Tag Archives: Public Transit

Let’s talk about transit at cross-roads again in Toronto


T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway ...

Transit is now on the radar. Everyone is talking about it. Yes, talking! Will we fund transit? How much will it cost? Will it really ever get done? I sense that there are a lot of skeptics; weary of trusting such a bold plan in the hands of politicians. Let’s be honest, we have been here before. We all remember the expansion plan that was pretty much killed by the Mike Harris and the Ontario PC Party. The common sense revolution took hold and since we didn’t have the money it was put on hold. So we got a third of a Sheppard line. However the PC party was not the only government to play with transit. We could have had an entire streetcar / LRT network in Scarborough. Instead we got the RT. What citizens are tired of is talking and fighting over transit. We need action, along with a long-term plan. Provincial and Municipal elections are coming soon. We finally have shovels in the ground. Question is will we fill up the sandbox again just so our grandchildren can continue to talk about it?

By: @iammannyj

Enjoy the rain, love the mud, who needs bus shelters in North Ajax anyway?


Well another year has gone by and the residents if North Ajax continue to enjoy the great outdoors. It amazes me that we want residents to take transit, yet don’t spend any money to encourage it. At least in Toronto there are proper shelters and some planning. With the taxes that are paid by North Ajax residents you would think they would be afforded the courtesy of a shelter and at least a bit of pavement to stand on. It actually fascinates me to see riders standing in a residents driveway, in the street or almost in a ditch on Westney and Tauton Rd. But let’s face it, urban sprawl has caused this, right? We cannot blame city planners. They assumed that we would just continue driving our cars and enjoy our large homes. Who needs the basics anyway? So as gas continues to rise and costs go up, be encouraged. You will continue to be taxed and enjoy the outdoor elements. So yes, while your waiting for that bus, in the rain, in your fancy new dress. When that car drives by and nearly takes you out. Or better yet on that wonderfully paved mud platform, enjoy. Smell the exhaust, and at least your not back in Toronto, right?

The “One City” 30-year plan possibly 20-years too late?


English: "Transit City" billboard pr...

English: “Transit City” billboard promoting proposed LRT expansion in Toronto by the TTC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford says “No”, and Karen says “Yes”! Most Torontonians know we need subways and better transit. We need a proper transit system in Toronto and transit is a smart investment. I was amazed to see how bad transit is in Toronto, when I attempted to make a simple trip on the roads the other day. To travel on Eglinton, from Wynford to Warden, took approximately 20-30 minutes, and I thought I was taking a short-cut. On another day I got off the 401 and got stuck on York Mills. I could not believe how many cars were on the road.  I understand why people are stressed. Drivers are upset in traffic, it makes sense. Trips that should take 10-15 minutes are now taking 45 minutes to an hour. There is not even a proper strategy for bicyclist downtown.

So what to do now? Well we have ‘another’ new 30-year transit plan. I have some news for our politicians, and I will keep it simple. We don’t have 30-years! I think we actually only have 10 years, max 15. We need shovels in the ground now and some out of the box ideas.

1. GO Transit has lines and tracks crossing through the city. Keep it simple! We need trains running on these lines in minimum 20-30 minute intervals; both ways, not in one direction downtown. Let’s utilize some of the infrastructure that exists and make it better.

2. Open up David Millers original Transit City plan and do more. Lets enhance that plan and fix what needs to be fixed. Get it done! No more long-term plans. Let’s get the maximum value out of the plans we have.

3. Let’s get a downtown “No Frills” relief line for Toronto. It does not have to be fancy. There are under-utilized CP/CN lines in the city. Put something on them and get people moving! In Ottawa they created a line on a single track, with track switching on certain portions of the line. It was not fancy, but they got it done.

4. Where are the BRT‘s and bike networks? Lets use our hydro corridors for BRT’s and a proper bike network.

5. Let’s get inventive and use Lake Ontario to move people to downtown Toronto, between Oshawa, Bowmanville, Hamilton and more.

