As the municipal election campaign rolls on in Toronto, aside from wanting a new mayor, it's clear voters are most concerned about traffic and transit.
Rob Ford, John Tory and Olivia Chow have all made their pitches. Ford is all subways. Tory wants to use existing rail lines converted to electric to take pressure off the existing subway runs. Chow pitches cancellation of the planned Scarborough subway in favour of LRT, and expanded bus service.
The think-tank, Pembina Institute has examined transit in 5 major Canadian cities and the institute's Ontario director Cherise Burda says our local politicans have to step back and examine what is going on in the other cities.
In a nutshell, Burda says the other cities have progressed more than Toronto because they have a mixed transit system instead of focusing so much on subways. Subways, of course, is all that Mayor Ford is trying to sell.
Quoting Cherise Burda directly now "it's not to say we shouldn't build subways. Of cours we need to keep doing that, but the subways we're going to be building are for the NEXT generation, and THIS generation is stuck in traffic."
Pembina Institue says Bus Rapid Transit can be up and running in two to three years. LRT's can be up in 4 or 5.
As for the cost, the Star quotes University of Waterloo transportation professor Jeff Casello says "for one kilometre of subway you can build 5 to 10 kilometres of LRT."