VIDEO: the TTC’s 2014 April Fools’ Day prank is like something out of Rob Ford’s dreams
Here’s the essential paradox of Toronto public transit: almost every politician agrees that TTC service is inadequate, but practically none of them are willing to entertain specific ways of paying for better service. Now, the TTC is proposing a radical solution: sell off some of the less-busy subway platforms to developers, so they can be converted into things like luxury underground condos. This is a town that loves its hard lofts, and there’s nothing harder than a subterranean unit a couple feet away from some subway tracks. Ka-ching.
TTC communications director Brad Ross and customer service officer Chris Upfold describe the whole proposal with convincing nonchalance in the video above. Except, of course, this is an April Fools’ Day prank meant to poke fun at people who insist that the TTC’s funding gap can be bridged with private-sector money. Rob Ford isn’t specifically named, but it’s worth remembering that he won the 2010 election with a promise to raise “at least one billion dollars” by selling development rights along a new Sheppard Avenue subway extension. Neither the subway extension nor the billion dollars ever materialized. The notion of using public money—in the form of new taxes and fees—to pay for transit expansion remains controversial.
This is the second year in a row that the Ross/Upfold comedy duo has released an April Fools’ Day video. Here’s the one they put out last year: