Archive for the ‘SPADINA SUBWAY’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRANSIT EXPERT DAVID GUNN OFFERS A LIST OF WRONG DECISIONS BY THE TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION (TTC)   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A brilliantly thought out set of points, quite comprehensive and clearly reflecting a wealth of experience.

It is greatly to be regretted if they are ignored.

I remember the days when the TTC was often regarded as the best transit system on the continent, but that has not been true for a long time.

Mayor Miller had his fantasies based on no hard-headed thinking, and Mayor Ford appears to have slogans based on no facts.

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The TTC has been doing foolish things for a good many years now.

My favorite example is the Spadina Subway.

When built and for many, many years, this was a subway line to nowhere, to an old abandoned military base.

The trains ran greatly under capacity for years and years. Efficiency in terms of cost per passenger was dreadful.

At the same time, the Yonge line had pretty much reached capacity, and it would have been by far the best choice to double capacity on the Yonge line.

Subways, by definition, are suitable only for high-capacity routes. They are the most expensive form of transit.

TTC’s abandonment of fare zones many years ago was a very foolish idea. The London Underground fares reflect distance as do bus fares.

TTC had it right nearly half a century ago. With amalgamation and urban sprawl, we’ve demanded the TTC run all kinds of bus routes to nowhere, the costs per passenger mile being ridiculous. Meanwhile, vital routes in the city suffer from inadequate service.

As with any other form of investment, you cannot have everything unless you have a limitless amount of revenue, something certainly not true of the TTC. Whenever you build a large new capital project, you must take account not just of the costs of creating it but of the long-run costs of maintaining it.

We have made the mistake of looking only at initial investment costs too many times in many of our facilities, but the TTC stands out.

That’s why things begin to look crummy and why there are regular breakdowns.