Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

From Transit MkI to Transit MkII

Posted in Canada, Infrastructure, Metro by Chairman Pip on 5 April 2011

Ever since he announced he was campaigning for the post, Rob Ford, who was elected Mayor of Toronto in 2010, has been squarely against the Transit City plan to expand the transport network in the city. Rather than building the LRT lines proposed in the plan, he has been vocal in his support for the construction of new subways. Having cancelled the original Transit City plan at the beginning of 2011, the Mayor has now announced his “Mark II” Transit City proposals:

The total cost of this new plan is estimated at around C$12.4bn; C$8.2bn of this is being provided by Metrolinx for the Eglinton project, for which they will have oversight. However, the estimated C$4.2bn needed for the subway extensions still needs to be found somewhere. The Mayor has said he expects there to be a large amount of private funding for this, but has given no guarantees that it won’t be the city that gets lumbered with the bill. Additionally, the rest of the planned work that formed part of “Transit City Mark I” has now been junked, leaving a number of areas of Toronto without the public transport improvements they were expecting. Additionally, subways and tunnels are a lot more expensive than building surface routes, and have the potential to cause a lot more disruption too (as anyone familiar with Crossrail will no doubt be aware). Perhaps it is true that the previous mayor and the TTC didn’t tell the people enough about the original plan. I don’t know. I do know however that the coming decade will see the great city of Toronto suffering in terms of disruption. Whether the people will end up suffering in terms of cost, we’ll have to wait and see (and I’m sure there will be many people in Amsterdam who can understand that).

“Toronto unveils revised transit plan”
“A Mourning Mix for Toronto’s Transit City”

A planned vehicle for the Eglinton LRT - this will now be moved underground, and the subway extended. but is that what the people really need?


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