Top 10 things Ontario needs to do now to improve transit

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Transportation Minister Glen Murray at GO Transit's Willowbrook...

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Transportation Minister Glen Murray at GO Transit's Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility on April 17, 2014. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency File Photo)

Christina Blizzard, Queen’s Park Columnist

, Last Updated: 4:31 PM ET

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government have pledged $29 billion over 10 years to improve transit and infrastructure in the province.

In the spirit of helpfulness and co-operation, and as someone who has lived in the transit-starved suburbs and uses the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) frequently, here are my top 10 tips for improving transit:

1. Stop arguing and do something.

Take politics out of transit. This all started with the Liberals’ horribly flawed Vaughan subway line.

A well-heeled Toronto suburb like Vaughan, with its vast fleets of SUVs and minivans, should never have been a transit priority.

Build subways to parts of the city where low-income workers have no other way to get to work other than by TTC.

Then build there.

2. Charge by distance travelled.

It’s ridiculous that it costs the same to go from the outer reaches of Scarborough to downtown as it does to go a few blocks. Implement zoned fares.

This would raise more money for transit from the people who use it. And look at the disparity between GO Transit and TTC fares. GO costs much more than the TTC.

Rationalize the two systems.

3. Scrap Metrolinx. Designed as a means to get politics out of transit, the agency has turned into an unnecessary, self-entitled black hole for taxpayer dollars. It’s a complete waste of money and has only added another layer of bloated bureaucracy.

4. A better way to get politics out of transit would be to sell off the TTC.

Let the private sector decide where new lines go.

If we injected private sector discipline into transit expansion, lines would go where the customers are instead of where politicians believe they can get the most votes.


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