Strange bedfellows: with a plan similar to Thomson’s and Ford’s, Rossi turns the subway love-in into a threesome

Strange bedfellows: with a plan similar to Thomson’s and Ford’s, Rossi turns the subway love-in into a threesome

Strange bedfellows: Sarah Thomson, Rocco Rossi and Rob Ford 

It feels like it was just yesterday that Howard Moscoe was whining that none of the mayoral candidates was running as the champion of Transit City. Wait a minute—that was yesterday. But this is almost certainly not what he had in mind: Rocco Rossi is saying we should scrap Transit City and replace it with Transit City Plus—Rossi’s own plan that would put (wait for it) subways all over the city. Haven’t we heard that before, too?

Kelly Grant at the Globe and Mail writes:

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Rossi unveiled his public transit platform, confusingly titled Transit City Plus. The name is a head-scratcher because Mr. Rossi is suggesting scrapping, not expanding, Mayor David Miller’s signature light-rapid transit plan. The former Liberal fundraiser and businessman is in favour of more subway and bus service, a pricey proposition he said he could pay for, in part, by selling Toronto Hydro.

So our earlier crack about Sarah Thomson and Rob Ford being strange bedfellows just got a whole lot weirder. All three are now proclaiming their undying love for subways, making it (ugh) a threesome. Rossi’s claim that Toronto doesn’t need Toronto Hydro is a bit confusing: some cities have sold their local hydro utilities only to see rates go up, and more than a few critics question whether Rossi’s numbers even add up.

More than that, Rossi is coming late with a proposal that makes only a little more sense than Thomson’s original one. To copy Ford and Thomson is one thing, but to copy them while plagiarizing David Miller’s increasingly unlikely legacy project is just bizarre.

So far, the Ford and Rossi campaigns have targeted suburban drivers instead of urban cyclists and pedestrians. Is this their way of telling us they really care about mass transit? Call us when the shovels hit the ground.

• Rossi promises subways, not streetcars, for Toronto [CBC]
• Ford to Rossi: I said it first! [Globe and Mail]
• Sell Toronto Hydro to pay for subways, says Rossi [National Post]

(Images: Thomson by Joey Schwartz, Rossi from Rocco Rossi, Ford from toronto.ca)