Ontario wants to scrap proper planning and environmental studies to build transit faster
The provincial government has yet another new transit plan in the works, and not all residents are happy about it.
Amid the Ontario Line subway drama, Doug Ford and his team have announced plans to speed up the process of a number of major existing public transit projects in the Toronto area by bending a few rules.
The Building Transit Faster Act will see the timelines of the Ontario Line, Scarborough subway extension, the Yonge subway north extension and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT west extension expedited so they can be finished "on-time and on-budget."
Is he going to cut every conceivable corner, as he did with the License plates nobody needs, or asked for? Will he build the roads out of Ice cream?— thomas 🏳️🌈🤓🖖🏼 (@ThomasLLAP) February 18, 2020
The plan is currently pretty vague, and apparently involves bypassing parts of the land expropriation, environmental assessment and other processes usually required for such construction — which has some concerned about the environmental and other potential impacts.
The Act refers to some of these current processes for planning, designing and constructing transit projects as "unnecessary delays" to infrastructure progress.
I wonder which developer(s) you are paying back political favours? How much did they contribute? What kind of environmental protection will you forego for this speedy work? And since they are self-inspecting, how safe will it be?— CaTrike Guy (@CharlesDeschen1) February 18, 2020
Other citizens are infuriated that the government is continuing to prioritize Toronto initiatives while other parts of the province, which are in desperate need of transit and more, are perpetually snubbed.
Finish the Lines that were started in Toronto but do NOT STart the Ontario Line until they are done.— Susan Michele Hutchinson (@SusanMicheleHu1) February 18, 2020
Other Cities need transit more.
Toronto does not want a Billion dollar Albatross & unfinished Transit projects.
And many have been quick to point out the fact that Ford promised a 14 km-long, 17-stop LRT line in Hamilton, then cancelled the whole project — which was already underway — in a move that Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger called a disappointing "betrayal" to his city.
This makes some Ontarians wary to trust any promises that Ford makes, including those in this new Building Transit Faster Act; especially when details about how his plans will be implemented are often omitted or convoluted at best and when they aren't the best-executed.
Hey everyone the Conservatives are totally going to speed up transit building, just like how they cancelled an entire transit plan for Hamilton because they're petty and vindictive! Thanks @KingaSurmaMPP! pic.twitter.com/Ep8pm5uzYh— DvG 🇨🇦 (@DuanevanGaalen) February 19, 2020
Hopefully with all of these ideas and proposals, at least some kind of new transit project in the city will actually end up coming to fruition in the near future.
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