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On the state of the TTC and future of transit in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / January 11, 2012

Toronto Transit StoryLast month the My City Lives crew approached me and a some other folks from Toronto publications to give our thoughts about the state of the TTC and the future of transit planning in Toronto. It was a fascinating project to contribute to, and the resulting video should prove a good entrance point to further discourse about where transit should be heading in this city.

Of the points made below, one that particularly registered with me upon watching the finished product is David Topping's argument that the conversation about transit in this city needs to be reframed. Instead of thinking about various users — i.e. the cyclist, the public transit rider, and the driver — as competing players in a system built to favour one group over another, we should work towards an understanding of transit in Toronto "as an integrated system in which all the parts work together."

That's easier said than done, of course, but getting there starts with the dialogue that we have about the subject.



Sue / January 11, 2012 at 02:15 pm
Still lots of Transit City talk, but at least there's no Ford bashing. That's part of the problem too, you know.
Reality replying to a comment from Sue / January 11, 2012 at 02:30 pm
Uhhh no. The problem is shitty, chronically under funded, under developed transit.
MER1978 replying to a comment from Sue / January 11, 2012 at 02:51 pm
I'm sorry what part of Ford's transit plans are not worthy of bashing?

1. Billions putting all of Eglinton underground for no reason.

2. A plan that will serve hundreds of thousands less per year vs Transit City.

3. His completely unrealistic time and money wasting Sheppard subway.
mark / January 11, 2012 at 02:54 pm
Ok, which of you anti-Ford ranters, got themselves arrested outside his home today?
namehijacked / January 11, 2012 at 03:12 pm
No new TTC funding until cyclists learn the rules of the car road!!!!!!! Latte sippers!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
Angela / January 11, 2012 at 03:37 pm
While I agree that Ford's plan is inefficient and expensive and I would love to see the return of transit city, we are not going to get it by attacking/criticizing Ford and his friends. Basically, if we want Transit City we need to let them rebrand it and take credit for their "new" brilliant plan. Egos first.
ford replying to a comment from mark / January 11, 2012 at 03:47 pm
They were trying to see if you got your lips off fords butt yet.
Aaron replying to a comment from Angela / January 11, 2012 at 03:56 pm
No we don't. We just need to convince the majority of city councillors and/or the provincial Liberals that they don't need to suck up to Rob Ford any more.
. / January 11, 2012 at 04:04 pm
Much agreed with Ford in giving highways better conditions, hiking ttc fares and making the system worse for the filthy working-class folk. I'm far upper class and these folk should just be eliminated from society... how can they not be embarrassed talking transit? It's for poor people. I'm LOLling all the way to the bank in my Mercedes.
Bob But Not Doug / January 11, 2012 at 04:05 pm
There are so many dedicated, driven, intelligent people who are devoted to making Toronto a better place to live...and yet every year this city gets worse and worse because their input counts for nothing against the politicians who are determined to wring every dollar they can out of T.O. and run it into the ground.
Lindsay / January 11, 2012 at 04:15 pm
Rob Ford aside. The undeniable fact is that the TTC and the general infrastructure in the GTA is seriously underdeveloped for a city and population of its size. Somehow forethought to (general) growth was overlooked. Drivers are upset that they sit in traffic everyday; as a TTC rider, my commutes are polluted by horrible TTC experiences, no matter which "side" you are on. Change is necessary. So let's think ahead and make smart decisions... I dont care who a good idea comes from, lets just find some good ones!
Peter replying to a comment from mark / January 11, 2012 at 04:32 pm
Don't be ridiculous, this is a serious subject.
Mike Harris / January 11, 2012 at 04:42 pm
Nick replying to a comment from mark / January 11, 2012 at 04:52 pm
@Mark and @namehijacked, please stop trolling about lefties and latte sippers. With Ford's own family, one doesn't need to invoke the left for today's incident at his house: More efficient transit helps everyone, car drivers included, so let's have a rational discussion here.
Morton / January 11, 2012 at 08:01 pm
Money has always, always been a problem in Toronto. Why didn't the Queen subway get built way back when? Money. Why don't we have more subway stops between Eglinton and Finch? Money. What happened to Network 2011? Money. And the plan before that. (Won't talk about the Sheppard subway). It wasn't Ford who made those decisions. That's our situation and what makes you think it will change? Seen the provincial budget lately? We've done pretty well given the circumstances and somehow succeeded in creating a pretty good city. Let's just deal with reality.
Justin / January 11, 2012 at 08:51 pm
2 strategies:

