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Poll Position: Majority of Torontonians Would Prefer LRT in Scarborough

And it's not just downtowners: over half of Scarborough voters would rather see an LRT than a subway, too.

Photo by Loozrboy from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

Photo by Loozrboy from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.


Following are descriptions of two options for providing improved public transit service to Scarborough:
  • A subway extension from Kennedy Station with three stops, with a total cost of $3.5 billion, requiring a $1 billion property tax increase, to be completed by 2025.
  • A Light Rail Transit (LRT) line from Kennedy Station to replace the Scarborough Rapid Transit line, with seven stops, with a total cost of $1.7 billion paid by the Ontario government, requiring no property tax increase, to be completed by 2020.

Which of these two options do you support to provide improved public transit service to Scarborough?

Of all respondents, 18% expressed no preference. Among those who did express a preference…

LRT: 61%

Subway: 39%

Poll taken: January 31-February 1
Sample size: 523
Margin of Error: Not provided
Methodology: online panel
Conducted by: Leger

NOTES: A new poll suggests that not all Torontonians are clamouring for subways, subways, subways. In fact, Leger’s survey reveals that 61 per cent of Torontonians would rather see the City commit to a seven-stop LRT in Scarborough than to a three-stop subway extension. While strong support for the LRT option was signalled by respondents from the former City of Toronto (75 per cent), York (68 per cent), and East York (67 per cent), the majority of those surveyed in Scarborough are also in favour of the LRT: 56% of residents there back that option. Those most in favour of the subway expansion are, in fact, residents of North York, where half of those polled think that’s the way to go.

Leger notes that these results reflect a change in voters’ views since January 2011, when another of its surveys indicated that 52 per cent of Torontonians would rather see the City construct subways than LRT. That survey, though, did not focus specifically on transit options in Scarborough or refer to the tax increase the Scarborough subway option would require.

That tax increase is on its way: on January 30, city council voted to increase property tax revenue by 2.71 per cent, including 0.5 per cent for the Scarborough subway. Three separate votes were held about whether the contentious Scarborough transit debate should be reopened during the council meeting: all were defeated 23-22.

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