TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri Rides the Finch Bus

ttcHere's a little clip of TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri riding the Finch bus. It's important public servants eat their own dog food to understand what regular folks have to put up with every day.

I'd like to see Rob Ford get himself from Etobicoke to City Hall via the TTC. From where he lives it's just a little walk, a bus to the Bloor subway line and then a transfer to the University subway line. I dare Rob Ford to try it once.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail (note, it's not just the Star) is reporting that Rob Ford's plan to cancel Transit City will cost us at least $65-million, and counting.

And I seem to recall his "guarantee" that there would be no service cuts with him as mayor, but the TTC is planning to reduce service on 62 surface routes. That certainly sounds like a cut to me. And of course fares are going up again, and that hike has nothing to do with the $65-million cost of killing Transit City.

One day, I hope to post an entry about Rob Ford riding the bus. As if.


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Comments (38 - click here to join in!)

Gordo

Worst. Mayor. Ever.

December 14, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

MrFascination

TTC Should Stop Wasting Money And Clean Itself Up First.

Transit City Was A Money Pit That Filled Certain People's Pockets.

The Public Is Blind To The Corruption That Goes On And Their Trying To Put A Stop To.

December 14, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

dtr2

This was absolutely regretful but absolutely predictable. Many people had pointed out to Ford and his supporters that cancelling transit city could (probably would) backfire horribly. They noted that this may very well not be a "LRTs vs. subways" choice but instead a "LRTs vs. nothing" choice - and they seem to be right.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (or when it comes to Toronto planning, probably around 10,000). Transit plans aren't so easy to set up - getting the money can be quite difficult. To throwaway a funded, under construction plan when there was no obvious alternative - well - this was mostly likely going to happen.

Now even Ford's man Chong admits they won't be able to build a Sheppard subway by 2015, 2020 or beyond - but maybe they will start building a SINGLE station by 2014.

And now the truly nasty surprise on top of that - there is no money to build a BRT to replace the killed Finch West LRT and since the LRTs made to replace the Sheppard SRT are either killed or delayed, it looks like scarborough will be without rail transit for 4-7 years from 2015.

And for the privilege of all of this - only $65 million...

Priceless...

Maybe Ford wasn't such a wise choice in the end...

December 14, 2011 @ 12:20 PM

Luc

Mike, I suspect, Mr. Ford won't be receiving a Christmas Card from your Family this year...or any year!

December 14, 2011 @ 12:26 PM

Tim

Don't forget the $130 million already spent on Transit City when Ford took over.

That makes the today loss to taxpayers on Ford's first day in office $195 million.

And as you said, and counting.

That's a lot of gravy. He's in way over his head. He should man up and resign.

December 14, 2011 @ 12:28 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Rob Ford actually makes me miss this guy:

December 14, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Danica

Isn't Karen Stintz TTC commish?

December 14, 2011 @ 1:24 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Karen Stintz is TTC Chairman.

Maria Augimeri is a TTC Commissioner. There are nine of those.

Karen Stintz, TTC Chair
Peter Milczyn, Vice-Chair
Maria Augimeri
Vincent Crisanti
Frank Di Giorgio
Norm Kelly
Denzil Minnan-Wong
Cesar Palacio
John Parker

December 14, 2011 @ 1:38 PM

Tevy

At least the TTC still better than the YRT. It's WAY worse than the TTC. Why? the most expensive fare in the province, buses that are even less frequent and on time than the TTC + they strike at least once every 2-3 years (see the current pathetic situation.)

I'd rather live in Toronto (I live in Thornhill) and put up with the TTC than deal with the YRT (albeit taking GO Train downtown is pretty sweet).

December 14, 2011 @ 1:42 PM

Boomer

I learned that Maria is very cute. You know, she looks alot like my breast friend Sandra Rinomato!

December 14, 2011 @ 2:17 PM

Boomer

I should also add the bus at the first of the clip flies through the amber light and goes through the red. He\she appeared to be "running" for the amber and made no attempt to stop.

