As many of you experienced first-hand, Toronto’s already overcrowded subway system was thrown into chaos this week. The serious delays on Tuesday and Wednesday caused by signal errors, track problems, and other incidents, punctuated the need for the Relief Subway Line.
As any resident who rides the subway knows, the Yonge Line is already at capacity. During rush hour at stations like Eglinton it is common to wait for two or three trains before boarding and once on, you’re crammed in like a sardine.
The overcrowding is most critical at Bloor-Yonge station, which is already nearing capacity, with another 45% increase in users expected over the next twenty years. Even with signal improvements and the new, larger trains we can’t keep ahead of this growth without expansion elsewhere to alleviate the pressure. That’s why the Relief Line was named as Toronto’s top transit expansion priority by former Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig, TTC CEO Andy Byford, Toronto’s Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat and City Manager Joe Pennachetti .
City Council has unfortunately featured transit debates long on rhetoric and short on facts. The Relief Subway Line would provide an alternative to our existing subway system that’s already overcrowded during rush hours, curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. It is the evidence-based subway expansion project that would be an integral part of a comprehensive network approach that would most improve Toronto’s economy and residents’ quality of life.
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