This is the third and final part of my review of the transit reports that will be before Toronto’s Executive Committee on April 9, 2019, and at Council a week later.
In part one, I reviewed the financial issues presented in the reports together with the Scarborough Subway Extension, now known as the Line 2 East Extension (L2EE).
In part two, I turned to SmartTrack, the Relief Line and the Bloor-Yonge station expansion project.
This article reviews the streetcar/LRT projects as presented in the current set of reports.
Relevant documents include:
- Main report: Toronto’s Transit Expansion Program – Update and Next Steps
- Attachment 1: A status update on all projects
- Attachment 3: Waterfront Transit Network – Union Station-Queens Quay Link and East Bayfront Light Rail Transit. [Note: The properties of this attachment were incorrectly set by the authors. Although it really is Attachment 3, it appears on browser tabs as if it were Attachment 2 for the Scarborough Extension.]
- Attachment 4: Eglinton East LRT
- Attachment 5: Eglinton West LRT
Much of the LRT network still at some stage of design or construction is a remnant of the Transit City plan announced in 2007. Pieces have have fallen off of that network proposal, notably in Scarborough, but also a few key links that would have knitted the network together allowing sharing of carhouse and maintenance facilities. Confusion about the planning, ownership and funding scheme for parts of the network complicates the situation further.
Although the province has announced that it wishes to take over “the subway”, the boundary is unclear because a previous government decided to take over at least part of the Transit City LRT network, notably the Eglinton/Crosstown and Finch West routes. The Ford government prefers to put as much transit underground as possible, but if Toronto wants to extend an existing route (for example on Eglinton East), the city’s preference will be for surface construction to keep cost within its ability to fund projects.