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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.

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