Toronto furious after Ontario transit plan overlooks Eglinton East LRT
Transit plans have been thrown for a loop in the past few weeks, as both the TTC upload moves forward and the province releases its official budget.
Many new developments have been sparking controversy and anger among Torontonians as it seems the province is either changing plans that many approved of, or removing expected projects from the docket altogether.
One of these projects is the Eglinton East LRT, which was planned to connect six Scarborough neighbourhoods to the rest of the city's transit network by more than just a handful of buses.
The LRT, which would run from Kennedy station to Malvern Town Centre, covered more than 20 stops and integrated a huge section of Scarborough into the transit framework of Toronto.
I will also be asking our city and TTC staff to identify a way in which we can accelerate work on the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront transit projects as a city. These are important community and employment connectors and I want to see us continue to move them forward.— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 10, 2019
However, in the provincial government's transit plan announcement, the Eglinton East LRT was noticeably absent.
These projects are not funded or prioritized by either the city or the province right now. Accelerating the planning won’t change that. https://t.co/oOq3wWMOQn— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) April 11, 2019
Those who have pushed for better transit in Toronto's eastern-most wards were rightfully upset, as funding being taken away from the project removes all hope for a transit line that has been planned, studied, and almost promised.
The Eg East LRT is BADLY needed. Ward 45 is the fastest growing community which has quadrupled in size in the past 10 years. WArd 44 people cannot get busses because they are always full. We need the LRT Extension NOW.— Sue Hutchinson (@rangerwyld) April 11, 2019
The $2-billion price tag on the project is a hefty one, and the city isn't able to fund it outright, especially with dozens of other transit projects seemingly up in the air and caught in a tug-of-war.
People can't wait, but you can:— Rahul Mehta (@OpportunCity) April 12, 2019
-random subway route that will cost billions, take decade+
-no funding for urgent Eglinton East LRT
-Redrawing + massive cost ^ of Eglinton West LRT and SSE (would be near costliest transit infra on 🌎)
-subway upload makes no sense
As the city and province wrestle for control over which plans will be developed and built, many in Scarborough (and elsewhere) are concerned for the future of the 15-kilometre LRT.
The future of the Eglinton East LRT should not just be a concern for @ttcriders in #ScarbTO, but also for #BikeTO. The EELRT called for bike lanes along the route including on Eglinton, Kingston & Morningside. #TTC #TOpoli https://t.co/xR10dPywZv— Robert Zaichkowski (@RZaichkowski) April 15, 2019
The future of transit in this city looks shaky, but the people are making their voices heard.
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