Moments ago on the CBC, I listened to Councillor and TTC Commissioner Glenn De Baeremaeker talking about where transit should be going in Scarborough. Next week, the Scarborough caucus of Toronto Council will ask the TTC to adopt a plan to build a network of streetcar lines in Scarborough rather than simply replacing the RT line’s existing equipment.
Reading between the lines of De Baeremaeker’s comments, TTC staff are recommending the lowest-cost option — new RT cars — rather than conversion to LRT as the basis for a Scarborough network.
Clearly, Scarborough Councillors want a network that will improve service throughout the east end of Toronto. This is a big change from their former position asking for a subway replacement for the RT. The contrast with the situation on the Spadina extension through York University to Vaughan is quite amazing.
In today’s Star, we learn that Vaughan’s Mayor Di Biase is confident that Ottawa will fund the subway as well as bus-only lanes and LRT in York Region. Just imagine how much more LRT we could build if we didn’t insist on tthat $2-billion subway extension.
The tide may finally be turning for LRT in Scarborough, and I hope that the TTC will embrace this proposal. Let’s see how much an LRT network would cost, what sort of service it can provide and how soon we can build it.