Good morning subscribers! This week, the Morning Brief will focus on a topic that is near and dear to many of us – the daily commute. Whether you drive, take public transit, or cycle, you probably have an opinion on what could make that dreaded trip easier, cheaper, and of course, faster. Unless you’re really keen on using nature’s vehicle (a.k.a. your own two feet), we know you have a stake in this. Keep reading!
Weekend train service and bike share expansion – a commuter’s dream come true?
- The introduction of weekend service on the Barrie GO line has made transportation into the City easier. The increase in service has resulted in year-over-year weekend daily boardings to increase by about 30% from January to May 2017, with Metrolinx expecting to see continued ridership growth of around 17% each year over the next three years. Find out what difficult challenges lie ahead through [Ferrer/PPGR].
- Bike Share Toronto has promised to add 70 new bikes stations around the City. Metrolinx reports that although 56% of all trips in the GTHA are suitable for cycling, only 6% of these trips are actually walked or cycled. These numbers are shockingly low considering the benefits of cycling to health, the environment, and traffic reduction. Head over to Wong/PPGR to figure out what’s stopping us from getting on our bikes!
- A $23 million plan is in the works to connect the Dundas West subway station to the Bloor UP Express and GO Transit station. As UP ridership is now more than 300,000 per month and rising, the goal is to make connections between GO, UP and the TTC seamless [Benzie/The Star]. The design might cost a pretty penny though. The six new stations are also receiving artistic design inputs at a cost of $500,000/station, with imaginative features such as skylights, giant LED-style lights, and kaleidoscopic panels [Dixon/The Globe and Mail].
Finally, is the TTC really the best transit system? After winning the 2017 American Public Transportation Association’s Public Transit System of the Year, the Star questions how public our transportation really is. Toronto’s subsidy totals to less than $1 per rider, lower than New York ($1.52) and Los Angeles ($3.00), both cities with bustling transit systems. As ridership declines and subsidies remain low, the TTC has no choice but to increase fares, as it has for the past six years straight [Editorial Board/The Star].