Put Transit City On Ice: Rocco Rossi (Updated)

At the Empire Club today, Mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi proposed that all of Transit City, except for the Sheppard East line, be put on hold pending a financial review.

Rossi may not be familiar with local issues, but he should at least know that Queen’s Park (and, for Sheppard, Ottawa) is paying for these lines, not the City of Toronto.

There are issues with Transit City about which I will write in coming days, but stopping the projects is hardly the correct approach.  It smacks of simplistic anti-Miller campaigning — whatever David Miller did must be wrong and so we’ll stop, or at least slow down, the plan.

I will be generous and assume that the candidate may be badly advised, but this is the second gaffe of Rossi’s platform (the first is the proposal to sell Toronto Hydro), and I can’t help thinking he’s headed for an electoral graveyard.

Updated 11:30 pm:  I am advised that Rossi is aware of funding from other levels of government, but is concerned about future operating costs.  He might start by looking at the extension to Vaughan which is expected to increase net TTC operating costs after any incremental fare revenue by well over $10-million annually when it opens.  The projected riding north of Steeles Avenue is lower than on the Eglinton LRT.