Lanes, trains and automobiles

The GTA needs rapid transit, not a new bus system

THIS PAST JULY, Dalton McGuinty pledged a rebate of $10,000 to buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles as the next step of his plan to make five per cent of cars on Canada’s roads electric by 2020. But should we be putting money into consumer vehicles rather than public transit?

After all, in York Region, our roads aren’t spacious enough to properly accommodate cars. Metrolinx, the Ontario-run GTA transit authority, has accepted suggestions from each region and approved provincial spending projects spanning up to 2017. One project was the expansion of the University subway line to York University, continuing up to Jane Street and Highway. 7.

Metrolinx agreed to pay for bus transit systems with separate lanes for buses. These buses were to stop at traffic lights and in certain instances, mix with traffic. All-day GO train service was not included. Nor was the Finch subway to Richmond Hill.

My understanding is that the dedicated Viva bus lanes are not being built in Thornhill. Where do buses go when they leave Richmond Hill?

Take the case of Vancouver — which replaced its system with an efficient rapid transit scheme that connects to Richmond, B.C.– and Manhattan, where subways give passengers almost unlimited access to the city and buses don’t congest traffic!

I present these instances because York Region and the City of Toronto have received not a train service that will efficiently take us where we need to go, but a bus service that is rendered inadequate by having to stop at red lights. How would this be more time or cost effective than taking my own car? How could this serve to turn around ever- increasing gridlock?

Stop wasting money on our bus system and start investing in a rapid transit system for York Region and the GTA!