Transit City gets cut so bad even Miller thinks his baby’s ugly
The ongoing drama surrounding David Miller, Transit City, Metrolinx and some purse strings held by Dalton McGuinty got even more absurd yesterday. Instead of the deep cuts envisioned by Metrolinx, Miller wants the original plan (once approved by both the city and Metrolinx) to go ahead, with the city taking on more debt to do so. He said so in a letter to McGuinty, which arrived just two days into negotiations about how to save the plan. With less than six months left in his career as mayor, Miller has to be as desperate as anyone to see something salvaged from Transit City. But it’s hard to see what’s going to be taken from this:
A chart comparing the two plans, provided by Mr. Miller’s office, shows the revised transit plan cuts Transit City lines by 22.5 km and 25 stops from what was originally proposed.
For example, the original plan for the Scarborough LRT says the line will go from Kennedy to Malvern Town Centre and the revised plan from Kennedy to Sheppard. The original opening date would have been 2015; the revised plan’s date is 2020. The number of stations from the original was cut from 10 to eight and shortened from 12.5 km to 9.5 km. The Finch West LRT would go from 30 stops to 20.
Ontario Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne said the mayor’s letter could harm the ongoing work by the TTC, Metrolinx and the province.
Even worse, the signature Eglinton line, which was supposed to cross the city from Pearson to Kennedy, will now end at Jane in the west, leaving it one third incomplete and opening sometime in 2022. Poor Eglinton. It’s been promised and unpromised so many times now the pattern is starting to look a lot like an old Peanuts cartoon, with Queen’s Park playing the role of Lucy with a football.
• Miller won’t support revised Metrolinx plan [Globe and Mail]
• Toronto’s Transit City slower, shorter [Toronto Star]