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A mesmerizing GIF that sums up one all-important way that the TTC trumps cars

Transit versus Cars

Everyone knows that taking public transit helps reduce congestion, but knowing and seeing are two different things. This incredible GIF shows the amount of road space saved when a few dozen people leave their cars at home and ride the TTC instead. The Better Way, indeed. [Peter From Texas via The Atlantic]

  • victorandres

    Awesome perspective on an important issue.

  • Cecilia Tong

    i can see why this makes more sense for people who live downtown, but for suburbanites who have to commute an average of 1.5 hours to go to work, it’s really just better to TTC = take the car. not to mention that Toronto has one of the worst public transit systems in the world.

  • houleskis

    A large part of the 1.5hr commute is caused by congestion (or simply living WAY too far from one’s office). Reduce the congestion by putting more people on affordable transit and everyone wins.

  • arsehat

    Build a good transit system and I’ll take it. Look at London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, NYC – all vast metropolises that work because they have a good, comprehensive public transit system. The TTC system has laughable coverage, is rarely on time and is not a viable alternative. Give me one, and I’ll take it – its just not there yet. No one is arguing that public transit isn’t a good thing. Only that the TTC is terrible.

  • Mike Duffield

    You haven’t been many places if you think we have one of the worst transit systems in the world – it’s not without it’s problems (and we’ve certainly overgrown it), but it’s far from the worst.

    Also, a lot of other cities have a big head-start over Toronto- Chicago’s system was built in 1892, way before the car, same with New York (1904), Paris (1900), London (1863).

    Unfortunately, the former suburbs won’t be helped at all with the new subway- Everyone currently on a bus, will still be on a bus and it looks that way for the foreseeable future.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER

    this is obviosly a photoshop job from the pro-streetcar movement, all the pictures are not even taking in the same time of day. This leftist attack on subway’s is just sad now, why can’t we move forward with subway’s? It’s what the people of Scarborough WANTED and what the city council voted for democractically. Not that democracy even mean’s much in this city anymore ………… smh.

  • Dave Ellis

    You’re not going to reduce congestion without building an incredible amount of transit infrastructure. That means new subway lines, and new roadways.

    Given the choice between a car and an LRT, people will largely stay in their car. That’s why they’re a waste of money to build…. Subway lines will actually entice people to use the TTC.

  • CGP

    How about the GIF of when a street car is trying to make a RIGHT onto Spadina while traveling east on King St, (you will also have to account for the fact that there will be at least four of them lined up to do the same thing while holding up any traffic from making their way through the lights). Just sheer brilliance, the stupidity of this system consistently awes me. Likely also worth noting it costs the tax payers of Toronto about a million bucks to replace 1 city block worth of tracks. Terrible inefficient use of resource.

  • Emil Pop

    Why don’t you show an animated gif with people almost freezing to death while waiting for the next bus? Or for almost having a heat stroke in a bus meters away from a stop that it will not reach for an hour because traffic congestion (and no, the driver would not open the doors)? Or from having to walk from a bus stop to the place of wotk on a street with no sidewalks, but with traffic, in winter, with mountains of snow? These all happened to me, so no, TTC doesn’t trump cars.

  • Emil Pop

    As far as I’m concerned, buses cause congestion by blocking many right turns, slowing/stopping one lane, etc. As others have said, if transit doesn’t have dedicated infrastructure, it is not a solution in a big city.

  • Emil Pop

    You haven’t been in many places. Bucharest, Prague, Budapest, Belgrade and many, many others started way later than Toronto, have much smaller budgets have way more complex situations, and now they have better transit. And I haven’t been in many places too, since I’m sure there are many more examples. I’ve been in Munich this year and they have a much better transit system.

  • houleskis

    So in your opinion, if we simply had all people in cars during rush hour instead of buses congestion would be reduced?

    In any case, I don’t think the solutions to Toronto’s transit problems are buses in mixed-use traffic. They’re likely a combination of subways, LRT, expansion of the commuter rail network (e.g: Go), and BRT where appropriate.

  • houleskis

    No one is forcing you to take the TTC.

  • zgall1

    Because the pictures were not taken at the same time of day, they were Photoshopped. Sound logic.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER

    I’m just saying if this is suposed to be a video of a bunch of people in cars getting out and taking a streetcar, it’s pretty lame. You can tell it’s doctored, like the Rob Ford video.
    Whatever happened to truth in journalism?

  • zgall1

    1) The video is not meant to show people getting out of their cars and directly onto streetcars. It is a series of four still images that have been cut together to illustrate a point that people in cars take up more space than people in a streetcar. You can’t argue this point. I love driving and I’m not exactly a fan of the TTC but that doesn’t change the fact that the video makes a valid point regarding the space that cars take up.

    2) I’m glad you’ve seen the Rob Ford video and have the skill to judge that it was doctored. You are part of the lucky few, I guess.

    3) Why am I even responding to you? I have no idea.

  • Mike Duffield

    I’ve used the system in Munich and it is great (though I wasn’t there long enough to find the pitfalls). Have you used the systems in Ottawa, Halifax, Houston?

