Sure, it is easy to support a front-runner candidate, lol. Last time I voted for Rob Ford. However, candidate /Councillor Ford's message and Mayor Ford's delivery have been two very different things.
Both men are born millionaires; I will trust an uppercruster who doesn't exuberantly claim to 'know how it is... for others'.
I was very pleased when I learned of John Tory's rail-line plan. It is similar to what I had suggested a decade ago - except its pre-existing rail corridor routing is through Union Station rather than the almost empty Summerhill and Dupont subway stops. Tory's plan is more focused towards the South of Bloor region; mine was to create a (still non-existent) public transit delivery of north-east suburban highway(s) commuters into/out from the mid-town centre district, upon a diagonal path. I still believe that putting ALL rapid transit routes through one 'egg basket' jammed almost against Lake Ontario is a mistake. How many people already need to backtrack themselves into downtown's Union Station - in order to get somewhere else? Hopefully Tory's idea will lessen the impeding westside failure of a separated $20 or $30 a ride rail-link to Pearson Airport, in the city's farthest northwest corner.
Functional Regional Transit Connectiveness is, IMO, Toronto's greatest transit need!
Examples (I've known of):
The lakeshore west VIA trains which have no stop at either Port Credit (a suburban population of 750,000 plus another 400,000 living due north in Brampton).
VIA trains also have no stop at Long Branch - located at South Etobicoke's border with Mississauga and a straight line south of the QEW/427 highway interchange. Every rider thus needs to... detour all the way into Toronto's downtown and Union Station.
For the Islington TTC station.
No pre-existing public washroom access since 1979. Meanwhile count the everday inter-city commuters.
Passenger unloading of innummerable incoming Miss. Transit riders - at a modest streetside entrance while the (nearly all for MT) bus bay goes underutilized without an installation of a concourse area Miss. transit fare gate.
No ticket purchasing for Miss. transit outside of regular weekday hours.
Very few benches for riders awaiting bus departures; no benches inside the bus bay's concourse area. Ditto for Kipling Station, btw.
No clock inside the bus bay's concourse area.
Issues with Go Transit.
Sue me for not having a monthly electronic pass. I haven't taken GO Transit (buses) since it stopped issuing 10-way and 2-way discounted transit fares. Am I supposed to only be allowed to purchase an IMMEDIATE use single ticket - from both ends of my own transportation journey?
Btw, why couldn't I purchase transit tickets - at Union Station - for any of the surrounding suburban systems? Vending machines anyone?
Monthly Pass Tax Credits.
Is jacking the occasional rider(s) for a substantially higher user fee, especially the single-use / cash fare, supposed to attract more riders? Isn't the pricing discount of a weekly or monthly pass already an unaccounted 'tax credit'. I don't get to save my occasional use 'public transit receipts' to save against my yearly personal tax costs. How does this pricing / tax credit differential assist the less affluent of society? Is your extracted transit pass credit's worth equal to everyone else's income tax savings? Fed. and Provincially: federal Finance minister (PM) Paul Martin's simpified taxation policies were better, cleaner, and fairer than anything I've noticed of the past decade.
For Mississauga Transit.
A few items are listed under the Islington section.
How is the main Square One terminal NOT 100% ROOFED? Duh, check out the functional Kipling station's Bus Terminal.
White route numbers over Orange street signs?
A dinky sized non-Islington 'TTC fare access only' pickup stop along Bloor Street in front of a vacant former parking lot.
The digital display annoucement timer at Square One doesn't correctly light-up. An easy-to-read clock is also non-existent; a lot of nearby outdoor retailers could score brownie points with that. The station portion that is indoors is very cramped. The washrooms are too small for this main terminal's capacity load. It then steers departing travellers into the middle of an anchor department store, after crossing a circular mall road - at least while that store is open. Mississauga's City Hall, Arts Centre, and main Library are located across from a different side of the overall large mall complex.
A little story: Recently I took the Rathburn bus from Islington station. I asked the driver if this went to the Square One mall? He replied, "What does [the front heading] say?". I said, "Erindale Station?". Apparently that's a little-used GO Train stop farther west, past Rathburn road and Mavis. Born in Mississauga, I always thought 'Erindale' was an established, more southernly, neighbourhood along Dundas street and Erin Mills parkway; home to Erindale high school and the Erindale University of Toronto campus.
Mississauga buses with "City Centre" as their indications. Who will bet at least one PanAM visitor, within Etobicoke, will get onboard a "City Centre" bus while assuming a route trip into Toronto's 'city centre' region?
I must say that the blue-coloured Mississauga Express buses have become a god-send of public travel. Besides the previously mentioned 10-way pass elimination, it's another reason of my not using GO Transit. However, there can still still be some room for a few more major intersection stops. Otherwise the same-old backtracking problem of downtown's Union Station is repeated upon Mississauga's outer suburban districts. I now wonder if Mississauga's expansive and separated busway project will become still-born as a mere duplication of what the Express bus fleet has already achieved?
Back to my 'Toronto' mayoral thoughts.
(I guess transit is a big issue for us, lol. I didn't even get to other issues such as bike trails / paths/ markers...)
As to the new streetcars, is the matching newly requested increase of fare collectors factored into their operating costs? Were the extra streetcar-only turn signals factored into the speed calculations along St. Clair Avenue's project?
Were all of those fancy (and quickly dying) sidewalk trees
included when the wider sidewalks were being touted as providing more pedestrian space?
Can anyone glimpse Grenadier Pond
through its wrap-around 15 foot-high reeds?
(More currently for Miss., than Tor., but for both): Has any recently new bike trail's streamroller construction bothered to level itself - as from side to side? Nah, let's just have everyone walk leg-slanted for the next 80 or more years. Christ almighty, why does anyone need to bother making an effing effort around here?
Candidate Olivia Chow spoke of only increasing buses, earlier in her campaign. (I finally heard her pronounce 'Light' and 'Rapid-transit' during a media interview yesterday; I grew up with a speech impediment, btw.) This week, she's also proposed higher land-transfer taxes against houses selling above two million dollars. As someone who grew up in a spacious house now worth a probable $800,000, why start this added tax at only so high a valuation level? If this is to protect the general poor, who is living in a $1.3 million home and also pinching their pennies?
Ms. Chow had spoken of the masses of Toronto's unemployed. Why then hadn't she suggested hiring three unemployed/under-employed people to replace every $100,000+ a year TTC fare collector? $33,333 a year is $16 per hour (52 wks x 40hrs per). Or, rather hire at two-for-one; a third going towards any laid-off sunshiner's lifetime pension - as a partially funded portion. Then again most locals apparently cried over the suspended bus driver, this summer, who was filmed driving through a red light and nearly striking a pedestrian.
For those further interested in Toronto-only local transit:
Longtime public transit avocate, Steve Munro, wrote a mechancially detailed
, if politically aligned, background of our Toronto-only local system. Unfortunately, I didn't notice many of the (IMO) adjoining user-experience subtopics of which I've posted about within this entry. It cracks me up when I think of the woman randomly interviewed at the Yonge and Bloor subway interchange station only a few years ago. The TTC was pushing a revised customer service agenda. When asked for her advice, she simply replied, "where's the transit map?". There wasn't a postered map to be found.
So many times, how I just wish for a roadside transit stop's basic timing schedule. The very kind which I can still find posted (only) throughout various bus major transit hubs. First arrival, last arrival, and the basic frequency of arrivals throughout the day and/or evenings. Instead we get online gadget required and bloated obscure multi-digit stopover numberings.
Labels: 2014-jas, govt-money, local, politics, TTC