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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. Thanks, Shoshana…even LA voted to fund transit through a referendum! Re. the idea of what happens if a referendum fails: perhaps a hybrid approach of people using ranked ballots to determine the kind of tax they’d support, but with the understanding that there definitely would be a surcharge/tax applied based on the results of the ranking.

    Note that it should be SmartTrack, not FastTrack, in your 2nd paragraph.

  2. Could be good or bad. Most people don’t look at operating costs, but over a few decades they eventually outnumber initial construction. In Toronto 70% of these costs are paid by riders.
    Underground tunnels are very expensive to build. The DRL, would provide tons of riders more than justifying the cost. The underground parts of the Eglinton LRT can also be justified, particularly when you look at the line as a whole, with its connected cheaper above ground segments and potential segments.
    On the other hand, the Sheppard subway, the Vaughan extension, the Scarborough subway extension and SmartTrack Mount Dennis/ Richview tunnels would create huge operating costs. As an environmentalist who doesn’t want to drag transit down, and create more failed transit projects, I would fight raising money for these types of projects.
    I would similarly be against spending money to fund the half billion cost of something like the Pearson Air Rail link. Although it might not create huge operating costs, its proposed high fares are the reason for Metrolinx’s embarrassing 5,000 predicted riders a day. A misuse of construction funding, and vital rail infrastructure (rails, stations).
    The particular infrastructure is key.

  3. I would love a transit referendum.

    Package a plan. Put out the price tag. Negotiate contributions with feds and the province. And tell voters what the financial impact (ie. how much taxes have to go up) will be. Give them a choice. If they choose to pay up, they have better transit. If they don’t, they are directly responsible for the poor qualifyt of life resulting from congestion.