Editorial Archive

It’s time to start building

7/19/13 6:00 AM

This week saw City Council vote to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy Station to Sheppard Avenue East instead of the planned conversion of the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) line to an LRT line, contingent on funding.

My role as TTC CEO is to provide advice to Councillors to help them make informed decisions and to ensure that they understand the wider implications of any change to a previously agreed-to plan. My role is also to ensure that the best interests of the TTC and its riders – 528 million projected this year – is fully represented.

My professional advice was very clear. I believe that, while both options (LRT and subway) are good and viable options, if affordable, subways represent the best long-term investment.

I explicitly stated, however, that any decision to invest in a subway extension must not be at the expense of other, greater priorities – i.e. relief of congestion on the Yonge Line – nor must it lead to a reduction in the TTC’s critical state-of-good-repair program. I also advised Council that increased ridership on an extended Bloor-Danforth line will hasten the need for the replacement of the current signal system to allow us to provide greater capacity on the line.

The decision to proceed with a subway extension means that we will keep the existing SRT operating while the subway line is constructed.

I welcome this clarification by Council. Now let’s get building!

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