Making Tracks to Torontonians

Making Tracks to Torontonians, a new study examining the costs and benefits of the subway extension proposed by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in December 2010, compared to the light rail transit plan that is already underway with funding on the table was released last week by the Pembina Institute.


Table from the Pemina Institute's report


Toronto Environmental Alliance has issued a press release, and created a map which shows the neighbourhoods that would benefit from the development of 8 light rail transit lines vs. the neighbourhoods that would benefit from subway expansion.

Toronto: According to a new map released today by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), the proposed light rail transit plan will serve over half a million more people than the proposed subway expansion plan. Should the subway expansion plan proceed, one in five Torontonians will lose access to fast, reliable transit.

“City Council will soon be debating whether to throw away a light rail transit plan that will bring fast, reliable, light rail transit to more than 630,000 people in all corners of our city,” said Jamie Kirkpatrick, Transit Campaigner for TEA. “The alternative is a subway expansion plan that would only serve 61,000 people in very few neighbourhoods.”

The information is on a new map created by TEA that shows the neighbourhoods that would benefit from the development of eight light rail transit lines versus the neighbourhoods that would benefit from subway expansion under Sheppard Ave. and extending the Bloor line (the old Scarborough RT).

“It’s good that we are no longer debating the need for expanded transit in Toronto,” said Kirkpatrick. “However, this map makes it clear that light rail transit expansion benefits far more Torontonians than the proposed subway expansion plan.”

The map also compares the cost – per kilometre – of the two transit expansion plans. It notes that the subway expansion plan is three times more expensive than the light rail plan. The information on the map comes from a just released, report called “Making Tracks to Torontonians: Building Transit where we need it” written by the Pembina Institute. The report provides a detailed comparison of the light rail transit expansion plan adopted by the City of Toronto and the Province and the proposed subway expansion plan.

“We think subway expansion is important, but it has to be in the right place and at the right time. It’s clear from the Pembina Institute’s report that the proposed subway expansion doesn’t make sense economically or environmentally and will leave 600,000 people all across Toronto without access to fast, reliable transit,” said Kirkpatrick. “A modern, light rail network is the best for the environment, for car drivers, for taxpayers and will get the most people moving.”

Map by Toronto Environmental Alliance

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