Skip to comments.Rossi promises subways, not streetcars, for Toronto
Posted on 05/04/2010 11:43:58 AM PDT by Willie Green
Rocco Rossi says if he becomes mayor of Toronto he will deliver subways not streetcars for the city's transit users.
Torontonians want subways, and as their mayor, I will deliver, said Rossi in a mid-morning news conference held on the Kay Gardner Beltline trail, overlooking the subway yards at Davisville Avenue and Yonge Street.
Rossi said his administration will end "the culture of dependency" that has surrounded the Toronto transit system and do it all without charging drivers an extra fee. A Rossi administration will not impose road tolls," he said in a direct swipe at the presumed front-runner in the campaign, George Smitherman, who has mused about imposing tolls.
Rossi said that if he is elected he will commit to digging about two kilometres of subway and opening one new subway station every year, on average.
Our goal has to be a transit system so good that when you wake up in the morning, you reach for your transit pass instead of your car keys," he said.
Rossi, who entered the campaign five months ago, has been pushed to deliver a transit vision for Canada's largest city.
On Tuesday, he said that he wants to sell off underused assets and Toronto Hydro to pay off the city's $3 billion debt. The $450 million spent right now to service the debt would then be turned towards public transit.
"If we can agree in this election to sell some of the things we own but don't need, we will not only be debt free we will be $450 million a year richer," he said.
Rossi dismissed the current Transit City plan supported by Mayor David Miller. "This plan, which I call 'Streetcar City,' has been delayed by at least two years and I believe it simply isn't up to the job," he said.
Rossi also laid out his transit priorities something he called Transit City Plus.
"Priority number one - the city gets back into building subways," he said. "They suit our climate, they're fast and they can handle the numbers that are coming in the future."
Promising "continuous tunnelling," Rossi said the idea is to go "slow and steady" building subway routes that mirror population growth patterns in the city.
Rossi also promised a closer relationship with Metrolinx, which is charged with finding ways to amalgamate the large transit services in the GTA. Other priorities include moving the TTC into the paperless world.
"So long to paper tickets and transfers, hello to smart cards, electronic maps, GPS and the use of debit and credit cards at the fare box," he said.
Government is all about not doing things under budget, efficiently, or delivering on promises.
There goes billions down a black hole.
Will they run on time?
The mayor’s name is Rossi, not Mussolini, so probably not. I have seen a few subway projects in several countries. They can take a decade or more and run into the $billions. Trams or street cars make far more sense.
What are subways good for anyway? I get it with two sqaure foot countries, but when the HD is 25 miles from your door, I doubt taking the subway is very useful. What a waste of money.
They should just leave unlocked bicycles everywhere.
Toronto’s fascination with streetcars eludes my comprehension. I just don’t see the advantage of them, compared to buses - they’re stuck in the same traffic, they can’t maneuver around vehicles parked in their way, etc. They are very durable, however, although electric buses would have many of the same benefits (other than requiring the driver to steer, of course). Don’t get me wrong, they’re kinda cool and carry quite a few people fairly smoothly, but they lack the flexibility of buses or the speed advantages of subways or elevated rail.
With the size of the greater Toronto area...surprised there is not more of a subway system....especially with the lack of freeways in the area