A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “The Economist Really Doesn’t Understand Toronto Transit”

Torontoist features a fisking, by one John Parker, of a brief article in the Economist that manages to misunderstand mass transit in Toronto.

To take the Economist’s word for it, the earliest piece of evidence that Toronto was in for trouble was when the Spadina Expressway project was halted in 1971. “The result is more traffic jams,” says the esteemed magazine in the face of about 50 years of international experience telling us that highways leading into downtown areas do more to create traffic than to reduce it.

But even before it touches on that helpful perspective, the article suggests that one of Toronto’s problems is that its residents are bailing out. It reports that, according to our mayor, Toronto residents who leave the city give “two main reasons” for not returning: “The first is that the jobs are better in places like London and Hong Kong.”

I am not making this up.

“The second is that Toronto’s public transportation is much worse.”

The article notes that the mayor who so clearly has his finger on the pulse of the average Toronto resident also has the solution to Toronto’s transit challenges: “His plan, dubbed SmartTrack, calls for building a new light-rail line…and adding six stations to existing commuter rail lines.”

No, it doesn’t.

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

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