Comment 121763

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:26:51

There is a provincial law that for the life of me I can't remember the name of but forces the Province to make sure that there is a working alternative for cancelled municipal services. It doesn't necessarily mean that the new alternative has to even be government run but it does say that it must be able to perform the service with some ability of competence comparable to the former service.

My 4th year senior research project form my undergrad Urban Planning Degree was the creation of a regional or super regional transit service around the entire Golden Horseshoe Region not just the GTA. It could be run by a special purpose body which had a region wide governance ability or was run by the Province as a separate agency. A few had done the subject before but I was the first one at the time, that tried to figure out how you would actually do it.

Unfortunately, most super regional transit services in North America have been problematic because one or even several major structural planks in their operational plans was never or could never be politically implemented. Thus these agencies start and continue to run underfunded and or without real authority to act fully in their needed capacity by accident or design. Therefore transit services suffer continually. The MBTA around Boston is a fantastic example of this, never given enough funding because one of the Bills that would have provided most of the operational funding for it was killed in the state assembly early in the agency's history and a replacement funding plan through a sales tax was defeated by voters in the state elections. The MBTA was also never given the full authority over transit planning and operational implementation so it must continually negotiate for many of its larger projects with local, county and state governments.

Taking over for municipal transit from underperforming and underfunded municipal operations can also be a complex logistical nightmare. For example, the creation of York Region Transit was difficult because the 5 municipal services it took over from were so purposely underfunded, understaffed and underequipped that the first 2 years were really needed for the companies that run the separate transit zones in York Region for the new Regional York Region Transit Agency, buy equipment needed for basic operations. Things like tools and maintenance equipment for mechanics proper facilities for drivers, modern radio and communication equipment that was universally functional across the entire York Region System.

2 of the 5 previous municipal transit systems in York Region had private companies running them. YRT was surprised to find out that nearly all the drivers equipment including uniforms were owned by the companies not the municipality. The garages, maintenance staff and maintenance equipment were not municipally owned. In fact, the only thing the Town of Newmarket owned from its former Transit Service were the buses themselves, everything else including the drivers hand held ticket punchers, belonged to Laidlaw!

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