The TTC
“What Paris has done right is to make it awful to get around by car and awfully easy to get around by public transportation or by bike.”
—Serge Schmemann


If biking was really popular, these racks for two bicycles would be inadequate.

The TTC infrastructure is deteriorating and there are no new subway lines being built. We can't count the Scarborough extension, a very modest effort. Many of us will be dead before the Sheppard, Finch or Downtown Relief lines come into service in 2030—at the earliest.

The extension of the University-Spadina line up to Vaughan, when completed at the end of 2017, will make that half of Line 1 as congested as the Yonge Street half. The promised light rail lines (LRT)—if they're built—won't be ready for years.

TTC service is slipping
The TTC motto was "The Red Rocket" then "The Better Way" but now it is turning into "The Loser Cruiser". The TTC public address system apologizes more often than tour Late Mayor Rob Ford.

The existing subway lines are the pits. The subways have constant delays due to personal emergencies, mechanical delays and signal problems.

The Yonge Street subway is so packed during the morning rush hour that a few riders, who start their journey at the Sheppard station, go north two stops to the Finch terminal station so they can get a seat on the southbound trains. It costs them only an extra 15-20 minutes to be guaranteed a seat for the 40 minute ride downtown.

Just wait for the young professionals, who are buying the downtown condos and giving up cars, get jammed in a subway train right up close with one of Toronto's homeless that—at a distance of five metres—stink like a provincial park outhouse. Subway passengers have to put up with beggars, crazies and baby strollers that are as wide as Hummers.

That will be a part of "inclusive city living" that the middle-class will not be so willing to embrace.

The streetcars can be just as bad. Long waits and short turns are a curse and so are over-crowded streetcars and buses.

A telling letter
What do our politicians think of people who rely on transit? Read this from our Mayor John Tory.


Blue Light Network
Every time they prepare a budget, the TTC considers eliminating the Blue Light Network, the 24 hour service on the two street cars routes and 22 bus routes that remain. This will hurt shift workers who work irregular hours.

Flop houses on wheels
The high-density condo skyscrapers that provide far too few parking spots, depend on people who are willing to trade cars for bicycles, Uber and transit. For this to work the TTC network has to be reliable, convenient and comfortable.

However, the social tinkerers may make it worse. Josh Colle, a city councillor and TTC commissioner, wants the TTC to allow everyone to ride the Blue Light Network for free whenever the city announces a Cold Alert.

The idea is that Toronto's homeless can get a free ride to a homeless shelter where they will have a warm place to spend the night. (That was nine nights in the winter of 2012-2013 and 22 nights in 2013-2014.)

There are a couple of flaws in this theory. First of all, many homeless do not want to go to a shelter. They want to be warm and safe. The TTC subways, buses and streetcars are both. So once they got on, why should they get off?



Secondly, there are presently few homeless sleeping on the late night buses and streetcars. If this scheme is adopted, we could have hundreds.

Buying a condo without parking?
If future condo buyers give up on the TTC and want to commute by car, those who own condo units that don't include parking may have trouble selling without taking a big loss.

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