When I peered out over my cup of coffee this morning I saw the weather report was right. Rainy day. OK, a choice, do I take the TTC? Dufferin Bus to Bloor, subway to Bay.
The thought of another crowded ride on Toronto’s hopelessly underfunded, aging transit system is too bleak, bleaker even than this grey day.
So, onto my bike.
I arrive damp and invigorated, mulling over yesterday’s budget announcement. Rob Ford inherited what the Toronto Star calls a “$139 million windfall from this year’s unexpectedly high revenues” but he’s decided to cook the books so it looks like his imaginary crisis is still threatening our well-being. His proposal includes
- reduction of hours at some libraries
- cutting funding to some 14,000 children and youth who take part in 58 student nutrition programs
- hiring freeze for Toronto Police, Fire and EMS
- closing 5 of the city’s 105 wading pools and two of the Toronto’s 59 outdoor pools
Oh, and I almost forgot, reduced service on buses and streetcars. Those who have no other options but the TTC will have to get used to waiting longer for more crowded rides on increasingly aging vehicles.
As Adam Vaughan said (quoted in the Star): “We have the mayor running around saying the sky is falling, and the money is there not only to provide the services Torontonians love — everything from sidewalk clearance to libraries to suburban bus routes — the budget shows there’s actually the resources available to build a better city.”