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No-nonsense addition to the TTC brain trust hates ideas from the left and right equally

With Rob Ford’s plan to expand the TTC’s subway system along the Sheppard line and replace the Scarborough RT with an extension to the Danforth subway, the TTC is headhunting for new talent. One of the first hands they’ve found is David Gunn, who used to work for the TTC in the 1990s. There’s just one problem with bringing Gunn on as a consultant for the expansion: he’s opposed to TTC expansion.

From the Globe and Mail:

“I think they’re wedded to this Sheppard subway public-private partnership idea,” said Mr. Gunn, who talked with Mr. Ford in January. “I’ll tell them it’s a dumb idea, but they won’t want to hear that.”

After being called upon by TTC chief general manager Gary Webster, Mr. Gunn had been expecting to travel from his Nova Scotia home later this month so he could pore over TTC finances and advise managers on how to deal with an imminent 2012 budget crunch.

“I love Toronto, I was looking forward to it, but I have a feeling it won’t come to pass now,” the no-nonsense former TTC head said in an interview Monday. “If city hall starts making noises that they don’t want it [me to make the trip], which is what I think is happening, well…”

The fascinating thing about Gunn is that he’s not just opposed to Ford’s ideas; he has harsh words for the Miller-era TTC leadership as well, saying “they seemed to think running the TTC in a businesslike way was immoral. Well they created a situation where they’ve damn near killed it. Now you’ve got a system that is not sustainable.”

The question we’re left with is this: who on council or at the TTC is possibly going to go to bat for Gunn when and if he makes any actual proposals or recommendations? He’s basically opposed to both of the major points of view on council, and for the moment he seems totally out of sync with the mayor. In terms of scoring the trifecta, all Gunn has left is to say that fares should go up, and this city will run him out on a rail.

• Transit guru David Gunn says his views likely to kibosh TTC invitation [Globe and Mail]

  • Stephen van Egmond

    If Gunn doesn’t come to town, I trust the journalists of this town will find out why. If Webster wants it to happen, it should happen, craven whining out of city hall or not.

    Welcome to 2011, the year of shooting the experienced, knowledgable messenger before he even says anything.

  • Jared

    I don’t see the confusion at all. What’s he saying is he’s opposed to Miller for not running the TTC like a business, and he’s opposed to privatizing the TTC. It’s simple, he’s saying the TTC itself should be ran more like a private business.

  • Missy

    I agree 100% with your post.
    The problem was that Miller & Mcguinty, both cut from the same cloth, used the same ideology to achieve their vote pandering goal.

    Miller: Keep TTC cheap & tax the car people to make up the difference. That would force the car ppl to use TTC (insane logic, but there you have it.) War on cars was alive & the plans to kill cars was very obvious. Raised LRT lanes & car tax, next on the agenda, road tolls. = Vote pandering to Environment Alliance Group, which is SUBSIDIZED by taxpayers.

    McGuinty: Install Smart Meters, knowing full well that working families cannot switch to off peak time use, over charge them to SUBSIDIZE dirty energy windmills.

    Had both Miller & McGuinty operated in a private sector business mentality, rather than hidden agenda & vote pandering to special interest groups, then TTC would not be in trouble & we would NOT be SUBSIDIZING experimental energy projects.

    The demise of subway expansion & hydro upgrades all these 40 yrs is due to different party stripes being elected and spending our hard earned monies on their ideologies.
    We should have a law that prevents this type of abuse of our monies. First and foremost, all political stripes must adhere to our necessities first. And if any monies are left over (without taxing us to death for the more) then it can be spent on their version of ideology. yes? no? I am sure that there are those of you far more proficient in the are of semantics that could put what I am saying in a much more sophisticated manner. :)
    Bottom line: vote pandering has to be stopped once and for all. Common sense & priorities must prevail above all else.

    Read this article & see why we don’t have subways all over the city after 40 long years.