Editorial Archive

Expansion of TTC network must include the Relief Line

4/7/17 6:00 AM

Earlier this week (April 3), I joined Mayor John Tory, TTC Chair Josh Colle and a number of City Councillors at an event at Bloor-Yonge Station to invite the provincial government to help fund the planned Relief Line.

Notwithstanding all the discussion about other planned extensions to the TTC network, I have maintained since the day I arrived in Toronto that a new line must be prioritized to provide relief to the busiest section of Line 1 Yonge-University and to alleviate pressure on its most vulnerable point, namely Bloor-Yonge Station.

The exact alignment of this Relief Line will be determined through detailed planning and an environmental assessment, but broadly speaking, it is anticipated to run from an interchange on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth in the east, then south before turning west along Queen Street East to downtown.

Further phases could see the line push further west to Dundas West Station and north of Pape Avenue to Eglinton Avenue, but all that is yet to be determined.

What is clear is that, even with the additional line capacity that Toronto Rocket trains and new signalling bring to Line 1, modelling tells us that Bloor-Yonge Station and sections of Line 1 will be at or above capacity by 2031 if nothing is done, which is why we need to act now.

Clearly, funding is a factor, hence the Mayor’s call to the province earlier this week. We also need to factor in the impact of other planned improvements, such as integrated fares with GO, the Scarborough Subway Extension and SmartTrack.

I am pleased to see an emerging recognition among all parties – and at all levels of government – that doing nothing is not an option and that we must push on now with expanding transit in this great city.

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