Waterfront LRT back on Toronto's transit roadmap
Two of Toronto's top bureaucrats are pushing to bring a waterfront LRT to Toronto. TTC CEO Andy Byford and City Manager Joe Pennachetti have already had talks with the provincial government about a line stretching across the foot of the city, which would ease congestion on Lake Shore Blvd. and the Gardiner Expressway.
Rather than taking the proposal to city council first, the two are trying to secure provincial and federal funds for the project prior to a formal debate. It's a savvy move, and one that just might bypass the flip-flopping that has characterized Toronto's transit plans over the last decade or so.
According to the Globe, the prospective route would include the East Bayfront LRT and the Waterfront West LRT, the latter of which was part of the original Transit City plans. Pennachetti pegs the cost of waterfront LRT from East Bayfront to Ontrario Place at $600-million and $1-billion, which is far easier to get together than the funds required for a subway. Still, previous proposals for LRT along the waterfront have been de-prioritized over the years, so it will take a tough sell to make this line a reality.
Given the state of the Gardiner and the huge influx of development along Queens Quay, however, this could be one of the most common sense transit projects to pursue in this city. Now give us the money. What do you think? Is a waterfront LRT something Toronto needs?
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