Adam Giambrone dazzles us with numbers, but stops short of going for the throat
In a column in this week’s Now, Adam Giambrone vents some frustrations about the TTC’s plans to pile more passengers onto already-crowded buses. The former TTC chair offers the kind of argument against cuts that you’d expect from an expert on the subject, complete with some good, hard figures. We just wish he’d be a little more explicit about who he’s angry with.
Last Friday, the TTC met to consider how to deal with a budget shortfall created by the regular rising costs of fuel prices and electricity as well as parts, and the inevitable arbitrated wage increases.
But to make matters worse, the city has proposed cutting its subsidy to the TTC by $46 million, from $429 to $383, although ridership continues to grow by upwards of 2 to 3 per cent. In total, this leaves an $85 million hole.
The Commission, in turn, voted to cut $20.9 million from service by changing the loading standard from 48 riders a bus (32 seated, 16 standing) to over 60, meaning more crowding on already jam-packed routes.
And that’s not all. Giambrone laments the constant discussion form the “current administration” on “how to dismantle what we’ve built together.” He also argues the province isn’t doing nearly enough to subsidize the TTC, and stresses that all of this could hang in the balance when voters go to the polls on October 6.
All well-argued points, but we still think Giambrone could borrow the advice that Slate’s Jack Shafer gave to Al Gore this past summer: “vilify your enemies by name.” When Giambrone expresses his disappointment in the current administration, why not tell us who, exactly, he’s disappointed in? Is it Rob Ford, Karen Stintz, or that other Ford? Is it all three? Or maybe’s his real beef’s with TTC management? Giambrone also could have gone one step further than merely scaring us about the provincial election and actually endorsed a candidate. Surely he has some idea whether Dalton McGuinty or Andrea Horwath are serious about their funding promises (presumably he’s not hoping for a Conservative win). Giambrone hasn’t shied away from calling people out by name in the past. After all, Now is known for many things, but pulling punches isn’t one of them.