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Old June 26th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #421
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I think one thing the TTC will have to do is have a different colour scheme or some such thing so that people can easily differentiate between regular streetcars and the LRT lines.

I don't see the point of doing that....it's not like yhey will be sharing the same route.




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Old June 26th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #422
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June 15, 2007

PROVINCE BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW IN KITCHENER-WATERLOO
Province Commits to Funding Two-Thirds Of Regional Rapid Transit System

KITCHENER — The Province is enhancing its commitment to fund public transit in Waterloo Region by providing two-thirds of the project costs for the regional rapid transit system. In addition, the Ontario government will work with the region to request the balance from the federal government for the project, Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy announced today on behalf of Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield.

The Province, regional and federal governments are also working together to complete technical studies and an environmental assessment for the rapid transit corridor.

“The Government of Ontario is bringing rapid transit to the Region of Waterloo to reduce traffic congestion, emissions and improve air quality “ said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield. “Working together we are ensuring that Kitchener-Waterloo residents spend less time commuting and that businesses can get their goods to market on time, to keep Ontario’s economy strong.”

“We are pleased with the Province’s continued support of our rapid transit initiative.” said Regional Chair Ken Seiling. “This commitment will enable us to achieve our goals of shaping urban form and providing greater transportation choice. We look forward to moving forward on this project which will significantly shape and enhance this region.”

“This is great news for our Region”, said Milloy. “Our partnership to bring rapid transit to the community will make a significant difference in the lives of the people who live and work in the region.” Today’s announcement builds upon the McGuinty government’s commitment in the most
recent budget to support the costs of one-third of the Kitchener Waterloo rapid transit system.

In addition to today’s announcement, by September 2007 the McGuinty government will have invested approximately $18.5 million in the existing gas tax funding to help expand and improve transit service in the region. The Province also provided close to $19.5 million to repair roads and bridges under its Move Ontario program.

-30-

For more information please contact:
Justin Falconer, Executive Assistant, Office of John Milloy, MPP Kitchener Centre 416-728-6984
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #423
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Massive cuts coming to Toronto transit: commission chair

The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to close the Sheppard subway, drop 21 bus routes and raise fares because of city funding shortages, chairman Adam Giambrone said Thursday.

An emergency meeting of the commission board is scheduled for Friday to formalize the cuts, he told reporters.

"This is a horrible day," Giambrone said.
link here:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/sto.../ttc-cuts.html
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:19 AM   #424
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Honestly, I am really getting sick and tired of all this 'fear mongering' Toronto's politicians are doing in order to squeeze more money from the government. I'm not saying they don't need to pay up, but for months now we have been hearing about all these ludicrous new taxes and service cuts but like always, nothing is being done.

All this is because it is an election year. But you know what, it is the provincial and federal elections, not municipal. If your entire campaign was based off of someone else's potential choices, then it shows you are a very poor leader. And your constituents deserve better than you (though in another way, they elected you so they get what they deserve).

Only thing that will happen is maybe a fare hike in April, though fares will still be lower than most GTA transit services and with much better service. The Sheppard line ain't going anywhere - at most it will be converted into a tunneled LRT or BRT, but I wouldn't count on it.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:17 AM   #425
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"Doomsday Budgets" seem to be all the rage for cities and their transit systems these days for getting funding from upper levels of governments. They generally coincide with elections too....obviously just a coincinecne I imagine?

Nothing scare the bejeezus out of a provincial/state/federal politician, than the idea that they "shut down" a major city, and put thousands out of a job.




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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #426
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"Doomsday Budgets" seem to be all the rage for cities and their transit systems these days for getting funding from upper levels of governments.
...rage for only Canadian cities and their....

(Canada might cover an immense are, but it sure ain't the rest of the world . . . ooooo, Canadians're so worldy.)
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #427
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Good luck getting a sustainable and reliable source of funding, which is far more important than a big bonanza every how many years to fix a long period of neglect.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 07:51 AM   #428
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...rage for only Canadian cities and their..
Hardly....

