UTSC students protest Scarborough-Malvern LRT’s demise

Students at University of Toronto Scarborough say they're upset with the city's latest LRT map, which shows the currently approved TTC lines but not the proposed Scarborough Malvern line they were pitched by former mayor David Miller. 

Students hoped it would slash commute times.

But instead it’s the proposed Scarborough-Malvern Light Rail Transit (LRT) line that’s been cut.

“It takes some students an hour and a half to get to school,” said Abdalla Al-Baalawy, president of the Scarborough Campus Student’s Union (SCSU) at University of Toronto Scarborough. “With the [Scarborough-Malvern] line, it could take half that time.”

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On Sept. 27, UTSC students frustrated after the Scarborough-Malvern LRT’s cancellation protested what they said is the lack of effective transit to their school.

“We’re frustrated,” SCSU vice-president Guled Arale said. “We want the line.”

The service — which was meant to run along Morningside Avenue to Sheppard Avenue East and into the university campus — was pitched to the students before Mayor Rob Ford won the city’s top job in 2010.

“Mayor Ford took it off the table,” said Al-Baalawy, whose SCSU organized the protest.

“The [Scarborough-Malvern] rapid transit line is unfunded,” Metrolinx spokesperson Mark Ostler said. “The focus is on delivering fully funded lines right now.”

The protest wasn’t just about the need for better transit to the Scarborough campus, Al-Baalawy said.

“The broader Scarborough community doesn’t have enough transit like the rest of the city,” he said.

SCSU vice-president Guled Arale agreed.

“We want to connect communities in Scarborough,” he said.

Though the Scarborough-Malvern LRT has been cut, development of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown Project is going ahead.

But students at UTSC aren’t giving up on better transit through their school, Arale said. UTSC students and administration are currently in talks with the city.

“We are speaking through the Scarborough Community Council to the TTC board,” he said. “We need to make this transit issue a priority and not put it on the back burner.”

About this article

By: Nikki Pulsone
Copy editor: Nick Prospero
Posted: Oct 12 2012 10:29 am
Filed under: News