Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Troubled TTC Still The Better Way

The TTC has been getting a lot of media coverage lately - complaints, the fare hike, management, unions, etc.
And this has brought out opinion pieces, some useful, and some written by trolls who do little research and just try to stir up anger.
But, if you compare the service and the fare cost with other systems, our TTC stands out as still a good service for the fare.
From my own experience and from the experiences of friends across Canada, the TTC seems to provide more frequent and reliable service than those of other transit systems in Canada.
And, the cost of our fare is at least comparable to systems around the world.

Here are some examples:
Toronto - $3.00 cash fare. Very little government subsidy (local city subsidy only)

Ottawa - $3.25 cash fare. A significant portion of government subsidy. Service overall is not as good as Toronto's

Stockholm, Sweden - $2.85. Largely subsidized (and taxes are much higher there too). Apparently great service. Publicly managed and privately operated.

New York City - $2.25. Largely subsidized.

London, England - $6.25. Largely subsidized. Public-Private operation. Frequent delays and overcrowding.

These are just a few examples. But, as you can see, the fare to take the TTC is comparable to the others - it comes out about average. And, considering our current funding problems, our fare is very reasonable, especially when you take into consideration that the majority of the TTC operating money comes solely from fares.

I ride my bike most of the time. I used to ride the TTC regularly (throughout the '80s) and now I ride it on occasion. For the most part, when I ride the TTC, service is frequent and there have been few delays. And $3 is far far cheaper than paying for cab fare.

Could it be managed better? Yes.
Could the operators be more civil to the public? Yes.
But these are minor issues compared to the funding issues. The TTC needs better regular funding - it needs the Ontario government funding back. And, to get this, it is not an issue of courage by our current politicians. We know that the Conservatives and Liberals will not return the regular funding of the TTC. What it will take to return the regular provincial funding is electing MPPs in Toronto from a party that DOES support returning the funding - the NDP.
But, where will they get the money? Simple. They will roll back the huge tax cuts to corporations that the Mike Harris government put in place and the Dalton McGuinty government left in place.
Oh, but then the corporations will pull out of Ontario! No, even if we roll back those tax cuts, the corporate taxes will still be about the lowest in the industrialized world.

Maybe if we put enough pressure on the Liberal MPPs in Toronto they will return the funding. Maybe.

1 comment:

Thor said...

Friends of mine who ride the TTC and are the most vehement about how bad it is, are also perpetually late for everything. Could it be that they are blaming their time management problem on the TTC?
When I ride the TTC I always allow for the maximum time in the the time range for the trip. Example, if, on average it takes between 30 and 60 minutes for a specific trip, then I allow 60 minutes for the trip. If you only allow 30 minutes (the quickest trip where you are lucky and all your connections are right there when you show up) you are just setting yourself up to be late a large portion of the time.