6. Possibly re-visit Leslie as a relief to the Don Valley Parkway, maybe even using it for transit. We don’t need a massive change, but when we get to Eglinton somehow connect the road to the Bayview extension via a tunnel or via the valley in a creative fashion.

7. Merge transit across the city and lets get Presto implemented everywhere! Should Metrolinx be in charge of the entire transit system across the G.T.A?

We have to stop saying Torontonians, and G.T.A residents, cannot afford new taxes. I don’t like them either, but I don’t like to see people idling their cars. I don’t like stress. It’s pointless, if we know the solution to a better and healthier city. We do not need fancy, we just need to move! We know something must be done, so let’s get it done now; not 30 years down the road. It’s nice to have a plan, but we have had too many since the Liberal Peterson Government. We need transit in 10-15 years, not 30.

Link

Different modes of transit in Greater Toronto – removing political spin and disinformation


Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sci...

Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sciences LRT Station, Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Explaining different modes of transit in the G.T.A; removing political spin and disinformation

Found a great article on transit through “What happens to public opinion when LRT is explained”. It is a great piece, which is quite informative. Take some time to read the article. Cherise Burda takes to time to explain the differences between subways, light rail, GO Trains, rapid bus and right-of-way streetcar modes of transit.

Link

New construction timeline for Transit City


Overview of Anonas LRT Station

Overview of Anonas LRT Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New construction timeline for Transit City

Despite 16 months of flailing on the transit file, all four of Toronto’s new provincially funded light rail lines will open within the original timeframe of 2020.

Only the hotly contested Sheppard LRT will be completed much later than it would have been before Mayor Rob Ford came to office and stalled all plans for street-level transit expansion.

Now, instead of the Sheppard LRT opening in 2014 as originally scheduled, work will only begin that year. The Finch LRT is scheduled to break ground in 2015. Both projects are expected to take about four years to complete.

Link

Keep it simple stupid Air Rail link options dead on arrival


Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline (Photo credit: Bobolink)

Keep it simple stupid Air Rail Link options dead on arrival

It was actually a novel idea and it was nice to see a unity at City Hall. They may have been a bit far reaching, however it would have been nice to see connections at Eglinton and maybe St. Clair. However this was “dead on arrival”. As indicated on NewsTalk1010 this morning, the Government said “what part of express rapid air link to you not understand”.  Well I guess council got it’s answer? In some sense it was nice to see a decision actually made by Metrolinx. It would have been nice for them to offer an opinion and some decisions in regards to Transit City.

On Wednesday council will consider a motion put forward by Councillor Frances Nunziata – a close ally of Rob Ford – that calls for a major revamp of the Air Rail Link planned to run between Pearson Airport and Union Station by 2015.  

Read More

Link

So who really runs the city of Toronto?


So who really runs the city of Toronto?

Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, greeting a nun at ...

It’s interesting times in the city of Toronto. Mayor Mel Lastman had his issues, however we did not seem to have this endless deadlock. The former flamboyant Mayor definitely had his detractors, but we still got things done. Unfortunately Mayor Ford tried to do whatever he wanted and it has not worked out as planned. He had to work with council and it was not good enough to say that he has the support of Toronto citizens. It was all about the approach, in my opinion and unfortunately he has spent a large portion of his his political capital.  Rob Ford is a great person and has done a lot for the city. There is another side to Rob Ford, which is often not talked about. He has done a lot for the community, and continues to do so even as the Mayor. Mayor Ford has helped to control city spending; helping to promote the fact that council must respect the dollar. He has also been a great defender or the suburban areas of Scarborough and Etobicoke. So where does he go from here? I hope he continues to stay in politics, as it’s always good to have a good balance on council. It’s always good to hear opinions on both sides of the spectrum.

Stuck between a rock and a tunnel?


