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11 Comments

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LRT 2 B 4 REAL??!?

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The Star‘s website is reporting that at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, the TTC will announce details of a plan to blanket the city in a network of sixty to eighty kilometres of Light Rapid Transit (or LRT, as it’s affectionately called).
The cost, according to Giambrone, will be an anything-but-light $30 million per kilometer, which puts the price range for the new lines between $1.8 and $2.4 billion. The TTC hopes to get the money from the city’s gas tax; “a hoped-for $2 billion national transit strategy, of which Toronto would get a substantial slice”; and Giambrone’s new assistant, a magical transit wizard who will grant him one wish every ten years.
The Star anticipates the following routes, “probably consisting of light rail vehicles running on dedicated rights of way,” based on David Miller’s campaign promises:

  • A dedicated transit corridor on Finch Avenue to connect north Scarborough and north Etobicoke to the subway.
  • A dedicated rapid transit line along Eglinton Avenue West to connect the St. Clair street car right of way to the airport.
  • A west waterfront line linking Etobicoke to Union Station.
  • Connecting the Sheppard subway line to Scarborough Town Centre.
  • Extending the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) line to northeastern Scarborough.

According to Adam Giambrone, in addition to the LRT news, there will also be some “surprises.” “The goal,” the chief noted, “is to inspire people.” Hey, maybe we’ll find out what the winner of that Name The Train contest from last July is? Bad-ass names can be pretty inspiring.
This announcement also makes today’s Eye Weekly editorial about the expansion of the subway to the suburbs (that we wrote about here) seem eerily timely: “There are far better ways to spend a billion dollars to improve Toronto transit,” the eds argue, “Like building LRT routes (as laid out in the mayor’s campaign platform) for example.” The Eye sees all!
More commentary can be found at Steve Munro’s website.
Photo by andyscamera from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Comments

  • http://www.newmindspace.com Kevin Bracken

    Oh man, I can think of at least half a dozen internet jokes that would be appropriate right now.

  • Aaron

    I applaud Adam Giambrone’s vision of bringing Toronto into the realm of world class transit cities. Let’s all collectively hold our breath and wait for the money to appear.

  • http://www.thehaltonherald.ca/page2.html Shadow

    Lazy Toronto Councillors Can’t Get Their Provincial & Federal Counter Parts to Cough Up the Federal & Provincial Cash that’s Been Flowing into Toronto Since the Inception of the BNA to Keep Subway Construction an On Going Project ties into the Immigration Growth Numbers that the Federal Government is Mandating to the GTA so this appears to be Their Answer to the Immigration Mandate of the Federal & Provincial Governments. A projected 68 per cent increase in population in some of the GTA over the next 25 years. The jump in population is being blamed on the contentious development legislation called Places to Grow. Too Bad the Supposed Issue is Being deflected towards the so Called Lack of Urban MP & MPP’s etc.

  • rek

    This means more streetcars, right? I’m not used to them being called Light Rapid Transit.

  • Hey

    Subways, not streetcars.
    LRT is a useless waste of money that people don’t use, while subways add value and have much higher volumes.
    Spadina streetcar is still horridly slow, but destroyed Spadina as a viable road. Same with St Clair.

  • Mark Dowling

    Unless a subway expansion crosses into 905, the politics of 2007 means it won’t get money. 905 is where contested seats (between the governing parties and their official oppositions) are.
    Giambrone being NDP means he can make big plans and won’t embarrass fed/prov ministers of his own party who don’t come up with the money. That’s also a political reality – until Hampton or Layton lead a govt having Moscoe and Giambrone as successively NDP TTC chiefs won’t get it done unless there’s a 905 angle, as in the Sorbara Line To Nowhere.

  • mint


    Subways, not streetcars.
    LRT is a useless waste of money that people don’t use, while subways add value and have much higher volumes.
    Spadina streetcar is still horridly slow, but destroyed Spadina as a viable road. Same with St Clair.
    [5] Posted by: Hey | March 16, 2007 9:12 AM”
    are you kidding me? the spadina streetcar is awesome! its way faster than than the bus that passes in front of my apartment building. you spoiled downtown dwellers, you think you know everything. try living in scarborough. i live near morningside and lawrence, and that bus is the 54 lawrence east. the bus that defines slow.
    you can’t build subways everywhere! think about how people get to the subway in the first place. dedicated LRT lanes are a much better way of getting to the subway than taking the bus :)
    the only think about this plan that i’m unhappy about is that they want to extend light rail transit to north scarborough. i live in south scarborough. then again, i’m already used to getting the short end of the stick from residents of the former city of toronto and the councilors who represent them, people like you who have repeatedly show that you don’t give a fuck about the rest of the city, or even agknowledge that the rest of us exist.

  • mint

    proud to live in the scarbage can, proud i was raised here :)

  • Josh

    “are you kidding me? the spadina streetcar is awesome! its way faster than than the bus that passes in front of my apartment building. you spoiled downtown dwellers, you think you know everything. try living in scarborough. i live near morningside and lawrence, and that bus is the 54 lawrence east. the bus that defines slow.”
    [7] Posted by: mint | March 16, 2007 3:36 PM
    Uh, great, settling much? Every world-class city has a extensive subway system that puts ours to shame. That’s what allows a city to be unified and connected. Scarborough feels like a different city from downtown because it takes three subway exchanges and a bus ride to get there. This light rail plan just extends the shitty downtown TTC over a much greater area. The TTC needs a massive influx of cash to do transit right. Queen street subway line, Eglinton line, complete the loop at the top of the yellow line and, if you insist, finish the Sheppard line. THEN it’d make sense to expand into the suburbs, but not with light rail. As pointed out above, light rail clogs up major arteries and people are just loath to use it.
    We don’t need yet another second-rate transit solution. The city, province and feds each need to bite the bullet and commit a very large amount of money if they want Toronto to be a public-transit city instead of a car city.

  • Sandra

    The City already commits large amounts of money to the TTC, and can’t possibly be expected to commit more for subways or anything else. 51% of this year’s capital budget was allocated to the TTC. Everything else–parks, police, fire, water, garbage, community centres, libraries, roads, etc. gets squished into the remaining 49%. What other Canadian city/municipality has that kind of drain on its budget for public transit?
    The province and the feds have to stop dabbling and come to the table in a meaningful way, with meaningful funding.
    Whatever quibbles people might have with the details of this plan, the City and the TTC are to be applauded for having the guts and the vision to present it. It’s realistic, and would bring Toronto into the world of modern transit.
    Subways are nice, but only if you have wads of money to lose on them for eternity where the density doesn’t support them. True LRT with longer distances between stops is fast, graceful and affordable. Good for Toronto.

  • GH

    The City and the TTC are to be applauded for having the guts and the vision to present it
    Guts? They are asking someone else to pay for it. Vision? Aren’t they just doing their job?