Jan 11

TTC Chair Stintz hints reworked transit plan includes Sheppard Subway

Karen Stintz has taken to Twitter this Sunday, throwing around hashtags like candy and broadly hinting at what to expect when the Mayor reveals his reworked ‘Transportation City’ plan before the end of the month:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/TTCchair/status/29222655328522240″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/TTCchair/status/29224611837116417″]

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She also makes reference to Eglinton:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/TTCchair/status/29233998634950656″]

For the record, and ignoring all the platitudes that we’ll hear about connecting our city and completing what we started and blah blah blah, any extension of the Sheppard subway is a bad idea at this point. We will spend billions, wait a decade (or more) for it to open and ultimately end up with a line that carries fewer people that most of the downtown streetcar routes.

The new subway and its stations will add tens of millions to the TTC operating budget, necessitating either rapid and steep fare increases or — more likely — continued cuts to ‘low-performing’ surface routes. It doesn’t make sense, and the poor outcomes and negative press that will inevitably result from such a white whale of a project will have negative impacts on future transit expansion in our city.

UPDATE: Because this is going to be a popular topic in the coming week, here’s a link to the TTC’s own cost estimates on subway versus LRT projects. (Via, of course, Steve Munro.) The short of it is that to build the currently planned Eglinton LRT, extend the Sheppard Subway to Scarborough Town Centre and replace the Scarborough RT with a Bloor-Danforth subway extension we’ll need to spend 13.27 billion dollars. Current provincial funding commitments amount to 10.94 billion dollars. (I’m not taking into account any penalties or fees the city will have to pay after breaking/renegotiating contracts, but they’re likely to happen.)