December 14, 2011 @ 2:21 PM

Cheryl

Thank God I work at home so don't use the TTC much at all, thank goodness about that. Go Habs.

December 14, 2011 @ 4:23 PM

CQ

Ms. Augimeri is probably the only passenger earning within 20% of the TTC bus driver.
From Ralph Kramden thru Stanley and Jack to ticket booth workers like Ralphie and Spence; 'Hollywood' has brainwashed most people into thinking of all gov't workers as downtrodden weaklings. Watch Mike & Molly; two Chicago cops, one teacher - all three live at a parental's home (same as ELR's Robert Barone) and/or in low income housing. Two and a Half Men; same deal - impoverished medical professional living with his capitalist evil brother / new billionaire.
I applaud York Region's transit company to holding their line. We cannot be paying out what we cannot afford. An impossibly mere 7% CUT is a lot of gravy.

December 14, 2011 @ 6:03 PM

Irvine

@MrFascination: Try again. The TTC has the dubious distinction of having the highest % of funding coming from the farebox in North America. It's been starved by the Province & by the City.

CQ: Public servants & publicly funded institutions do pay much lower than private institutions. I know this because I've been approached numerous times with consulting offers for public institutions. In every single case the $$ offered was substantially LOWER than what I get paid in the private sector.

In fact, I would argue the public sector is not paid enough. If you want to attract high quality talent, you need to pay market prices. Tell me, I'm a self employed IT professional. Why would I take a $40 dollar an hour contract for some public institution when I can make $80 in the private sector? That's the REAL reality dude, not the opinion of some know it all Easterner that bases his opinion on stupid stereotypes. I've did work in the medical and education realm and I can tell you FIRST HAND that the situation is deplorable. Low morale, no funding, having to constantly account for every nickel you spent by the pocket book citizenry.

But what's MOST amusing is that you live in Ontario. And Ontario is a HAVE NOT province which will receive a grand total of 2.2 billion in equalization payments. MOST Of it will come from Alberta. SOOOO..seeing I'm in Alberta & shelled out 65K in federal taxes last year, I want MORE accountability from YOU, EASTERNER. Because hey, if you want to criticize the TTC as it uses "your money" I can criticize you as you receive 2.2 billion of MY MONEY.

Finally, LRT's are used in most cities, especially those with large suburban areas. The reason is they are cheaper. Calgary can fund a 7 station 12 km LRT line for a grand total of 1.54 billion. Same price as a single mile of subway. Duh. Maybe that explains why my city of 1.1 million has almost as many km's of rail as Toronto does yet Toronto is 5 times the size.

December 14, 2011 @ 6:39 PM

A.R.

CQ, to suggest that the councillor who made this excellent video the only one is making one fifth the salary of the bus driver (20%) is ludicrous. Even four fifths or 80% would be wrong and ignorant. I guess you only have ideological games to play since the right wing mayor cannot be defended for neglecting the needs of people on Finch where buses are inadequate. His predecessor Mayor David Miller planned and got funding to address the lack of capacity on Finch with an LRT line.

Mayor Rob Ford cannot be defended for the $65 million in waste. In fact, it's clear from this wast, the property tax increase, the broad service cuts, and bike lane reductions that Mayor Ford and his savvier but equally neglectful brother, Doug, do not stand for anything but getting power and getting revenge on the reasonable policies of the Miller administration. He's the worst kind of politician--reactionary--who just doesn't want to consider any changes to status quo even if there are problems affecting the city that need to be addressed. Transit City was practical, designed not to reduce any lanes of travel for drivers, but the reactionist doesn't want the kind of change that puts transit front and centre.

This video made by Councillor Augimeri is really impressive. It highlights the fact that Finch West needs LRT because of overcrowding. Transit City was a good plan for transit expansion on certain overcrowded suburban Toronto streets.

