Ever since the creation of the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA) last year we have been eagerly awaiting some information about what it is they actually do and/or when/where they will actually do that thing. So, last week when Dalton McGuinty announced that (if re-elected) he would invest $17.5 billion in transit programs to be administered by the GTTA we decided it was time to do some serious research (i.e. Google them). Alas, we found naught but for the homepage of GO Transit.
So, is the GTTA the same as GO Transit? Uh, no. We mean, not quite. Sorta. Well, maybe. In theory, once the central authority for running transit in the region is up and running, GO Transit will be run by them. Clearly we were going to have to do some hardcore digging, so we also checked the GTTA’s Wikipedia entry and…found nothing that helped whatsoever.
Everything changed today when we heard from Steve Munro that the GTTA website was, in fact, now up and running! It’s clearly not finished so we won’t harp on the fact that the design is a bit 1999. Also, the information is still scant and the French page consists of nothing but press releases but here is what we do know:
The GTTA is headed by former Burlington mayor Rob MacIsaac and they have made one announcement: Namely, that they will be introducing a “Smart Card” system which will allow transit users to actually change between systems without using a slide rule and a sextant. Two of the biggest systems (Hamilton and the TTC) have said they’re not so big on that initiative but the GTTA no doubt has the authority to get them in line (or maybe they don’t…we’re not really sure).
So, the good news is that the GTTA have a website which means the information about what they do is surely right around the corner.But, be warned: if you are going delve into their website you should make sure you have your acronyms straight: GTA is “Greater Toronto Area.” GTAH is “Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region.” [Shouldn’t that be GTHR?] The GTTA is not the same as the GTAA who run Pearson Airport. The nascent GTA Fare Card System doesn’t have it’s own anagram yet but it will obviously end up being the GTAFCS (or possibly the GTAHFCS).
Got all that? Good.
Photo by James Boston in the Torontoist Flickr Pool.