Canada Day weekend was a lot of fun in Toronto. This city was alive and it felt like people had come far and wide to visit downtown. But it was a good reminder that even if all of our cars were electric and even if they were all able to drive themselves, we would still have this problem:
I was in an Uber on Saturday afternoon heading over to the west side of downtown and we had no choice but to declare bankruptcy and hop out in the middle of Bay Street. We thought about waiting for the Ontario Line to be ready, but that seemed a bit far out.
So we rented bikes instead and rode along the waterfront, which was a considerably better experience. But then we couldn’t find any docks with available slots, so we had to ride up into Liberty Village, drop our bikes off there, and then walk back down to Ontario Place.
Of course, this was still the better option. I’m fairly certain that we’d still be in that Uber had we stuck it out. And maybe not finding a bike dock is just part of life in the big city on a beautiful long weekend in the summer.
Still, it was frustrating. So I’ll use this opportunity to once again ask our city leaders to reconsider their ban on dockless electric scooters. Toronto clearly needs all the mobility support it can get.
You know why they are reticent Think of the piles of them at the same destinations where you could not park your bikes
Scooters become street litter immediately and a blight on any city. Washington DC has become dangerous to walk in as scooters are left everywhere and anywhere. The intersections are now an obstacle course to get around as the users just drop the device where the please. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to imagine how bad it is. Koodo’s to Toronto for not hopping on the this trend.
I was in Paris recently and they seemed to have solved this with geofencing. You can only leave them in specific locations and you have to take a picture before ending your ride.
There are far too many people driving into the city. I see it with colleagues that used to take the GO train everyday, but now “I drive as it is only two days a week.” Or “I’m still uncomfortable on transit with COVID.” Maybe somewhat valid, but not that valid anymore. And TTC commuters are often afraid to use the system due to the amount of riff riff riding it, nevermind some recent high profile and horrifying incidents. I don’t think we are in a transit death spiral, but things need to change, and soon.