Well its come down to the wire and a final vote on the future of transit in the city. Will we go with an LRT module for Sheppard, leaving an unfinished subway at Don Mills? Or will we go all in and spend all of our capital on one project? In the end the choice should be yours, however its not. Its unfortunate that such an important decision will be decided by a group of politicians that cannot seem to get anything done on transit. What will the long-term legecy be for the people of Scarborough? A subway, an LRT or 20 more years of talking?

The Game of Thrones and Transit in Toronto


LRT or Subways? This has been the ongoing debate, unfortunately the lines between truth are certainly grey. Let’s start with the Eglinton Cross-town, which definitely the current hot potato. Rob Ford has continued to use the word “subways”, which implies that we are going to get the same type of transportation that we see on the Bloor-Danforth or Yonge line. This is far from the truth, and I wish that he was clear with Torontonians. They are not “subway” trains, but Light-Rail vehicles (or trams). These are not streetcars, like the current variety, but politics have polarized the issue to make it seem so. I think that the original Transit City plan was a novel idea. Think about it, the Cross-town line would be underground from Jane to Leslie. It would then be above ground and then replace the current Scarborough RT, which is already on a dedicated track. A large part of the line would be on its own unobstructed line. Now maybe we can investigate changes on Eglinton, in Scarbouough, but it wasn’t a bad idea. Then we have Sheppard! You know what I feel and I also would like to see it finished, but we don’t have the money. In my opinion, we could take some of the funds, along with the other revenue sources, and simply go to Victoria Park for now. It’s again, unfortunate that the issue is clouded. I suspect that we may continue arguing over the merits for the next 2-3 years, or until the next election. What we have is a game of thrones and who will sit on it. Rob Ford or Karen Stintz. We have been talking about transit for over 25 years. Tell the truth and let’s get something done!

Why transit is important in Toronto


I thought I would finish the night by giving you a link to a site that details the positives of light-rail. It is unfortunate that the government has decided to put an end to a visionary plan to get transit rolling in the city of Toronto. Like the former Harris government, the governing Liberals has killed plans to the Transit City project. Why so glum? Because like their predecessors and others examples in history, will they come back and really fund transit again? They have planned and planned again, to no avail. Then they wonder, in terms of planning, why people get frustrated. How are we to trust government again? Some things are worth investing in, and public transit is one of them. Unfortunately, I can easily see, like plans in the past; it will never see the light of day again. Sure, they will fund Sheppard and what is needed for the 2015 Pan Am Games, but it will not be as ambitious. For more on LRT and light-rail, read the Toronto LRT blog.

By Mannee Jay (The G.T.A Patriot)

Toronto Mayoral candidate Rossi plans on stopping all TTC Light-Rail (Transit City) Expansion


TTC LRT

New Light-Rail for Toronto

Have we learned nothing from history and the reasons why there is a lack of good public transit options in the city of Toronto? What about jobs for the people of Thunder Bay? Again, with another knee-jerk reaction we may loose all we wanted in the city of Toronto and public transit by electing Rossi. Remember, if this is the attitude we took in the past, we would never have had the full Bloor-Danforth line, Spadina extension or top-end of the Yonge line (even our network of Streetcars that make the city). In other words, if you think transportation is bad now, what do you think it would be like in the future?

Read more below

————————————————————————————

Rocco RossiToronto mayoral candidate pledges to make waves at city hall by banning bike lanes on major arteries and possibly quashing light-rail plan.

When Rocco Rossi vowed to banish bike lanes from major streets, the suit-and-tie crowd at the Empire Club event erupted into its most enthusiastic applause yet for the first real speech of the 2010 mayor’s race.

The line demonstrated that Mr. Rossi knows whom he’s after: right-leaning suburban voters fed up with David Miller’s city hall.

Mr. Rossi is promising to halt all but one of the city’s planned light-rail lines until he can review the project’s finances; to replace the Toronto Transit Commission’s board of councillors with private-sector experts; to create a region-wide economic development corporation; to sell assets, including Toronto Hydro; and to outsource city work in a bid to decrease the power of unions.

