Every time Mayor Rob Ford decides to enact one of his ingenious plans, ordinary Torontonians take a kick in the stomach. Last week, Toronto Environmental Alliance leaked a memo that revealed the city’s plan to cut service from 56 of Toronto’s busiest bus and streetcar routes starting Jan. 8.We can all expect longer and more cramped commutes in the New Year. In Scarborough, the city’s plan will mean even longer lines for the Kennedy station bus bay for routes including 116 Morningside and 21A Brimley-Kennedy to Scarborough Town Centre.
As a world-class city, Toronto’s existing transportation system falls awfully short of meeting high standards. Instead of bettering one the city’s most inefficient and frustrating public services, our mayor wants to degrade it even further.
Hope for better transportation is the reason why most of Scarborough voted for Ford. By cutting transportation services, Ford will not only keep residents waiting longer in the cold this winter but he will also break the one campaign promise that convinced Scarborough to choose him.
The TTC is the only form of transportation for many of us and the mayor could not have chosen a better way to tell us how little he understands the needs of Torontonians.
His plans to cut bus and streetcar services also demonstrates Ford’s short-sighted agenda. Instead of promoting public transportation to reduce air pollution, the mayor’s penny-pinching scheme punishes those who are doing good for the environment.
The TTC is an area where the city can make huge profits if it makes slight improvements. With 500 million riders a year and growing, enhancing service could draw more people to the TTC and increase its revenue.
Why does our mayor resort to cutting services as the answer to all of the city’s problems? He thinks he is saving cash, but what happened to creativity and making money instead?