For the entire month of July, I was immersed in the transportation quagmire of Toronto. I had the opportunity to talk with experts from every viewpoint about urban transportation in the GTHA–including those who helped design it, to those who are out working in it 12 hours a day.
Since moving to Toronto from Vancouver Island, I have been lucky to live in a highly walkable neighbourhood, with a short commute straight up the Yonge-University-Spadina line. I’ve always been annoyed by a train running late (who isn’t?), but at least they run.
I believe a part of the problem is they need to run further, bringing mass transit to those Torontonians who are forced to resort to clogging our roadways for lack of a viable alternative. People will not move beyond the car unless it is made more convenient—and why should they be expected to do anything more?
More accessible public transit, coupled with other alternatives to the car, such as more bike lanes and better pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, can lead to a more livable and vibrant Toronto.
After spending a full month behind the wheel, I emerged with a new perspective on Toronto transportation. I am now more informed about the issues and challenges that face all commuters than ever before—from cab and delivery truck drivers to suburbanites who have to navigate through the daily traffic jams. I have gone back to waiting for streetcars and late buses, negotiating hostile roadways by bike, but now I only get into a car when necessity dictates I do.
While my journey to uncover a more sustainable transit future has finished, I ask that you carry on the conversation and re-consider how you MOVE.
Interested in taking action? Check out these organizations TEA ,TTC Riders, Civic Action, The Pembina Institute and the Toronto Board of Trade, for tools and tips on how to bring on a more sustainable transportation future.