2017-06-20 Tue

The Toronto Transit Commission again

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We should not be surprised at this report.

In the first place, Toronto City Councilors cannot see past the next election. They demonstrate an inability to think one generation ahead - say twenty-five years.

In the second place, The Toronto Transit Commission management cannot see past the next budget (an annual circus). They demonstrate an inability to think one generation ahead - say twenty-five years.

In the third place, anyone with half a brain knows that maintaining multiple fleets is expensive. Two sets of training courses, two sets of maintenance tools, two sets of spare parts will always be more expensive than one set.

Toronto City has a fixation on its “Iconic Street Cars” and will not let them go, even though tourists tend not to ride them because they cannot understand the paper transfers handed out, or the need to retain the paper transfers. When you get refused admission to a surface vehicle, you abandon service vehicles for the remainder of your stay in Toronto.

We should be grateful that Toronto has dropped its fixation on the manure-dropping horse-and-buggy days.

Nonetheless, today’s councilor will be praised by some consultancy form for providing a bit of work.

The Toronto Transit Commission again

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More nonsense from Andy Byford and his pals.

(1) “The TTC estimates it is costing an extra $1million per month ...” is designed to make you think that running buses would be $1,000,000 more expensive than running streetcars. Even if this were so, Byford should provide absolute values as a frame of reference. For example “Streetcars cost us $1M per month, buses $2M” which would be a good argument against buses. Whereas “Streetcars cost us $20M per month, buses $21M” which might be a good argument against buses.

As it stands, Byford’s statement in neither a good argument nor a bad argument, because it isn’t an argument at all.

(2) “Byford also pointed out ... “ that the city has just spent $1.5M on new/added streetcar services. Stating that you might have blown a significant chunk of your budget on something that is already too expensive (in many ways) for the city is NOT an argument to continue throwing money away. It is an argument to stop and think. Carefully.

(3) Peruzza needs to buy a dictionary and look up the meaning of “absolute”. Also “fallacy”. I fail to see how a suggestion can be a fallacy. There’s more but let’s press on.

Every time a streetcar stops one of two things happens:-

(a) The driver honks his horn and rings his bell at the car driver who speeds by the streetcar, threatening death on the unwary passengers

(b) Drivers obey the law and wait behind the streetcar. That is, in the best of circumstances both lanes are blocked.

Now, a bus pulls in to the kerb for passenger convenience, allowing other vehicles to drive past on the left (being careful not to run over the idiot passenger who is rushing across the front of the bus to catch the northbound bus at the other side of the intersection), and it seems to me that letting some traffic through is better than letting no traffic through.

Whether traffic “zips” through is up for debate, but an absolute fallacy it is not.

(4) Josh Cole uses “60% of people who take the TTC currently ride the bus” as an argument for enhanced bus service.

The 60% of clients taking the bus do so because Toronto hasn’t enhanced its subway system in 35 YEARS!.

Instead of producing an east-west line along the top of the city (Sheppard? Finch? Steeles?), the TTC has buried its head in the sand. And so as housing erupts to the north, the only option is - the bus.

The original system was designed as a “feeder” system, with (then) relatively short bus routes ferrying people to a faster subway system. This was a good idea back in the 1920s, when few people lived north of Eglinton.

Take a look at a map of Toronto today, let alone the GTA, to see how fallacious Josh Cole’s statement is.