It should be noted that neither Transit City or the mayor's plan are flawless. Transit City was flawed for planning an arbitrary transfer from LRT to subway on Sheppard (we already built phase one of a subway line there), for an Eglinton line that wouldn't be grade separated, and for a Jane line that would be impractical because Jane isn't wide enough south of Eglinton. Mayor Ford's plan neglects to provide light rail where it's actually needed on crowded suburban bus routes like Finch and Don Mills. Admittedly, Ford's fully grade-separated Eglinton Crosstown will probably be a great line with fast rapid transit through midtown and central Toronto from the old city of York to Scarborough. It will essentially be a subway line. But one can't excuse how much of the city's transit needs are being neglected to build it.

December 14, 2011 @ 9:01 PM

andrew

I ride the subway with her & making sure nobody taking pics. She is HOT.

December 14, 2011 @ 9:26 PM

CQ

Irvine:
Nowhere do I "EASTERNER" ever defend spending Your Money "WESTERNER's" here. Spending within our means, means just that, period.
Don't have it, don't spend it, tough noogies. The leading token booth sleeper (who killed himself a year later) lived two hours away from Toronto in his detached house. Where my dad worked 40 years in Swansea is now a series of compressed townhouses - and he walked to work until moving 20 minutes away.
A.R.:
Don't float a ludicrous 20% number as an opener - you know I stated 80%. Start there.
Road Lane space was taken away twice by Mayor Miller's dedicated streetcar construction. One place is St. Clair West; the other is the Queensway portion south of High Park. Then you can look at the sidewalk fancifications of Roncesvalles Ave., the Bloor West village, Dundas towards Bathurst, and more reductions for Lansdowne Avenue.
Roncy even has a bike lane which rises to matching sidewalk height for 50 metres (both sides of the street - not squarely opposite either) and no warning for drivers. Plus there are more drivers in part because there are ever more shoeboxed condos. And every new sidewalk tree planting is a special unique species.
I'm not even a great fan of Rob Ford. Yet the only alternative here was more of the same.

December 14, 2011 @ 10:29 PM

Romy

"...Toronto public transit. Charging boldly into the 18th century."

December 15, 2011 @ 3:23 AM

Jacob

Don't forget the $10 million required to study the feasibility of the public-private-partnership for the Sheppard subway extension.

Remember, not $10M for actual work, $10M to *study whether they can get the money*.

December 15, 2011 @ 9:48 AM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

In what world is 8:45 a.m. considered rush hour?

December 15, 2011 @ 9:58 AM

Corey

@irvine - you're an IT consultant and your rate is $80/hr? LOL. Wow, "slick", I know junior level developers who left to freelance that wouldn't get out of bed for $80/hr.

December 15, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

Irvine

Corey: LOL, nice try but you're full of shit. Your claim that a "junior developer" that freelances won't get out of bed for $80 dollars is a lie. Self employed IT people are almost always SENIOR people. No such thing exists as a "junior freelancer" unless that person is unable to find a job and calls himself "freelance". That goes for every OTHER industry too. Good try though. Why don't you just get over the fact I pay more taxes a year than you make as an income?

@CQ: Were you drinking when you wrote your rebuttal? Because it looks like it. It makes no sense.

The whole "pocketbook citizen" crap is simple-mindedness from simple minded "Conservatives" that don't have the cranial ability to understand complex things. Just like Rob Ford, they use tag lines like "gravy train" or "wasteful spending".

The TTC isn't just cash starved. It also has to move the HUNDREDS of thousands who commute into Toronto and pay zero into the system via taxes (outside the cost of a fare). Toronto folks cover the cost of 905 and those 905 folks want better transit. BUT they're not funding city coffers.

The Lower Mainland (Vancouver & area) is a city filled with commuters. Transit is covered by Translink and is funded by all regions served (White Rock, Surrey, North Van, Richmond, New West, etc). They also instituted a fuel tax of about 15 cents a litre across the Lower Mainland. This fee helps pay for transit. They also have "Zones". You pay based on the Zone, so if you go from the Airport to Surrey Central on the Skytrain you pay a higher fee ($5 bucks I think). They also run electric trolleys which are cheaper to run & much quieter.