1) Find savings and efficiency elsewhere. And for goodness' sake, co-ordinate. Do the utilities service people really have to rip up new asphalt every time it needs to work underground? Do you know how expensive asphalt paving really is? Maybe co-ordination with the transportation engineers would be a good idea. Get those at the city up to speed on GIS databases, Building Information Models, and social media co-ordination. You'll provide some good training to these employees too. Right now it's just Joe from TO water talking to Bob from forestry and rec, through a cell-phone, and only after they've missed each other by 3 days.

2) The city also needs to stop taking on and maintaining infrastructure from developers that have no interest in building stuff of higher quality or that will last. The story of Toronto is one where developers took advantage of the market the city has to offer, and fought to give much in return. True, the city does have standards developers must meet, but these standards aren't high enough,
Ajay replying to a comment from mark / January 11, 2012 at 09:08 pm
Oh look the resident troll is back again. Boy, you make no sense and no one gives two shits about your retarded opinions.
Steve / January 11, 2012 at 09:34 pm
I'm baffled at how difficult this is for people to solve as a problem. Blaming the province is just as absurd as blaming Rob Ford - we elected the people in power - it's our own fault.

If we want better transit we need a city income tax. It's pretty obvious that is the only way the funding will come about for the necessary transit infrastructure improvements, so everyone might as well agree to it and actually start ASKING for this type of thinking from our politicians.

The province gave the city the power to levy taxes years ago - it'd be nice if the politicians actually USED the powers they were given.
foo / January 12, 2012 at 07:55 am
I yearn for David Miller. He wasn't perfect by any stretch, but at least he wasn't a fool.
THe Truth / January 12, 2012 at 10:49 am
if FORD would just get rid of SUBWAYS then cars can GO in the TUNNALS and no more TRANSIT COMMUNISEM . Namehijack is right. If Bikes dont follow the RULES OF THE ROAD then why should MILLER (evel man) make TRANSIT CITY??? just dont cut my e.s.l. classes mayor Doug Ford!!!! FORD FOREVER
tm.mahdi / January 12, 2012 at 01:37 pm
Good Article. Well said.

As a tip, to avoid road congestion in this city - we require to indent the roads to allow cars to park without blocking roadways. Some amazing examples can be found in the wealthiest parts of the city. Now just utilize that same technique in the congested parts of the city - you will witness a huge difference in traffic control.

In reference to the subway system and what concerns me, is the vibrations and the geological effects it will cause to this city. I prefer to example Montreal transit system as a better and eco-friendly route. If we can change our subway carts from what they are now to a wheel based platform - you are creating separation from the underground world and from the rest of the world.

Yes, these tips might costs millions more in upgrades, definitions and substitutions; but imagine how much more it will save this city in the long run; our health and well-being as a vastly growing community.

gricer1326 replying to a comment from Morton / January 12, 2012 at 04:49 pm
Actually the Queen Subway wasn't built because it wasn't needed after 1960.
C. Brown replying to a comment from Steve / January 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm
As for the city using its taxation powers, anyone remember the Vehicle Registration Tax no one liked? Or the Land Transfer Tax no one seems to like? Also it's funny that the TTC fare hike will make the city about $60 million. The same amount forfeited by repealing the above-mentioned VRT. If indeed the city has a revenue problem and needs its own taxes, why are people so anxious to get rid of the taxes that have been created?
rajeshkumarngn / August 13, 2012 at 05:09 am
Wedding Limo Toronto : The automobile meaning evolving from a type of cloak and hood that was worn by the inhabitants of the Limousin region that later resembled the covering of a carriage and much later used to describe an automobile body with a permanent top that extended over the open driver's compartment. Toronto Wedding Limo
rajeshkumarngn / August 18, 2012 at 03:24 am
Wedding Limo Toronto : A limousine (or limo) originally meant an "enclosed automobile with open driver's seat," and was named from the French limousine (in the Occitan language) that was originally an adjective referring to a region in central France. Toronto Wedding Limo
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