Ed Drass

Drivers hold key to transit’s future

The solution to the GTA’s transportation future is in the hands of car drivers — or rather, their pockets. The question is how long it will take for them to realize increased charges for driving may be the key to reducing the severity of traffic congestion?Although reports show travel times are...

Monday, July 12, 2010, 5:30 AM

Transit comes full circle on St. Clair

The St. Clair streetcar right-of-way is open. At last, the 512 is running its full length between Yonge and Keele streets. The ride can now be as quick and uncomplicated as the construction process was slow and difficult.What should have been done differently? It might have been simpler to replace...

Monday, July 5, 2010, 7:47 AM

Toronto earns the 'world class' label

The rest of Canada may not like it, but Toronto could become a bit more smug now that the G20 is over. As security fences are taken down and smashed windows are replaced, Torontonians can acknowledge our ability to stage huge events — and to forget about them a few days later. There was a period...

Monday, June 28, 2010, 5:30 AM

Don’t worry, they’ll be gone soon

Toronto is going to be tested during the next week. The GTA will become increasingly difficult to move around and by the weekend our home will fall under the world’s attention. For a few moments the planet is going to switch its focus from football matches to politicians playing serious economic...

Monday, June 21, 2010, 5:30 AM

Navigating Naples on public transit can be chaotic

In Naples, you make do. If your city happens to lie upon steep hills — and beside a dormant volcano — you just build around these minor obstacles. Italy’s third largest city, after Rome and Milan, is an urban shock for Toronto eyes. Traffic is chaotic and getting around by transit can be tough....

Monday, June 14, 2010, 3:30 PM

The view of public transit from Venice

The weather in Venice, Italy has been warm and sunny. This island city also happens to be the world’s most beautiful urban environment. I must, of course, ignore such things since I am hard at work on your behalf, riding the transit system. Like other cities, Venice has a pretty extensive network....

Monday, June 7, 2010, 3:30 PM

Patience will be a virtue this summer

Even without the G20 meeting in late June, this summer was already set to be very challenging for commuters. In addition to the high-security downtown summit, many parts of the GTA are going to be affected by road closures, construction delays and transit detours until winter comes. Patience, many...

Monday, May 31, 2010, 9:44 PM

Patience will be a virtue for TTC riders this summer

Even without the G20 meeting in late June, this summer was already set to be very challenging for commuters. In addition to the high-security downtown summit, many parts of the GTA are going to be affected by road closures, construction delays and transit detours until winter comes. Patience, many...

Monday, May 17, 2010, 3:30 PM

Mississauga Transit has a long road to travel

Mississauga has finally stopped growing outwards, so it’s time to grow up. The city has built out to its boundaries with mostly low-density, car-dependent housing, and now the official strategy is to create a more transit-friendly environment, including a dense, highrise “downtown” near the Square...

Monday, May 17, 2010, 3:30 PM

Time to get the 'Big Move' moving

After decades of inaction, the GTA finally has a regional transit plan — and now some Toronto mayoral candidates want to change it up. The “Big Move” features a mix of commuter rail, subway, light rail and rapid bus lines. It’s too modest and far from perfect, but the plan is a realistic compromise...

Monday, May 10, 2010, 3:30 PM

What the TTC union can tackle next

After holding three town halls for rider input, the TTC’s main union should have a pretty good idea of how customer service must improve. President Bob Kinnear says ATU local 113 will take a few months to work on key strategies, but he’s already indicated the union may push for greater funding to...

Monday, May 3, 2010, 3:30 PM

Brampton Transit is picking up speed

With the TTC under close scrutiny lately, I’ve asked 905 riders for impressions of other GTA transit systems. Brampton’s Justin Gonsalves had a comment that rings familiar: He says his complaints to Brampton Transit (BT) about unpaved bus stops and infrequent schedules “are never replied to.” I...

Monday, April 26, 2010, 3:30 PM

Presto! Could this be fare payment's future?

Just as the province prepares to launch its “smart” fare card on GTA transit agencies next month, a brand new wave of technology could make it even easier to pay fares. In May, the Presto pass debuts on three GO rail lines plus Burlington and Oakville Transit. The cost of each trip is deducted...

Monday, April 19, 2010, 4:01 PM

TTC riders get their chance to speak up

The upcoming “town halls” being held by the TTC’s main union represent a new twist in the oft-strained relationship between transit workers and the people who ride the system. Most interactions between TTC users and employees last but a few seconds and these meetings are a chance to explore why...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 4:01 PM

TTC sets about sprucing up subway stations

Most Toronto subway stations are more than 40 years old. Many look older thanks to cracked floors, damaged walls and holes in the ceiling. TTC officials assure me the subway is structurally sound, but do admit station appearance has been a low priority — until now. They say the system is gradually...

Monday, April 5, 2010, 1:30 PM

TTC supervisors will be taking it to the streets

Growing traffic congestion in Toronto is making it harder to keep buses and streetcars evenly spaced. To avoid big gaps between vehicles, the TTC is now trying a mix of old and new techniques. One big change involves taking managers from behind office computers that monitor service and assigning...

Monday, March 22, 2010, 1:30 PM

Adjusting service at GO and TTC

GTA transit riders, avoid surprises and check your bus and train schedules over the next few weeks. In addition to system-wide changes taking effect at GO Transit April 3, the TTC is cutting back some bus service as of March 29.These are mostly minor adjustments, and more vehicles will actually be...

Monday, March 15, 2010, 5:30 AM

Who should watch over the TTC?

The Toronto Transit Commission will continue to be overseen by city councillors, at least until this fall’s municipal election. By January 2011 — around the time we should expect a fare hike — some of the TTC’s board of directors are likely to be citizen appointees. Most Toronto agencies include...

Monday, March 8, 2010, 1:30 PM

Transit complaints not just for TTC — how are GTA riders faring?

Now that the TTC is finally waking up to deep dissatisfaction among its riders, what’s happening in the rest of the GTA? Are other transit agencies any more attuned to the morale of their ­passengers? I don’t often hear from readers who use local systems in 905, but recently Neil Bruce of Markham...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 7:33 PM

Torontonians should brace themselves for construction woes

After decades without adequate transit expansion, it’s time to pay. The cost is not only monetary but comes as construction-related dust, noise and delays — particularly in the city of Toronto. Stimulus funding is going to result in a lot of road resurfacing in 2010, followed by years spent...

Monday, February 22, 2010, 10:44 AM