While Toronto’s mayoral hopefuls are busy debating LRT or subway ahead of the Oct. 25 election, one proposed Scarborough line is conspicuously missing from the discussion.
Front-runner Rob Ford‘s recently released transit plan includes a replacement for the Sheppard East LRT, already under construction, but not one for the proposed Scarborough Malvern LRT.
“This is what we can afford so this is what I’m going to do,” Ford said. “If we had the funding, yeah absolutely, then we’d be having a different conversation.”
The Scarborough Malvern LRT would connect to the Sheppard East LRT and provide service to neighbourhoods like Malvern and Highland Creek. The line would also include a stop at the University of Toronto Scarborough where a major Pan Am venue is being built.
But while Malvern and Highland Creek may have to wait, members of Scarborough-based community group Save Our Sheppard are very close to getting what they want.
“As a group, we’re very supportive of [Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, and Sarah Thomson] because they all support subways for Sheppard,” said Patricia Sinclair, organizer of Save Our Sheppard.
SOS has been fighting the Sheppard East LRT because it says the line will divide the community.
“[Metrolinx] needs to look at the documents, they need to look at the facts, and they need to stand up for the citizens and the taxpayers and do what’s right,” Sinclair said. “And we know it means subways, not streetcars.”
Mayoral front-runner Rob Ford says he would like to improve transit in northeast Scarborough but there just isn’t room in the budget.
Mayor David Miller’s Transit City plan includes the Sheppard East LRT, currently under construction, which will run from Don Mills subway station to Meadowvale Road. Transit City also proposes a Scarborough Malvern LRT, which would serve northeast Scarborough. The Scarborough Malvern LRT would run from Kennedy station and connect to the Sheppard East LRT.
Mayoral candidate Rob Ford’s transit plan provides a replacement for the Sheppard East LRT but not the Scarborough Malvern LRT, both current parts of Transit City.