Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Presentation to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on General Government

Posted on: June 9th, 2012

On June 6th, a representative of CodeRedTO spoke to the Standing Committee on General Government at the Ontario Legislative Building (commonly referred to as Queen’s Park). The committee is studying congestion and gridlock, and also heard presentations from Metrolinx, the TTC, several cities and regions including Toronto and Ottawa, TTCriders, and others. (Click to view the June 4 and June 6 agendas; the full transcript or recording will eventually appear on the committee website here)

We were given 10 minutes to speak, and 5 minutes for questions. On such a deep and often technical topic, this was a very slim timeframe to work with. The decision was made to focus on some simple history and facts, one big idea, and several appendices to include other information that the MPPs may be interested in reading later. (Click to download the full presentation, 2 MB PDF)

The “one big idea” chosen was the idea of a transportation-specific tax, possibly connected to a referendum, using Los Angeles County’s “Measure R” as a template. A 1% increase in the Ontario HST province-wide, dedicated to transit, road, and bike infrastructure, would net about $1.5B per year and should be designed to bring funding back into every community in a consistent and non-partisan way.

Our presentation began with a mention of specific transportation issues in committee members’ ridings, which drew nods from all parties as they clearly understood the funding problems their constituents often face. During the question segment, a representative from each of the PCs, the Liberals, and the NDP expressed their thanks for the engaging and clear presentation. They then asked questions based on either genuine interest or political hobby-horses, depending on one’s preferred party.

Some of the questions that were asked (and which many other presenters were also asked) included:

  • What do you think about LRT vs subway? (PC)
    • Our response: Toronto is one of the only cities on the planet that uses only buses and subways. [Not said: Streetcars in this question function as buses, in that they are slow and low-capacity compared to the modes in question.] Every other advanced transit system uses a mixture of modes for different situations. We advocate for the right technology in the right place at the right time, and we want better rapid transit options for more residents, sooner. Sometimes that means LRT, sometimes it means subways, sometimes it means neither.
  • Did you ask anyone outside Toronto about this tax idea? (Liberal)
    • Our response: no, this is not meant as a formal proposal and though we have heard strong messages of support from outside Toronto and Ottawa, this has not been formally measured.
  • What do you think about TTC vs Metrolinx construction of LRT lines, that is AFP/P3 vs more TTC control? (NDP)
    • That is very far outside our areas of expertise, and while we want more rapid transit sooner, and AFP approaches have worked well in Europe but perhaps less well in North America, we have no opinion on this as we don’t have the expertise.
  • Were any other revenue methods considered? (Liberal)
    • Yes, in that we think there are many methods to gather revenue that should all be explored and used, rather than sticking to just one revenue generator.

CodeRedTO was happy to be able to present, and we mentioned in our presentation and reiterate here that we receive no funding or talking points from any political party, group, or elected individuals. We are happy to bring presentations of varying lengths about light rail, about transit expansion, about the pros and cons of various technologies and designs, to any public meeting should an MPP (or anyone!) like to invite us.

Video from CodeRedTO LRT Information Session

Posted on: June 5th, 2012

A friend of #CodeRedTO, @HiMYSYeD, kindle recorded much of our transit information session on May 3rd at the Agincourt Library near Sheppard and Kennedy. Not everything was captured so be sure to join us at a future event!


Part 1: Introductions, rules for fairness (0-6 mins), How Did We Get Here (6-16 mins) (Total: 16:56)

Part 2: Presentation on Light Rail for Sheppard and around the world, from TTC’s David Nagler (Total: 24:02)

Part 3: Vehicle comparison, Roadway comparison, Left Turns, Vehicle Speeds, Overall Travel Time
(no video – slides downloadable in a previous post)

Part 4: Real Travel Time Example, plus Costs Comparison (Total: 5:12)

Part 5: What is being built, when, and common concerns
(no video- slides downloadable in a previous post)

CodeRedTO Presentation from National Transit Strategy Town Hall Meeting May 31st

Posted on: June 5th, 2012

National Transit Strategy Town Hall Presentation

CodeRedTO was invited to attend a recent town hall meeting hosted by Scarborough Member of Parliament Dan Harris regarding the push for a National Public Transit Strategy. Presenters included Harris, fellow MP Olivia Chow, Toronto Councillor Janet Davis, and Joe Drew and Cameron MacLeod of CodeRedTO.

As the event was related to public transit and being held in Toronto, we were invited to provide the facts about Toronto’s current transit expansion (including costs and funding), and to discuss the history of transit expansion in the city. Councillor Davis presented on the history of the TTC and the history of transit funding in Ontario.

