Queen's Park TTC

Morning Brew: TTC looks to increase service, measuring Rob Ford's work ethic, GTA residents want a tunnel, BIXI's uncertain financial prospects, heat alert issued

Happy Monday. Before we get to the requisite Rob Ford-related stories, there could be some good news for TTC passengers on the horizon. The Commission is looking to increase service on 79 routes — a move that would be funded by an expected $9 million in increased revenue from the fare box in 2012. If approved, the service upgrade would be rolled out in "a few months" according to TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

So what is Rob Ford up to? Well, according to the Toronto Star's interpretation of his itinerary, not much — or at least not as much as before. The mayor, on the other hand, claims that his official schedule (which the paper obtains via freedom of information requests), doesn't tell the whole story and that his oft-cited hands on work with constituents occupies much of his time. This seems like one of those scenarios in which both sides have a claim to the truth.

One thing's for sure, though: the Cut the Waist Challenge is officially dead. From a political standpoint it was a dumb idea in the first place — losing weight is kind of difficult, you know — but I doubt it'll hurt the mayor's reelection effort in the long run. And, hey, at least we don't have to talk about it anymore.

More talk of burying the Gardiner Expressway today, as an Environics poll shows that a majority of respondents would support the idea of building a tunnel from the Humber River to the DVP to help ease congestion (and presumably to ensure that no one gets hit by falling chunks of concrete from the old elevated highway). Even if there's a willingness to fund such a project with tolls, does anyone actually think it'll happen?

The National Post takes an extended look at the financial problems that have faced BIXI bike-sharing over the last few years. Despite the economic uncertainty facing the Montreal-based company, programs have been popular pretty much wherever they've been rolled out — so a key question is whether or not BIXI should be conceived as a money-making venture or as a public service.

Time to get sticky! The City of Toronto has declared a heat alert. Follow the link if you're interested in common sense tips on how to stay cool (e.g. never leave seniors, children or pets unattended in a car!).

Perhaps not the most locally oriented news item, but Ryder Hesjedal's win of the Giro D'Italia on Sunday was the first time a Canadian cyclist has managed such a feat at a grand tour (Steve Bauer once came fourth at the Tour de France), so it's really quite a big deal. And, lest we forget, there is a Toronto connection.

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Photo by Lychee_Aloe in the blogTO Flickr pool


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