Is this the transit plan that Toronto desperately needs?
If you've felt underwhelmed by the transit plans of our leading mayoral candidates, you might be taken with this soaring vision from Ari Goldkind. At first glance it seems like just another fantasy map, but a little digging through the accompanying 21-page document reveals that the long shot mayoral candidate has also put together a funding plan. It's wildly ambitious, of course, but that might be a dose of just what Toronto needs to break its complacency when it comes to transit expansion.
It's difficult to summarize the sprawling plan, which Goldkind plots out in three phases over a 15-year period. By way of highlights, the $57 billion proposal features 207 kilometres of new routes and 120 stations, the majority of which would be serviced by LRT. Some of the key initiatives include the LRT lines connecting Don Mills Station and Union, Wilson Station and Union, Mount Dennis and Humber College, as well as the expansion of the Eglinton Crosstown to the airport, new LRT routes on the waterfront and Lawrence East, plus a subway link between Downsview and Sheppard-Yonge.
As far as funding goes, Goldkind isn't shy about calling for increased property taxes and tolls. His big idea (at least on the finance front) is to implement a $183 per year tax that would generate $1 billion for transit funding. Add to that tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, and you have the type of radical thinking that would actually usher in huge changes to our transit infrastructure.
Will it happen? No. Are there some good ideas in this plan? Definitely. Check out the video below to see Goldkind pitch his vision.
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