Found a great article on transit through “What happens to public opinion when LRT is explained”. It is a great piece, which is quite informative. Take some time to read the article. Cherise Burda takes to time to explain the differences between subways, light rail, GO Trains, rapid bus and right-of-way streetcar modes of transit.
Despite 16 months of flailing on the transit file, all four of Toronto’s new provincially funded light rail lines will open within the original timeframe of 2020.
Only the hotly contested Sheppard LRT will be completed much later than it would have been before MayorRob Ford came to office and stalled all plans for street-level transit expansion.
Now, instead of the Sheppard LRT opening in 2014 as originally scheduled, work will only begin that year. The Finch LRT is scheduled to break ground in 2015. Both projects are expected to take about four years to complete.
David Miller‘s original plan for Transit City will go ahead. The debate is over and it’s time to move on. It is pointless to delay building transit in Toronto and we should accept the conclusion. According to the original plan, if Transit City was started on time the Sheppard portion would have been completed by 2014. Hopefully the province will get it done quickly and on budget. Any further delays will add to the overall costs. Oddly enough construction on the Sheppard portion of the LRT will not begin until 2014, in a municipal election year. Is it a coincidence? Rob Ford may want to consider leaving this issue alone during the next election. Let’s look at the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), or something else. Unless he has a Federal ace card up his sleeve he may find himself on the wrong side again.
The Toronto Transit Commission's bus #1303, a Daimler Buses North America/Orion Bus Industries Orion 07.501 "VII" NG HEV, travels west along St. Clair Avenue East on the 102 Markham Road route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Greater Toronto Area supports a local sales tax dedicated to public transit and other infrastructure by 74%. Just when you though the transit debate was over in Toronto, we may be in for another round. In one corner Mayor Rob Ford who wants subways without taxes and on the other side council who wants taxes but no subways. As I said before there must be some compromise, but so far egos are prevailing. Both sides want to win, at the expense of others. If we plan on creating subways, with taxes, we should first look into a Downtown Relief Line and get something to help the Yonge line. I remember a while back wondering why council never looked into sending the Sheppard line south, through the Don Valley overground and running express to downtown; connecting at possibly York Mills, Lawrence, Eglinton and then express downtown. It should be interesting to see what debate turns up in Toronto council regarding this poll. Maybe we should forget Toronto and just fund transit initiatives in Peel, York and Durham region. It should be another interesting month in the G.T.A.
What is happening to Toronto? It’s simple, Toronto is broke! Year’s ago we talked about the hollowing out of Toronto, forcing families to move to the suburbs, such as Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and farther. I am not saying that this is the reason. The majority of jobs are still in Toronto, however what will Toronto look like in 20 years? Yesterday Rob Ford said “he is all business”, and he will entertain any business idea. I am not sure if Torontonians would have supported Ford Nation if they knew what the vision was for Toronto. This is definitely not in the same scope of David Miller. As a mayor he seemed to have a different vision for the city. The question is what happened to the debate over these ideas? I am starting to hear rumblings of dissatisfied voters in Scarborough and other parts of the city. Sure, I am not taking stock from a large base, but these are individuals who were stark supporters of Rob Ford coming in to clean house.
Toronto Residents: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”? Toronto Residents: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies over Toronto! The Don river and Lake Ontario boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…Mel Lastman rising back to power! Human cooperation, politicians actually working together… mass hysteria!
There seems to be the feeling around town that Rob Ford is in hiding. Recent comments, by once stark allies seem to imply that the Mayor maybe laying low due to recent defeats. However are we just making assumptions about his leadership style? Rob is an active contributor and host on Newstalk1010. We know that he is active in the community. Ordinary citizens in the suburbs maybe aware of this and overall still like the Mayor. Maybe what Rob Ford needs to do is show his vision and compromise on some of his plans. We know that Rob Ford cares about the city, but since council seems to be pitted against him he may need to find some common ground for now.
