2016-06-21 Tue

The Toronto Transit Commission

Christopher Greaves Home_DSCN4134.JPG

Just like Rick Tagaki, Chris Upfold is blowing wind through his lips, is all HE is doing.

It is most likely true that “TTC officials are reluctant to abandon the flat-fare model”, because the Toronto Transit Commission is reluctant to abandon anything that is in place. “If it was good enough for my father, then it’s good enough for me” is the Toronto Transit Commission’s reaction to any advance in thinking or in technology.

No matter what is successful elsewhere in the world, the Toronto Transit Commission sticks to what it was doing when it was running a horse-drawn system and policeman wore frock-coats.

And “To be able to travel across Toronto ...” is NOT what people are looking for today. Today people are looking “To be able to travel across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) ...” because – surprise Chris! – there are cities called “Mississauga’ and “Pickering” and the like, and people live in those cities and, Chris, some of those people work in Toronto (and still other people live in Toronto and have a job in Mississauga) and these people want to hop aboard public transit where they live and pay one fare (or take one ticket or buy one monthly pass ...) and get to work. Also they want to come home.

I have lived in Toronto for more than thirty years, and I have yet to detect any real difference that happens once you cross Steeles Avenue (and its counterparts to the east and west) except that the Toronto Transit Commission dings you extra.

We no longer live in Toronto. We live in “the Toronto portion of the GTA”.

We no longer live in Brampton. We live in “the Brampton portion of the GTA”.

We no longer live in Ajax. We live in “the Ajax portion of the GTA”.

The Toronto Transit Commission

Christopher Greaves Home_DSCN4135.JPG

Chris Upfold is still blowing wind through his lips.

“Difficult if not impossible” is no reason to abandon looking for a solution.

It is, after all, Difficult If Not Impossible for a new-born baby to walk. (See the excellent chart page 26 of Peter Kavanagh’s book The Man Who Learned To Walk Three Times).

It is Difficult If Not Impossible for a child to walk unassisted until about 15 months.

It is Difficult If Not Impossible for a child to go up and down stairs alone until about 24 months.

But Difficult If Not Impossible does not stop a new-born or a toddler from attempting, trying, learning, solving and implementing.

So why shouldn’t the Toronto Transit Commission, a body of, we suppose, mature adults charged with the responsibility of tackling problems face up to what is Difficult If Not Impossible and like a new-born baby or a toddler get to work and solve the problem?

FURTHERMORE making bus stops and stations barrier-free has nothing to do with fare structures.

Barrier-free might refer to wheelchair-access, in which case the entire system, every individual system in the world, and hence all co-operating systems in the world, ought to be barrier-free. Even if a transit system made no charge at all for travel, that travel ought to be available to people with wheelchairs, suitcases, perambulators and pushers, walkers, and even bundle-buggies with two cartons of books .

Barrier-free might refer to commonality of ticket, in which case, why not look at so many other cities that provide area-wide transit on a single ticket – whether that ticket be a one-time paper ticket issued for one trip, or a weekly, monthly or yearly pass. My usual example is the Ilê de France where a five-zone system is centered on the city of Paris (which is “Zone 1”).

In the Transilean system you buy a ticket that is valid for any set or combination of adjacent zones. If you live in Coulommiers and work in Paris, you buy a five-zone ticket. If you live in Coulommiers and work in Mouroux, you buy a one-zone ticket (for the local zone, Zone 5). If you live in Coulommiers and work in Villiers-Sur-Marne, you buy a two-zone ticket (Zones 5 and 4).

Are folks in Coulommiers and Paris really so different from folks in Brampton and Toronto?