Transit Storm in Toronto Mayor’s Race Could Impact Thunder Bay

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THUNDER BAY – Down in Toronto a storm is brewing. Rob Ford, a candidate for Mayor is holding almost half of the vote in the early public opinion polls. Unless something drastic happens, Ford is likely to end up as Toronto’s new Mayor.

Rob Ford’s plan for Transportation in Toronto could have implications for Bombardier in Thunder Bay. At risk could be the streetcar deal that Bombardier won last year.

The candidate’s transportation plan states, “Streetcars are not the answer to Toronto’s transit needs. To attract drivers into transit, it must be comfortable, convenient, afford­able, reliable and rapid. Streetcars are none of these things. Streetcars are slow (average speed: 17km/h) and take hours to travel across town. This limits your ability to live in one part of the city and work in another. Street­car construction destroys streets and interrupts businesses. Streetcar lines down the centre of arterial roads increase gridlock and create pollution.”

The news isn’t all bad for Thunder Bay and our Bombardier workers. Ford would prefer subway cars to streetcars.

The shift however could impact manufacturing at the Bombardier facility in Thunder Bay.

Ford says that he plans to build subway lines and have them ready for the 2015 Pan Am Games. “This subway plan is realistic, it’s affordable, and it will deliver real benefits for people living and working in Toronto in time for the 2015 Pan-Am Games,” states Ford.

While the votes are not in yet, change is in the wind in Toronto, and for Thunder Bay and likely for Bombardier it is one of those times to best be prepared.

James Murray

Read Rob Ford’s Transit Plan

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