A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘metropass

[NEWS] Eleven New Year’s Eve links: time, Metropass, Toronto, data, Syria, technology, retrofuture

  • This L.M. Sacasas essay at the Frailest Thing about our contemporary struggles with time, with the sense that time is escaping us faster than we can follow it, is a timely read for New Year’s Eve.</li.
  • Steve Munro celebrates the venerable Metropass of Toronto, giving way at the end of today after nearly four decades to the Presto card.
  • Ben Spurr writes at the Toronto Star about how Metropass fan Nathan Ng is trying to put together an online collection of all 464 of these cards.
  • Christopher Hume writes at the Toronto Star about ten things people in Toronto can do in 2019 to make their city better, starting with boosting the Rail Deck Park.
  • Motherboard notes that a vast store of works previously kept under copyright is set to enter the public domain, and why this will happen.
  • Wired notes that 2018 is a year where people began to recognize the importance of their public data. Will 2019 be a year of belated attempts to protect this?
  • Adnan Khan at MacLean’s notes that the Syria where the Assad regime is set to declare its complete victory over opponents is not going to be a country that Syrian refugees will want to return to.
  • The New York Times links to seven of its articles exploring ways for individuals to live better lives in 2019.
  • This Quartzy essay makes the case for giving up on New Year’s resolutions as, among other things, overly inflexible.
  • Rosie Spinks at Quartzy makes the case that a life thesis is better than New Year’s resolutions.
  • The Toronto Star shares an Isaac Asimov essay from 1983 in which he sought to predict 2019. (He was right about the importance of superpower conflict, right about education if optimistic in predicting adaptation, wrong about Moon colonies.)

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: #AGOInfinity, 2 Queen Street East, TTC, ROM

  • The Art Gallery of Ontario has gotten its Infinity Room! Global News reports.
  • The rehabilitation and renovation of 2 Queen Street East will be a high-profile project. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Steve Munro continues to examine the relative speeds of the 504 King and 501 Queen streetcars, here.
  • This warning from the TTC union that Presto cards are too failure-prone to be able to properly take over from the Metropass in January makes me, a TTC user, worry. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Toronto doctors can now issue their patients prescriptions to visit the ROM. blogTO reports.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Metropass, Dial-a-Story, Brickworks, South Etobicoke, NEWFOUNDLAND

  • Transit Toronto notes that, sadly, at the end of 2018, the TTC’s venerable Metropass will be no more, subsumed into Presto. I bid this card a dear farewell: I will miss it!
  • Emerald Bensadoun at the Toronto Star writes about how the Toronto Public Library’s Dial-a-Story program has been helping children learn English for decades.
  • Christopher Hume at the Toronto Star writes about the renovation of the Evergreen Brickworks’ kiln building. I’m excited to see this place again.
  • This paid advertisement highlighting the attractions of South Etobicoke actually does seem to do a decent job of explaining the attractions of this part of Toronto. I’d buy a condo by the Humber.
  • blogTO notes that 1537 Queen Street West, in Parkdale, is set to host a new store, NEWFOUNDLAND, catering to Newfoundlander expats.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: gay Toronto, reverse commuters, TTC, Presto, Bentway

  • I find quite accurate this Hornet Stories guide to gay Toronto.
  • This May Warren article in the Toronto Star looking at so-called “reverse commuters” in the GTA, people who live in the city an commute outwards, is fascinating.
  • It goes without saying that an uploading of the TTC from the City of Toronto to the provincial government would threaten municipal-level transit planning. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The two-hour transfer program being created for Presto users is a good sign of the push to get that card up and running. (Me, I still use the Metropass; I trust it.) CBC reports.
  • The block party held Saturday at the Bentway to celebrate the conversion of that patch under the Gardiner Expressway by Fort York into a public space would have been fun, I think. The Toronto Star reports.

[PHOTO] August 2018 Metropass, St. Clair West (#stclairwest)

Is the August Metropass count as one I could claim as almost beijg my neighbourhood? #toronto #ttc #metropass #stclairwest #dovercourtvillage

Does the August Metropass card count as one I could claim as almost being my neighbourhood’s?

Written by Randy McDonald

August 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm

[PHOTO] Last Metropass line, November 2016, Eglinton station

Last Metropass line, November 2016, Eglinton station #toronto #yongeandeglinton #eglinton #ttc #metropass #metrolinx #presto

Last night when I was at Eglinton station, I snapped a photo of the regular end-of-the-month line-up for a Metropass. It was a noteworthy moment for me because this is going to be the last such moment, with the transition in January 2017 to the reloadable Presto cards.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

[URBAN NOTE] Two notes on the ill-thought campaign against Toronto Metropass discounts

Torontoist noted that a recent suggestion by councilor John Campbell that Metropasses are unfairly cheap and lead to underfunding is ill-founded.

In fact, compared to the largest North American, Canadian, and local transit system, TTC riders pay the largest percentage toward the fare box.

On a percentage basis, the TTC works with less subsidy than any other transit agency on the continent. This is in large part due to the Province getting out of funding the TTC’s operating budget. But the City didn’t pick up the slack—in large part because of councillors who are too afraid to raise property taxes or support other revenue tools to make up the difference.

And so here we are, with a councillor floating the trial balloon fare discounts like the Metropass is the TTC’s biggest problem, and that we can solve transit by making it more expensive. If that’s not indicative of larger problems, it’s hard to know what is.

Steve Munro goes into greater detail in the context of the budget cuts demanded. Removing the Metropass would save only 80 million dollars, and, notably, is not recommended by the TTC.

The relatively small saving through elimination of Metropass discounts gives a view into how riders actually use the system. Passholders account for over half of all adult “trips”, but one cannot simply assume that they would continue to make all of these journeys if they had to pay for each of them separately. The idea that all pass trips represent a huge subsidy (because the lower average fare one can achieve with very frequent use is “lost revenue”) simply does not hold up. Unfortunately, TTC management has encouraged this view ever since passes were introduced.

The total number of trips taken using any form of pass in 2015 was 292.983 million, or 55% of all ridership. With a projected saving of $80m, the average per pass trip is about 27 cents. However, eliminating pass-level pricing would represent a large fare increase and would affect ridership numbers, a counterproductive move when getting people onto transit is supposed to be one of the City’s priorities. Pass usage as a percentage of total ridership has grown from 25% in 1987 to 50% in 2008, and to 55% in 2015. This is now the primary way in which riders pay for travel, and the bean-counting politicians who agonize over TTC fares should stop thinking in terms of tokens, tickets and cash. Riders prefer to purchase their service in bulk at a fixed price, and this should be encouraged to simplify the fare system for as many riders as possible.

Mayor Tory’s financial schemes have been “running on the fumes” for two years, and the 2017 budget marks the point that his fantasies simply will not be tenable. Does Council have the will to tackle this problem, or will transit riders (not to mention users of many other City services) be forced to suffer through the effects of the tax cutters’ naïve belief that they can control costs through searches for “efficiency”? Will voters, especially those represented by Tory’s henchmen on Council, tell their representatives that cuts are unacceptable, or will those who languish awaiting suburban buses put their faith in myths about “waste” that prevents their having frequent, comfortable service?

If we want good things–and necessary things, as I would call the Metropass–we need to pay for them. This includes adequate levels of government funding.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 7, 2016 at 4:14 pm