Toronto is composed of three distinct areas serrated by income and economic dynamics, much like three different cities all called Toronto. In City 1( down town), income has increased 20% or more compared to City 3 where the income has decreased 20% or more!
The issue raising from this division is the Public Transit gap. Toronto’s popular but unsatisfactory public transit is concentrated in down town core separating the high income area from the lower income areas. The higher income areas have more accessibility to food, well paying jobs and services while the suburban areas located further away from Toronto’s down town where the is less accessibility to these types of services. (Martin Prosperity Institute, 2011). In this higher income neighbourhood, residents are able to purchase and afford cars but have public transit also available for their use while the lower income area’s residents struggle more to afford a vehicle while having difficulties with the public transit. This geographical division of public transit doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Based off the three readings from this week, I believe Toronto needs to construct more Public Transit throughout the city. Mobilizing the low income areas gives opportunities such as “connections to employment, social networks, public and private goods and services that have been repeatedly and consistently demonstrated to be social determinants of health” (Wray, 2013).
The low- income neighbourhood would have potential to increase the economic status and income. Bridging these gaps with more TTC options allows our city to develop and become connected, eventually eliminating this division. But how much would this expansion cost the city?
Contributing to the theme of my blog, Wray talks about The Gender Effect. This captures the life expectancy of males and females who commute everyday to work.
“For men, the association between commute and life expectancy was insignificant but, for women, the effect was significant, particularly those of low income and low education (Wray, 2013).
This shows a clear connection between transportation and health for someone who lives with a lower income. Depending on the type of job also affects how these women are mollie throughout the city. Women in service jobs are more likely to depend on the TTC and if they have a male partner and a vehicle the man’s job will take priority over the women’s job leading her take public transit. This demonstrates unfair advantages and privileges that men have over women. These service jobs that women hold typically end the day in rush hour, giving the women no choice but to take transit during the busiest time of the day.
Wray continues by saying that public transit isn’t designed in favour of women with low income jobs.
Personally, I find The Gender Effect super interesting! Prior to reading this I thought public transit was crappy for everyone but now my perspective on this gap has shifted. Not only are these women having low income jobs but they also have to commute which effects their overall health and life expectancy.
Toronto’s public transit needs improvements. I think the city should build more to connect the “three cities” then work on improving the overall efficiency. This way the huge issue of the economic gap is fixed before we refurbish the high income area. This only seems fair, right?
Martin Prosperity Institute. (2011). Transit deserts and Hulchanski’s three cities. In Martin Prosperity Institute. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://martinprosperity.org/images/stories/jmc/cache/mpi-transit-deserts-hulchanskis-three-cities.pdf
Wray, R. (2013, October). The spatial trap: Exploring equitable access to public transit as a social determinant of health. In Wellesley Institute. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The-Spatial-Trap.pdf