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Buses cannot hold an infinite number of people—neither can streetcars or subways (even the Sheppard one)

All the talk of increased wait times and more crowded vehicles isn’t deterring Torontonians from riding the TTC—at least for now. Municipal blogger Steve Munro writes the TTC is on track for just short of half a billion rides in 2011, with overall ridership up 5.1 per cent from 2010. So why not cut a bunch of stuff? For one, those riders generate revenue for the TTC, and there’s a critical mass at which no more money can be saved by packing more people into the same vehicles (this isn’t Harry Potter, folks—the things eventually fill up). And although Rob Fords approach to government is based on straightforward don’t-spend-more-than-you-make fiscal conservatism, the issues afflicting the TTC aren’t quite so simple. In fact, Munro notes, it’s pretty much impossible to determine an individual rider’s financial impact on the system. There are short rides, long rides, people who transfer, people who don’t and those jerks who hop the turnstile (okay, Munro doesn’t mention them). The gist: maintaining adequate service on public transit is far more complex than the folks at city hall might have you believe. Read the entire article [Steve Munro] »

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