Monday, May 29, 2006

The BetterWay?

Toronto transit riders got a surprise this morning.

No buses. No subways. No streetcars. No nothing.

Thanks to what the Toronto Transit Commission is calling an “illegal job action” the whole transit system shut down between 4 and 5 AM.

This means about 700,000 people had to find alternate ways to get to work.

Isn’t public sector service wonderful? Isn’t it great that a couple of public sector union bosses can throw an entire city into chaos?

Of course, this wouldn’t happen if we allowed private competition to government services.

But Toronto’s NDP mayor David Miller wouldn’t think of such a thing.

And why should he? He probably rides a bike into work.

5 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I don't believe there is any law against allowing private competition into the transit sector. The problem is I don't think they would be able to compete without a government subsidy.

I think a better solution is to contract out transit operations and competition will come in the form of who wins the contract to operate the system. This is used outside the Lower Mainland by BC Transit and has worked quite well.

Anonymous said...

I agree Miles, outsource. Because this is a duel monopoly I don’t think the TTC management tries very hard to compromise. In fact, I actually have some sympathy for the maintenance crews who were suddenly (we are told?) asked to change their lives and accept a night shift on a rotation basis.

If the outsourced contract came up say .. every 5 years, the owner of the contract would painstakingly try to keep his work force happy and not go out on strike for fear of losing the next bid. The fact that it is a bid would keep the costs down. This creative tension would be healthy.

Miller is in bed with unions. We aren’t going to get sanity at City Hall without a Boston Tea Party. Maybe that could be Jane Pitfield’s slogan – she should be running against Miller the Dipper as the Leader of the Boston Tea Party.

Being Mayor of Toronto is a much bigger job than the collective Premiers of 6 Provinces. Why did we put a Dipper in to do that important job?

Time for a revolution!


nomdenet

Miles Lunn said...

This is how its done in most of British Columbia outside the Lower Mainland. Under the Social Credit back in the 80s, BC Transit would put out an offer for tender for each local transit for a five year deal. Companies would compete for the deal and whoever won it would be responsible for managing the local transit for the next five years when they would have to compete again. It worked so well even the NDP who ideologically opposes this left alone when they were elected in the 90s.

Anonymous said...

It won't do riders much good for the feds to subsidize the cost of their transit usage if such strikes continue.

If I were Harper, I'd look at reforming Canada's labour laws instead of subsidizing consumer costs. Of course, If I were Harper, I'd stay out of traffic violation infractions and cut personal income tax rather than subsidizing parents for raising their kids. Get the message? On and on we go...

Dr. Strangelove said...

Miles, if I were you I'd be hiring the services of personal body-guard (non-union) for promoting such blasphemy.

Remember we are talking about the Peoples Republic of Toronto. That kind of talk can get you a complimentary pair of cement shoes and a one-way trip to the harbour.