Tag Archives: Traffic Congestion Problems

How to Solve Toronto’s Traffic Congestion Problems: Top 5 Reasons Why We Need Subways

12 Jun

Toronto is growing fast. There are now over 55,000 condo units being built around the GTA landing it the number one spot in North America for new high rise construction. With massive growth happening in the outskirts as well, more people flock into and out of the city on a daily basis. So what does this mean for roads?

Things are about to get a whole lot worse.

If over 200 condos worth of new homes are to be built, the surrounding transit system has to handle the onslaught of new riders. Either public transit needs to cope with the new demand or 55,000 homes worth of new cars are about to riddle the streets. The hairy reality we face however is that our roads are already congested and our transit system so outdated that Toronto City Council is now forced to deal with years of neglect and pathetic transit planning.

This leaves only one option to solve Toronto`s transit problems:

Build subways.

Done.

We need subways, and we need them immediately.

Look at subway maps around the world:

New York Subway

New York Subway Map

Frankfurt Subway

Frankfurt Subway Map

Tokyo Subway

Tokyo Subway Map

Toronto Subway

Toronto Subway Map

Does something seem wrong here?

On the international subway scale, Toronto is so barbaric… so out of touch with reality it is scary to think that politicians like Karen Stintz are in charge of something as important as transit infrastructure. Tell me something Karen, after the LRT is built and traffic builds up again to the point of deadlock, will subways suddenly make sense to you?

Here are the top 5 reasons why Toronto needs subways:

1) Time

As we get older we realize with more urgency perhaps that time is our most valuable resource. Having more time means having less stress, being more productive, and generally being happier. The simple expansion, for example, of the Sheppard line from Yonge to Downsview would result in millions of hours of individual time being saved over many years. The current set-up, where people have to take the Finch line south, all the way around and back North to Downsview, is not only ridiculous, it is a complete waste of time… Your time! One simple extension could save the average person over one hour a day resulting in giving them months of their life back. More subways means more time.

2) Safety

More subways below-ground means less TTC roadblock buses and LRT aboveground. As the roads become ever more congested the rate of car accidents also increases. As discussed in my previous blog post Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Bad Drivers a Result of NO Government Training, it is even more concerning that Toronto has no formal driver training process leaving new drivers and immigrants to learn the rules of the road from people who may not be qualified. These very same people then drive alongside our bus drivers who are in charge of protecting the lives of their daily commuters.

Dealing with untrained, sometimes unlicensed drivers, puts bus drivers at increased accident risk.  This makes bus drivers just as susceptible to stress, carelessness or road rage as the rest of us. The impact of  bus driver carelessness can be felt as in this article posted by the Toronto Sun regarding the untimely death of a 43 year old Toronto woman killed on a TTC bus in 2011.

3) Efficiency

Subways are extremely efficient. They run directly off the power grid and transport a large number of people per watt of energy used. New methods are being continuously developed to make them even more efficient and harness the wasted power they produce. Since subways are underground, they are shielded from the majority of our harsh Canadian winters which is even more important in the long-run. Since they do not interfere with above ground road traffic, subways are also more efficient for drivers.

4) No Other Viable Alternative

The problem with Light Rail Transit (LRT) is simple… When the roads are congested to the point of standstill traffic, building a rail-road line right smack down the centre of it isn’t exactly going to make things speed up now is it? Since construction has to happen aboveground, the inconvenience to daily commuters is astonishing. Point and case as with the development of the new York Region LRT scam line from Warden to Yonge. Traffic has become disastrous along Highway 7 and its neighbouring streets as massive construction has been taking place since 2009 and may last until 2020! Notice how the construction crews have stopped at all the major bridges? Just wait until the “relocation” of those bridges begins. That is not only going to become a project in extreme patience for the everyday commuter, the estimated $2-3 BILLION budget will be easily burned.

As Toronto begs to expand its subways, York Region spends billions on an LRT while their buses are empty.

5) Cost

Yes subways are expensive… in the beginning. However other than the initial upfront costs of construction, the benefits begin to add up immediately after opening:

  • Saving people time.
  • Reduced aboveground traffic and accidents.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Reduced impact on drivers.
  • Ease of travel.
  • Speed.
  • Convenience.
  • Stress reduction.

If a massive subway project were to begin in Toronto, the money spent would immediately be recirculated throughout the city. The all-Canadian subway workforce would need food, shelter, entertainment, transportation and more. “Made in Canada” regulations would benefit hundreds of Canadian businesses who supplied the expansion. What “cost” is there really when these points are factored into a subway expansion plan? When people have more time to pursue happiness on a daily basis?

Not only should the upfront costs of Toronto’s subway expansion be calculated, the resulting boom in the local economy and the freedom they create for the people must be taken into account so that 15 years into the future and beyond, our great City of Toronto is ready to handle the further population explosion and increasing need for speedy transit.

The World is our Teacher.

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