Lawrence Solomon: Let private enterprise build subways

(January 28, 2011) Private subways could be a profitable enterprise, and would save taxpayers money.  All we need to do is let them build it.

Three weeks ago, in a column praising the reform agenda of Rob Ford, Toronto’s new reform-minded Mayor, I invited readers to offer suggestions for additional reforms that Toronto, and other cities, should pursue. You have been coming through with innovative ideas that I will be expanding on and publicizing in this new Post feature, Fix Your City. To kick off this reader-initiated series, I’ll start with a suggestion from Torontonian Graham Smith that deals with Toronto’s transit system.

Mr. Ford is hoping the province will take the money-losing Toronto Transit Commission off his hands, and for good reason — the TTC not only drains the city’s coffers, the rudeness and laziness of its employees are a public scandal, no small matter for a mayor who is rebranding the city as “delivering customer service excellence.” Mr. Ford has another reason for wanting no part of the TTC — a subway line he promised across a low-density part of the city’s northeast makes no economic sense. If the province took over the TTC, he could wash his hands of his commitment.

Read the full story here.

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