For anyone who lives in Toronto and takes the subway fairly regularly, you may have noticed the posters discussing the potential negative outcomes of privatizing Toronto public transit and using Vancouver, Melbourne and London and examples of why not to privatize public transit in Toronto. You can read the full story in the Toronto Sun article entitled ‘Keep TTC public‘ about the 1/2 million dollar campaign by the TTC to make people aware of why the TTC shouldn’t be privatized.
Well now, it’s time for my rant…
Having moved to Toronto nearly four years ago, I can truly say that the TTC is the worst public transit system I have dealt with. The ticket prices are astronomical (the price of a monthly pass is double that of Boston’s for example), the staff is extremely overpaid, rude and generally quite lazy, and the coverage for a city of Toronto’s size is abysmal. On top of this, the subway stations are generally dirty and all of the subways and streetcars are old and regularly broken. The fact that there has been so many problems trying to get the light rail projects off the ground highlight the TTC’s inefficiencies.
What I find most insulting is the fact that they bring up Melbourne’s public transit system as an example of why privatization does not work. Most people in Toronto have not likely lived in Melbourne nor have they visited it. Having lived in Melbourne back in 2006, I can set the record straight that Melbourne’s public transit system is a huge step up from Toronto’s. The coverage of the transit system is incredible (whereas Toronto has 3 subway lines, Melbourne has more than a dozen). The prices are reasonable and the trains, trams and buses are both efficient and clean.
So what can I conclude from all this? Well if Melbourne really is an example of what happens when you privatize a public transit system, then I believe Toronto’s TTC should be privatized as soon as possible. So thank you Toronto Transit Commission for helping me realize what the right thing truly is to do, but at least we’re not in Memphis Homes,