that the candidates in Richmond Hill and Thornhill really don’t care about this local issue. Should I receive any late responses, I will update this post with them.

Without editing or commentary added by myself, the responses follow below. Readers may post their own comments.

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Candidates’ Positions

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

My position has been that the federal government should play a role in transit funding, though fairly limited. I don’t believe that project-based funding is the way to go, as it ends up duplicating operations such as environmental assessments. An ongoing transfer payment to provinces for transit capital and operational costs would be better.

Given that the Yonge Subway extension is in place except for one-third of its cost that is expected from the federal government, I have asked for comments on the candidates’ positions in Thornhill and Richmond Hill (the two ridings north of Steeles that the extension would go through). I will collect the responses and place them in an entry next Saturday (September 27).

Though I have only sent out a request for comments to the four major parties in these two ridings, I welcome any comments from any candidate in any riding (email here) and will include them in the posting.

For reference, here is what was sent to the candidates:

While I invite you to take a few minutes to visit the site, I realize from personal experience that a candidate’s time is very limited. In a nutshell, the position of the site is that radial expansion of the subway system is not the most efficient use of public money in terms of providing better transit to the greatest number of people.

The ridings of Thornhill and Richmond Hill are where a current plan to implement a radial expansion of Toronto’s subway system is only being held back by the expectation that one-third of its funding will come from the federal government. It is the opinion of this web site, backed by costing analysis, that the extension beyond Steeles Avenue would better serve the public using a Light Rail implementation, rather than a Subway.

That said, not everyone’s opinion is necessarily in line with this. I invite all candidates in these two ridings to provide their position on this subject. I will be posting all comments received, UNEDITED and without commentary, for readers of the blog to read.

Please email your response at your earliest possible convenience, but no later than Friday September 26. If you have any questions before commenting, feel free to email me.

YRT Phasing Out Radio Communication

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

September 20 update: I received a response from YRT, and have included it at the end of this entry.

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Yonge Subway Extension Public Consultation

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

September 18 update: I just received my email invitation to this, sent at 2:21 pm this afternoon.

Another public workshop is being held on September 25.  Fortunately, this one is being announced well in advance and unlike the previous workshops, there is no requirement to register ahead of time (at least neither their print ad over the weekend nor their website say anything about registering - I am still waiting for my emailed invitation). From their website:

we invite you to attend an interactive presentation on the yonge subway extension as part of our ongoing public consultation process. we will discuss the preferred alignment, stations and other details of this project.

the feedback we received over the summer was invaluable to our ongoing technical evaluation. come see how this important project is progressing and have your say.

can’t make it? see our live online webcast.

details: thursday, september 25, 2008, from 7 - 9 pm at premiere ballroom and convention centre, 9019 leslie street, richmond hill

Joint Eglinton-Crosstown and Jane LRT EA Open House

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

The City of Toronto and TTC will host a joint open house and information session on the Eglinton - Crosstown and Jane Transit City light rail transit lines on Monday, September 22. This will take place between 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm at Centennial Recreation Centre West, gymnasium, 2694 Eglinton Ave West .

Details of the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT can be seen here and details of the Jane LRT can be seen here.