Time, cost and borders factors in Yonge Street subway extension delay

It seems GTA commuters waiting for a Yonge Street subway extension to Richmond Hill will have to wait a little longer.

There has been public talk for years of a potential extension of the line north into York Region, but its position on the GTA transit priority list is unclear.

Vaughan Counc. Alan Shefman’s hopes are waning.

While the Toronto Transit Commission remains only providing service to Toronto, it’s leaving the GTA without an effective transit system, Shefman says.

“The TTC doesn’t understand this is no longer a municipal boundary driven issue,” Shefman said. “Transit is a regional issue. Until people get rid of the TTC and create a Greater Toronto transit authority, we are all going to be stuck in short-sighted planning for transit. We’ll never meet our transit needs in this area as long as the TTC exists.”

Metrolinx, transit agency for the GTA, has spoken with the City of Toronto, the TTC and York Region in the attempt to make the subway line extension a reality. But according to Ian McConachie of Metrolinx’s media relations department, factors in the development, such as time and cost, have been the reason for its delay.

“The Yonge Subway North extension to Richmond Hill is identified as a priority project for Metrolinx in the regional transportation vision for our region, ‘The Big Move’,” McConachie said. “At the direction of the Board of Directors, our staff was directed to undertake additional analysis…in order to comprehensively scope the project. (That includes) possible adjustments in project scope, timing or phasing and the cost impacts of the various options on the subway yards strategy.”

On the TTC’s end, details appear to be hazy. Kevin Carrington, spokesperson for the TTC, said that currently the commission is unsure of where the direction of the subway line extension is headed and that other priorities have their attention.

“We know there’s some talk and a little bit of movement,” Carrington said. “But our focused has been on other things. That may change, but it is what it is.”

2 comments:

  1. Jeff – if the YRT could, they would and you are right; they would do a great job doing it. The problem is a few little details:
    1. The TTC runs the subway system – it is there’s and at least the first leg of the extension is in Toronto – TTC territory.
    2. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ – we don’t have enough of it, nor does any municipality. With the Federal Government ignoring urban areas, it is then left to the Province to fund the extension. They are in debt, big time. So we need to start looking very seriously at alternative funding methods.

    As a sidelight, alternative funding is at least feasible for the Yonge Street extension as opposed to Rob Ford’s dream for his Sheppard extension. There is already one major project going up on Yonge, there is a plan for significant intensification around the Yonge/Steeles intersection on the Vaughan side and Markham has a plan for a very intense development of about 30,000 people just south of the 407.

  2. Why don’t the YRT make it’s own subway from Steels to Hwy #7?
    We don’t need the TTC we can do it alone!
    They could do a better job, and have automated trains so that the service is more reliable!

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