building transit faster act

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

Crosstown


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