I’d like to be a lot more informed on a topic before I take the reluctant step of agreeing with Rob Ford, but my first inclination is to support his call for more subways in Toronto. I’ve spent some time in cities like Paris and London and Washington D.C., and their subway systems make ours look like an infant. There should be a Queen line and probably a few others. Transfer between GO systems in York Region and surrounding GTR areas should be seamless. Somewhere along the line the ball was dropped regarding a unified, comprehensive Transit policy.
I know that subways are far more expensive and take longer to construct, but that’s an issue because there wasn’t enough foresight 20 years ago. Now we either have to pay for it or settle for what can only be a second rate transit system in what is supposed to be a first class city.
Subways are far more long lasting. Look at the existing ones. They’ve been in operation as long as I can remember, and that’s a long time. They free up the surface (-although certainly not while they’re being constructed-) and are just far more efficient at moving people quickly. I remember trying to get back to my car at the Finch station late one night and finding that I had to bus it from Eglington because of night maintenance. It took an extra hour, even at 2 a.m. in the morning.
If only it weren’t so hard to support a Ford proposal. If only I weren’t suspicious of his motives, wondering which of his friends may be lining their pockets with public money as the cost inevitably inflates. If only one could be sure that he wasn’t planning on boot stamping some unsuspecting neighborhoods in the process. I honestly don’t have enough understanding of the Miller transit plan and how it compares to the Ford subway plan, but it’s high time that some long term decisions are made. The problem, of course, is that this may not be the most opportune economic climate to make decisions about big, expensive projects.