    Usually when people say we’re the worst, it’s in regards to coverage and they point to Chicago, London, New York and Paris (hence why I mentioned them)

    I’m not advocating that Toronto’s system is the best, simply that it’s definitely not the worst – and a lot of short-sightedness got us here.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER

    lol ok sure whatever

  • Mike Duffield

    Have you ever traveled on an LRT?

  • wklis

    Old photos put together.

    Time for new set of photos using the new Bombardier Flexity Outlook streetcars.

  • Seo Kim

    Ughh… try living in LA. The TTC is fricking viable and I miss it so much.

  • lancuch

    Freezing to death in Toronto? Mountains of snow? IN Toronto ? LOL
    I am happy people take transit, more the better, less congestion for me when I drive.

  • Regan Ashby

    I can fully understand the LRT argument, but I am 100% in support of Subways, or at least an LRT built underground, like the Eglinton line. I honestly feel that those people arguing for LRT on the street (right-of-way) live south of St Clair and probably don’t drive. People arguing for subways, I feel are drivers and tend to live north of St Clair.

    Yes, LRTs will inevitably move people, but at what cost? We need more trains in this city. BUT, they need to be put underground, not on already horribly congested streets.

    I just can’t imagine that traffic would get better on a major artery that all of a sudden has 1/3 of the road removed and replaced with LRT. People in cars will not stop driving just so they can freeze to death or be rained on while waiting for the streetcar.

    Subway systems have made London, Paris, NYC, Moscow, Korea, Hong Kong, Tokyo and countless other world-class places what they are today. Subways create express transportation under an already congested metropolis. This is a vital resource in a city that has people to see, places to go, and things to do.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER

    also I was reading up on this and I hate to brake it to you but bascially ALL video’s are nothing more then a “series of still image’s” that give the impression of movement but with sound so you’re agrument is pretty much invalid.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER

    first world problem’s lol

  • EsperOni

    I live and work downtown. The TTC stopped being the better way almost a decade ago. Streetcars should be mothballed, they take up way too much room and the construction (every year) is more than a simple annoyance. I have watched their road crews pave and tear up the same spot twice now in one month (York and Adelaide) because they ‘forgot’ to place a pipe in there. I believe that a city the size of Toronto should have a World Class transit system in place. We don’t. We have failing infrastructure with no timetable or focus for improvement. The gif seems to imply that a street car will reduce congestion. Sounds like the old TTC ads about how transit can save you enough to buy a large screen TV or save you 2000/year. The problem is, it doesn’t wash, yes, given the choice between 40 cars and one streetcar, I would choose the streetcar, but there are others factors that come into play.

    Short turns with twenty people waiting at a stop? Double Fare downtown (Been living here for 14 years, and still can’t find anyone to explain why that makes sense), TTC inspectors standing on the corner keeping track of buses and streetcars with a notebook and pen?! (It is 2013, eh?) Given the choice, I’ll grab a GO to Burlington, but it will be a frosty Friday in June, before I take the TTC.

  • citizenontherun

    Oh god not this argument. Look we can all drool over other cities, but lets look at how they got that system, it wasn’t through just rapid expansion. It was through HAING THE NUMBERS TO SUPPORT NEW ROUTES/LINES. We have in and around 2.5 million people where as those other cities you mention have more than 5 million. We need transit that suit our needs, not subways, subways, subways. Let the planners do their thing and stop electing buffoons who think they know how to build effective transit.

  • citizenontherun

    I can’t even begin to understand how someone like yourself can be so misguided.

  • arsehat

    Good lord, learn to read, I never said I wanted subways – I said I wanted, quote “A GOOD COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM” unquote. In other words, subways, buses, LRT, short route buses, streetcars, whatever it takes to have a well-integrated MULTI-MODAL public transit solution that gets me where I want to go – so the form of transit that matches our needs, exactly as you said. In other words, if you had bothered to read what I posted carefully, instead of knee-jerk reactionary comment, you would realize we agreed. I NEVER mentioned subway in my post because I think more subways for Toronto is idiotic. LRT is way better.

  • 4D NAtiON 4EVER


  • citizenontherun

    Woa I didn’t think you’d be that butt hurt, but hey I’m sorry. Next time I’ll read more carefully and reply accordingly. Hope you can get some sleep now.

  • arsehat

    I’m not losing any sleep over this, trust me. Sarcasm aside, disagreement is fine, its central to critical decision making. I like a good reasonable debate, and I’m open to opinions from anywhere on the spectrum, I just don’t like it when someone misrepresents what I said.

  • Rex

    Beyond that, there are many ways to doctor a video, but you Forprano Nation fools haven’t the slightest idea how it’s actually done, and why it wasn’t done to the Crack video. Anything that besmirches the holy name of your Toddler Leader must automatically have been faked somehow. LOL. Your technical understanding of videos, photos and photoshops is clearly ABSOLUTE ZERO beyond “OMG that’s so fake obviously Frod Nation for the win!!!” And your responses are just like his: denial and condescending dismissal of facts, as if that’s all it takes. Too frickin’ funny.