Here's what everyone is saying about Ontario's new Toronto transit plan
It’s a historic day in Ontario! I am so pleased to unveil our transit vision — a plan for the 21st century!— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 10, 2019
Our plan — our priority to get Ontarians moving. #ONpoli #TOpoli #Transit pic.twitter.com/fhbuHkSNiS
The new map unveiled today shows extensions in every direction, including north to Richmond Hill, east toward Scarborough, west to Pearson and the Ontario Line travelling from the Science Centre to Exhibition Place.
There have been a lot of stupid transit fantasy maps drawn for Toronto over the past 50 years, but this is definitely the stupidest.— Mark Hayes 🇨🇦 (@HayeseLaw) April 10, 2019
A relief line that goes to Ontario Place instead of where people actually live? How is that going to help crowding on the Yonge Line?#onpoli https://t.co/XmwC2L6bkm
The Ontario government kept everyone on ice the past few days over its $28.5 billion dollar plan, before outlining that these new lines would be built using both above ground technology and underground tunnels.
Plans for a relief line were replaced with the Ontario Line spanning Ontario Science Centre to Exhibition Place that will cost $10.9 billion and open by 2027, two years earlier than originally projected.
Credit where credit is due.— April Engelberg (@AprilEngelberg) April 10, 2019
The Relief Line west extension is absolutely critical. I don't care if it's renamed the Ontario Line. I care that it gets built, on time, and on budget.
Although, it should end at Liberty Village instead.
Views on the plans are divided, with many of those in the regions targeted for expansion grateful for the connection to the downtown core, while others aren't sure just how feasible the whole thing is.
Actual picture of transit planning in Ontario....conveniently captured by scientists and released today concurrently with most recent transit plan announcement after years of effort to capture it pic.twitter.com/XteQRfPxwS— Stephen Gardiner (@sjgardin) April 10, 2019
Some Yonge-University Line commuters expressed some relief for the new Ontario Line that will cut across the downtown core.
But one glaring criticism remaining was for Doug Ford himself, who, in the past, has demonstrated a spotty record for transit building.
Announcing new transit is easy; actually building transit is hard. Doug Ford has a proven record of making transit announcements and building nothing. Today’s announcement amounts to nothing more than yet another fancy transit map and further delays in building transit in Toronto pic.twitter.com/FlVKVheFnd— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) April 10, 2019
Toronto is expected to toss $5 billion dollars on top of the pile, which some are calling into question given that the city may no longer be in ownership of its own transit moving forward.
The big question is who are lining up in the "private partnership" category if the Province wants to take over the TTC with a "public/ private ownership" https://t.co/crwHv2xWpV— David Scott Peterson (@dspetersontv) April 10, 2019
Some were quick to point out the plans to build a station near Ontario Place were obvious, given the province's plans to transform the space.
This plan was not designed to help clear the giant bottleneck that is our overwhelmed subway system (and is bringing this city to it's knees). This is a plan expressly designed to transport hypothetical tourists to whatever gaudy spectacle Ford is scheming for Ontario Place. Ugh.— Laura White (@LW4) April 10, 2019
Transit advocates also criticized Ford's plan for delaying new lines and existing plans by starting all from scratch in a press release.
"Sending projects back to the drawing board will cost us more and delay new lines," TTCriders spokesperson Shelagh Pizey-Allen said. "We can’t afford to go backwards."
Brenda Thompson, of Scarborough Transit Action, said Ford wants to "tear up" Toronto's transit plans, and is leaving eastern Scarborough off the map.
"The Eglinton East LRT is ready to build this year, but is unfunded. We are outraged that we are being kept waiting for a rapid public transit network," Thompson said.
With Scarb subway extension not scheduled to be complete until some time before 2030, and SRT to be decommissioned around 2026, I ask if Scarb transit riders will be stuck on the bus for years. Ford said he hoped subway would be built earlier than 2030, but no guarantees.— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) April 10, 2019
The transit plans unveiled today did not incorporate any of the mayor's SmartTrack plans, either.
Mayor @JohnTory used to complain about having to go to @Kathleen_Wynne like a boy in short pants to ask for permission to do anything. I wonder how he feels about @fordnation treating him like he doesn't exist. #onpoli #TOpoli https://t.co/PLSYi4hqIH— Joel Klebanoff (@JoelKlebanoff) April 10, 2019
The plan also still relies on federal funding that's yet to be approved. The Ontario government has so far pledged to cover $11.6 billion of the total cost.
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