Can the Internet do a better job of managing Toronto’s transit system?
We know how much Rob Ford loves outsourcing. But how does he feel about crowd-sourcing? Given the recent confusion over the basic facts concerning Toronto’s transit system—for example, who’s paying for it and how much—we thought we’d scour the Interwebs for some enterprising local bloggers with new ideas on how to help the TTC make a little more financial sense. We highlight two such ideas after the jump.
Transit activist and blogger Steve Munro shares his thoughts on the money side of the equation:
Council is already on record asking for better operating subsidies, and I would ask for a 50% Provincial contribution including a mechanism to index this to inflation and to system growth.
Fares must rise too, and there’s no point in soaking up new subsidies with fare freezes. Just as Toronto creates headaches for itself with tax freezes and foregone revenue, the TTC is hurt by the absence of small, regular fare increases to cover, at least in part, its increasing costs. Otherwise, we will have this whole debate again in four years.
There’s also the pragmatic political point that asking the province for more money is usually easier when the city can demonstrate that it can also raise its own funds, so fare increases and bigger provincial subsidies go together quite naturally.
Over at Spacing Toronto, publisher Matthew Blackett suggests that the Sheppard line does need an extension—only heading west to Downsview. If possible, we’d also like to look at building another station on the other side of Downsview (at Keele and Sheppard), so that people on the other side of the airstrip have access as well. But either way, connecting the two northern branches at Sheppard makes a ton of sense, if only to take the pressure off the Yonge line at rush hour (commuters could take the YUS line south, instead of Yonge). Of course, it will still be a money-loser if the city can’t find some way to get a lot more people living and working along Sheppard—but that’s true no matter what gets built.