Mea Culpa

I’ll take the blame.

My exuberance and enthusiasm for a bold transit plan blinded me to its shortcomings. The lack of a wider consultative process both at the council level as well as with the province and regional partners. A less than ideal funding mechanism proposal. Cost underestimation. All capital, no operating. Yet another politically motivated subway expansion that was only necessary in order to curry voters’ favour.

I was aware of all that but didn’t care. A conversation had been started, a vital conversation with some meat on its bones. Transit, transit, transit not subways, subways, subways.

Turns out,  the plan was fatally flawed, the minuses outweighing the pluses. I hoped when I should’ve thought.

My mistake.

Nothing was really lost, however, in yesterday’s vote except maybe a little sheen from the TTC Chair’s star. But all things considered, she’s had a pretty good year. Her pluses outweighing the minuses.

This spring’s transit vote remains in place. LRT construction is underway.  Any notion that Mayor Ford (who spoke nary a word during the day’s debate) has somehow reclaimed control of the transit file is nothing more than laughable spin.

On top of which, the East Bayfront LRT proposal was underlined as a priority going forward. This will help keep it on the radar as the waterfront redevelopment continues apace. Let’s not use sight of that.

Still, it was all so anti-climatic. Great expectations dashed. Or at least, put off until the fall.

At which time I hope — no, demand — the vigorous debate of the first few days of One City is once again picked up. Taking staff recommendations and getting down to the nitty gritty of how we plan to pay for the transit Toronto desperately needs. Because that’s the one thing that came out of the whirlwind that was One City. There’s plenty to do. We just need to accept the fact it won’t get done for free.

only semi-crushedly submitted by Cityslikr

4 Responses to Mea Culpa

  1. required says:

    I may have missed it, so enlighten me. Why did they think it was better to have the subway to Scarborough City Centre instead of an LRT?

  2. torontopeter says:

    Allow me to answer that.
    It helps to compare the suggested Bloor-Danforth extension as a subway to STC versus the Sheppard subway Ford proposed but was shot down earlier this year.

    1) Leveraging the provincial money allocated for SRT conversion to LRT — only $500 million more would be required to convert this to a subway, while the Sheppard subway extension proposal was estimated to cost $4.7 billion and was totally and fully unfunded.

    2) Ridership — more ridership exists right now on the SRT than is projected to exist on the Sheppard subway extension

    3) Keeping the SRT in service during construction — rather than shutting it down for LRT conversion, and using 160+ buses.

    4) Politics. Building a Scarborough subway was thought to entice Scarborough councillor’s votes.

    Let’s be honest, #4 was the primary argument and I expected better from Karen Stintz.

  3. Simon Says says:

    And allies fought allies as each protected their political careers whether it be not seen as raising taxes or trying to get subway when they previously voted down a subway.

  4. required says:

    There is nothing wrong to admit you were wrong. I’m just wondering if there will eventually be a face palm about the Sheppard LRT too?

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