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In Philadelphia, SEPTA faces a $130 million operating deficit and predicts that without financial help from the state legislature it "will raise fares by an average of 31 percent, cut service by 20 percent, and lay off 300 to 400 employees." (A sign of the magnitude of what to expect from the CTA's upcoming doomsday plans?) The SEPTA board is set to vote on the doomsday budget on May 24.

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Chicago's CTA has announced what media are calling a "doomsday budget" which forecasts their plans on how to cope if the Illinois state legislature doesn't pony up more money. Among the highlights would be fare increases to as much as $3.25 for rush hour rail and many cutbacks including closing the Yellow Line which is a segment of the former North Shore interurban line.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined a “doomsday” budget Tuesday, hoping to put the pressure on Albany to avoid a contingency plan that would mean thousands of layoffs and deep service cuts affecting virtually all aspects of city life, from the police and fire departments to schools and zoos.

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The so-called “doomsday budget” is intended to scare the bejeebers out of legislators and voters alike, which it apparently did, producing cartoon balloons of groans, grimaces, tut-tuts and told-ya-sos.

But strictly speaking, the doomsday budget is an exercise in pointillism without a point.

It is commissioned, as an annual rite of higher mathematics (those who don’t need their fingers to count beyond 10), by the General Assembly’s presiding officers but, in fact, the hypothetical document gives the governor a flat-liner spread-sheet from which to begin passing the tambourine yet another time.

So now Maryland finds itself in the hole by $1.5 billion (and counting), most of it laid at the clay feet of Former Gov. Parris Glendening (D), who unwisely cut income taxes by $700 million a year as an election-year gift (to himself) and signed the $1.3.billion Thornton education program into law without providing the money to pay for it. (This in itself may have been unconstitutional, because, by Maryland law, all money bills must have a fiscal note, or funding source, attached.)

Among 150 possibilities on the doomsday list were state employees’ pay increases and retiree health benefits; drug abuse programs; funding for education; children with disabilities; college tuitions; the prison system; and local governments which would be forced to pay half of teachers’ retirement costs.

To put things in perspective, the TTC is by FAR the most cost-efficient transit system in NA.




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Old July 21st, 2007, 07:43 PM   #429
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These cost advantage statistics are irrelevant when the system is in dire need of maintenance and expansion for a growing city. Ultimately, the customer experience is deteriorating. Would a statistic matter when people are worse off in getting around by transit?
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 01:23 AM   #430
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Hardly....













To put things in perspective, the TTC is by FAR the most cost-efficient transit system in NA.




KGB
I don't think that Canadians can fully understand how poorly funded these systems are from their state and the US governments. Both the states and the federal government regularily seem to be hell bent on extinguishing cities in this country and show that through the painful budgets they write. It's not fear mongering, it's the reality of urban governance in the United States. From what I understand, and from what I have personally seen in Toronto, the TTC has appeared to be severely short of money for some time now. Maybe I am wrong.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:51 AM   #431
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Hmmm...I'm getting the feeling that some of you are under the impression that Toronto is the only city in the world where funding transit is an issue. Funny, cause I thought it was ALL OF THEM!!!


hkskyline's hyper-doom for Toronto posts pretty much go in one ear and out the other these days...ever since he tried fobbing off the idea that China's government was much more accountable and less corrupt than Canada's.
Uh huh.




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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:19 PM   #432
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My understanding is that Canada has yet to drum up mandating anything (errr, a pencil sharpener?) to do with public transport. I suggest you try living some place where its transport's always dealt with.
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the TTC has appeared to be severely short of money for some time now. Maybe I am wrong.
I'd bet you're right. Its elevated, surface and underground networks were dilipidated up until just over three years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised were its disintegration further progressed since.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:48 PM   #433
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I agree with hkskyline. Toronto's subway is in terrible shape and has been in dire need of maintenance for years now. I just don't see how it can be argued otherwise.

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Hmmm...I'm getting the feeling that some of you are under the impression that Toronto is the only city in the world where funding transit is an issue. Funny, cause I thought it was ALL OF THEM!!!
How many cities in the world are forced to close down a subway line to survive? Toronto's subway system is in trouble, and just about every Torontonian knows it by now. It's astonishing how you can still pretend this is some ordinary problem that every city has.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 10:26 PM   #434
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He isn't saying "Subway closures" are a problem every city has. He's saying massive cuts to mass transit are a problem every city has.

