The City of Toronto will hold its first public consultations on the proposed Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) starting on the coming weekend:
Date: Saturday, January 31, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Jean Vanier Catholic
Secondary School, 959 Midland
Date: Monday, February 2, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Scarborough Civic
Centre, 150 Borough Drive,
The primary function of initial meetings such as these is to make sure that what the staff proposes to do actually meets public expectations. In the old days of traditional Environmental Assessments, this was the most tedious part — establishing the Terms of Reference — in effect a study to define a study. That’s no longer part of the official scheme, but some prep work is required to validate the work plan. For the SSE, this is complicated by the desire to get everything done quickly and in parallel with other related studies.
When the SSE was approved by Council as an alternative to the LRT plan then on the table (and still, officially, the signed deal with Queen’s Park), the subway was the only game in town. Talk of significant improvements to GO Transit service in Markham, let alone frequent “SmartTrack” service at TTC fares in the Stouffville GO corridor, had not yet been added to the conversation.
In some ways, the study now getting underway reflects that isolated view of the project — so typical of much rapid transit planning — in that the focus is on one project. However, a parallel study by Metrolinx, the City and TTC will review a wider range of options including how the presence of GO corridor services might affect demand and travel patterns for the SSE. (See Planning for SmartTrack) Necessarily these studies will interact because the selection of a route and stations for the SSE will interact with plans for other rapid transit services.