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Morning Brew: TTC responds to Ford's bus antics, an ARL update, arrest in plate-throwing brawl, local hydro workers go south, rapid bridge work, and streetcar snaps

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 5, 2012

toronto aerial viewRob Ford's latest goof - apparently playing a role in pulling a packed TTC bus from service to collect his football team - is still making waves. Ford called TTC CEO Andy Byford's cell, which he didn't answer (and I don't blame him), to request a second vehicle when the first got lost en route. It's still not clear why the original request for a shelter bus - something the TTC regularly provides in an emergency - was called for here. Last night, the TTC released a statement on the topic.

In the mayor's defense, this likely marks the first time he's ever ridden a TTC bus. I wouldn't be surprised if this is how he thinks public transit works. Should the TTC scrutinize its calls for shelter busses or is it the police's responsibility?

Toronto's air-rail link is quite an engineering project. Metrolinx is currently welding together elevated sections of rail track that will eventually connect Union Station with Pearson airport. The Globe and Mail has an update, if you're a subscriber. Fares for the new line could be at least $15. Is that too much?

Police have made an arrest related to last week's plate-throwing incident in a Chinatown restaurant. The fight at Pho Xe Lua near Dundas and Spadina was filmed and uploaded to YouTube where it attracted more than 500,000 views. A woman in her 20s received cuts to her face in the incident.

More GTA hydro workers are heading to the States to help with the Hurricane Sandy clean-up effort. Roughly 157 Hydro One workers are in New York and other parts of the east coast to help restore power to areas hardest hit by the storm. More than 1.5 million people are still without electricity in New York and New Jersey.

If you're using the 401 off ramp near Yorkdale Mall this morning you've got some nifty construction work to thank. A portion of bridge was removed and replaced over the weekend using new technology that allowed workers to complete the task in a fraction of the normal time. More projects like this, please.

Finally, CTV News has photos of the TTC's new streetcars being moved on the back of a special flatbed vehicle near the Hillcrest Yards. Surely not long now before we see the longer, more accessible vehicles taking a test spin on the road.

IN BRIEF:

FROM THE WEEKEND:

Photo: "Downtown-Toronto-YTZ" by quistian from the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

28 Comments

steve / November 5, 2012 at 08:16 am
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Nice bitchy editorializing!
Mark Dowling / November 5, 2012 at 08:41 am
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Streetcar 4400 arrived over a month ago.
http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Projects_and_initiatives/New_Streetcars/index.jsp
Mike / November 5, 2012 at 08:44 am
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To be fair to Mayor Ford, those kids wanted the bus. They came up to him at the mall and said "We want a bus." It's called listening to taxpayers.
Salt / November 5, 2012 at 08:45 am
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1) Streetcars just got sexier
2) Are Hydro One workers being paid extra, or is Hydro One, or is this a 'humanitarian aid expense?' Just wondering.
3) 15 bucks for a ride to city centre from an airport is pretty standard if you're taking a dedicated express route.
matts replying to a comment from Mike / November 5, 2012 at 08:47 am
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Atually they asked for a subway. As we all know people want subways, subways!

The sense of entitlement on Ford's part is stunning, though. So is the attitude of police and TTC who now absolved themselves of any say in the matter.
parkdillyo / November 5, 2012 at 08:56 am
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What would Councilor Rob Ford have to say about Mayor Rob Ford's bus request?
Mike replying to a comment from matts / November 5, 2012 at 09:01 am
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That's just it. As wrongly and inanely entitled Ford behaved here, let's not forget to send some of the blame the way of the TTC and police.

It's laughable to watch them try to completely wash their hands of this. It's nice to know that Toronto's transit authority and law enforcement brainlessly do what they're told like a bunch of drones.
Daryl replying to a comment from parkdillyo / November 5, 2012 at 09:15 am
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Came here to say this! Hit the nail on the head.
Gul Jasad replying to a comment from Mike / November 5, 2012 at 09:43 am
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But, don't the common folk already have access to buses for special occasions simply by arranging it with the TTC? I don't care for Rob Ford, but I'll grant him this based on what I've seen done before by other groups and individuals.
Al / November 5, 2012 at 09:50 am
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$15 for the airport link would be pretty cheap. The airport shuttle bus that runs from downtown hotels is $25 and a taxi is $50.
Rob / November 5, 2012 at 09:54 am
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Stop with this horse crap. Electrify the damn rail, add a couple stops, and make it a new western DRL. $3. Like every city with subway access to the airport.
Daryl replying to a comment from Gul Jasad / November 5, 2012 at 09:57 am
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This was an emergency shelter bus, not a chartered commuter vehicle. Big difference.
wow / November 5, 2012 at 10:49 am
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WOW
Blob Ford is clearly a buffoon!