Click to see our short presentation from that meeting, and if you are interested in learning more about the National Public Transit Strategy, you can visit them on Facebook or on Twitter.

TTC and CodeRedTO presentations from Agincourt Event May 3rd

Posted on: May 4th, 2012


On the evening of May 3rd, CodeRedTO hosted a very successful public information session about light rail expansion in Scarborough, at the Agincourt Library. There were  over 40 attendees and an hour of questions, and despite strong opinions everyone was civil and friendly, and always willing to listen to others’ opinions and concerns. So first and foremost, thank you Scarborough for being such great people!

Presentation by David Nagler of TTC (PDF)

The TTC’s Community Relations Team Lead, David Nagler, gave a great presentation about the facts on LRT and what is planned for Sheppard East, such as stop spacing and roadway design as it currently stands. He also gave us permission to post his presentation here for those who would like to review.

Click the image at right to download the 2MB PDF version of his presentation.


The presentation from CodeRedTO included both facts confirmed by the TTC and our own opinions, all the while stressing that residents should learn the facts and make up their own minds. Our presentation featured:

  • CodeRedTO presentation in PDF formatHow did we get here?
  • How do we fix it?
  • A Comparison of the TTC Fleet in 2012, 2016, and 2020
  • A real door-to-door travel time example for a real address in Scarborough
  • Detailed new maps
  • Responses to some of the most commonly-expressed concerns about light rail
  • …and more!

Click the image at right to download the CodeRedTO presentation in PDF format.

CodeRedTO to Host Transit Expansion Information Session for Sheppard Residents

Posted on: April 19th, 2012

Press Release issued this week:

Toronto transit advocacy group CodeRedTO will be hosting a public information session about Toronto’s coming light rail transit (LRT) expansion, on the evening of May 3rd at the Agincourt Library.

Date: May 3, 2012
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Agincourt Library, 155 Bonis Avenue (map:

This session will provide constituents with facts (both positive and negative) about light rail and the impact in their neighbourhoods. Fully 50% of the time will be devoted to questions from the public. The TTC and Metrolinx have been invited to participate to help ensure correct information is available, and we will also explain precisely what details Metrolinx will have announced on April 25th.

“I want to try to bring more factual information into the debate,” said CodeRedTO co-founder Cameron MacLeod. “Some have tried to sell Scarborough a bill of goods, rather than honestly sharing the facts.”

Toronto City Council decided on February 8 and March 22 by a large majority to continue the previously approved, designed, funded, and in two cases already under construction LRT lines. However, some continue to use incomplete or misleading information about modern light rail in an attempt to derail the four badly needed rapid transit lines for Finch West, Sheppard East, the Scarborough RT replacement and extension, and Eglinton Avenue.

Some elected representatives have suggested that residents would prefer the already crowded buses, and/or the higher taxes and longer timelines required for subway expansion, rather than the significant improvements in dependability, speed, and capacity closer to their neighbourhoods that light rail makes possible.

However, a poll by Leger Marketing in January[Error in press release: actually February 14th] 2012 showed that given factual information comparing costs and timelines and neighbourhood impact, a majority of Toronto residents agreed with the light rail plan. This suggests, as CodeRedTO believes, that sharing more factual information can only help Toronto residents understand and believe in these expansion projects.

The CodeRedTO presentation will feature content sourced from TTC and Metrolinx staff, environmental assessments, and will be posted to the CodeRedTO website afterward for others to download.

Who has been invited? All MPs and MPPs representing the Scarborough areas close to future LRT lines, any Toronto City Councillors and TDSB Trustees close to future LRT lines in North York and Scarborough, and BIAs and local groups such as Respect Scarborough. Public notices are also being shared online and with nearby libraries, schools, and community centres.

For more information, please contact CodeRedTO:

[Redacted: personal contact information for questions from media.]

Rapid Transit for Toronto

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012

Today, Toronto’s city council voted to put LRT back on Sheppard Ave, finishing the resurrection of the Metrolinx 5 in 10 plan after Mayor Ford unilaterally killed it on his first day in office.

#CodeRedTO is very proud to have played a tiny part in extending rapid transit to hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be continuing our information and education campaign as the construction of Toronto’s largest-ever rapid transit network re-starts and continues.

Many thanks to our supporters and those who have offered constructive criticism. And thanks go most of all to the 25 councillors who supported LRT in Toronto.

Misleading Flyers Advocate Subways with Incorrect Information

Posted on: March 15th, 2012

Some subway advocates are using misleading or outright false information to convince, rather than sticking to the truth. We decided to help out with the most recent flyer from SAFE (“Subways Are For Everyone”).

