TTC Stopped by Ooze-like Substance
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TTC Stopped by Ooze-like Substance

Ectoplasm overwhelms the TTC, Rick Moranis nowhere in sight.

If you were riding the Yonge line on the TTC today, you were probably frustrated. And you had every right to be.

There was a hazardous track-level spill of an oil-like substance 500 feet north of College Station, which shut down the Yonge line between Bloor and Union. The TTC and Toronto Fire Services are investigating, and thousands of commuters had to find another way to get to work.

Seventy buses were quickly put into service to shuttle people downtown. Despite the transit agency’s best efforts, tens of thousands will be late getting to where they are going this morning, and for some of them a note from Andy Byford is not likely a sufficient apology.

While the prospect of ectoplasm consuming Toronto’s transit is a fun distraction, it’s also symbolic of more serious concerns.

Remember the $2.7-billion backlog in the TTC’s State of Good Repair and maintenance funding that council-watch killjoys like to talk about? Well, when mysterious pus starts coming out of subway tunnels, that’s a good place to start. And all that talk about how the downtown Yonge line is overburdened, and that building a downtown relief line should be a priority over proposed subway lines that don’t have the ridership demand? Yeah, with tens of thousands of people waiting for a crammed bus or trying to flag a cab, that’s a good place to look, too. Or maybe those revenue tools for a cash-starved transit agency would be a good thing, so they could address both State of Good Repair and capital expansion in the way they need to.

When you’re really frustrated today about missing your morning meeting, remember that this isn’t just a TTC issue. There are years of policies and ongoing politics that contribute to small situations like this. So when you’re thinking about the slippery ooze-like substance that stopped transit, feel free to think of the politicians whose supposed solutions do not reflect the state of the TTC today.