Any of his supporters who still support him clearly do not have a clue.

I have no idea how this idiot is still in office?

He says he made a commitment to his football team as a coach?
How about his much more important commitment to the city of Toronto as Mayor?

Im sorry but a few dozen kids playing football is not as important then running a city of millions.
Skipping meetings to go to a football game where the decisions could impact millions of people in this city is totally unacceptable.

On another note, the new Streetcars looks great! Cannot wait to see these on the road!
mike in parkdale / November 5, 2012 at 11:56 am
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looking back at a column in last week's Now - we thought it was a joke!

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=189506

"Ford slipped out of the presser Monday, October 29, about Hurricane Sandy preparedness without taking questions from the media. On his radio show this week, he suggested he might miss council’s meeting later this month to attend to his high school football coaching hobby. He was only kidding, of course."

except he wasn't kidding.
Jimbob replying to a comment from Salt / November 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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Agreed. It's 12.50 to go from EWR into Manhattan!
realityCheck / November 5, 2012 at 01:00 pm
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I don't like Ford... But it is not entirely clear to me where the accountability lies regarding the diverted buses. While I recognize that many have a natural inclination to just blame Ford, I think it's the TTC and the Police who have some explaining to do.
Picard102 replying to a comment from parkdillyo / November 5, 2012 at 02:04 pm
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Probably nothing as he didn't request the bus, the police/school did.
It's not "gravy" if it's something that I care about. replying to a comment from Mike / November 5, 2012 at 02:04 pm
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Hahaha...Good one!
Picard102 replying to a comment from steve / November 5, 2012 at 02:09 pm
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Indeed, editorializing like this only serves to skew the facts to serve the biases of the publications agenda. People deride fox news all the time for this sort of preferential "journalism", but people seem to forget it happens at both ends of the spectrum.
Derek replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 5, 2012 at 02:36 pm
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Not sure that anybody really "forgets" that. And we encourage this type of snark in what would otherwise be a pretty boring news roundup. If anything, sarcasm and humour are the agenda here.
McRib replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 5, 2012 at 02:38 pm
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this is a blog, not broadcast television.
toothpaste replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 5, 2012 at 03:11 pm
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"Ford called TTC CEO Andy Byford's cell, which he didn't answer"

He *did* request the bus. Although we haven't seen the police report yet, I assume it was Mayor Ford who was pressuring the police officer to follow-up on the missing TTC bus with unnecessary urgency.
jd / November 5, 2012 at 03:12 pm
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I don't really think $15.00 is cheap. Maybe if you're just 1 person. A month ago a friend and I took a taxi and it cost us $40 from downtown and it picked us up right front our place.

I have no idea why 2 or more people would pay to get to union and then pay $15.00 each, when a taxi would be just as easy.

And if you're flying for business reasons, many will not care about the cost of a taxi or private car anyways.

Maybe if I was staying right near union and traveling by myself it would be great.

Miss the days of living in London and taking the tube back and fourth between Heathrow & town.
Nate / November 5, 2012 at 05:36 pm
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"In the mayor's defense, this likely marks the first time he's ever ridden a TTC bus."

This claim is not true. Mayor Ford notably rode the Eglinton west bus back in february...

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1128405--ford-takes-a-midnight-ride-on-the-ttc

Picard102 replying to a comment from toothpaste / November 6, 2012 at 08:51 am
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He only called Byford when the bus the POLICE called was missing and shared the concerns of the POLICE that the bus was missing.
MER1978 replying to a comment from realityCheck / November 6, 2012 at 11:51 am
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"I think it's the TTC and the Police who have some explaining to do."

They definitely do... but it's pretty hard to shift all of the blame onto them... if Ford had nothing to do with the situation and the police that were there made a decision... why was he the one calling the TTC asking about the buses?
MER1978 replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 6, 2012 at 11:53 am
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"He only called Byford when the bus the POLICE called was missing and shared the concerns of the POLICE that the bus was missing."

... and the POLICE didn't make the follow up call because?
Picard102 replying to a comment from MER1978 / November 7, 2012 at 06:51 am
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They did, several times.

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