No gravy train, just an LRT for the TTC

Scarborough is getting the short end of the track in Mayor Rob Ford’s new transit development plans, some local representatives say.

“It’s a disaster for Scarborough — an absolute disaster, “ Scarborough Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker said of Ford’s transit plans.

De Baeremaeker estimates 80 percent of Scarborough loses needed transit coverage due to the cancellation of the previous plan, Transit City.

With Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ford announced on March 31 an $8.2-billon plan to start construction on Light Rail Transit (LRT) to run 25 kilometres below ground on Eglinton Avenue from Black Creek Drive to Kennedy Road, and then would be “partially elevated” from Kennedy to Scarborough City Centre on the existing Scarborough Rapid Transit, which itself would be converted into LRT. The line would have approximately 26 stops. Provincially owned transit operator Metrolinx will finance this project.

“If you live east of Kennedy station, you’re not getting anything,” De Baeremaeker said.

“This is unacceptable. We need our fair share of the transit pie and we’re not getting it.”

The Sheppard subway is to be extended west to Downsview station and east to Scarborough City Centre. It will be approximately 13 km and will have nine stations. This line has not been finalized and still needs to be researched. Once the TTC approves of the plan, council will vote on it. It is up to Toronto to find the $4.2 billion to fund this plan.

Scarborough Rouge-River MPP Bas Balkissoon said the Ontario government provides funds to Toronto but cannot dictate how exactly the city plans to spend it.

“We have to respect [Ford’s] request,” he said. “We have to work with the city.”

Ford plans to raise money from public-private partnership and funding from senior governments.

Toronto will also have to deal with the $49 million lost for cancelling the Transit City LRT plan, said Bruce McQuaig, CEO of Metrolinx.

“Forty-nine million is what would be known at this point in time and then there would be additions based on how the discussions go with some of the suppliers,” he told reporters on Thursday.

The city will have to change a $777-million contract with Bombardier. Instead of the 185 LRT vehicles the city ordered, they now only need 130.

The TTC also plans to introduce an “enhanced bus service” between the new Finch West station (which is to be completed by 2015) and Humber College.

The recently announced LRT line

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About this article

By: Jessica Lee
Posted: Apr 7 2011 10:50 am
Filed under: News

2 Comments on "No gravy train, just an LRT for the TTC"

  1. Denis T is typical of the Mayor Ford criticism I hear, in that it mixes personal insults with banal commentary. Burying the Eglinton RT line will only work to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Transit City’s RT right-of-ways would cause a traffic nightmare in Toronto.

  2. Rob Ford is a self-absorbed buffoon. Plain and Simple. To suburbanites that elected him, enjoy sleeping in the traffic congested and pollutted bed that you made when you voted for him.

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