I have had my fair share of riding in Toronto’s street cars, and while riding in them I used to wonder why the city leaders are not seeing there are so many things wrong with street cars and talk about eliminating them in favour of more efficient buses? Here are a few reasons why I think street cars are a piece of dangerous, costly and annoying crap.

1. Street cars endanger passengers lives.

The tracks of street cars are laid in the middle of the road. Passengers have to cross a lane of traffic when they need to get off or get onto a street car. There are always bad drivers that do not pay attention to stopping street cars, and there are drivers from out of town that are not aware of or not familiar with the fact that passengers could suddenly get off a stopped street car.

2. Street cars slow down traffic and contribute to congestion.

They have a very low speed when they are moving; and when they are stopped they stop both lanes of traffic.

3. Street cars cause air pollution.

Even though they themselves do not use gas, their slow speed and frequent stopping of all traffic lanes cause others to idle or burn fuel less efficiently.

4. Street cars are too rigid and can only move on the tracks – leading to less reliable service for riders.

I have seen one street car broke down, bringing down the whole line of street cars. Or if a car or something broke down on the tracks, that would also bring down the whole line because street cars cannot manoeuver around the obstacle like buses can.

5. Street car tracks in the road increase the chances of accidents for bikers and motorists.

The tracks cut grooves and bumps in the road surface, raising chances of accidents or mechanical damages for bikers and motorists. In the winter, the hollow grooves and smooth rail tops reduce traction and make the road more slippery for traffic. Have you not heard about stories of bicyclists getting tripped up by the tracks and breaking arms and legs?

6. Street cars are heavy and consume a lot more energy to operate.

They weigh way more, consume more energy and are much less green than today’s energy-efficient buses.

7. Street cars are costly to maintain.

Street cars use an ancient technology, and are more prone for problems, resulting in frequent and high maintenance bills as well as more down times. Further more, street car maintenance is only part of the story – the whole network of miles and miles of tracks in mixed-use road surfaces have to be maintained as well. Street cars are simply costing tax payers too much money.

8. Street cars are a thing of the past, they belong in museums along with other antiques, not on the streets of Toronto.

To me, street cars are an eye sore and a disgrace on Toronto’s streets. It says Toronto is lagging far behind other modern cities with beautiful green fast buses and subways; and we are still stuck with this clunky slow-moving thing of the past.

9. Street cars are only good to keep a group of union-backed maintenance workers employed at the huge expense of the vast majority of tax payers.

Street cars remind me of the fact that politicians do not have the common sense or the vision to lead public opinion on reducing and eliminating streets, or they lack the gut to face up to the vested interests behind the street cars and fight for the interests of the vast majority of tax payers. Or, they just don’t care, because street cars are only burning holes in tax payers pockets.

10. Streets cars are ugly.

They just are. Just look at them – those hulky rusty slow-moving clanking monsters.

11. Is there anything good going for street cars.

I can’t think of any. Some people might say street cars have a historical significance and offer us emotional attachment to Toronto’s old days. I say to that “Sure, let that historical significance and emotional value sit in the museum where it belong, and don’t let it become a drag that prevent us from moving forward.” The historical symbolism and link is well and good, but it needs to be kept in check and balance. Otherwise, why don’t we bring back the horse wagons, they would surely be more “historical” than street cars. Let history be history.

And for this reason alone, I am giving the vote to Rod Ford.

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Haohao
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • MyShare
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis

Related posts:

  1. Comparison of Municipal Spending between Toronto and Shanghai
  2. 10 Reasons I Would Vote for Rob Ford
  3. Toronto Stinks
  4. Toronto Going to Charge Different Rates for Power Usage in Different Time Periods
  5. Toronto’s Summers Are Unfortunately Strike-Laden

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> <pre lang="" line="" escaped="">