I know referencing my own city is getting tiresome for many of you, but Thunder Bay lost several routes a few years ago for the very same reason, and we had a "We're going to cut Sunday/Holiday service" scare last year, too. We also have the "Why won't/What can we do to get the feds to give us more money?" debates in city hall.

Every city has mass transit problems. Obviously, Toronto, being a large city, will have a massive one like this.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:36 AM   #435
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He isn't saying "Subway closures" are a problem every city has. He's saying massive cuts to mass transit are a problem every city has.
I thought he was saying that making big (and somewhat disingenuous) threats around election time was a tactic many transit agencies use to get more money out of politicians.
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How many cities in the world are forced to close down a subway line to survive? Toronto's subway system is in trouble, and just about every Torontonian knows it by now. It's astonishing how you can still pretend this is some ordinary problem that every city has.
They haven't closed down anything yet, and I think KGB was successful enough in establishing such threat as being common enough practice to suggest that they likely won't.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #436
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He isn't saying "Subway closures" are a problem every city has. He's saying massive cuts to mass transit are a problem every city has.
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I thought he was saying that making big (and somewhat disingenuous) threats around election time was a tactic many transit agencies use to get more money out of politicians.

he he...well, both of those are true as well, but the excact point I was making at the time, was that all transit systems face budget/revenue/maintenance issues, because the costs of operating, maintaining and making capital purchases for transit systems is a strain on whatever budget is required to pay it...be it federal, state or provincial, or municipal In Toronto's case, this cost is bourne entirely by the municipal government at the moment (with the odd one-time handout).

Now, Toronto has an advantage over most (or all) large transit agencies, in that it has such a high cost recovery. The cost to the city (and the tax payer), is only $260 million annually...to run the 2nd largest transit system in Canada or the USA. That is ridiculously cheap, when you consider the size of the city's budget.

With a nearly $8 billion operational budget, the city could easily allocate the required funds to the TTC by simply cutting funds elsewhere. It could also raise taxes to increase revenue to cover it. It can also use it as a political football to shame the feds and province into giving the city the funds it deserves.

Notice how this comes on the heels of Queen's Park's big announcement of $17.5 billion for transit, and after upper levels of government bragging about other money, like gas taxes, etc? You'd think the city would be celebrating...but that's not how the game works.

There's no way the city is going to close down subway lines and drastically shut down service...it would be completely against their plane. Back when the city got downloaded with ALL transit costs, the name of the game was cost efficiency...that's why the fare box was covering over 80% of the opertional costs...cause the budget would only allow so much...so the fares HAD to cover the balance.

But in the last few years, the game completely changed...upper levels of government have said they would give money, but ONLY based on ridership increases. Since cutting services and raising fares did indeed make it very cost-efficient, it also meant lost ridership. So now that it's all about ridership increases, the city has completely changed the game-plan, and has been increasing services, and implimenting incentives (like transferable metropasses), and it has worked very well...this year, the TTC will probably see ridership meet or eclipse it's all-time ridership levels of the late 80's.

But, that money has not been rolling in from upper levels of government in the time-frame they expected, or in the amounts they expected...and it's not something you can budget on because you don't know when, or how much.

So this is the kind of game you see happening....the city feels it's been playing the game, with the required results, but it doesn't think it's been getting the rewards it was promised. They have made huge strides in increasing ridership, but it has come at the cost of lost revenue....cost recovery.

This is why they aren't going to shut down subways and cut services and routes...it would mean huge lost ridership, and there's no way they are going to screw that up after working so hard to gain all the ridership they have.


