Premier Kathleen Wynne's solution to the transportation infrastructure problem is to spend a whopping $50 billion of taxpayer money over the next 25 years to build an expansive rail network. By 2040, Toronto may finally have the subways that other cities built nearly 200 years earlier. But can you imagine what the world will look like in 2040? We are on the cusp of explosive new technologies that will revolutionize how we commute. Innovative tech startups are fixing the problems we currently have with cars: that they pollute too much, are too expensive for many, and congest our overcrowded roads. Here are three notable examples of ideas and companies that will change transportation as we know it.
So the next time something happens on the streetcar -- because it will -- find something beautiful to see. No, it won't solve the communication and planning problems that create unannounced short turns and painful detours, or the management and electoral problems that make Queen Street at rush hour possible. But it might ease a few things onboard, while we wait.
Mr. Ford and Mr. Tory share something else. Neither wants to work to the plan we have, preferring instead to draw new lines on maps. It's never easy to decipher what, precisely, Mr. Tory believes today, but it seems he no longer supports the Sheppard or Finch LRT's. And he certainly no longer supports the subway relief line that is the TTC's top priority, which is odd because getting it built allegedly propelled him to run.
Some transit experts argue that commute times by high-speed rail transit are shorter. It is true for individual trips, but not for the entire communities. Commuters in transit-dependent communities, with ready access to subways, can take faster transit to their destinations, however shorter duration trips are enjoyed only by those whose trip lengths are shorter. With $29 billion in transport infrastructure spending already earmarked for Ontario, Steven Del Duca and Kathleen Wynne, will receive tons of unsolicited advice. They should, however, base their investment decisions on sound analysis rather than conjecture.
While the leading candidates for Toronto's mayoral elections -- Olivia Chow, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz, and John Tory -- were unanimous in realizing that mobility was the number one issue for the City. The transit plans they revealed had one thing in common: they only have partial solutions and pet projects for Toronto's mobility troubles.
You don't hate your commute, it's your job. A Statistics Canada survey revealed that workers who disliked their jobs were much more likely to hate their commutes than those who liked their jobs. Our hatred of the morning commute may be driven by our unsatisfactory jobs. Extensive surveys of workers in Canada have revealed that our love-hate relationship with daily commutes is much more nuanced than what we had believed it to be.
Could you envision Toronto City Council changing the name of Yonge Street to 1 Street? Well, this is what the TTC is doing to our subway lines. Subway lines are underground routes for trains carrying people just like streets are routes for cars or bikes or buses carrying people. Main route names are rarely if ever changed because of their history and because it would cause major confusion.
The reality is that the Ontario NDP caucus has publicly declared their support for raising revenue to fund transit. Their leader is going against the express, public declarations of her caucus. Andrea Horwath isn't just abdicating the legacy of the NDP, reneging on the Party's long-standing commitment to transit -- she's asking her MPPs to break public pledges and go along with her abdication of leadership.