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Hey! That Hurts!

Toronto is ‘an overgrown hick town’, says transportation consultant Edward Levy, according to this latest column by Toronto Star reporter Christopher Hume. Levy’s main gripe is that the TTC is not adding to the city’s anemic subway network. Among other things, he wants to see the Sheppard subway extended west to meet Downsview station, creating more of a subway network and spurring development in a very underdeveloped area of the city.

What’s frustrating is that, although Levy bemoans the fact that we’re leaning towards LRTs rather than new subways because of the cost (despite the fact that, as councillor Mihevc says, “Subways are the spine of a transit system, LRT is the ribs.”), it’s by no means certain that we’ll find the money to build the LRTs we need in this city, either.

Still, the “hick town” comment stings.

Also in the news: the TTC is debating a deal to install flat screen TVs in Toronto’s subway stations. On the plus side, the screens would replace the outdated and broken Metron displays with high-tech devices that will flash the correct time and the latest information to TTC patrons. Better still the company involved, OneStop Communications, is agreeing to pay the TTC $770,000 to install the devices and, after seven years, the TTC would own them.

On the minus side, OneStop would profit by running nearly non-stop advertisements on the screens. There are concerns that the amount of useful public information on the screens is too small to be read by patrons.

The director of OneStop Communications is meeting with TTC Commissioner Howard Moscoe to resolve any issues he might have. The matter will be discussed at May’s TTC meeting.

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