Smarttrack funding federal

Feds promise $2.6 billion for John Tory's SmartTrack

Stephen Harper has announced that the federal government will cough up $2.6 billion in funding for John Tory's SmartTrack transit plan. It's a rather big win for the Toronto Mayor, who finds himself the beneficiary of the Conservative party's need to butter up local voters with a federal election looming.

The funding, which is contingent on the approval of a formal application outlining SmartTrack, would come from the recently founded Public Transit Fund. If only a Downtown Relief Line was actually on the table. Alas, the degree to which SmartTrack is aimed at the GTA rather than just Toronto makes it a more useful project for the Conservatives to endorse.

SmartTrack is estimated to require about $8 billion in funding, so this still leaves a long way to go, but it's still a significant infrastructure promise from the feds for Toronto. The mayor's office would do well to shore many of the feasibility questions that surround the proposal sooner rather than later.


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