Recap of #JustTheFacts: Driving Toronto’s Transit System Forward

Toronto Science Policy Network
2 min readNov 19, 2020

On November 12th we held a virtual Just the Facts panel featuring three Toronto transit experts. This event gave the UofT community and general public a chance to learn about transit research and policy from the experts.

Moderated by Ben Spurr, Toronto Star’s transportation reporter, our panel included:

  • Cherise Burda (Executive Director, City Building Ryerson)
  • Amanda O’Rourke (Executive Director, 8 80 Cities)
  • Dr. Matti Siemiatycki (Associate Professor, University of Toronto)

The event began with each panelist answering one question: if they had three minutes with a decision maker, what one policy or research finding would they propose to drive Toronto’s transit systems forward?

Cherise emphasized aggregating data to determine which areas have the greatest ridership needs. Amanda recommended increasing the number of bus priority lanes to address the needs of essential workers. Matti spoke to the need for evidence-based decisions to prevent misallocation of resources.

Ben Spurr then led a moderated discussion on different aspects of the Toronto transit system such as funding, pilot projects, and technology, followed by audience Q&ASome questions included: what the future of Toronto transit would look like after the COVID-19 pandemic, and how transit can be made more affordable to the public.

A recording of the panel can be viewed on our Youtube channel and at the end of the article.

TSPN would like to thank all our speakers for sharing their expertise with the University of Toronto community and the general public. We would also like to thank University of Toronto’s Student Initiative Fund and the School of Cities for generously sponsoring our event. Finally, we would also like to thank everyone who attended and participated in this event.

— The TSPN Team

The Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) aims to provide a platform for students (graduate and undergraduate), as well as post-doctoral researchers, to learn more about and engage in science policy. Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop about TSPN’s upcoming events. Read about our previous events on our Medium page here.



Toronto Science Policy Network

TSPN is a student science policy group at the University of Toronto, where students & researchers can learn more about and engage in science policy.