Compromised Transit City plan doesn’t shoot for the moon, won’t hit stars, either
Metrolinx CEO Rob Pritchard laid out his revised transit plan yesterday, pleading with Torontonians to content themselves with mediocrity. The plan is to get started with Sheppard, Eglinton and Viva right now, and delay other projects—some until as late as 2019—until further funding materializes (although, if Metrolinx is counting on getting it from Tim Hudak, it may want to change province). Also, the first three stages will now take 10 years instead of eight.
“From my perspective, and I think from the province’s perspective, surely it is better to proceed with the three projects immediately—Sheppard, Eglinton and Viva—than to proceed with none at all. Surely it is better not to allow perfection to be the enemy of the good. Surely it is better to proceed with $7 billion of the $9.5 billion in projects than not to proceed at all.”
Surely Pritchard needs someone to edit these comments before he rattles them off. Surely he expected backlash. And surely, Miller’s pissed:
“I think what Mr. Pritchard said today confirmed that everything that I’ve said since the provincial budget is accurate and true,” the mayor told the Star. “All that the money on offer will do is build part of an Eglinton LRT, that’s all… People in Jane-Finch, Rexdale and Scarborough—particularly Scarborough—are not going to get the transportation they need.”
Miller will likely continue fighting for more funding until the end of his term, although we have no trouble picturing him eight years from now, drinking Irish coffee out of his chipped “World’s #1 Mayor” mug, bitterly mumbling about how the first phase of Transit City should be done. This guy really cares about his legacy public transit.