Furious George on Adam Giambrone: “We should be glad he will soon be out of our hair”

Furious George on Adam Giambrone: “We should be glad he will soon be out of our hair”

Bald mayoral candidate George Smitherman (right) would like former mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone (left) out of his hair 

Furious George has managed to keep his cool in public of late—perhaps his epic stroll across the city is part of his new Zen temperament—but get him talking about a new payment system for the TTC and his Incredible Hulk reflexes start to show. The TTC is moving to introduce an open payment system that would allow transit users to pay their fare through a simple wave of their credit or debit card. Commissioner Adam Giambrone hopes to have a contract signed as early as this fall. The problem: George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi oppose the open payment system because of the fees it would charge to users (to say nothing of the prospect of having to deal with an unpopular initiative as soon as they walk in the door of the mayor’s office).

Smitherman in particular did not mince words and took a direct hit at his former mayoral opponent. “Mr. Giambrone has been a barrier to the modernization of Toronto’s transit system, and we should be glad he will soon be out of our hair,” he said in a report by the Star.

Smitherman and Rossi—who, notably, have no hair from which to remove TTC commissioners—would prefer to focus on partnering with the province and developing the Presto card that is now being implemented in the 905 region, Hamilton and Ottawa, rather than developing a whole new system. Giambrone says the TTC would still offer a Presto card system to accommodate those who don’t want to or can’t pay with their credit or debit cards (say, children). But Giambrone might find it easier to run for mayor again than to sell Smitherman on this idea.

TTC riders might lose battle of the smart cards [Toronto Star]
TTC moving ahead with wave-of-the-card payment [Toronto Star]

(Images: Giambrone, Tsar Kasim; Smitherman, Shaun Merritt)