Toronto transit: Where do we go from here?

July 20th, 2012

When details of the OneCity transit plan were revealed to the public last month, we wondered if it would see the light of day.

Well, it now seems that the answer to that question is no. Last week city council gave their vote of no confidence in the plan which effectively stopped it dead in its tracks. So now the question on our mind is, where is Toronto’s transit system headed to now that Onecity seems to have crashed and burned?

Martin Regg Cohn from the Toronto Star believes that even though OneCity was a non-starter from the get-go, it has succeeded in kickstarting a recognition of Toronto’s missed transit opportunities — and a vacuum of vision. “OneCity has revealed a strong public appetite for action on our stunted transit system,” he says.

Indeed Onecity seems to have stirred up Toronto’s deeprooted frustration and resentment with the city’s transit system. Just this week, the transit advocacy group TTCRiders gave the Toronto Transit Commission bad grades for its system’s infrastructure, demanding service improvements and a tax plan similar to those promoted in the OneCity plan.

According to the National Post, some of the improvements that the TTCRiders called for included:

  • Affordable fares.
  • Expansion to all corners of the city as fast possible.
  • Fully accessible public transit.
  • Frequent service.

All in all Chris Selley from the National Post sums it up best when he says that OneCity should be the start of a transit discussion not the end. He also believes that great cities find a way to build great transit. We definitely agree with this, and a glance at the image below reveals that when it comes to transit, Toronto is far behind great cities like London, Paris and New York.