Rob Ford renews pledge to phase out streetcars

After failing to make his 2010 campaign dream to phase out streetcars a reality, Ford is asking for another chance

City Hall would face steep financial penalties to cancel contracts related to new streetcar orders
Photo: James Moore/NEWSTALK 1010

Mayor Rob Ford has Toronto's streetcars in his crosshairs again. 

He believes doing away with them in favour of building new subway lines will ease Toronto's gridlocked streets. 

Ford was responding to a study of the King Street streetcar line on Thursday. 

After failing to make his 2010 campaign dream to phase out the city's streetcars a reality, Ford is asking for another chance. 

He says if he is re-elected Mayor, he will scrap plans to purchase new streetcars to replace the city's aging fleet. 

City Hall has already committed almost $2 billion for new rail vehicles and other projects associated with them. 

Penalties to renege on those orders would be costly and Ford is not able to explain in detail how he would pay for any new subway lines. 

The Mayor would not say how much he extra he would be willing to spend in order to cancel contracts related to the new streetcar fleet order. 

The first of Toronto's new streetcars hit the tracks later this month.

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  1. JustSaying posted on 08/08/2014 09:39 AM
    How out of touch with Toronto is he? The city's streetcars are part of what makes it work, what makes it unique, what makes it vibrant - not to mention the massive new streetcars that are due to arrive on our streets WILL help passengers get on and off faster and solve the issue Rob Ford would have us toss like dirty bath water.

    So the issue has been address, will be totally solved, a massive structure has just been built to house them and their expected expanded fleet, and instead of acknowledging what the city under this mayor's term agreed to build, and maintain - he'd trash it all?

    I wonder if this is out of ignorance; pandering; or contempt for those of us who actually live in the city.

    Ford's opinion has always been - whatever does not benefit his car is not good for the city. How short sighted and sad.

    The best solution for the King Street issue is to ban all vehicles from it (in a pre-determined downtown core) during rush hours except for bikes, TTC vehicles and motorcycles.

    Even Queen street could be liberated in a similar manner. Those with cars who cry foul, can stay in their suburbs and shop at Pottery Barn. We who do live and work in the city will not miss them. And a ban on both streets during rush hour would have ZERO impact on commerce. (Its already a no stopping zone) Delivery companies will have to adjust. tough.

    If this city's leaders truly wants to move its citizens, then the need to push those who drive on King or Queen during rush hour elsewhere, or have them take the newly liberated King and Queen cars.

    Again, if these streetcars are such an issue for cars and trucks, then the cars and trucks should drive elsewhere.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (Ah, Spok you old soul you)
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 10:19 AM
      @JustSaying One problem with your ban on cars on Queen and King....what are people going to do about all the courier services that take place in those areas...

      The law offices especially "live and die" with these services transporting court/client/law documents. And that's courier services for just ONE industry. The streetcars are outdated and should go. We are kidding ourselves if we think that its more important than the car or bus.
    2. JustSaying posted on 08/08/2014 10:40 AM
      @Karl Burgin Super easy solution for court documents and couriers - if you use a car or truck, deliver them early and NOT during rush hour.

      And if it has to get on King or Queen street during rush hour - couriers can ride motorcycles and/or bikes. Not an issue with my solution. (If I owned a courier company, I'd set up a stand at River and Queen and anything from the east coming into the city would stop there and then it would be passed over to a two-wheeled vehicle as necessary during rush hour. You could make one in the West too. Sure there would be a premium on rush hour service, but isn't there always?)

      I know this city is smart enough to embrace change for the betterment of everyone, for now and the future, right?
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 10:52 AM
      @JustSaying The problem with that scenario, is that the courier service is all hours of the day at any given time. You can't just limit it to early morning and/or late evening delivery.
      I promise you, watch a large law firm work downtown for a day and you'll see what I mean. I've been around a few for almost a couple of years, and I see all manner of drivers, deliveries and couriers that transmit court documents to and from offices all the time.
      And as I said, its only one industry I know of that needs the roads open to cars. There's also the need for delivery trucks, taxis, emergency services, and countless others.

      I just can't see the streetcar trumping the needs of all those other services I mentioned....

      Maybe you could limit the streetcar to mainly condo residence areas- or to places where there's not much businesses around. Which, if that was the case, then they could stay.
    4. JustSaying posted on 08/08/2014 12:26 PM
      @Karl Burgin Yes, couriers do operate 24/7, however we are only talking about limiting vehicles during Rush Hour, not all day long....right?

      You are just like Ford, making up untrue assumptions, not examining what was put in front of you, but instead jumping upon an incorrect assumption as fact, then stating that the fact you just made up needs to be addressed? He taught you well.


