The politics of transit
So having been through Stephen’s previous post I started to think a little bit. It’s not too often that I think so I might as well jot down what i thought of here before I forget it all.
We’re one of the only major cities on the planet in a developed nation that has no trains to its own airport. How shitty is that. Let’s take it one step further. North America, the promise and hope of the world is also the only continent with developed nations that don’t have high speed rail. Let’s see who else does have it? UK and every major European nation, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Turkey, China, and the list goes on and on. Obviously we’re doing some wrong here.
And I started to think for a while more. What is the reason for all of this? Is it because we’re doing something wrong as consumers? Are we not worthy enough? Is it because of the big 3 constantly lobbying against our governments?
Is it because our own GTA’s politics are not easily solvable. Do we have to bicker? Can’t we figure out a way to make another subway line? What subway systems map looks something as pathetic as ours? We have TWO lines for crying out loud?! And if anyone says we actually have three lines, not two i’m gonna stomp them under a rock. The Sheppard line is a sorry excuse for a commute. Stop whining so much about it and make some more. Right now you can only go up or down or left and right and you call that a subway? Compare Toronto, with NYC, or London, or Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, or even Mumbai. The comparisons are pitiful.
This is North America. And this is our state.
It takes us a five hour train ride to get to Montreal from here? How shameful is that. 500 km and it takes five hours. If you’re lucky. Most developed countries, the same distance shouldn’t take you more than an hour. In London, the tube from Heathrow to Central London used to take an hour and a bit. The same distance is now covered by the Heathrow Express in under ten minutes. It also runs every ten minutes.
Forget the airport for a minute. The airport is the most arrived-to destination in our city. Let’s look at the second most arrived-to destination. York University. Did you know 900 buses go through there on a daily basis! Read that again. 900 buses my friends. Thats 1.25 buses every two minutes. Ever wonder how many busload of passengers does one subway train hold? And we’re still debating whether York Univ subway is feasible or not.
It takes me four different transit systems to get from Hamilton to Downtown or to the airport. Have you any idea what an average tourist who arrives here for the first time feel about all of this, especially if he’s travelled to other cities across the globe? I am ashamed to be a resident of the city of Toronto which has so much great stuff to offer tourists but has such a terrible welcome for them.
It takes me weeks of planning to find a cheap airfare ticket to fly to anywhere in this country. Most Europeans are flying across Europe for the weekend for less money than it takes me to get to Montreal by car.
Stop whining about the prices. The entire world pays twice more than what we do for gas. Their solution, “DON’T DRIVE AN SUV AND BUY A GODDAMN BICYCLE!” There’s a reason North Americans are fat, we’re too busy whining about services that we could have to make us sit around more to whine even more about services that we don’t need.
If GO, YRT, Mississauga Transit, Brampton Transit and the TTC can get off their high and mighty pride seats and start talking with each other about how their systems can “talk” with each other, then not only will we end up seeing reductions in fare, but we will see ease of transport as well. At this point in time, it is not only ridiculous but it is at the same time ludicrous that politicians have to get involved with private companies and make things work. If you keep building these goddamn suburban hell holes which not conducive to walking, what else would you expect? The local corner store is a five minute drive away. Everytime the mayor has anything to say and promise, he runs for election, then forgets it at the back of his mind, then makes the same promise for the next election campaign.
And then we think we’re also the greatest city on the planet. Wake the fuck up Torontonians. The world doesn’t revolve around Toronto. Go travel elsewhere and see how real cities operate.