Even their name is false, since they really mean Subways Are For Just A Few People On Sheppard Near Don Mills, Nobody Else, Until We Find More Funding, Which We Can’t Do Without Higher Taxes And Tolls.

(Click to download the full-resolution PDF)

Ride the Eglinton Crosstown today!

Posted on: March 8th, 2012

Check out this 3-minute time-lapse of the 54-minute Gold Line on the Los Angeles Metro. 31km long, with elevated, tunnelled, and at-grade sections, and extensive signal priority, this video can give you a sense in some ways of what the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will be like.

There are differences of course: the Gold Line features more completely separate right-of-way than the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will, and also more stops and more curves. But in many ways, you can see what our modern LRT lines may be like.

A fun ride:

Administration’s loyalists on TTC board plan to fire Gary Webster

Posted on: February 17th, 2012

Gary Webster, a 35-year veteran employee of the TTC, and its General Manager, is due to be fired at 2pm on Tuesday because of a special meeting called by 5 of the 9 councillors on the TTC board.

Mr. Webster is a loyal civil servant; a strong, intelligent and competent man, whose chief failing is that he won’t mindlessly implement the mayor’s transit vision.

This cannot be allowed to stand.

Call Mayor Ford’s office now: 416-397-FORD (3673). Tell them you don’t approve of the Mayor’s vindictive and petty act.

City Council confirms support for Modern LRT, underground where appropriate.

Posted on: February 9th, 2012

Yesterday was an important step in restoring rational transit expansion to Toronto. City Council voted 58% in favour of the previously-approved modern LRT lines from the old Transit City plan on Finch, Eglinton, and to replace the Scarborough RT. They also voted to study Sheppard options more and report back next month.

What does this mean?

  • The Eglinton-Crosstown LRT will be underground from approximately Black Creek Drive to Laird Drive, underground again at Don Mills Road, and at the surface  for most of the remaining distance to Kennedy station. When at the surface, it will run in dedicated car-free lanes, and cars will never have to stop or be stuck behind the long 750-passenger LRV trains. This line will be complete in approximately 2020.
  • The Scarborough RT, due to shut down in 2015, will be replaced by modern high-capacity LRV trains running in a dedicated surface right-of-way, completely separate from traffic, along the old SRT route. Eventually, this line is due to extend to Malvern Town Centre as well. The SRT replacement section will be complete in approximately 2020.
  • The Finch West LRT will replace one of Toronto’s busiest bus routes with modern high-capacity LRV trains. This line’s completion date is TBD. Under the old Transit City plan, it would have opened in 2014.
  • The Sheppard East LRT is on hold pending review by an expert panel with representatives from affected agencies and neighbourhoods. Because half a subway is already there, it may make more sense to simply extend rather than commit to a mode-change in that corridor.

Did we win?

Not yet. This is an important step, but many pitfalls await. With limited funding from the province, we can’t complete everything. There exists a real possibility that Finch or Sheppard may end up being cancelled to pay for other lines. Or that funds may be diverted to extending the Sheppard subway over a cheaper LRT line elsewhere. As well, the Mayor and his allies on Council maintain control of the TTC itself, and may provide instructions that conflict with Council’s decisions.

Well OK, how do we win then?

Visit the Speak Up page and contact your councillor, the Premier, the Minister of Transportation, and Metrolinx. Tell them what’s important to you in a modern rapid transit network.

Learn more about how transit is handled in major cities with similar densities to Toronto around the world. Check out the mixtures of subway, LRT, streetcar, and bus in Paris, in Zurich, in Seattle, in Houston.

Most importantly, stay tuned! You can learn more about what’s happening with Toronto transit from this site, and from TTCriders.


For now, enjoy your weekend! The mayor has proven he is more interested in winning than in creating better transit for more people, even in his old ward. So there will be plenty of news in the next weeks and months.

for CodeRedTO


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LEARN about Transit and why there's room for subways, light rail, and streetcars throughout our region. Combining different modes can often be a great city-building choice for the medium-density and lower-density neighbourhoods in Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

CALL your City Councillor, and tell them that you want rational, affordable, and rapid transit in Toronto to benefit everyone, not just one small section of the city. Rapid transit to Malvern, Morningside, and Waterfront East are achievable if we learn from successful transit networks around the world.

TELL your friends and family that new rapid transit is amazing - it really is! - but unless we stabilize and grow operations funding we risk leaving people waiting for crowded buses for decades longer.

Did you know: The bus routes on Finch carry as many riders per day as the population of North Bay! Routes on Lawrence, Jane, and elsewhere also carry a huge number of riders per day. We are decades behind and need more and better transit options for our residents now, not just small extensions that use up all the budget.

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