Death of Transit City leads to surprisingly widespread grieving

Death of Transit City leads to surprisingly widespread grieving

Transit City may not be dead, just rebranded (Image: Diego Torres Silvestre) 

We already knew that the allies of former mayor David Miller were angry over the announced death of Transit City and getting ready for a fight to resuscitate it. But what about the people Transit City was supposed to serve? There are a whole bunch of communities across the city that would have been served by LRTs and are now basically going to get nothing new. The Globe and Mail has a good piece dealing with the communities who’ve been abandoned by Rob Ford’s Transportation City Plan:

But Steve Diamond, like anyone eyeing Toronto’s volatile real-estate market, also likes to know what he’s getting into.

“The private sector, in order to make some investments, needs some certainty,” he said. “If we are going to go with a subway system, then we need to know what that entails. If we’re going to go with a light-rail transit system, we need to know that’s certain. And if it’s going to be a combination of the two systems, we need to know that, as well.”

“The uncertainty does put the city at risk,” Mr. Diamond said. “And what we can’t go through is four years where there’s no improvements to the city’s infrastructure in terms of transportation. That would be a disaster.”

The article quotes Karen Stintz as saying that the plans coming from the TTC in January will simply be “tweaks” and that she expects it to all go to a vote before council—two things that both seem to be contradicted by the mayor, at least last week. It’s becoming harder to escape the sneaking suspicion that this may be no more than a rebranding exercise so that Mayor Ford can claim responsibility for Miller’s work.

Meanwhile, in grieving farther afield, the mayor of Thunder Bay also has an opinion on whether the fate of Transit City should go before Toronto City Council or not—because, of course, the LRTs that were going to service Transit City are made in a Bombardier plant in the Northwestern Ontario city. Keith Hobbs and councillors in Thunder Bay are worried that a Transit City cancellation could be devastating, but we can’t stop the gravy without stopping the (light) trains, apparently.

The cost of putting the brakes on Transit City [Globe and Mail]
• Let’s get on track [The Chronicle Journal]