The TTC isn't the problem. It's a symptom of a lack of vision & short term thinking from all levels of Government.

As for Rob Ford taking the bus. Impossible. He'd be assaulted and he knows it.

December 15, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

CQ

@Irvine, 10:50
Er, um no. But thanks for the flailing personal attack. First you bring up your provincial spending issue - from Alberta which has a higher per capita deficit itself, long masked by oil resource revenues. Later you knowledgeably flount other 'regional' systems yet ignore Vancouver's pre-Olympics build-up years of federal and provincial tax support while also overlooking the seven commuter branches of GO Train lines serving Toronto's Union Station, plus Metrolynx and a myriad of local systems serving millions more surrounding Toronto itself. There's a reason so many major companies set-up shop in next-door Mississauga.
The TTC is flawed. AND, yes so is Toronto's local thinking.

Heck, much of Mississauga's CROSS-border transit riders have to switch at Islington Station. All riders into the city get deposited (outside) at the station's small roadside doorway. The public washrooms have been locked closed for over 30 years due to intra city funding squabbles. No tickets are sold either (by a Mon-Sat, 9to7? vendor), anywhere nearby outside of the indoor pre-paid TTC's 1-below transfer floor. Yet most buses at that station are Mississauga's; TTC uses next stop Kipling more. And non-subway paying riders have to mill about along the sidewalk with a lone flimsy bus shelter outside of the mega-bay bus platforms, manually waving individual route drivers on or off.
Neighbouring Miss. is a city of 700,000 people. And the VIA trains don't stop there either; Union Station, Oakville, Burlington - no Miss. with Brampton sitting directly north).

For this type of practical inactivity we need to blame all political leaders left and right, which includes two-term good economic years' Miller.

December 15, 2011 @ 12:41 PM

CQ

Now recalling,
Miller caved in twice to the TTC giving away to all monetary demands. It was immediately during an illegal wildcat strike AND again for another called with just 90 minutes warning before a May Friday night (with lots of unassuming College-released young adults being stranded downtown). Miller even flew directly back from a visit in China to make his local grandstand cave-in.
Look at how Ottawa had held out during a snow-bound Christmas season with its transit. Or York Region's 3rd party private company right now.

December 15, 2011 @ 1:12 PM

Irvine

@CQ: Alberta has a higher per capita deficit than Ontario? I think you need to do your math again. Further to that Alberta just happens to have 10's of billions in savings (Heritage fund, etc) AND it has NO debt. $0.00. As for it coming from oil revenues, what's your point. Is it going to be the old argument that it's a "non renewable natural resource?" Because all those cars are made from natural resources (steel) and if they ever get the blast furnaces online in Hamilton, they'll be powered by coal (a non renewable resource).

As for the "Olympic" buildup in Vancouver what's your point. Tax money is tax money. MOST of the Skytrain excluding the Canada Line was built years, if not decades ago.

And your mention of GO Transit makes no sense. GO and the TTC are two entirely entities. In Vancouver, every thing falls under the Translink Umbrella (though TL contracts out certain things to other companies). Does GO contract out subways to the TTC? Or Buses? No. Apples and Oranges.

But at the end of the day the TTC handles hundreds of thousands of riders that do not pay taxes to the city of Toronto. Yet they use their services. I mean dude, I'm DEFENDING TORONTO.

As for companies moving to Mississauga, they're doing so because of lower taxes. But you see in our property tax system urban areas subsidize the suburbs. This issue has been championed by Calgary's mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Property taxes should not be set on home value, but on per capita services cost. If suburban rate payers actually paid the REAL cost of things, the coffers at Toronto City Hall would look much different.

Ya see though, capital is moving West dude. The city with the most head offices is now Calgary. And with that movement of capital comes a movement of skills and people. Hard to build world class business without world class skills, isn't it.

