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Newsstand: March 22, 2013

Hope your weekend plans are accented with some nicer weather. In the news: there's money for cities in the new budget; subway doors open in a tunnel again; and new people are in charge at Downsview.

newsstand humbetown

There’s new money for Canada’s cities in today’s federal budget, including Toronto. The budget promises $14 billion to cities over the next 10 years, to be invested in infrastructure, and the gas tax fund will also be indexed to cities starting next year. TTC chair Karen Stintz hopes that the money from the Building Canada Fund can help the City pay for a downtown relief line.

For the second time this week, subway doors opened while the train was in the tunnel. TTC CEO Andy Byford told the Toronto Star that the doors opened on a train in between King and Union stations yesterday morning due to an error by a new emploeey, saying that the mistake was unfortunate. There were no injuries in the incident.

Executives who’ve worked with Downsview Park for years to determine its future have been replaced by the federal government. Staff of federal property manager Canada Lands are now in charge of the park, though no announcements about changes to plans for its development have yet been made. “We do not have plans at this stage as to any changes to Downsview Park,” said Robert Howald, acting president and CEO of Canada Lands. “We’re just at that beginning stage.”


  • James D Paterson

    Every day seems to be a new issue with the TTC. It’s not funny anymore, nor is it sad, it’s just fucking ridiculous. Do we have any competent employees in the TTC at all, in management or otherwise?

    I’d think, after training and such, if an employee doesn’t have a grasp on how to control train doors, they would NOT BE PUT IN AN OPERATIONAL TRAIN.

    Disgraceful corporation. Byford’s charter is bullshit and with the way things are run, there is NO way anything in that charter will ever actually be met.

    • Winkee

      Chillout man, 2 incidents of doors opening in how many thousand of runs a day?
      The one yesterday was actually a person in training apparently and the other one earlier in the week was during a power out situation with the train stuck in a tunnel (ie. an isolated incident). So your implication that all TTC employees don’t know how to do their jobs and are putting people at risk is beyond hyperbolic, it’s completely unproven, inflammatory garbage.
      For a system that see’s over 500 mill rides a year I think they do a pretty good job of safety.

      • Chris

        Regardless, doors opening in a tunnel by accident should NEVER happen! It’s just complete recklessness and your comment tells me that it will take a death before people actually care.

        • winkee

          While it is dangerous and extremely concerning, you seem to imply that nothing will be done but nothing indicates that and you have no evidence to believe that. Saying temper your freakout with a little context and a realistic evaluation of the situation is hardly not caring.

      • shmyford

        Nah, Paterson’s got a point. Byford’s charter is a crock. Why is the streetcar service so incredibly awful? How difficult can it be to run at a service level where people aren’t consistently late for work.

        Can’t wait til it warms up and I can get back to riding my bike.

        • vampchick21

          Pretty difficult when the Mayor demands a 10% budget cut on an underfunded system that was never given any money in a while to actually upgrade in the first place. If they have to cut by 10% when their funding levels as is does not match growth, demand, upgrading, expanding, etc, what do you think is going to happen?

      • Testu

        That sort of thing definitely shouldn’t happen, but it is funny seeing how many people expect NASA levels of safety and reliability from a chronically underfunded transit system that’s been operating over-capacity for something like a decade now.

        The TTC actually does a good job given what they have to work with. It doesn’t help that they’re only now starting to modernize the system past 1980′s tech.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Not to excuse the employee, but why is it even possible for the doors to open on a train in motion? That’s just bad engineering.

      • estta

        Was it moving? I thought it was just during a stop in the tunnel like it sometimes does when they have workers on the tracks or need to fix timing issues.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          I was under the impression one of the incidents involved a moving train. If not, my mistake. Obviously opening the doors while stopped in a tunnel is necessary for evacuation in an emergency, but that shouldn’t be the default state of the door release buttons.

          • winkee

            Both incidents involved stopped subways, none were in motion.

      • Testu

        It seems there’s no safety interlock beyond requiring a key to be inserted and turned to activate the controls. The buttons themselves are pretty deeply recessed but if they’re pressed when the console is active they will open the doors regardless of the train’s status.

  • tomwest

    Toronto has 10% of Canada’s population, so if its gets 10% of that $14 billion-over-ten-years, then that makes… $140m/year. Hardly enough for subways.



  • shuo.hao