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Metrolinx frames TTC as regional obstacle

Toronto transit observers are viewing the report as a power play, based on arguments for relatively small efficiencies. They say route harmonization would affect only about half a dozen of approximately 3,000 bus routes in the region.

January 16, 2009 5:40 a.m.

Metrolinx wants the province to designate it a mega-transit authority, with the power to decide where TTC and other regional transit systems will pick up passengers, and which fares and transfers riders use when crossing city borders.

In a frank report to the Metrolinx board — hastily withdrawn earlier this week from the online agenda for Friday’s meeting — Metrolinx staff accuse the TTC of being the major obstacle to a fully integrated route and fare system in the Toronto region.

The kind of seamless transit service throughout the Toronto-Hamilton area envisioned by Metrolinx, says the report, will never happen if it’s left up to the municipal transit agencies.

The TTC, by far the largest of the nine involved, still hasn’t committed to the proposed Metrolinx fare card, called Presto.The TTC has told Metrolinx it is no longer interested in a cost-sharing agreement that would have seen the TTC cede this duplicate service to Mississauga and York Region and save taxpayers about $1.5 million annually, according to Metrolinx.