It was actually a novel idea and it was nice to see a unity at City Hall. They may have been a bit far reaching, however it would have been nice to see connections at Eglinton and maybe St. Clair. However this was “dead on arrival”. As indicated on NewsTalk1010 this morning, the Government said “what part of express rapid air link to you not understand”. Well I guess council got it’s answer? In some sense it was nice to see a decision actually made by Metrolinx. It would have been nice for them to offer an opinion and some decisions in regards to Transit City.
It’s interesting times in the city of Toronto. MayorMel Lastman had his issues, however we did not seem to have this endless deadlock. The former flamboyant Mayor definitely had his detractors, but we still got things done. Unfortunately Mayor Ford tried to do whatever he wanted and it has not worked out as planned. He had to work with council and it was not good enough to say that he has the support of Toronto citizens. It was all about the approach, in my opinion and unfortunately he has spent a large portion of his his political capital. Rob Ford is a great person and has done a lot for the city. There is another side to Rob Ford, which is often not talked about. He has done a lot for the community, and continues to do so even as the Mayor. Mayor Ford has helped to control city spending; helping to promote the fact that council must respect the dollar. He has also been a great defender or the suburban areas of Scarborough and Etobicoke. So where does he go from here? I hope he continues to stay in politics, as it’s always good to have a good balance on council. It’s always good to hear opinions on both sides of the spectrum.
It seems that the transit debate is over. With a vote of 24 – 19, Rob Ford lost his battle to get the Sheppard Subway built and completed. Torontonians’ have endured a long battle over transit, with Rob Ford championing the cause of subways for the suburbs. Unfortunately it seems that he lost that battle and now we will finally turn to the alternatives of Light-Rail-Transit, using Bombardier made vehicles. For some the thought of never seeing the Sheppard subway completed, forever ended at Don Mills Road, seems to be a hard pill to swallow. So is the battle now over? I can only say, with an upcoming federal budget it would be nice to see a surprise and real long-term funding for transit. Years ago David Miller pressured the government, to no avail. Maybe both sides should have gotten their heads together to look at the bigger picture? For now the debate is over and we will move forward with the options we have. Maybe now we can start to explain to the citizens of Toronto the differences between a streetcar and a LRT (or tram). Rob Ford claimed that he will win the war. So what does this mean for Toronto? Of course, with an upcoming budget maybe we will just need to talk about it a bit longer
Well its come down to the wire and a final vote on the future of transit in the city. Will we go with an LRT module for Sheppard, leaving an unfinished subway at Don Mills? Or will we go all in and spend all of our capital on one project? In the end the choice should be yours, however its not. Its unfortunate that such an important decision will be decided by a group of politicians that cannot seem to get anything done on transit. What will the long-term legecy be for the people of Scarborough? A subway, an LRT or 20 more years of talking?
Seems that Rob Ford is stuck “between a rock and a hard place”. With the provincial government planning major cuts where does Mayor Ford get support for subways from? Today the recommendation will be for a LRT option, on Sheppard Avenue; putting the nail in the coffin, to ever seeing the Sheppard subway completed. Years ago stated that maybe the Sheppard subway should have gone west and complete the northern part of the Spadina line into York Region. Now Sheppard will remain a short stunted subway, forever displaying the fact that Howard Moscoe was possibly right. What do I mean? An option, like the Eglinton Cross-Town line, was available. If the Sheppard subway was an underground LRT, similar to Eglinton, I have a feeling we would have not had the debate. More than likely, due to costs, the Sheppard line, Eglinton and others may have already been completed. Now we will have to live with the decisions made. We cannot turn back the clock and convert the Sheppard subway into a LRT. It’s too late. So what do we do now. The people of Scarborough rather have something, then nothing. I imagine years from now we will still be complaining about Sheppard. Unless the Harper conservatives and the Federal government come of the rescue, Mayor Ford may end up with no choice but to concede to the Sheppard LRT. Unless he has a trump card “up his sleeve”?