The tar baby of streetcars has again stuck the city for millions of dollars. This time, to of all places, the Toronto Port Authority. Our ideologue mayor, David Miller, is spending us poor to enrich big business and clog our streets with the unwieldy traffic killers that in many places have brought Toronto to almost continuous daylight gridlock.
It’s all in the name of public transit. Obstruct the automobile and folks will just swarm to the streetcars. Tear up the streets every few years to fix the concrete pathways for these things that, unlike efficient buses, queue up behind each other, and traffic will really dry up and bring more riders whom the TTC isn’t competent to deal with. Because streetcars on rails queue up and stall traffic, they require lots of costly supervisory personnel all around the city to try and unwind the clusters of streetcars.
This latest Miller financial fiasco means that Toronto pays the port authority over $5 million and 6¢ per passenger, starting from 10 years back, on ferries to Toronto Island. That’s to the agency with whom the city has long-standing issues and who it has said owes the city millions of dollars. All this, by the way, is so that Toronto can accommodate its ridiculously massive new streetcars, which are too huge for the existing facility on Queen East, by ruining 18 acres of land at Leslie and Lakeshore. Bargain priced at just $1.
This secretive process between the mayor and some councillors didn’t address major issues of importance to those in the city who live by and suffer from the port authority’s airport, including, they allege, ongoing violations of the tripartite agreement governing the port authority.
In order to secure his dubious legacy of rail transit clogging city streets, Miller has made awkward peace with the very agency that he battled in his run for office, which helped secure his victory. Is a bridge to the Island airport next?