Sunday, November 26, 2006

Time to mint our own currency?

On Metroblogging Toronto a recent post contrasts the award of the TTC's new bimetallic tokens to a US firm with the award of the subway contract to Bombardier. It's worth noting the latter contract will also benefit the US as much of the components for the new cars are made there using existing plant - only 51% of the contract is guaranteed to Thunder Bay. But it struck me reading it that the reason these new, more secure tokens are possible is due to casinos rather than transit operators - the TTC is merely reaping the benefits of gambling investment.

Perhaps it's time to examine whether a critical mass exists between the various transit systems and casino operators both First Nations and Provincial to invest in a token mint in Canada.

At the same time, the TTC should not use these tokens as an excuse to defer the introduction of a GTA transit card as full integration of TTC, GO Transit and the other regional transit authorities is crucial to avoiding even worse gridlock than we already have.
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