Comment 6357

By zanis_e_v (registered) | Posted April 14, 2007 at 00:52:24

Here here to seancd, ryan, jason for pointing out the subsidies to the personal automobile. Couldn't agree more. Just a question though: why is mass transit still a public monopoly in Canada? I ride transit, bike a lot (recumbent even), and do not own a car. However the TTC often, perhaps usually, makes my blood boil. It has just such terrible service, is poorly run and inconvenient, and it's drab and soul destroying. From what I can understand, public monopolies of mass transit are legacies of the streetcar - a 'natural' monopoly (and yes, I like those too). But with the advent of buses, shuttle buses, vans, cabs etc., this does not apply. The barriers to entry are really low, so it would be difficult to monopolize - even with streetcars and subways. Hey, keep publicly run, subsidized transit companies - just allow other companies to run also. I'm in the bracket where I really wouldn't mind paying a bit more to get an express shuttle to where I commute. This happens to be a major transit hub - York U, but using the TTC takes - I kid you not - 85 minutes one-way from western downtown. By cab, 30 minutes: I've had to do that (60+ by bike). SO, I feel that the original anonymous posting hints at the answer to my initial question ("transit is regarded as a social service"). Mass transit is still a public monopoly because it is considered to be a social service. And being managed as such, you don't get good transit service.

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