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Adjei

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Toronto has, unfortunately, looked to U.S. cities that (with exceptions) have few relevant lessons to teach.

This is the Canadian mentality..
 

W. K. Lis

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The year that changed was 1995, with the "common sense resolution". That killed the provincial operating subsidy, as well as many capital projects. I lot of money that would have been used on transit improvements, was dropped. Another was the reduction of city subsidies and the "killing" of Transit City projects in 2011. The TTC still hasn't recovered.

The TTC is still the least subsidized urban transit agency in North America. GO Transit is the least subsidized on the commuter train side. To be a leader, both have to be allowed to experiment. However, to experiment means money, which they don't have.
 
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rbt

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The TTC is still the least subsidized urban transit agency in North America. GO Transit is the least subsidized on the commuter train side.

Should clarify that this is subsidies for operations only.

Both TTC and GO have substantial annual capital subsidies. Through some slight of hand both TTC and GO bundle some operating expenses together (normally minor ongoing repairs) into larger capital projects.

Overall subsidy, not including expansion, is probably a more appropriate measure. Of course, this is also much harder information to find.
 

ssiguy2

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It is true that the TTC gets a low rate of subsidy for operations but look at the infrastructure and a different picture emerges.

How many cities on the planet are getting transit lines built for free? If you can find me even one please let me know as it is unheard of. This doesn't even include the massive expenditures on the GO system right now which again Toronto wasn't even asked to contribute one nickel towards.

Miller also set a very bad precedent with his TC. Metrolinx is spending $5 on a non-grade separated Eglinton line.......no doubt a world record. It of course should be a complete Metro which won't cost any more for the tunnelled sections but Miller would have none of it. That would hurt his union support who would be afraid of the system becoming automated so he had to make sure it was not grade separated.

This also can be said for the subways and SRT.......both can be run without drivers or any staff but Toronto refuses to take on the unions. It would cut labour costs dramatically and still wouldn't result in the layoff of one person as many drivers/staff will be retiring soon.

Toronto may not get a high operational subsidy but refuses to reduce operational costs lest it hurt the unions and other cities don't get whole rapid transit systems built without the city having to chip in a dime. When you consider things this way, most cities would give their left nut to be in Toronto's position.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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Don't you think that if the system were getting operational subsidies that it would be able to fund it's own expansion? I mean IIRC the Bloor-Danforth subway was built with little provincial or federal funding.

But since we are playing the conspiracy game...

If the TTC were to receive operational funding and be able to fund expansion on it's own without provincial or federal help, than it would be able to do so without the influence of politicians who buy votes with "I'm bringing a subway here". And they would not be able to show up at groundbreakings or grand openings for photo ops for the "I did this" moment. So operational funding was removed to starve the system and force it to come to up level government for expansion funding where that expansion could be directed by politicians.
 

lead82

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Toronto was never a world leader on transit. It was a false premise. Yes we maybe good for North American standards but Toronto has always lagged behind European cities with similar densities.

Our problem is political. Funding for transit has been colossally wasted on building white elephants to the suburbs. The Spadina line, then Sheppard, then Spadina extension and now Scarborough extension. Meanwhile the urban core which is densifying at an astounding pace has had zero transit improvements in decades.

DRL has been talked about but nothing happens or will happen. The TTC organization is so incompetent at running surface routes that it continues to blame traffic for slow operations while ignoring its own lack of planning and ability to get things done. For example,
1) Reducing the ridiculous amount of stops, especially on the streetcars would help improve volume and speed of operations. The Spadina line and St Clair have their own ROWs but crawl at a glacial pace due to stops every 100m or so plus all the ridiculous mis-timed traffic signals.
2)Demanding ROWs be constructed on all streetcars.
3) Work with the city to demand proper signal priority on all transit routes. Heavy transit routes should not have to wait for left turning cars or be stuck at a minor intersection to allow 1-2 cars to go through.
4)Splitting up or creating new routes downtown to serve growing areas like Liberty village. How hard is it to setup a frequent bus route?
5)Queen and King should have been made transit malls downtown but again the TTC and the city refuse to implement such logical and cheap solutions until the DRL is built sometime in 22nd century.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Toronto was never a world leader on transit. It was a false premise. Yes we maybe good for North American standards but Toronto has always lagged behind European cities with similar densities.

Tend to agree with that - it's all about the North American context, which is a pretty abysmal comparator.

AoD
 

Napoleon

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Toronto was never a world leader on transit. It was a false premise. Yes we maybe good for North American standards but Toronto has always lagged behind European cities with similar densities.

Our problem is political. Funding for transit has been colossally wasted on building white elephants to the suburbs. The Spadina line, then Sheppard, then Spadina extension and now Scarborough extension. Meanwhile the urban core which is densifying at an astounding pace has had zero transit improvements in decades.

DRL has been talked about but nothing happens or will happen. The TTC organization is so incompetent at running surface routes that it continues to blame traffic for slow operations while ignoring its own lack of planning and ability to get things done. For example,
1) Reducing the ridiculous amount of stops, especially on the streetcars would help improve volume and speed of operations. The Spadina line and St Clair have their own ROWs but crawl at a glacial pace due to stops every 100m or so plus all the ridiculous mis-timed traffic signals.
2)Demanding ROWs be constructed on all streetcars.
3) Work with the city to demand proper signal priority on all transit routes. Heavy transit routes should not have to wait for left turning cars or be stuck at a minor intersection to allow 1-2 cars to go through.
4)Splitting up or creating new routes downtown to serve growing areas like Liberty village. How hard is it to setup a frequent bus route?
5)Queen and King should have been made transit malls downtown but again the TTC and the city refuse to implement such logical and cheap solutions until the DRL is built sometime in 22nd century.
Very much agreed. Those who think Toronto is anywhere near a world leader probably don't have a passport.

