Colle aims to succeed Stintz at helm of TTC

When Councillor Karen Stintz steps down as chair of the TTC in February to focus on her run for mayor, her Eglinton-Lawrence counterpart will be stepping up, hoping to succeed her and follow in his father’s footsteps.

Ward 15 councillor Josh Colle, with Stintz’s backing, is in the running against North York councillor Maria Augimeri for the top transit post. It’s the position held 20 years ago by his father, Mike Colle, now MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence.

“At the time the TTC was the system that everyone around the world wanted to emulate,” Councillor Colle said in a phone interview. “I think we’ve lost a bit of that and I think we need to get back to that point where we’re the standard and not playing catchup all the time.”

Colle, who was elected to council in 2010 and has been on the TTC board since 2012, says if he is Stintz’s successor he will focus on service.

“I think my focus would be more on the service level, and quality of service we’re providing for riders,” he said.

That the TTC is such an important service contributed significantly to his decision to put his name forward, he said.

“It’s one that we have to make sure is getting the attention and commitment that it needs,” he said.

Colle recognizes that attention and commitment comes with a tricky balance.

“We have this amazing story in the growing ridership, but this amazing challenge in how we provide a service that people will actually enjoy and be proud of, and provide that service recognizing that our ridership continues to grow while our financial pressures are always there too.”

Colle said Stintz’s endorsement is certainly welcome, but he is aware he needs more than just that.

“She’s been the chair through some challenging times and she’s steered the ship well,” he said. “So I appreciate that support, but ultimately I need the support of 23 of my colleagues.”

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By: Shawn Star
Posted: Jan 12 2014 7:34 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto