As the last subway cars from the 1970’s make their last run through Toronto’s busy TTC subway tunnels before being bound for the other side of the world, other aspects of an aging subway system are emerging. Is it just me or is the frequency of subway delays increasing?
Ever packed subway platforms make taking “the better way” a real chore. Who wants to wade through a platform of wall-to-wall people so tightly packed that the populous of a sardine can seem like they bask in a vast open space? A glance at the digital platform monitors revealing a yellow bar across the bottom vividly displaying the word “DELAY” as an automated announcement over the P.A. system blares about one incident or another followed by the ever increasingly familiar phrase… “We apologize for the inconvenience”.
Is this why we need more subways in this city? So that many more people can be stranded in the same manner on more subway platforms? Over the last two months, I can count on one hand how many times I have actually ventured to take the subway for part of my commute rather than the alternative surface streetcar route I opt for that, under normal circumstances, takes a mere 10 minutes longer. And without fail, each time I had taken the subway, that dreaded announcement and packed wait, sometimes for several more trains to pass before even getting on, resulting in double or sometimes triple commute times.
More subways in this city will not solve this dilemma. I am not even sure that more light-rail surface routes will do the same. Better transportation planning that is current to this city’s needs is what is required.
One thing is for sure. If there were more dedicated bike routes, there may be less people packed onto subway platforms making the pilgrimage to the nearest P.A. speaker to wait for that daily announcement.