I will say there's very good coverage of the city, so that almost everyone is well-connected to some transit. In terms of improving transit, the problem is very much a lack of vision and incrementalism. This list really resonates with me, as the Spadina line is very much an example of simply terrible transit performance. They went to all the effort to construct a ROW, but the streetcars don't move any faster than the lines that run in mixed traffic. In addition to multiple stops that are barely more than 100 meters apart, almost every intersection (of the very many intersections) has a protected left turn phase that gets priority over the streetcar. You then add in the crazy bunching that occurs on this route. The end result is that it might take you 10-15 minutes to get a streetcar that then takes 20 minutes to get from Harbord to Queen's Quay, which is not reasonable transit performance by any stretch.
 

kEiThZ

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Global leader?? Where do people get this stuff? North American leader at best (if you discount New York). I'd argue that a huge part of why we have under-investment in Toronto and a general lackdasical attitude about transit with our public, is because of attitudes like this. Many don't realize how bad Toronto is (on the transit front) and how much it's falled behind. Worse, because of that old canard about Toronto being "New York run by the Swiss", a lot of people think Toronto had some kind of serious lead back then.

But, being an immigrant, I also see it as a Canadian mentality overall. Canadians seem to have a rather inflated opinion of themselves (as opposed to reality of the fact that we are a small population on the global stage and losing relative importance every year). Torontonians are the epitome of this projection, being big fish in a small pond.
 
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dowlingm

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I follow some Londoners (or more to the point people who live outside London and commute because of cost of living problems) on twitter. It ain't no bed of roses. Things changed after Livingstone was elected, and changed in different ways after Boris was. Who knows what viewpoint the next mayor will bring.

He mentions Germany but in the last few weeks we've seen Uber chased out of German cities while continuing to gain ground in Toronto with no serious reverse in sight: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/03/new-...ed-expansion-strategy-fizzles-in-germany.html - some issues are cultural.

Also "When new lines in Hong Kong slipped behind schedule, top managers were sacked; in Toronto, they say “sorry” and carry on." Um... https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/tr...-of-over-budget-spadina-subway-extension.html

"When asked if it would consider introducing zone fares, a TTC spokesman responded this would be “unfair” to people making longer trips. Aren’t high flat fares equally “unfair” to people making short, off-peak trips?" Well, buddy, why not look at who is making 1hr+ trips on transit, in the main, and who is making short trips expressed demographically by income stratum. We'll wait.

And of course the Toronto Star says "sure - we'll print that". One wonders how such pieces get placed in the first place.
 

LNahid2000

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"When asked if it would consider introducing zone fares, a TTC spokesman responded this would be “unfair” to people making longer trips. Aren’t high flat fares equally “unfair” to people making short, off-peak trips?" Well, buddy, why not look at who is making 1hr+ trips on transit, in the main, and who is making short trips expressed demographically by income stratum. We'll wait.
The solution for this is to have a low income pass as they do in many other jurisdictions, rather than just sticking with the status quo. I remember reading that the TTC will be doing this in a few years. If we had a low income pass introduced at the same time as distance based fares, then the income argument wouldn't work anymore. There are many well off people from Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, etc. paying $2.90 to get from the ends of subway lines when they should be paying more.
 

dowlingm

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The solution for this is to have a low income pass as they do in many other jurisdictions, rather than just sticking with the status quo. I remember reading that the TTC will be doing this in a few years. If we had a low income pass introduced at the same time as distance based fares, then the income argument wouldn't work anymore. There are many well off people from Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, etc. paying $2.90 to get from the ends of subway lines when they should be paying more.
There is no "plan to do this in a few years", just TTCRiders mewling about it. In any event, you can't make rich people pay full freight for everything. It sounds great for the occupy people but it drives people with even moderate incomes away from being stakeholders in having a good transit system, and into the arms of Uber. After all, if someone's paying less, someone else will pay more and it won't be the Province.
 

Adjei

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Global leader?? Where do people get this stuff? North American leader at best (if you discount New York). I'd argue that a huge part of why we have under-investment in Toronto and a general lackdasical attitude about transit with our public, is because of attitudes like this. Many don't realize how bad Toronto is (on the transit front) and how much it's falled behind. Worse, because of that old canard about Toronto being "New York run by the Swiss", a lot of people think Toronto had some kind of serious lead back then.

But, being an immigrant, I also see it as a Canadian mentality overall. Canadians seem to have a rather inflated opinion of themselves (as opposed to reality of the fact that we are a small population on the global stage and losing relative importance every year). Torontonians are the epitome of this projection, being big fish in a small pond.

I think this is due to the fact that Canadians see the world ending at the US. To Canadians the US is the benchmark for everything and once we are equal or better than the US, then it means we've made it. You see it in every aspect of Canadian life. From health care, to crime, to transit. Take transit for example, North America is mediocre for transit. Even New York which is the best example from here to places with similar populations like London or Tokyo for example, and it doesn't look good for New York. We need to look beyond the US and start comparing ourselves to other places which puts our transit to shame. The US is not the be all end all for everything.
 

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