By Cory Doctorow at 3:59 pm Fri, Jun 15, 2012
Dave created a quite fab Super Mario 3-style map for the Toronto subway system. Delighted with the popular interest in the design, he's offered it for sale as a poster.
Toronto TTC Subway/RT Map – Super Mario 3 Style
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
I left Toronto over 20 years ago, yet the subway system has barely changed – despite a big population growth. What’s up with that?
That was my first thought as well (although in my case, it was 30 years ago).
I visited Toronto recently, and was told that the current mayor tried to get new tunnels and stops added, but was overruled in favor of the cheaper option of adding more streetcar lines on the surface. And then the mayor vanished to sulk for a few weeks.
Sadly, our fearless leader didn’t try to get much needed subway projects like the Downtown Relief line greenlit, he tried to get subways down Sheppard West built with no funding from the province and no plans as how to pay for or justify them (Sheppard West is mostly light suburb and commercial areas, the only thing you could justify that for is making a big subway loop to Downsview Stn). The already funded and planned-for light rail plan (which is going ahead after genius delayed it for a year with his theatrics) is cheaper and serves more people.
he had a plan. he was going to build a mermaid themed casino and staff it with the workers from the local power plant.
Also, it’s worth noting that the map is wildly optimistic. The Downsview-
Vaughan extension is on there, even though it hasn’t been fully built yet.
Whenever I go to Toronto (I’m from Buffalo NY) I find the transportation infrastructure lacking in terms of freeways and subways. But the streetcars are good (though not as easy to figure out as subways in my experience, but easier than buses of course), and actually the surface streets are quite good as well (for driving I mean) even in rush hour traffic. And it’s a great place for cycling.
So… transportation in Toronto is set up to be great for people who live locally and don’t regularly have to commute great distances. There are benefits to this compared to what other cities have done, where driving and commuting downtown by car is given priority (e.g. lots of freeways added) which makes other things harder. But as you say, it has really not grown to match the reality of population growth and shifting. And it’s not great for people with limited familiarity of the area, especially if you want to get someplace that isn’t easy to get to via the limited subway.
Subways are ridiculously expensive pieces of infrastructure for fairly low density cities?
Toronto does pretty well on many scores relating to PT. It gets a relatively high rate of PT use all over the city: across the different suburbs of the urbanised area, mode share for PT barely drops below 20%. A very reasonable statistic by North American/Australasian standards (which covers the most comparable cities). It’s rate of fare-box return is also fairly high (about 50% I believe) which means Ontario has to spend less tax-dollars on transport subsidies, compared with similar cities.
It does this by having a sensible bus-network (follows mainly arterial roads, with minimal slow meandering and useless routes) that runs at fairly high frequencies, where transfers between buses and rail has been made very easy. Sure Toronto could decide to invest a lot in subways, but it would then either have to spend a lot more, or cut the frequency of the bus network. The first option obviously involves investment cuts in other areas, and the second option would end up making the network less useful, not more.
I should make it clear, I’m not against spending money on good PT infrastructure, just against spending it frivolously on projects that are politically appealing, but which don’t solve problems properly. Unfortunately, where I live, Melbourne, our politicians love announcing massive expensive projects that clearly have not been thought through… a $5billion regional rail link project currently being built a shining example.
Any chance of getting a similar one made for the Washington D.C. metro area? :)
He did Vancouver a while ago too.
Oh it’s terrible! The Prime Minister has been transformed. Please find a magic wand so we can change him back, eh?
Never been to Toronto, but I’ve seen my SCTV and there it is, right in the thick of things, Yonge Street!
“There’s a rainbow in Toronto where the Maritimers are bold
They always get a potful, but they never get a pot of gold…”
Let’s hope this ends better than Robot Johnny’s anagram map:
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