Ontario government wants to expand TTC subway to the suburbs
Speaking to the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Wednesday, new Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek said that his party intends to expand the city's existing subway lines out into the suburbs, chiefly to York, Peel and Durham regions.
First, however, the province will need to seize full control of the TTC.
Our Government, For the People, wants to immediately focus on uploading the TTC transit system to the Province. Let's tackle this challenge first, with its potential to benefit millions of users @TorontoRBOT pic.twitter.com/82y1cm4X6l— jeff yurek (@JeffYurekMPP) November 21, 2018
Yurek said on Wednesday that the province will be introducing some sort of legislation early next year to "upload" Toronto's subway system to Queen's Park and use it as part of a regional transportation network they intend to create.
"Looking ahead, when the uploading is completed, Ontario will have greater control to implement vital regional transit-policy objectives," he explained.
"We will be able be able to push the subway [farther] into York, Peel and the Durham regions."
Setting aside that this would cost billions of dollars and that this provincial government surely does not want to spend billions of dollars on transit, I have to ask: they are aware the GO Transit system already exists, right? https://t.co/TmVrsaL18w— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) November 21, 2018
This isn't the first we've heard of such a plan. A newly-elected Ford alluded to the idea back in June, casually telling reporters that "folks in Pickering eventually will be able to hop on a subway and get to downtown Toronto."
Ford did not provide any details about how the province would pay for such an ambitious project, raising doubts about the future of his suburban subways — but the Premier appears to have been dead serious.
This is proving worrisome for many in Toronto who feel that perhaps we should focus on fixing our dysfunctional subway system before building it out even further.
Why address an urgent need of city residents (the #downtownreliefline) when they can increase convenience for suburbanites instead? Subways exist because cities are *dense*. This will pile more demand on the #subway, when what's needed is more capacity. https://t.co/lRziRWTGrs— Lorne Beaton (@lbeaton1) November 21, 2018
Yurek didn't mention the relief line during his speech, but when asked about it afterwards, he confirmed that Ford's government wants to built it as as soon as possible.
"The Relief Line is a priority for this government," he said. "We believe that we can work with the city of Toronto to ensure that it’s built in a timely manner."
Earlier this week, a comprehensive 60-page-long report from CodeRedTO found that the very future of public transit in Toronto is already at risk of collapse
So whatever Ford does, lets hope he gets it right.
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