It pains me to see what has happened in Toronto. In the previous municipal government, there was the Transit City plan, which would have spread light rail across the city proper. There would have been 8 light rail lines, running on surface, that would have covered most of Toronto.
Now with the new Rob Ford administration in charge of Toronto, the light rail plans have been shelved for fewer lines with a higher cost per line. Just read some of the comments from Royson James article in The Toronto Star.
James points out some of the glaring deficiencies of the new transit plans:
They are pursing a subway along Sheppard — only because the new mayor has ordered them to; and they’ve relented, despite the better judgment and wishes of transit staff. Meanwhile, a fully-funded light rail line along Sheppard has been shelved.
The lone transit project running through the city’s poor northwest region along Finch Ave., through priority neighbourhoods Branson, Jane-Finch and Rexdale, has been mothballed to pay for the Sheppard subway dream and the expanded and more expensive vision on Eglinton.
David Gunn, a former TTC boss, says the following:
Stations on the Spadina line extension are unnecessarily expensive, he says. Metrolinx’s plan for a the Eglinton light rail subway is “crazy” and “insane” as it uses a different track gauge than the rest of the TTC, and uses a car that is twice as costly as a subway but with less capacity.
Then there’s the Presto debit card issue:
Transit users don’t know what to believe on basic transit matters. A year ago, the former regime was hell bent on avoiding the province’s Presto debit card fare payment system rolled out with other transit bodies across the GTA. Now, the Ford backers are in bed with Presto. Was former chair Adam Giambrone correct in his claims Presto was not flexible enough and will doom the TTC to a technology other transit bodies are moving away from? The customer does not know whom to trust.
Oh Toronto. How I feel for your transit woes.