In a move that's confounding critics, the TTC is tearing up its moving walkway at Spadina station to save $100,000 in operating costs.
The 137-metre-long walkway that used to transport 11,000 people a day from the Bloor-Danforth subway to the Yonge-University-Spadina line was getting too old and expensive to maintain, according to TTC spokesperson Danny Nicholson.
But why, critics ask, is the rider-challenged TTC inconveniencing so many to save so little?
"It's a significant feature of the subway," says TTC chair Howard Moscoe, who voted against the plan. "When it gets to be winter and people can't walk outside, it's going to be very upsetting to our customers."
Right now, a wooden barrier closes off the deserted moving walkway.
The TTC proposed two alternatives: a $1.1-million "extend design life" that would see the walkway last another 10 years, or the replacement of the existing lane with four shorter walkways at a cost of $4 million to build and $84,000 for yearly upkeep. Both options were snuffed out -- and the TTC board voted in February to retire the 26-year-old walkway and fill in the existing pit.
The decision has forced frustrated commuters to switch trains at the St. George station to avoid the long trek between the Spadina-University and Bloor lines at the Spadina station.
Area Councillor Olivia Chow blames other levels of government.
"Both the federal and provincial governments have not paid their share of support to public transit," she says, "which is one of the reasons why the TTC can't fix the walkway in the first place."