Transit

Q&A: Andy Byford, the TTC’s top executive, staunchest defender and ch... Q&A: Andy Byford, the TTC’s top executive, staunchest defender and chief apology specialist

Most Toronto transit riders have experienced at least one moment of hopelessness about the state of the TTC—but Andy Byford hasn’t. The TTC CEO, a British-born alumnus of both London and Sydney’s transit networks, has stared down seemingly endless setbacks: service cuts, political grandstanding, the massively delayed Spadina subway extension and the ever-present mysterious smoke… Read more »

“The price is a bit high, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind... “The price is a bit high, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind”: why people are paying $27.50 to ride the UP Express

The long, anxiety-ridden journey to Pearson Airport is a Toronto tradition—but now, for some people, it’s a thing of the past. On June 6, Metrolinx launched its long-awaited Union Pearson Express, a 25-minute train service from Union Station directly to Pearson’s terminal one. The only issue is the price: at $27.50 for every one-way trip… Read more »

Why the Gardiner East decision, whatever it is, won’t be “evidence based” Why the Gardiner East decision, whatever it is, won’t be “evidence based”

Pity the 5,200 souls who drive the eastern stretch of the Gardiner during morning rush hour. They are getting a good whipping in the name of evidence-based policy. Nearly every argument in favour of the teardown points a finger at them. Architect Paul Raff, writing in the Toronto Star, claims that the issue of the… Read more »

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the new Union Station was worth the wait Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the new Union Station was worth the wait

Some 213,000 GO commuters pass through Union Station every weekday—that’s more than twice the daily traffic of Pearson Airport. And, for the past six years, those people have been forced to navigate a holy mess of scaffolding and construction detritus, as the station’s glitzy $1.3-billion revitalization has been stymied by setbacks and cost overruns. But… Read more »

I’d pay tolls to drive on the Gardiner—but only if everyone else does, too I’d pay tolls to drive on the Gardiner—but only if everyone else does, too

I’ve already argued in favour of the hybrid option for the Gardiner Expressway, which would keep the eastern section of the elevated highway standing, but change the locations of off-ramps to free up land for other uses. The mayor agrees with me, as do many others. One of the most prominent obstacles to the hybrid… Read more »

John Tory re-announces a transit line that was supposed to have been built by no... John Tory re-announces a transit line that was supposed to have been built by now

At a joint press conference this morning with Ontario transportation minister Steven Del Duca, competent person and Toronto mayor John Tory made what was billed as a major transit announcement: Finch Street West will be getting its own light-rail line in 2021, with construction to begin in 2016. “Today we are here to talk about… Read more »

Will Toronto really adopt 30-kilometre-per-hour speed limits on residential stre... Will Toronto really adopt 30-kilometre-per-hour speed limits on residential streets?

THE IDEA Toronto has long flirted with the prospect of reducing the speed limits on its residential streets to 30 kilometres per hour. Lately, Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow has championed the old idea with new vigour. “I have spoken to countless parents who want to see the city do everything it can to protect… Read more »

John Tory celebrates the fact that Queen’s Park has noticed SmartTrack John Tory celebrates the fact that Queen’s Park has noticed SmartTrack

Normal guy and Toronto mayor John Tory spent some of Thursday celebrating what he said was a milestone for his mayoralty: a mention, deep within the newly released 2015 Ontario budget, of his SmartTrack transit plan. “I’m very much viewing this as very significant progress,” Tory told reporters. “If it’s not happening, why is it… Read more »

We should admire the Gardiner Expressway, not tear it down We should admire the Gardiner Expressway, not tear it down

First, a confession: I love the Gardiner Expressway, not for its utility but for its aesthetic beauty. I kid you not. I am enamoured of the Gardiner not in the way a driver loves a road, but in a broader sense, in the manner that an infrastructure geek becomes enthralled with the man-made structures and… Read more »

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I hate my fellow TTC riders for not giving up seats for... Dear Urban Diplomat: can I hate my fellow TTC riders for not giving up seats for me and my toddler?

Dear Urban Diplomat, I’m a young dad, and I take my 16-month-old son to and from daycare on the subway during rush hour. Is it wrong to get annoyed when people don’t give up a seat and I’m stuck carrying a squirming toddler for the entire 10-stop ride? —Last Man Standing, Bloordale

Dear Urban Diplomat: what should I do about an annoying e-biker? Dear Urban Diplomat: what should I do about an annoying e-biker?

Dear Urban Diplomat, Every day on my commute along Eastern Avenue, this guy on an electric bike zooms past my car, sometimes in the bike lane, sometimes weaving between cars, sometimes popping up onto the sidewalk for a few metres before plonking back onto the street. It’s maddening. Short of gently nudging him with my… Read more »

Could the Scarborough RT really become a High Line–style elevated park? Could the Scarborough RT really become a High Line–style elevated park?

THE IDEA Last Friday at city hall, TTC CEO Andy Byford surprised city councillors by reminding them that his staff are still looking into the possibility of transforming the Scarborough RT into an elevated linear park, in the vein of Manhattan’s High Line. (Council voted in favour of studying the seemingly far-fetched proposal back in… Read more »

“We got our LCBO, so we’re good”: Liberty Villagers on their n... “We got our LCBO, so we’re good”: Liberty Villagers on their neighbourhood’s bad rap

Liberty Village takes a lot of flack, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a heavily developed condo community that’s cut off from the rest of the city by railroad tracks, leaving only two major routes in and out. Liberty Village Park, the only green space of note, includes just a single small play area, even… Read more »

Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a bad person for leaving my newspaper on the subway? Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a bad person for leaving my newspaper on the subway?

Dear Urban Diplomat, I’m new to the city, and I read Metro during my morning commute. Am I littering if I leave my used copy on the subway or doing some other bored commuter a favour? —Paper Trail, Cedarvale

Smoother traffic is only the beginning: John Tory’s parking crackdown will... Smoother traffic is only the beginning: John Tory’s parking crackdown will change the way Toronto works

Attention Toronto drivers: your heaping helping of schadenfreude is ready. For all the times you’ve ever been stuck behind an illegally parked vehicle, asking aloud why doesn’t someone fine that jerk and tow him away?, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for: the moment when misfortune befalls them all, all at once, for the… Read more »