Dan Pitman (Public Sector Unions Unfair) writes:
But unions in a government-mandated monopoly hide behind the fact that, legally, there can be no competition. Drunk with power, they become arrogant bullies. The mayor must push for punishment immediately and the premier must ban all future TTC strikes. But if you expect union lackeys David Mouse or Dalton McWimp to act decisively, you're waiting for a subway that will never arrive at the station.
I couldn't have said it better. To be fair though, Mayor Miller does seem to be standing tough here.
Andrew Coyne in today's National Post (Smash Toronto's Monopoly) also points to the union as the root problem:
Unions strike when it is to their advantage, and it is to their advantage, typically, where they hold some kind of monopoly -- if not, other workers would simply step in to fill the gap.
Coyne suggests various remedies including contracting out. It is a very interesting article, where he analyzes transit systems in other major cities across the globe, in an effort to find an alternative to the publicly-funded monopoly in Toronto. Unfortunately, the link seems to be for registered subscribers only, but it's worth the price of the paper.
While the TTC remains stuck in the monopoly rut, around the world the movement is toward competition in public transit. Britain's remains the most radical experiment: In 1985, the streets of Britain were thrown open to competition from private bus services, in every city outside London. The results, admittedly, have been mixed. While costs were slashed by 42%, partly by experimenting with minivans, jitneys and other alternatives to the traditional bus, prices have not moderated to the extent hoped.
This whole area is crucial when you consider the amount of discussion surrounding smog and pollution. With the present federal government pushing for increased use of public transit, the reliability of the service needs to be examined.
Anyway, Dan Pitman, you are my kind of guy! If you ever read this blog, please respond in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.