Comment 20858

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted April 07, 2008 at 14:23:59

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comments. I live in Toronto now, and lived here for a few years before my 6 year adventure in Hamilton. I am very familiar with the TTC.

I notice you don't mention the safety statistics relating to bus travel. I would be interested to know what they are and how they compare...

There is no black and white when it comes to urban transit. I am not suggesting for a moment that the case for Light Rail is air tight. There is always a downside to every system. My commentary is simply reflecting- for the most part - my predominant thoughts about Bus travel.

However, now that I am back in Toronto I have to say I am finding the streetcar a very pleasant way to travel. I agree with most of your observations about tram safety. I would also add speed - or rather lack of it - to the list of TTC downsides. But, as Ryan points out, there are lots of measures that can be taken to speed up the streetcar and make it operate more reliably and safely. I believe the lack of TTC investment has more to do with the streetcar's failings than the streetcar itself.

With respect to your dedicated transit line comments (Spadina et al) - I, personally, do not like these. As you say the pedestrian medians are ridiculously small and often lead to people spilling onto the track. And they break the street up. I hate plotting my way onto the media and standing in the middle of the road as streetcars come within inches of me and my kids as we wait to get on. I would rather these medians were used for street carts/shopping vendors or bike lanes.

For dense urban streets like Queen and King adding more speed is clearly dangerous. Although with triggered lights the A-B commute time could be reduced without an increase in travelling speed. A friend of mine recently suggested to me that they should build an underground for busy thoroughfares and put antique trolley's on the streecar tracks for the tourists and for those who don't like the subway. Interesting idea. For those towns that can't afford subways however, or don't have the density for them, I think the LRT argument far outweights the bus argument for sure.

You are correct that buses are now more environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and have some mobility advantages over LRT, but I still don't like them and, overall I feel the LRT argument in much stronger.



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