How the Federal Government will screw up Toronto transit

This isn’t terribly surprising, but both Scott and Red Tory have pointed out that most of the federal money for infrastructure has thus far gone to projects in Conservative ridings. What does this mean for red-and-orange Toronto? Well, there aren’t any Con ridings here but we’re too large to ignore nonetheless so how will infrastructure money be spend here? This is my guess: ignoring the TTC’s calls for more light rail and/or a Downtown loop from Pape to Union to Dundas West, the federal government will push to have the Yonge line extended into Toronto-hating Peter Kent’s 905 riding of Thornhill. While any transit is probably a good idea, there are still places in the 416 that are woefully under-served by the TTC and there is a significant opportunity cost to diverting all the money for a subway to Richmond Hill in terms of the amount of light rail that could be built. There is also the matter of the Yonge line already being at capacity in rush hour. How is this line supposed to accommodate all of the extra riders? Sadly, I suspect that we may be stuck a Peter Kent vote-getter and crowded subway cars.

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6 responses to “How the Federal Government will screw up Toronto transit

  1. You are so right. I lived in Scarborough for 8 years and it is so badly undersevered, it’s pathetic. But then, of course, it was created as a homage to the car.

  2. Toronto needs an east-west relief subway line going through the downtown before the subway gets extended into Thornhill. If the Conservatives insist on money going to extend the Yonge line into Peter Kent’s Thornhill, the TTC can refuse to run trains into these stations–the most expensive ghost stations in the country.

  3. I grew up not far from Thornhill and I’m trying to picture where there is anything like a decent transit node for a subway stop between Steeles and Hwy 7. It would be funny if the TTC didn’t run trains up there, but then again I think Toronto could forget about asking for federal money for, well, anything for a while.

  4. And yes, Scarborough really, really needs some light rail. You have a lot of communities in Scarborough that are isolated these days.

  5. Hopefully Toronto will get the money it needs to go ahead with Transit City and the Downtown Relief Line.

    These are each great plans, but something needs to be done about the congestion on the main east – west subway lines. It would cause horrible traffic, but it might be good if Dundas had a right of way like Spadina.

  6. Ben,

    Given the local furor along St. Clair over the right-of-way there, I doubt the TTC would be game for attempting the same along Dundas – whether or not such a line would be the best solution to the congestion on the Bloor line and the lower parts of the YUS line.

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