Tag Archives: Rob Ford

National Public Transit: Tackling Public Transit, With or Without Mayor Rob Ford

TorontoistKeeping up with our mandate to bring you the news,media or opinions on public transit we were fortunate enough to have been introduced to the Torontoist. The Torontoist has become the largest, most influential, and most widely-read website of its kind in Canada. Below is an article by Daren Foster….of whom I personally will be following closely.

At the first Feeling Congested panel, even some of the mayor’s allies seemed to agree that the City may need to tax and toll its way to better transit.

It struck me, sitting in the audience for the first panel discussion related to the City’s Feeling Congested public-transit campaign on Monday night, that any similar event in the future needs to leave an empty spot on the panel—sort of like when people leave an empty seat for Elijah at a Passover seder, except this empty seat would be for Mayor Rob Ford. The door is always open to him, an invitation extended. But if the short tradition of this transit discussion holds, he will never make an appearance.

Or rather, he will be there in spirit.

The mayor’s presence hung heavily and awkwardly over every question asked and every answer given on Monday. Metrolinx’s Big Move needs leadership, someone to champion it as a vital step towards dealing with the congestion that’s disrupting the entire GTA’s economic and social well-being. To have the mayor of the biggest municipality in the region fundamentally disagreeing with the idea of new revenue tools and obstinately absenting himself from the debate establishes a significant obstacle—a major road block, if you will. It’s the exact opposite of leadership. It’s a hindrance.

Read more by Daren Foster at our friends the Torontoist

 

 

A better way to build public transit? Start by asking how taxpayers are going to pay for it

How do you get 2.7 million people’s heads around the idea of paying for transit? Here’s a start: Nobody say “subways.”

Both the City of Toronto and its provincial overlords are on a mission for 2013: Sell the public on the idea that if they want less gridlock—which is to say, more public transit—then they’re going to have to pay for it with taxes, tolls or levies.

But what the city’s not doing this time around is even more telling. Historically, transit expansion starts with politicians drawing hopeful lines on a map and then trying to find ways to pay for those lines. This has led to decades of transit fiascos as plans got drawn, redrawn, hacked to bits and then finally half-built. Continue reading