09.22.2014 01:51 PM

Race and transit

Interesting. Hopefully nobody says any of this, you know, out loud anywhere in Toronto.

“In short, the community got the burdens, but not the benefits, of all that investment. This was true not only of the freeways, but also of BART. In 1977, the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional transportation agency which oversees BART, conducted a study to determine if people of color were benefiting from the region’s new rail service. That report found that low income minorities used the system little, even though BART traversed many minority communities, because of the very way it was designed: to carry long distance suburban commuters (who are predominantly white) to jobs in downtown San Francisco and Oakland, not to meet the local travel needs of the residents of those minority communities.

The BART experience exemplifies a common legacy of the urban renewal era, and one that is still operating in many cities today: costly rail systems designed primarily for service from the outlying areas of a metropolitan area are promoted and expanded, despite the fact that they are likely to provide few travel advantages for low-income communities of color, and often come at the expense of the local bus service on which they rely.”

Last sentence in this essay, too.


  1. Tim says:

    You were right when you said what you did. Anyone paying attention knows that. Olivia Chow’s appalling reaction to your honestly expressed opinion beggars belief. Are you still advocating merger after this?

  2. socks clinton says:

    Similar story in 1995 when teenaged worker Cynthia Wiggins was killed trying to cross the street to get to work at a upscale Buffao Mall. The mall had a racist policy of banning municipal buses from dropping off passengers because they didn’t was troublemakers from the (predominately black) inner city. Anyways the mall got sued big time for wrongful death.

  3. Jack Templeton says:

    Generally agreed. Ghettos, reserves, slums, projects, the wrong side of the tracks, prisons, asylums, Gulags, etc., any accurate sociological analysis takes as axiomatic that spaces of marginalization, segregation, are built into the infrastructure – transportation is no exception. It is why poor folks risk getting fined for riding the bus without a fare or walk in the rain and the elite are driven around in black SUVs to be partitioned off in first class sections of planes and trains. As you point out, the truth rarely makes an appearance in the official propaganda. It should be noted that urban sprawl is at core a vast scheme to maximize the sale of gasoline, asphalt, cars, insurance, and little pink houses: “There’s a black man with a black cat / Living in a black neighborhood / He’s got an interstate running’ through his front yard.”

  4. Blue Grit says:

    You were ‘spot on’ with your original query to the Tory camp. An excellent opportunity to engage a potentially marginalized populace was missed. Knowing our city’s registered voter turnout rates, I was disappointed that Ms. Chow could not see the opportunity (at lease for a tactful discussion/challenge). I do not believe the Tory camp would have stood up well.

    • Warren says:

      All that she needed to say was this:

      “You all know Warren. He is opinionated. He is loud. And he is passionate about intolerance, about which he has written two books.

      I don’t agree with the word he used. But I note that John Tory has accepted his apology, and that’s good enough for me.

      What isn’t good enough for me is Tory’s transit plan. It’ll leave places like Jane Finch without proper service. And that is wrong.”

      She didn’t do that. I wish her luck.

      She’ll need it.

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