Ford government plans massive TTC expansion

Old relief line plans have been expanded into wide-scale transit extensions with $28.5-billion budget

The proposed map for the new Ontario Line from the Ford government. Ontario Ministry of Transportation

The Ford government is putting $28.5 billion into the new subway extension plan that will expand on the older proposed relief line.

The old line was going to run from Pape to Osgoode, and cover much less ground. Now, parts of the Yonge line are proposed to extend as far as Richmond Hill, and the community is excited.

“The Yonge Subway Extension (YSE) will close the missing link to bus rapid transit along Highway 7 and Yonge Street,” said Dave Barrow, the mayor of Richmond Hill. “It will connect our communities providing commuters across the GTA with a variety of transit options to move throughout the Region, opening up countless job opportunities and helping to alleviate traffic congestion.”

Mayor Barrow’s press release also mentioned that he believes the line will be a massive benefit to the citizens of Richmond Hill and that he had been advocating for the connection “for years”.

It seems that some of the residents of Richmond Hill would agree with their mayor on the importance of this extension line.

“I have to take the line from Finch obviously, but it causes me so many problems that the new line would easily solve,” said Kevin Ertl, a Richmond Hill resident and student at Ryerson University. “The traffic, the congestion, and I also find myself worrying when I leave my car at Finch.”

Like many residents that commute, Ertl takes the subway from Finch station to get to school.

The reach of a $28.5 billion dollar funding increase will affect more than just Richmond Hill. It will also include: a three-stop Scarborough subway extension, the Ontario Line, an Eglinton West extension to Pearson Airport and the Sheppard East extension.

However, not everyone is thrilled about the disruptions that building more infrastructure requires.

Many businesses are affected by the heavy TTC construction happening around their establishments. For the past 12 months, business owners showed frustration after losing their everyday clientele around the Yonge-Eglinton line.

Jason Shron, owner of Rapido Train Inc., empathized with these business owners, but said long term solutions must always be the priority. Shron said that in a perfect world, businesses should get compensated for the revenue and customer losses due to the construction, however that’s not how the world works.

“As a business owner, I sympathize enormously with businesses that are feeling the financial pinch from construction, but the reality is, the construction is disruptive,” he said in an interview with The Toronto Observer. “We can’t just say we’re not going to build it. It’s called short term pain for long term gain.”

Rapido Train Inc. is a model train manufacturer and retailer in Toronto. Shron also mentioned that the main reason for poor TTC planning and construction has been insufficient funds.

“Toronto’s subway system is vastly underfunded. Ninety per cent of the funding for the TTC comes from the fare box, which means only 10 per cent comes from the government, therefore the taxpayer,” he said. “This means Toronto is hugely underfunded. The TTC is heavily strapped for cash.”

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Posted: Apr 22 2019 11:38 pm
Filed under: News