Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fact #33: Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan - Promises Made: 14. Promises Kept: 0

Really?

It's true. Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan made a number of promises, that ranged from taking credit for existing plans to outright fantasy. As his campaign team prepares to release their 2014 version, here's a look back at Rob Ford's transit track record:

Transit (By 2015):

Promise
Result
Promise Kept?
By 2015 we will complete the Sheppard Avenue Line as a subway line. This
will include 12 km of new track and up to 10 new stations between
Downsview and Scarborough Town Centre. Cost: $3 Billion.
Sheppard is proceeding as planned as an LRT.
No
By 2015 we will extend the Bloor-Danforth Line to Scarborough Town Centre.
This will run on the elevated SRT platform and will connect to the Sheppard line at Scarborough Town Centre, completing a “closed loop” making travel across Toronto much easier. Cost: $1 Billion.
Federal/provincial funding has been promised for the SRT to be replaced by a 2-3 stop underground subway extension. The route and details have not been finalized, and the official plan still shows an Eglinton LRT extension. Assuming this goes ahead, construction won’t begin until 2018, so completion by 2015 is pure fantasy.
No
Where we cannot afford subways, we will use clean buses. Combining Express and Collector buses will improve transit service along major arterials. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
No
We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars.
Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will be replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes. This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users. It will also improve traffic flow. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
No
BY 2015 we will introduce Smart Card technology for fare payment. Use of smart cards will reduce operating cost, improve our ability to measure and adjust the system to meet demands of a growing ridership and enable the TTC to set adjustable fares. Cost: currently included in TTC budget.
TTC had already adopted PRESTO, so Ford is taking credit for other peoples’ work.
N/A


Roadways (By 2014):

Promise
Result
Promise Kept?
We will keep and maintain our Expressways. The Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway and Allen Road/Expressway will be maintained,
without tolls, as key components of our transportation infrastructure. Cost:
managed within current budget.

Road maintenance was already part of the budget. The plan to revitalize the Gardiner was passed in March 2014, but Ford missed the vote because he was in rehab. No tolls have been implemented.
Partial
We will clear up the $250 million backlog in road repairs. We will return Toronto’s roads to a state of good repair that can be maintained by normal
annual operations. Cost: $250 million.
No
We will synchronize the city’s traffic signals to improve traffic flow. We will complete the installation of SCOOT technology on all signalized intersections, improving traffic flow throughout the city. Cost: $50 million.
In June 2013 council approved an $11m purchase of synchronization equipment for 1,000 high-priority intersections over three years. There are no plans to change the entire city.
Partial
We will make critical road improvements to improve traffic flow. We will invest up to $400 Million to address major problem areas by connecting disjointed roadways making other changes to reduce congestion. Cost: up to $400 million.
No progress on new connecting roads or problem areas. The Six Points Kipling/Dundas/Bloor intersection rebuild is proceeding, but that will actually slow down traffic.
No
We will make parking rules easier to understand. By simplifying signage on city roads and introducing color-coded curb painting in pilot areas, drivers will better understand when and where they can park their vehicles. Cost: managed within current budget.
Signage rules have not changed. A curb painting pilot was completed in 2013 but a report on its efficacy has not been published, and no plans to make the pilot permanent have been introduced.
Partial
We will manage roadwork to minimize traffc disruption. We will require utility companies to make permanent road repairs where possible after digging up streets to reduce pavement degradation and minimize “follow-up” road closures. We will create a Central Roadwork Coordination Centre to improve coordination of work by public and private entities that interfere with traffic on city streets. We will require more roadwork be conducted during off-peak hours, including nights or weekends in non-residential areas. Cost: managed within current budget.
No material changes to policies or processes have been implemented. No roadwork coordination centre has been created (the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination (MCIC) division already exists at City Hall, and predates Ford’s mayoralty).
No

Trails and Bicycles (By 2014):

Promise
Result
Promise Kept?
We will build a comprehensive network of bicycle trails across the city. This will include 100 km of off-road bicycle paths along rail and hydro corridors, ravines and valleys. This system of dedicated 2-metre wide, paved trails illuminated with street lamps will provide a safe, convenient “backbone” for bicycle transportation across Toronto. Cost: $50 million.
Bike trails continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
No
We will build 100 km of pedestrian paths alongside the bicycle trails.
Walking, jogging and running are inexpensive, effective recreational activities that
encourage physical fitness. We will provide a well-lit network of safe, connected
paths for runners, joggers and walkers. Cost: included in the bicycle trails cost.
Pedestrian paths continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
No
We will create some on-road bicycle lanes where they make sense. Where the community supports them and where they do not impede traffic flow, we will create on-street bicycle lanes and complete some critical connections
in the city’s current bicycle network. Cost: $5 million.
The city’s on-road bicycle network continues to expand. In 2011 Ford voted against bike lanes on Richmond/Adelaide, but he did vote in favour of extending the Bay Street bike lane in 2013.
Partial


Why should I care?

Rob Ford talks about "another promise made, another promise kept." If he says that, you can pretty much guarantee that he's lying. The 2010 plan also shows how a well-staffed campaign with professional advisors can still put out a plan that is completely unrealistic. The only thing Ford missed in 2010 was a promise to power his clean buses with unicorn farts. Four years later his campaign is a shambles and completely lacking in policy experts. Whatever he and Doug draw up on the back of a napkin will likely surpass his first effort.


How do I know you're not lying?

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