As for the subways being "dilipidated"...don't be silly...Toronto's subway's "state-of-good-repair" is quite good, especially for a 50 year-old system. We can thank David Gunn for all that work in the 90's. The trains run on time, the rolling stock is practically new. What are people bassing this on...a few aestetics in some older subway stations? Com'on. You need to see a REAL dilapidated subways system to appreciate it. The city has made sure it has invested the dollars on the "behind the scenes" nuts and bolts" stuff that is required to keep and aging subways system from really becoming a mess...take a look at what it did to NYC....derailments and track fires happened almost DAILY!! The city has alocated $717 million for 2007 alone for capital purchases.




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Old September 7th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #437
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Subways to get more security cameras
TTC plans to spend $6.4M federal grant to beef up surveillance, cut vandalism, crime

Toronto Star
6 September 2007

The TTC will use a $6.4 million federal grant announced by Ottawa yesterday to install security cameras at all major subway entrances.

The cameras, already present at 15 stations, will be system-wide by 2009, according to TTC chief general manager Gary Webster. They're part of a plan to install surveillance devices in all TTC vehicles and on subway platforms to discourage vandalism and crime.

In April, police were able to arrest a suspect in a subway-car homicide because an image was captured of a person leaving Kennedy station.

But transit officials are also deeply concerned about the threat of terrorism and plan to bulk up the special constables force over the next five years.

"Canada has been purported to be on a list of targets for terrorists, and Toronto's an important city," said Webster.

Under yesterday's federal transportation announcement, Union Station will get $4.8 million to install an emergency communications system that will allow officials to direct commuters in the event of another incident like the 2004 hostage-taking, in which a man held a gun to a woman's head on Front St. as passengers streamed out of the station.

The funding is part of about $12 million Ottawa will spend to improve transit security across Canada, Burlington MP Mike Wallace said at Union Station yesterday.

TTC chair Adam Giambrone praised the security measures Ottawa has supported but said no money has come for industrial security projects, such as protecting the Hillcrest complex where the TTC does much of its behind-the-scenes work. Tens of millions of dollars are needed to secure the TTC's other facilities and hundreds of millions to build fire and ventilation protections in the subways. Some $250 million is needed for security in the next five years, he said.

But public transit will never reflect the level of security seen at airports, according to Michael Roschlau, president of the Canadian Urban Transportation Association.

"Moving a lot of people quickly means you can't have security barriers of that nature," he said. "It destroys the very nature of public transportation when you start to put barriers in places that impede the flow of people."
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Old September 10th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #438
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Subways to get more security cameras
TTC plans to spend $6.4M federal grant to beef up surveillance, cut vandalism, crime

Toronto Star
6 September 2007

The TTC will use a $6.4 million federal grant announced by Ottawa yesterday to install security cameras at all major subway entrances.

The cameras, already present at 15 stations, will be system-wide by 2009, according to TTC chief general manager Gary Webster. They're part of a plan to install surveillance devices in all TTC vehicles and on subway platforms to discourage vandalism and crime.
Really interesting reading, the London Underground system has had 100% coverage for a while now. Even at small stations you will pass 20+ camera before getting on your train, at large stations maybe 40+.

Been a while since I've been in the city but I always enjoyed traveling the Toronto metro.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #439
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I'm surprised too, I thought they'd been monitoring their stations for ages now.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 09:27 AM   #440
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TTC security-camera challenge seen as test case
Canadian Press
29 October 2007

An investigation into whether privacy laws would be violated by installing thousands of security cameras throughout the country's largest public transit network will likely be a test case for other Canadian jurisdictions contemplating similar surveillance systems to deter crime or terror attacks, experts say.

“Anything that happens in Ontario … and in Toronto in particular, will be closely examined in other jurisdictions in Canada,” said Ariane Siegel, a privacy expert and partner at Gowlings law firm in Toronto.

“Not only by municipal organizations, but by other organizations as well.”

The Toronto Transit Commission is in the process of installing up to 10,000 security cameras in its buses, streetcars and subway system, adding to its current network of about 1,500 cameras.

That prompted London-based Privacy International to lodge a complaint Wednesday with Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, denouncing the project as an unnecessary waste of resources that violates Canadian privacy laws.

TTC chairman Adam Giambrone has defended the plan, saying it conforms to privacy guidelines because the information will not be viewed live and will be accessed only by the police.
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