Last year, the Toronto Transit Commission approved a plan eliminating several stops on streetcar routes. The reasoning involved efficiency (the fewer the stops, the faster the trips) and safety (since they wouldn’t stop mid-block).
But which stops would be shuttered?
As of June 7, Sunday services will no longer include special stops just outside of churches. (Several other general stops will also be eliminated.)
“It’s now 2015, and we don’t have similar stops for temples or mosques or other places of worship in the city,” said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross. “It’s just about ensuring there’s some equity.”
… the move also marks a belated recognition of the city’s modern demographic identity, distinguished by lower church attendance, a more secular public sphere and a greater diversity of religious affiliations.
Church leaders are upset, claiming that elderly people rely on the close stops. That may be true, but any business in the area could say the same thing. Really, the pastors are upset because they’re no longer getting special treatment. But what may have made sense in the 1920s no longer makes sense today.
Remember: There will still be Sunday stops. But churchgoers may just have to walk an extra block or two to attend a morning service. If that distance really is an issue, I’m sure church leaders can find a way to transport attendees from the nearest streetcar stop to the front door. Either way, it’s not the government’s responsibility to play chauffeur for Jesus’ followers.