2016-02-21 Sun

Clear Thinking on Transit

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Itíll never happen, I know, but I can dream, canít I?

The troubles with Toronto Regional Transit are two-fold:-

(1)†Toronto was settled by lake transport. Ships sailing on Lake Ontario between Kingston and Niagara were the only mode of transport back in the early days. So the settlement was made on the shore of the lake, and then grew outwards like the fungus it is.

Paris and London are on rivers, not on lakes; we can throw bridges over rivers (or tunnel under them) so the heart of town remains the centre of a circle.

Toronto is penalized by the lake, and so Toronto regional transport has a funneling effect that squeezes all corridors into a hub that is trapped by the lake.

Suppose, just suppose, that we could lift up the current downtown core and move it lock, stock, and barrel to, say, Newmarket. Then plough the city of Toronto under to make farmland to replace that in Newmarket.

Then we could have a radial transit system, like so many other world-class cities.

We could get it all built by, say, 2300, knowing Toronto.

(2)†The original transit system was designed as a feeder system. The two subway lines were served by buses that brought you from your home to a local subway station.

Trouble is, when Bloor-Danforth subway line was built, the city limits were roughly Sheppard Avenue, let alone Steels Avenue, let alone Highways 7 and 407.

So the Toronto Transit Commission still runs a feeder system, although the trip on the bus that feeds the subway is longer than the trip on the subway for many people.

A Circle Line that ran around the Toronto City boundaries would make sense. The stretch along Steeles might catch commuters who can park their cars (or get off their buses) at Steeles and then ride underground to wherever they are going.

That is, devise NEW feeder lines to serve the city as it is.

Clear Thinking on the PATH

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Edward Keenan ran a great article on the path. I think that is Edward in the photo, scratching his head while wondering who in their right mind posts a map with North to the right and south to the left.

Me too, Edward!

Edward Keenanís points are valid, but I think he omitted the greatest flaw of all Ė that the Toronto City Council spends hundreds of dollars producing coloured paper maps of the PATH system and then prices them out of reach of most businesses.

Which is why you wonít find them in the Toronto Transit Commission booths, in the hotel lobbies, in the branches of the Toronto Public Library, in racks along the PATH, ....

So people do not carry a map with them; so people who know the PATH canít help the lost souls; so most people avoid the PATH because ďit is so confusingĒ.

Letís face it Ė when you canít obtain a PATH map from the information desk at City hall, you are really up the creek!

Meanwhile an anonymous band of workers in an anonymous building away from City Hall works on these maps, expensive maps, that, as far as I can see, are not available to the public anywhere.

Your tax dollars not at work.