Over the past few months, City Council and Metrolinx, the provincial transit planning body, have made important decisions about the future of public transit in Toronto.
For Ward 22 residents, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which will run underground between Black Creek Drive and Laird Drive, will be of great assistance to those of us who are frustrated with the current state of congestion on Eglinton Avenue today. The Crosstown line is already under construction, with tunnelling scheduled to begin this summer, will eventually run from Jane Street to Kennedy Road (a distance of 25 km) and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. I am currently advocating that this line be extended to Toronto Pearson International Airport.
It’s unfortunate that Mayor Ford failed to present a fiscally-responsible, realistic plan for subways to City Council. Transit planning must be based on sound ridership projections and sourced funding mechanisms—not empty slogans. I will continue to advocate for a Downtown Relief subway line to alleviate current overcrowding on the Yonge subway line.
To help us achieve our transit goals, I’ve brought forward a motion to City Council to ensure Toronto is part of a regional approach to both plan, and realistically fund, transit improvement and expansion. My motion, “Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy,” is intended to help us move away from the unpredictable one-time, ad hoc transit funding we’ve come to reply upon in recent years, and allow us to make proactive, evidence-based and fiscally responsible plans to build transit for generations to come. I’ll be sure to update you as this initiative progresses.
For the latest updates on this issue, please visit my Transit Issues page.