Posts Tagged: Royson James



Subways, LRTs, Busways & Gondolas

It’s important not to forget the importance of small victories.

For example, last week a newspaper columnist wrote the following in Canada’s largest daily newspaper:

“Can’t decide between an LRT or a subway? A busway or a gondola? Don’t expect help from these characters. Sorry. You are on your own.” 

The quote comes from a recent column by Royson James of the Toronto Star. The “characters” in question are Ontario’s provincial transportation agency, Metrolinx.

Now there’s absolutely nothing unique about a major Canadian newspaper calling out Toronto politicians and administrators for mishandling the public transportation file. Transportation in the Greater Toronto Area is increasingly nightmarish with little hope of a wake-up in sight.

But neither that — nor Metrolinx’s capabilities — are the point.

The point, instead, is that here we have a major columnist in a major publication using subway, LRT, bus and gondola technology in the same breath to describe the various transportation options we have before us.

Typically, when newspapers talk about gondolas they do so because — let’s face it — cable cars are an oddity. And oddities drive readership (Chinese Tunnel Bus™ anyone?). More often than not, major media treats gondolas as an interesting sideshow, nothing more.

Not so here. The fact that Royson James didn’t call attention to the ridiculousness of gondolas; the fact that he merely listed it as one of several options is important.

That’s a win. A small win, yes, but a small win with very big implications.

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