Councillor Josh Matlow

Don’t Leave Scarborough Residents on the Bus: Moving Forward Now with the LRT Plan to Deliver More Service & Sooner

MEMBERS MOTION
Moved by Councillor Matlow, Seconded by Councillor Ainslie

Summary:

The 7-stop Scarborough LRT would provide more service, for fewer dollars, and can be up and running sooner. It’s finally time for Council to make the right decision to serve Scarborough residents.

The LRT was approved, funded, and shovel-ready when it was cancelled in 2013 for a subway that was designed on the back of a napkin. Since that time there have been many different plans and promises to deliver a subway but Scarborough residents are no closer to being delivered transit than they were 7 years ago. The Environmental Assessment for the 3-stop subway has not been completed and the province has yet to fully fund the project.

This month saw the worst outcome for Scarborough transit users as it was announced that the SRT will have to be shut down prior to the subway being built. The false promise of subways, subways, subways has been broken by the reality of buses.

The unfortunate revelation that Scarborough residents will be left on the bus for a number of years while waiting for a subway to open in 2030 at the earliest removes one of the central arguments for pro-subway proponents. It was argued that the subway was a better option as the SRT would be able to continue operating during construction, while LRT construction would require the line to shut down as they operate within the same, traffic-separated, corridor. That argument no longer stands.

Further, the LRT could be constructed faster given that the LRT has a completed EA, and would not require tunnelling. Conservative construction timelines provided by the TTC in 2016 estimated that the LRT would take 3.5-5 years to build.

It was also announced this month that the costs had ballooned for the Eglinton East LRT to Malvern to over $4 billion- putting it out of reach for the City to construct in the near term.

This motion requests the Province of Ontario to build more transit sooner by moving forward now with the 7-stop LRT, through Scarborough Town Centre to Sheppard, and use the funds saved by switching from the subway to support the Eglinton East LRT to Malvern to ensure that rapid transit is provided to Scarborough re.

It’s never too late to make the right decision.

Recommendations:

  1. City Council request the Province of Ontario to stop work on the 3-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and, instead, construct the 7-stop Scarborough Light Rapid Transit Project to deliver more transit sooner to Scarborough residnents.
  2. City Council request the Province of Ontario to direct the money saved from reverting to the Scarborough Light Rapid Transit Project toward the Eglinton East LRT Extension to Malvern.
2020-12-10T20:56:59+00:00
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