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30 Comments

politics

Duly Quoted: Tim Hudak, on Scrapping LRT Projects

If he's elected premier, say goodbye to Sheppard and Finch LRTs, and say hello to subways.

“If I have a choice between taking out more lanes or actually improving our highways and building underground, I’ll take improving our highways and building underground with subways any day. That’ll make your commute faster. Ripping up the lanes to put in rail down streets? That’s actually going to slow you down.”

-Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, discussing why it is he’s prepared to scrap the LRT projects planned for Sheppard and Finch (and LRT projects planned for Hamilton and Mississauga) in favour of subways, subways, subways—and two-way commuter trains—if he’s elected premier. The Eglinton LRT, the construction of which is already underway, would be safe, but if he has his way, it would act only as a prelude to a different kind of project: he would focus on an “east-west express subway” that would run south of Bloor Street, and on an eastward extension of the Sheppard subway.

Comments

  • MaryL

    Say hello to imaginary subways.

  • Dinah Might

    Yeah sure would suck to rip out lanes IF THAT’S WHAT LRTS ACTUALLY DID YOU FRIKKIN IDIOT @#*$@#%&*@#*@!&%!@#*%!@*#

  • atorontoguy

    It’s all bullcrap to get elected. It sells in the burbs. Show us the money. The Transit City plan was a plan produced because of the Harris PCs and how they did not want to spend tons on transit. So, the city spent to get the lower-cost plans going, and now the PCs want to scrap the lower-cost plans? The party is ridiculous. How much money are they wasting on all this scrapping?

    • HotDang

      They aren’t wasting any money. They just have different goals. Their goal is to cripple and bankrupt the government and destroy democracy.

  • atorontoguy

    And I should add, it seem conservatives only want to build transit just to get transit out of the way of car drivers. A stupid stupid stupid reason.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      It really is a bass-ackwards approach. It seems that a lot of politicians are still trying to be “Rob Ford with the drugs” (Hudak, Tory, Stintz etc)and putting forth his half thought out ideas and notions. God help us if these idiots get elected.

      • em_robin

        “Rob Ford with the drugs”

        Perfect Freudian slip?

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Hahahahahahah. Maybe I’ll leave that in there. I wrote it very quickly.

          • Matt Patterson

            Well, having a Premier Hudak would be the equivalent of a Mayor Ford on steroids. The same vapid stupidity with just much, much more power.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Uhhhhh, Tim? Most of those people riding subways wouldn’t be using the highways anyways. Building more subways won’t get people off the DVP or 401. It would help ease congestion in the downtown core. Of course you say “highways’ because your looking for votes in suburbia. I understand. Just don’t pretend that you have the answers for congestion when clearly you don’t understand transit and are really only only looking for votes.

  • OgtheDim

    Funny how he isnt’ talking about ripping up the LRT in Kitchener.

    • rich1299

      True but Kitchener, where I’m living for now and where I grew up, has no traffic to speak of, nothing even remotely close to Toronto. There can be a high volume of cars but they always move fast. Its difficult crossing some streets here because of how fast the cars go. Many of the newer streets have nothing on them but the backs of stores and houses so they’re like mini-highways.

      They’re splitting the tracks in areas with the narrowest streets so one direction is on one street and the other direction on a nearby street, the city blocks here aren’t nearly as large as in Toronto since it wasn’t laid out on a grid system. its a little less than the distance between Queen and Richmond. There are also wider roads not far away on either side of the LRT route.

      After riding transit in Kitchener I’ll never complain about the TTC again, at least not until I move back and am riding it regularly again.

      • OgtheDim

        I grew up there myself. Its pretty much impossible to build something on King St without taking out lanes. somewhere. I’m more pointing out the hypocrisy of it all

        Used to take the #8 bus loop. Second busiest root in the city for a couple of decades. Rush hour – every 20 minutes. The #7 – every 7 1/2 minutes at its peek. Came here to Toronto and only had to wait 20 minutes on a Sunday night for a bus on a suburban route…was shocked.

    • ei(pi)+1=0

      Eglinton is being reduced from 6 lanes to 4 for the most part – but somehow he is not changing that. To be consistent, he should change the current plan for Eglinton to NOT rip up streets. This can be done with a south side alignment through Leslie and elevated from DVP to Kennedy.

      And Cancel Eglinton Connects. Over $4B was spend on tunnelling so that Eglinton would not be reduced to 3 (total) lanes through the central part. Now Eglinton Connects wants to spend an additional $150M to reduce Eglinton to 3 lanes.

      • OgtheDim

        If you read the reports, Eglinton’s “lost” lanes are being put back in by taking out the huge curbsides on that stretch.

        And don’t get me started on how wasteful elevated is. Elevators and escalators cost money. And, the whole idea still takes out the space of two lanes, so you don’t really win anything.

