Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Broken Transit II

A few weeks ago (Jan. 21) I wrote about the troubles at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and how its leaders are looking for ways to improve service and reduce complaints. Of course if this service had real competition, riders would by their choices quickly reduce TTC revenues and change would have to happen or the business would fold. But in Toronto, “the better way” as it is often referred to, is for most riders the only way; there are no other real options. (Are there such places where people have options? Check this out.)

Some riders have taken to photographing TTC employees on the job and shown them to be napping or taking extended coffee/bathroom breaks. Needless to say riders are not pleased because TTC employees are unionized and relatively well paid. Yesterday at a news conference the employee’s union leader implored the public to stop harassing TTC employees and treat them respectfully (I was becoming misty eyed). Can you imagine this happening in a real business situation? It’s a head shaker and can only happen in a government-union monopoly.

Things got even worse this week when the young TTC Chairman was accused of having sex in his City Hall office with a 19 year old university co-ed. This same young Chairman was making a run for the mayor’s office in Toronto in the November municipal elections. Today after just a 10 day campaign he apologized and withdrew from the mayoralty race after admitting other sexual dalliances while living with his longtime girlfriend (maybe not too much longer). Obviously he now doesn’t think he is worthy of the mayor’s job. The question should be is he worthy of any public office?


  1. Eliminating a government-run transit system doesn't answer the question of why does a government-run transit system become inefficient (or, at least be perceived to be inefficient)

  2. “Our freedom of choice in a competitive society rests on the fact that, if one person refuses to satisfy our wishes, we can turn to another;” so said Nobel economic laureate F. A. Hayek

    A monopoly of government and union always ignores the customer.


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