“Make no mistake, last summer’s city workers strike showed just how weak the city has become in the face of its major unions and how utterly without a plan we are to correct this imbalance,” the former Liberal fundraiser and businessman told a packed room at the Royal York hotel. “As mayor I will bring us back into balance by pursuing outsourcing and managed competition for certain city services.”

Mr. Rossi’s speech was unusual for making concrete commitments early in the marathon campaign, leaving his competitors 10 months to savage his proposals. They didn’t waste time.

“I’m glad to see he’s throwing out 1,000 ideas and seeing what sticks,” scoffed Joe Pantalone, the deputy mayor who is running to replace his boss. “But this is not a carnival we’re talking about here. This is a city that’s complicated.”

Mr. Rossi drew the most fire for suggesting he might halt the Transit City plan, even temporarily.

In his speech, Mr. Rossi lamented the delays and cost overruns that plagued the construction of a streetcar right-of-way on St. Clair West, but it wasn’t until afterward that he expressed his concerns about Toronto’s plan to lay 120 kilometres of light rail on dedicated lanes.

“I think there’s some real problems that have been shown by what’s happened at St. Clair and I think we’d be foolish not to have a deep and long look at that,” he told reporters.

Asked whether that constituted a moratorium, he replied: “On anything that we can stop right now, yes.” Only one Transit City line, Sheppard East, has broken ground so far.

“Mr. Rossi’s suggestion that he would freeze all new transit projects until he has reviewed the city budget would not only put countless constructions jobs at risk, it reflects a troubling lack of understanding of the city’s finances,” a senior member of George Smitherman’s campaign said. “These projects are funded almost entirely by the province, sometimes with federal help.” Mr. Smitherman, the former deputy premier, is the race’s early front-runner.

The centre-right voters Mr. Rossi is hoping to attract likely would have voted for former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

But Mr. Rossi will have to run a campaign vastly different from Mr. Smitherman’s if he hopes to make the leap from virtual unknown to mayor. For now, he’s casting his lack of elected experience as an advantage.

“It’s been over a hundred years since we elected a mayor who wasn’t already in elected politics,” he told the crowd. “Maybe, just maybe, that’s part of the problem.”

More

Others

Jack Layton is the ideal opposition leader


You can’t do your job as Leader of the Opposition. I don’t know what you’re doing running for Prime Minister. It’s a very unusual political situation when every voter knows even before the federal election that Canada’s next prime minister will be Stephen Harper. Like or loathe it, the Conservatives will be returned to power on October 14.

But two other important questions are far from decided – who will be Opposition leader and whether it will be a minority or majority government.

After last week’s debate and two years of Harper government one thing is very clear – the only real federal opposition in the House of Commons is the New Democratic Party. And the only real choice for Opposition leader is Jack Layton.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion is a smart, decent man. But Dion and the Liberals don’t stand up to Stephen Harper – they prop him up.

On 43 separate occasions in Parliament, Dion’s Liberals voted to keep Harper in power and accept his very conservative legislation.

By continually abstaining, the “Official Opposition” has abdicated its important role of serving the majority of Canadians who reject Conservative ideology.

But it wasn’t just fear of losing an election that led to the Liberals becoming Conservative Lite – they actually agree with Harper’s wrong-headed positions on many key political issues.

Dion and the Liberals support Harper’s massive $50 billion corporate tax cuts that reward companies which have eliminated more than 400,000 manufacturing and forest industry jobs since 2000.

And the Liberals and Conservatives want huge tax cuts despite the fact that Canada’s tax rates are already lower than many industrialized nations, including the United States, Germany, Italy and Japan.
And Canada also has a much lower Goods and Services Tax than most countries.

Dion and the Liberals joined with Conservatives to vote to extend till 2011 the deadly mission that sent brave Canadian troops into a hopeless situation in Afghanistan.

Dion and the Liberals say they want a “Green Shift” and carbon tax to protect the environment but oppose a proposed NDP moratorium on new Alberta tar sands oil projects – Canada’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

read more | digg story