        As for you Eglinton Connects complaints, might I remind you that bikes do count as traffic (are you John Tory in disguise). And with the parking, its barely a 3 lane street right now for much of that.

  • Squintz

    What gives him the impression that HE has that choice? You don’t have the choice, it’s been studied, costs calculated, vehicles ordered, project started and then delayed by similar idiocy and now we actually have a chance to do this and Hudak is going to pull another Elginton subway on us?!!

    • OgtheDim

      Premiers always have that choice.

      • Squintz

        I must have missed when he became Premier and the Premier gained executive power.

        • OgtheDim

          Follow the money.

    • Nick

      Maybe the LRT cancellation costs will become Hudak’s very own Gas Plant Scandal ;-)

  • OgtheDim

    And now Tory won’t say whether he disagrees or not.

    Waffling by following his inner process is going to lose him this election.

    • dsmithhfx

      “his inner process”

      Coke zero.

    • MaryL

      Works for me. The man has no core.

  • dsmithhfx

    ..

  • Dave

    Great. More scrapped transit plans. And does anyone believe Hudak would actually commit to investing money in transit, let alone ANY new public infrastructure? Conservatives don’t invest or build; they only dismantle, destroy, cancel, scrap and leave things to rot.

  • Still_Waters3

    I’d like to see his analysis that supports his transit plan. No one has even talked about an “express” crosstown subway south of Bloor, and the analysis of the Sheppard Subway east extension has been done to death already. So Hudak comes up with reruns on stuff that’s already been looked at and dismissed, new stuff that no one has flagged as important before, and cancels the stuff that has already been studied, planned and prioritized. And this gobbledygook is supposed to make us trust him? On top of it all, he proposes uploading the TTC’s subways to Metrolinx, which would be disastrous for a system that depends on a fully-integrated network for its success. Again, no analysis, no facts, no supporting evidence. He’s making it up as he goes along, and he’ll end up screwing it all up in ways that will make Mike Harris look like a transit advocate.

  • nevilleross

    The Jane LRT might not work (it hasn’t even been built yet or even tried) but the Morningside LRT and a Sheppard LRT might. There’s also a new LRT being planned called the Broadview LRT that’s supposed to be the corner stone for a new Union Station in the portlands, so this stupidness from Hudak is just that.

    As much as I don’t want to, I’ll be voting for Wynne.

    • aplofar

      My main concern is with the cost-effectiveness of it – how are we going to relieve congestion on transit while also using capital and operating funds more efficiently? If money is spent on an LRT that doesn’t go much faster than buses, and doesn’t carry so many people that buses *couldn’t*, then why is it being done? Basically I want to avoid future Sheppard Subway situations, where a hugely costly route runs under-capacity for years – bleeding money away from other transit priorities. There’s no shortage of urgent transit improvements, but nobody wants to announce, say, “we’re taking two lanes of Yonge north of Finch for bus-only lanes.” It’s not a glamorous item. There’s enough overloaded bottlenecks to relieve (Finch Station, Yonge-Bloor, Union, 501 and 504, etc.) without needing to spend all capital funds on things which could be done more cost-effectively.

      I will probably also reluctantly vote Liberal. PCs appear not to know a streetcar from a standpipe, and the NDP has gone down a surreally populist “trains is fer them fancy people in top hats” route. Sigh.

      • OgtheDim

        “f money is spent on an LRT that doesn’t go much faster than buses, and
        doesn’t carry so many people that buses *couldn’t*, then why is it being
        done?:”

        LRT’s can carry up to 900 people in a 3 car train.

        Plan on the Crosstown is to run them every 10 minutes.

        To get near that capacity, you’d have to run a bus every 40 seconds.

        Now, they will likely run one train, which is still the capacity of a bus every 2 minutes.

        And, if signalling is done like they plan, it won’t be an issue as far as speed is concerned.

        • aplofar

          Oh, absolutely, the Crosstown is sorely needed, and there’s also no room on the central area of Eglinton for BRT lanes or anything of that kind. So, indeed, buses couldn’t handle it better, and it seems like it will be an effective project. Likewise with a subway/LRT downtown relief line.

          I was referring to things like the Morningside LRT, which, while it would certainly help me since I live at Eglinton and Kingston, is:
          a) barely justifiable on grounds of existing bus ridership, and
          b) through a corridor which less-expensive improvements could be made, matching the expected LRT speed improvements using buses.

          The argument for surface LRT vs. tunnels/subways is often “it’s cheaper per kilometre, so we can have more kilometres for the same price, and still have sufficient capacity.” That’s all I’m saying with regards to LRT vs. BRT/bus service improvements. There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit in terms of improving current bus and streetcar operations (signal priority for the 510, anybody?), without needing a huge LRT project to justify them.