Tory ready to reinvent public transit system

Speaks to Toronto Region Board of Trade

Mayor John Tory is making his first attempt to revamp Toronto’s transit system since taking office last November.

Tory visited the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Nov. 16 to reveal City Hall’s plans to improve urban transit.

Following through on a proposal he made while running for office, Tory dove into his brainchild known as the SmartTrack line, projected to serve 200,000 commuters a day.

According to a report issued on Tory’s website, the 53-kilometer track would go from Mississauga’s Airport Corporate Center to Union Station before venturing Northeast to Markham. The project is set to rely on existing infrastructure, with 90 per cent of it coming from Toronto’s GO train tracks.

“We have major underutilized rail corridors that SmartTrack will use to provide integrated local stations within Toronto,” Tory said on Twitter.

Tory declared the SmartTrack was not his only priority, vowing to collaborate with city council on a list of priority transit projects. The mayor also talked about investing in the improvement of bus and subway service and developing light rail transit.

As for unfinished endeavors, Tory voiced a need to regain the public’s trust by righting past wrongs, namely the six-station extension of the Spadina subway line. The project, which Tory said was late and over budget, was cited as a reason to “focus on accountability.”

According to a report Tory released during his campaign, the SmartTrack line is projected to be operational by 2021.