2016-10-13 Thu

The Toronto Transit Commission

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Yes, that’s Andy Byford looking a little shocked.

As he should.

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Who really thinks that it should take nine YEARS to dig a tunnel for six kilometres and build one station at the end of it? I can’t see why the station and the tunnel can’t proceed at the same time, which means that it will take nine years to dig the tunnel, or else it will take nine years to build the station.

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Toronto City Council and the Toronto Transit Commission both suffer from inability to learn.

I believe that this inability stems from two sources:-

(1) Management Staff who have not received basic training in cost estimation

(2) Toronto’s refusal to embark on a plan of steady growth.

To expand that second point: If back in 1982 after completion of the Kennedy and Kipling extensions, Toronto had embarked on a plan to add one kilometre of subway and one station each year, they would have developed a management team that was well-versed in costs, problems, and other aspects of subway construction. We would over a five-year period have developed a team that could anticipate the unanticipated having learned from its mistakes.

Toronto’s short-sighted vote for election periods is an expensive way to manage a city.

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In my view it is always fair to criticize. Especially when a city that titles itself “world-class” fails to establish Basic Project Controls.

Scope-creep has been documented for over forty years (A quick read is “The Mythical Man-Month” by Fred Brooks), so if Toronto isn’t aware of it by now, toss the lot out, I say, and hire some real engineers to manage the city.


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Downtown Toronto is a weird collection of dog-legs in streets, a result, I think, or the alignment of streets stretching back to the dawn of history a.k.a. The Late seventeen hundreds.

The intersection of Wood and Gerrard streets with Yonge Street is an example.

I am looking westwards along Wood street towards Yonge Street. The first of the two new condominiums looms from the far side of Yonge Street.

Note how the new building blocks half the light that would otherwise have flooded this street at this time.

The second Condominium will probably take care of the bulk of the remaining half, and then we will not have a canyon with a light at the end of the tunnel, bit a box canyon, enclosed by high walls on three sides.