Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photo: The Way to Lawrence-Donway

Given that Rob Ford spent the entire Toronto election campaign fulminating about waste and gravy, it's a matter of course that he'd go looking for it wherever he thought he might find some - and hizzoner thinks he has found some more in the TTC. Only a couple of years ago, more than eighty-five percent of TTC routes ran until 1 AM; now, of course, service is being throttled back. Perhaps the biggest single cut is falling upon the 162 Lawrence-Donway route, for which service will end at 7 PM on weekdays, and which will not run at all on weekends and holidays.

To be honest, that didn't much surprise me. 162 Lawrence-Donway goes through the Bridle Path, one of the single richest neighborhoods in Toronto; generally speaking, it seems people who live in mansions with intercoms at the front gates tend not to rely on public transit. Nevertheless, it's an expansion of the transit desert. With the cutbacks on the Lawrence-Donway bus, the entire area bounded by Bayview to the west, York Mills to the north, Leslie to the east and Eglinton to the south has no transit service whatsoever when that bus isn't running.

It's not the only one, of course. It's just the most glaring.

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This means that you are free to Share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and to Remix (to adapt the work) under the following conditions: Attribution (you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor, but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), Noncommercial (you may not use this work for commercial purposes), and Share Alike (if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one).


  1. The target audience for the 162 seems to be household staff working in the various mansions. If you look at the route's schedule you'll see that its frequency is 2 buses an hour, regardless of what time it is or whether it's a weekend or weekday. (It only 'sleeps in' until 9am on Sundays because presumably it's not very useful when there's no subway running for it to connect to.) Lopping off evenings and weekends, when household staff are as likely to be commuting as any other time, seems asinine. Since I have no idea of the relations between Bridle Path millionaires and their staff, I can't say whether Ford is going to draw the ire of Toronto's mega-rich because their maid now has to take a taxi on Sundays. It would certainly be entertaining to watch.

    You'd think after the fiasco with the Downsview Park bus they'd pay more attention to what they were cutting. There ridership counts indicated that no one was using the bus. Except they missed the fact that whenever there was a hockey game at the arena, the bus would actually be jam-packed shuttling spectators to and from Downsview station. (The TTC just had the bad luck to never do the count on a hockey day.) Result: the next consultation meeting gets mobbed by angry hockey parents and suchlike.

  2. Considering the strange obsession hizzoner seems to have with extending the Sheppard stubway - not to mention his animus against light rail, which is less strange but no less of an obsession - sure, you'd think, but Ford's administration has demonstrated that it is far more interested in ideology than planning. It takes time, effort, and interest to examine the network as a coherent whole and to consider the effect that yanking out one thread would have on the whole; it's far easier to cut based on simple statistics and crow about derailing the gravy train.