Public transit is not a left-wing conspiracy
Transit is quickly becoming the main issue in this mayoral election.
A few weeks back Rob Ford presented his transportation policy.
If you thought Rocco Rossi’s recent announcement takes this city back decades, Rob Ford’s plan goes just as far back and is just as inept.
I live in North York. I like lower taxes and for City Hall to set an example when it comes to spending. I used to live in the 905 and used to drive everywhere. I should be Rob Ford’s core constituent!
But, when I read his transit plan I knew right then and there he lost my vote. He had me up until he unveiled his transit policy. I can’t help but think he doesn’t get transportation in Toronto.
I may not be an expert in the subject either but my Toronto includes streetcars.
Ultimately, all the hypothetical money saved at City Hall isn’t going to matter if people have to drive to work and won’t embrace public transit. It also won’t help address the overcrowding on our subways and streetcar routes.
Someone should tell Rob Ford there isn’t some hippie, lefty or downtown conspiracy here when it comes to public transit. Transit is the most effective way to move a large amount of people at one time.
Rob Ford is someone who has resided in City Hall for a decade and I, frankly, expected more from him in regards to transit.
Because his ward is closer to downtown Brampton than downtown Toronto I also thought he’d embrace all types of transit that reached the farthest corners of the city and the people that need it the most.
Before I moved to Toronto I had an idea that transit, and the TTC, was important to all residents but it wasn’t until I actually started living here and saw first-hand, day in and day out, how vital it is in moving people across the city.
Toronto, at this point, because of decades of neglect, needs all kinds of transit to move people. Commuting is not getting any easier in the city. We cannot pick and choose what we want.
This is why Transit City, perceived warts and all, works. It moves people across the city. More importantly, it also reaches out to neglected parts of the city that are dependent on cars and used to long commutes. I wish the other candidates, besides the deputy mayor, would embrace the project.
In a city the size of Toronto we sometimes need to compromise. Unless we had an unlimited amount of money coming in this compromising includes transit.
The reality in this city and region is that we cannot build subways everywhere. We have to be strategic with where and when we build them.
Policies like the one Mr. Ford brings forward, along with the recent announcements from Mr. Rossi, threaten to bring Toronto back to the past when we should be moving forward.
We can’t keep coming back to the same old arguments of the 1970s and 1980s. These old arguments are just that - old. They should stay in the past. They do nothing for us today in 2010.
We need to start embracing new ideas and new technology to get people moving in this city.
All we should ask for in a Mayor is to run the city effectively, understand the needs of its citizens and act accordingly.
Saving money and cleaning up City Hall is important but if Rob Ford cannot, unfortunately, wrap his head around transit, the single most important need and challenging issue facing Torontonians in the short and long-term, what else will he not be able to understand?
This is why I cannot vote for Rob Ford. I suspect I’m not alone.