Wednesday saw a long debate at Toronto Council on the Yonge Subway Richmond Hill extension. As I write this (January 29, just after midnight), I do not have all of the details of Council’s final decision.
However, this much I know:
- Council has requested a study of the Downtown Relief Line.
- Some Councillors used the debate as a springboard for attacks on the TTC’s project management costs and proposals for private sector participation.
- Council agreed that Transit City is the top priority for transit spending.
I find myself in the unusual position of being part of a wave of advocacy for the DRL, a line that will almost certainly be a conventional subway. If this seems odd, my reasoning is that we must look at how the network operates as a whole. The core of the network needs more capacity, and jamming more people into the existing Yonge line (getting more out of existing infrastructure as the TTC so delicately puts it) is irresponsible and possibly reckless.
If the studies that really need to be done emerge, we will look at both TTC and Metrolinx plans, and question what will work best for the core area, the outer 416 and the 905. Both agencies have much to answer for in their shortsighted, misleading planning and their inadequate evaluation of alternatives to network structure and staging.
As details emerge, I will add to the information here.