      As for banishing streetcars to only operate in stretches of condo-land? ; We need these in our high volume corridors to feed the business buildings on King Street....... And with no cars on King Street, the streetcars will be amazing.
    5. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 12:44 PM
      @JustSaying About my untrue assumptions, I guess you missed the part where I've had first hand experiences witnessing the couriers going back and forth all over the place.
      I worked at King and Yonge for TWO years. I've seen the huge delays those street cars cause in that area. Cars are stuck behind them. At an intersection, they can't turn right because of the people boarding. It's suicide turning left. And when the streetcars are stuck side-by-side on their side of the road, no one can get through.
      There's already heavy pedestrian traffic when there's no special event (like TIFF) happening that bogs traffic. Especially when people jay walk in the middle of the street (I myself am guilty of this), or when hordes of people cross across the street when heading for the GO station.
      I've seen firetrucks and ambulances try to drive through there with little success trying to fight through all the mess.

      So no JUSTSAYING, it is not untrue assumptions. I've lived it almost every single day. Street cars might work on Spadina. But definitely not on King and Queen street.

      I agree with removing parking altogether to help- but the streetcar, especially in those areas, and on St. Clair (that's another driver's nightmare) has got to go.
    6. dama posted on 08/08/2014 12:47 PM
      @JustSaying "The city's streetcars are part of what makes it work, what makes it unique, what makes it vibrant - "

      Sorry, beg to differ on your statement, the street car is not unique and it has never worked,, and it is not vibrant.. it is a pain in the arse to drive behind on of these....if past mayors had the will, it should have been gone a long time ago.. and I agree with Rob Ford that street car should be gone but due to the existing contracts, it wil lbe too expensive to break them..

      If there is no binding contract, Rob Ford is on the correct path.. buses will be much better than street cars..
    7. JustSaying posted on 08/08/2014 02:06 PM
      @dama Karl - yes there is lots of traffic 24/7 but the issue we are talking about is Rush Hour. I worked in the King/Young area (for over 25 years) and I do very well know of what I speak.

      I hate taking TTC because it is slow to arrive most of the time, ....but when there is too much snow to get in on a two-wheeled vehicle, I take the TTC and hate it.

      Why should 150 people on a streetcar be delayed because one car owner decides to screw up the works. Traffic enforcement only creates more of a log jam as the police vehicle and the offending vehicle screw up traffic further. (if they want to give me the $ for the fine instead of the city, for my pain and suffering delay, that might be ok...)

      Yes Streetcars are a pain in the ass to be behind, so are delivery trucks, cube van, tourists from the suburbs, and people who continue to text while at red lights!

      Streetcars also use Far less energy than a bus and have no exhaust..

      Busses also create traffic issues and can be harder to pass than a streetcar.

      Commuter tip: Buy a small motorbike, some foul weather gear, and some snow pants to ride with in February and you'll be all set.

      And if you live too far from Downtown for this to work for you - maybe you should move downtown, or closer to it at least - or telecommute your job.

      But if you are not willing to make these changes, then you by your own choice are forcing yourself into traffic chaos, created by those just like you.

      The Street Cars are more important than any individual's car. They move more people, are better for the environment and we have an infrastructure to support them. You cannot argue that.

    8. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 04:41 PM
      @JustSaying Disagree with most of your spiel- except for the telecommuting idea.

      That is something that should be aggressively sought after to help improve congestion. The city should try work with employers, or give them a benefit of some sort, say if a good portion of their employees commute from the east-end into downtown. Lease a satellite office or something.
      But that notion is really between the employer and the city- not the employee.

      And given the abysmal job prospects since 2008, most people don't have the funds or the luxury to move closer to their work- especially if they have a family or a spouse who is already stable at another job.

      Gravely disagree with you on the streetcar aspect. But the telecommuting idea is something I sorely wish a politician would run with. And I believe it the answer that would solve the majority of our transportation issues...
    9. Fact Provider posted on 08/08/2014 07:18 PM
      @Karl Burgin You, as a resident of BRAMPTON, are obviously the person with the most knowledge about a streetcar situation in Toronto.

      Thank you for your out-of-town wisdom.
    10. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 07:33 PM
      @Fact Provider You, who presume to know where I live by listening to anti-social racist trolls are an idiot.
      No thanks for your sub-par intellect. And in the future, you should consider keeping your inane banter to yourself
    11. Fact Provider posted on 08/08/2014 07:52 PM
      @Karl Burgin Your name on here links to Brampton as your city of residence.
      Either that's true or you lied when you created your profile.

      So, Karl... which is it?
      I'm right ...
      or ...
      you're a liar ...