December 15, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

Jason Patterson

Well Mike, he might have to ride the bus if we can get him impeached...

December 16, 2011 @ 6:56 AM

Jason Patterson

I met Karen Stintz. I asked her why she has her kids in her stupid campaign t-shirts on a freezing cold day. I told her I was worried about her kids catching a cold, and clearly she wasn't so therefore I couldn't vote for her.

December 16, 2011 @ 6:58 AM

greenapple1999

@Nigel

Yes, morning rush hr last usually until 10am on Finch. You have to understand:

1. 36 Finch bus is one of the longest bus routes on the TTC. The bus covers many kms travelling from Finch stn to Humber College.

2. New subway construction @ Finch and Keele has become a huge problem in our area. The streets around the area are reduced to one lane in each direction. If you have at least 3 to 4 bus caught in that mess, buses are going to be late and that equals more people waiting at the bus stops.

Don't forget, Rob said that he is going to create dedicated bus lanes to help reduce the wait time for the 36 Finch bus. Question is, where is the $$$ for it since they say the city is broke?!?!?

December 16, 2011 @ 8:34 AM

MrFascination


Oh And Let Us Not Forget That TTC Employees Are The Highest Paid Transit Workers In NORTH AMERICA!

December 16, 2011 @ 11:39 AM

Irvine

@MrFascination: Wrong.

Starting wage for bus driver at the TTC is the same wage as a driver at Calgary Transit. Given that both fall under the same union & they negotiate with their respective city councils it's likely they both get about the same annual increase (probably a couple of percentage)

Good try though slick. Try not to let facts get in the way of your own bias man. How does it feel to be a stupid idiot>?

December 16, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

MrFascination


Irvine Listen You Pro-Union
Smuck... Do Your Research - TTC Employees make as much as 25% more then NYC transit workers.
Next closest to Toronto is Boston and their approx 10% less.

December 16, 2011 @ 2:47 PM

Irvine

@MrIdiot (aka Fascination)

Pro-Union? LMAO. Uh, dude, I'm self employed & run my own show.

Now, LOL, so MTA bus drivers, etc are paid 25% less than the TTC?

Starting wage of TTC bus driver is 22$

Averaged salary of a TTC bus driver is $26

Average salary of a MTA bus operator is $63,000 a year. That my friend is about $30 bucks an hour.

Maybe you should reconsider your name and label yoruself as "stupid idiot". It's more fitting. BAHAHAHAHAHA.

December 16, 2011 @ 4:49 PM

Quinny

Toronto Mike- Do you take TTC

to work everyday?

December 16, 2011 @ 4:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Quinny

At this phase of my life, I'm lucky enough that I don't have to commute anywhere.

December 16, 2011 @ 11:02 PM

Irvine


Your A Fool.


Your Numbers Are wrong! Look It Up!

And if you are a self-employed and "run your own show" then you would see the GRAVY streaming from these government run corporations.

Amazing how once something goes private (Like the garbage pickup) the expense drops the the millions lost turns into millions earned.

December 18, 2011 @ 11:16 AM

Diz

Just to interject...I respect your viewpoints, Irvine...but I can't say I like the name calling. I'm also in Alberta.

January 2, 2012 @ 2:51 AM

Fordfan

The TTC has been the architect of its own misfortune. They were warned years ago that their model would not work in the future with increased ridership, and therefore their approach to union negotiations and revenues had to change. Did they? Of course not, they just carried on blithely assuming that when the push came to shove (which it does every morning on the TTC) that government would bail them out. BIG MISTAKE! In fact, the TTC rider shave their service heavily subsidized by taxpayers while those of us who use our own vehicles pay not only our own way, but must subsidize the leeches riding the TTC.

November 15, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Mike Hunt

I don't give a damn about the TTC, buy if that babe Augimeri would ride the topless, I'd pay $20.00 to ride pressed up against her.

November 15, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

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