Commuters turning to zombies throughout Toronto region: videoExperts fear congestion could lead to full-scale “gridlockalypse”

April 24, 2013

GREATER TORONTO — Video footage released today by the Pembina Institute suggests there are zombies commuting in the greater Toronto region. The video shows the zombies waiting for the bus for up to 45 minutes in communities underserved by transit, while others appear to be trapped in gridlock on the region’s congested highways.

“It’s been obvious for some time that commuters in and around Toronto face many challenges in their daily trek from home to the office and back,” said Cherise Burda, Ontario policy director at the Pembina Institute, a national clean energy think-tank. “But this video shows for the first time what battling gridlock day after day does to people — it seems our long commutes are actually turning us into zombies.”

The good news is that we can stop the zombie madness: a regional transportation plan called the Big Move would connect the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region with a rapid transit network and cut average commutes by at least half an hour.

“The roadmap is in place, but we are stuck in political gridlock,” Burda said. “I’m afraid that the longer politicians debate whether or not to fund the Big Move, the more the zombie plague will spread.”

This June, Metrolinx — the regional transit agency that designed the Big Move — will propose an investment strategy to fund this critical plan, which involves new ways to raise revenue. In recent weeks, other groups such as the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the Pembina Institute, and the City of Toronto have weighed in with recommendations on transit priorities and analysis outlining various ways to fund the transit plan. Executive Committee is considering the City of Toronto’s recommendations this week.

“Most big cities in North America are far ahead of Toronto in terms of funding strategies that are building advanced infrastructure to move people,” Burda said. “If we all share in the cost, we'll all benefit from expanded transit. It’s our only hope to save Toronto from being overcome by the zombie gridlockalypse.”



Cherise Burda
Ontario Policy Director


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