Published on Toronto.com
By Sevaun Palvetzian
It’s not surprising that commuters are experiencing the winter blues. Snow and sub-zero temperatures are freezing our transit to a halt while commuters’ frustrations reach a boiling point. Many of the TTC’s 1.69 million daily riders are waiting outside for buses that never come or for subways on perilously packed platforms.
These deep freezes highlight a problem we’ve paid too little attention to for too long: lack of investment in transit. Even on a good day, the average commute in Toronto is the longest in the country at 34 minutes. When additional stress is put on our system, what were once minor inconveniences become long delays and risky situations.
How did we get to this point? For a good chunk of the past 25 years, we took a funding vacation. There were some investments in regional and local transit, but we haven’t come close to matching the investment with the need. Each year over 100,000 people move to the Toronto region, operating costs of old equipment increase, more people try to travel across longer distances to get to work, home, doctor’s appointments — you get the point.