Sheppard Subway Report

More bad news for Rob Ford's Sheppard subway vision

Just in case you still thought building a Sheppard Subway extension was a good way to spend billions of dollars, more evidence surfaces that ridership projections for the areas through which it would run just don't justify such an expenditure. As the Fords gear up to launch their Save Our Subways (SOS) campaign, the ever-pesky Toronto Star has obtained a TTC report originally presented to the mayor nearly a year ago that argues against the logic of extending the subway from North York to Scarborough.

Amongst the many points against high capacity heavy rail in the area, the report cites wildly unrealistic job projection numbers in North York and Scarborough — and the city as a whole — and paltry ridership numbers on the current Sheppard subway line. "The Sheppard subway was projected to carry 15,400 people per hour in one direction at its busiest point in the day — the standard way of measuring capacity," the Star's summary of the report reads. "In fact, it carries just 4,500. And even if it is extended from Don Mills to the Scarborough Centre, it would top out at between 6,000 and 10,000 people per peak hour..."

Unsurprisingly Doug Ford responded to the leaked report with logic derived from Shoeless Joe / Field of Dreams. "Build a subway and people will come," he told the paper. That's not exactly the best way to counter a study that argues directly against this line of reasoning. But, hey, at least he returned Royson James's calls.

For all the damning info contained in the report — and there's lots more that I haven't mentioned — it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the campaign to bring a subway to Sheppard. The Fords' desire to accomplish this task has never been about logic, and far be it that the TTC or transit planners get in the way of their "vision."

Photo by dtstuff9 in the blogTO Flickr pool


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