If you missed the play-by-play of yesterday’s transit debate, we’ve put together a summary of all the key facts, figures, and reactions to get you caught up.
The Proposals That Passed
This is based on a binding Memorandum of Agreement the City signed with the province in 2009, with a plan to build several light rail plans in Toronto.
- Construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, with the central portion of the line underground and the outer portions of the line at grade (i.e. street level)
- Construction of the Finch West LRT from the Spadina subway to Humber College
- Conversion of the Scarborough line from RT (which is at the end of its lifespan) to LRT from Kennedy Station to Sheppard Avenue, with an extension to the Malvern Town Centre as funds become available
- Directing TTC staff to work with Metrolinx to put together reports on the feasibility of the following future transit projects: extension of the Sheppard subway west from the current Sheppard Station to the current Downsview Station; extending the Sheppard LRT to the Toronto Zoo; extending the Bloor-Danforth subway from Kennedy north-east to Scarborough Town Centre; extending the Eglinton LRT to Pearson Airport; construction of a Downtown Relief subway line
Result: Passed, 25-18
In a separate motion, Stintz also addressed the vexed question of Sheppard transit. It was originally slated to be an LRT but Rob Ford has promised to build a subway instead, relying largely on private sector funds. Stintz’s motions therefore suggests that council:
Result: Passed, 28-15
How Councillors Voted
On the main motion, regarding the recommitment to building three light rail lines:
Glenn De Baeremaeker
Mike Del Grande
Frank Di Giorgio
Absent: Ron Moeser (who is ill); Gloria Lindsay Luby (on vacation)
Complete results for the voting on all of yesterday’s motions are available from the City.
Rob Ford’s Reaction
The Province’s Reaction
Statement released by Bob Chiarelli, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, shortly after 8 p.m. last night:
Earlier today, City Council met to debate the future of public transit in the City of Toronto. As a former Regional Chair and Mayor, I have always respected the will of council, as a whole, to come to a position regarding public transit priorities.
Over the past few weeks, Torontonians have been party to a healthy debate about the future of public transit. For many, public transit is a necessity—it’s how employees get to and from work, how seniors get to and from their appointments and how students commute to school.
Throughout the debate, the McGuinty government has maintained a clear stance—we wanted the City to come to a common position so that we all could focus on building much-needed transit infrastructure.
Now that Council has endorsed a position, we have asked Metrolinx to consider the impacts on current transit planning and report back to us as quickly as possible.
As time is of the essence, we look to the Mayor and Council to move forward together and help us build public transit, in accordance with the five principles that reflect the public interest and the mandate given to Metrolinx as previously outlined. These principles are as follows:
1. Any project paid for by the Province must achieve sound regional transportation objectives.
2. Provincial funding for rapid transit projects in Toronto is fixed at $8.4 billion (2010$). The Province and Metrolinx need to demonstrate ownership and control in accordance with provincial accounting rules, in order to amortize the investment.
3. Any penalties related to contractual commitments or the loss of investments that result from changes sought by the City are the City’s responsibility.
4. Costs related to delay must be assumed by the City.
5. The plan should minimize impacts on traffic to the extent reasonably possible.
Now is the time to move forward. What matters most to Torontonians is that we get shovels in the ground and deliver transit in Toronto.”