      Take your best shot Brampton Ford loving troll of trolls.
    12. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 08:03 PM
      @Fact Provider Yeah....because the reason for that is because I have stupid trills like donny, who obviously have a stalker personality, Google my name, and search on LinkedIn to find out more about me. With the obvious intent of harassing me further.
      I'm sorry but I don't have an intent of going through cyber-bullying.
      Not that it should really matter of where I live. Because I still do business and travel in Toronto, so my opinion still matters. But your cop-out excuse of me not living in Toronto as some obvious threat of my support for Ford is noted.
      But please. Don't mind me. Continue trolling the Internet to find out more about me. Let's see how far that gets you. Or prove to everyone here of your trollish stalker-like traits you posses as well.

      Oh and BTW. I'm sure you're real name isn't Fact Provider. Probably the same reason why I don't offer real personal information. But by your logic, I guess that makes you a liar as well.
    13. Fact Provider posted on 08/08/2014 08:14 PM
      @Karl Burgin Sorry, I have no time for lying or for liars. My "name" describes the service I provide - that of providing facts - as opposed to offering unsubstantiated and sometimes deluded commentary (take note, Karl - the "deluded" reference is specifically for you).

      Your deflection is noted, troll, but how about refuting the fact that the Israeli defence shield was gladly accepted by Israel because it was a gift from the Yanks, certainly not because Israel was "forced" by the unsophisticated weaponry in Gaza.
    14. Fact Provider posted on 08/08/2014 08:18 PM
      @Karl Burgin Waiting for any sensible response from you, Karl.
      You are able to keep up with 2 threads simultaneously aren't you?
    15. Fact Provider posted on 08/08/2014 08:33 PM
      @Karl Burgin Your complete lack of response points to your lack of knowledge.
      Consider yourself bested - AGAIN !
    16. Karl Burgin posted on 08/08/2014 08:56 PM
      @Fact Provider 1.>I'm extremely busy at the moment, and was answering you off my phone. Now I just down in front of a computer. Its not my fault I can't answer to your idiotic comments in a split-second- like someone who lives in their parent's basement.

      2.>Your name is a joke. You suggest your name means you provide facts. On the contrary, you provide nothing but solid BS for arguments. Also, your argument was I was a liar because I don't use my real name. It was not about what your name means or what it describes. So, in effect, you're still a liar.

      3.>Unlike you, I could respond simultaneously to two threads- again, provided that I have an obscene amount of time on my hands like yourself. Unfortunately I do not have that luxury.

      4.>How about sticking to argument, instead of calling me out because I didn't provide you my real info- for your satisfaction. If of course, that's too hard for you to handle.....

      ...and just so you know, this is my last response till maybe Monday. I had a busy week and I'm taking a break. So my non-response to whatever idiotic comments I'm sure you're going to follow up with, isn't because you've somehow dumb-founded me. Its because I don't have the urge to hang on to your every response.
    17. Fact Provider posted on 08/09/2014 05:39 AM
      @Karl Burgin Nine hours and counting ... but you are "extremely busy at the moment..." .

      However, you can deflect for 5 paragraphs and still not manage to refute either of the 2 questions put to you.

      Nice try failed one.

      Stay in Brampton and enjoy your own mayor and her problems and stop trolling on topics about which you know nothing of substance.
  2. StuG posted on 08/08/2014 09:54 AM
    i would like to take this opportunity to wish Rob Ford all the best with whatever he decides to do with the rest of his life after Oct. 27
  3. ToddK_2 posted on 08/08/2014 11:10 AM
    Don't ban the cars just have them not park or stop in rush hour in the right lane across the city on Queen and King. That also means extending rush hour to 7:30 PM which should have been done 10 years ago. Also, remove the left turn at Bathurst and King. This isn't rocket science people.
  4. AbbyW posted on 08/08/2014 03:56 PM
    The streetcar problem goes back decades. Instead of phasing them out and replacing with subways they eliminated the electric buses and expanded streetcars, especially under Miller. This was an anti-car agenda of his and the left and we're now stuck with the mess they created. Empty lanes for streetcars while traffic is backed up. It's a similar stupidity as HOV lanes 24/7 on highways vs rush-hour use.

    Subways should have been expanded decades ago and all past city councils are also responsible for that lack of progress.

    It doesn't take a genius to determine how to efficiently get traffic moving, just get past the socialist agenda. Unfortunately our councillors are too small-minded to care enough about the city, only about their getting re-elected.
    1. MarkFromEtobicoke posted on 08/09/2014 12:58 PM
      @AbbyW Nah, its the ant-tax agenda of conservatives. Subways cost 3-4 times as much as streetcars and conservatives didn't want to raise taxes to pay for it so we are stuck with the second best solution.
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