toronto ttc most efficient north america

Toronto's subway system was just ranked the most efficient in North America

A group of urban transport experts from around the globe has determined in a new ranking that Toronto's public transportation system is, contrary to some people's belief, the best in the continent, at least when it comes to one specific quality.

Yes, those eager to complain about TTC delays and service interruptions, incidents of violence, and overall functionality for commuters read that right: the network has been recognized as one of the world's best, tying with New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority for the top subway system in North America — but, quite notably, only in regards to efficiency.

The news comes from the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS), which is led by Dr. Tae Oum, a professor of transport economics at the University of B.C.'s Sauder School of Business.

A special task force and advisory committee examined how more than 50 systems are "delivering the best outcomes for their cities" based on pre-COVID productivity data, from labour levels and capital costs to growth rates, overall management and other factors, noting those metropolitan areas that are leading the way internationally.

"Efficient subway systems can lead to cost savings for cities, cheaper transit fares, and lower taxes for citizens," reads the brief for the report, which will be released in full at the WCTRS World Conference in Montreal in July.

Researchers emphasize to blogTO that these findings do only focus on this one aspect, which is often overlooked when surveying public transit performance.

"Our task force’s initial year objective is to look at only the operating efficiency and productivity — not on service quality issues or climate change objectives," Dr. Oum says.

"This is because productivity and efficiency issues are totally being left out in evaluating subway and urban rail systems as cities and the world focuses more on other issues."

While social media is ripe with complaints about the TTC on any given day, there are still many who commend the network, and who would agree with WCTRS findings.

Other cities who were found to have extremely efficient subway systems were Shenzhen, China; Kobe, Japan; Gwangju, South Korea; and Hyderabad, India. Madrid, meanwhile, topped the list for all of Europe, while Osaka, Lisbon, and Miami-Dade were found to have the highest productivity improvement rates.

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