GO Transit Surface Subway

What about a "surface subway" in Toronto?

The Scarborough transit debate just won't die — is it going to be subways or LRT? It sure looked like that latter for a while, but when city council gathers this week to discuss the future of transit in the area, you can bet you'll hear the word subway on repeat. But what if there was a third option? And not just for Scarborough. Transport Action Ontario, a rail advocacy group, thinks that an aggressive plan to electrify the GO network around the GTA could be the answer to our transit woes.

According to the Star, who's read through a two year study commissioned by the group, they're proposing what they term a Regional Rapid Rail system to the tune of $24.8 billion. The network would run on GO rail lines and add 56 stations as well as a signal system that would allow trains to run in closer proximity to one another.

Is this a better option than a Downtown Relief Line? One suspects it will be even harder to sell given that it's more expensive, and that calls for electrification of GO lines have met with little success so far. Advocates of the plan tout lower per-kilometre capital costs and annual operating costs, and the network would cover more overall territory, but station frequency and capacity would be significantly lower than an actual subway. As such, it's fair to question if this would — even on paper — pose a viable alternative to a DRL or whatever ends up happening in Scarborough. Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Photo by Still the Oldie in the blogTO Flickr pool


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