Transit advocates plan panel on future of Scarborough transit
The panel — scheduled for March 27 at 6:30 p.m. — will include proponents of both the one-stop subway and the light-rail alternative.
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Transit advocates and residents have organized a panel on the future of transit in Scarborough just a day ahead of a meeting at city hall where council members will again be asked to contend with a controversial subway plan.
The panel — scheduled for March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre (3600 Kingston Rd.) — will include proponents of both the one-stop subway and the light-rail alternative, a release from groups Scarborough Transit Action and Scarborough Residents Unite said Friday. Those panelists have yet to be confirmed.
“Residents deserve a chance to see these, the two transit options for Scarborough, compared side-by-side,” Scarborough Transit Action Chair Brenda Thompson is quoted as saying in the release. “We want to encourage a discussion that presents all the facts about the options in an objective way and that addresses the transit access needs of Scarborough’s priority neighbourhoods.”
The panel follows a recent town hall hosted by ConnectScarborough, backed by developer Oxford Properties, and Renew Scarborough, both of which have advocated for the current plan to build a one-stop subway extension to the Scarborough Town Centre.
That line, what would replace the existing five-stop Scarborough RT, is currently estimated to cost at least $3.35 billion. At that price, the subway plan prices out a pledge by Mayor John Tory to build a 18-stop LRT from Kennedy Station along Eglinton Ave. East to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
The $1.67 billion line could be funded by the provincial and federal governments, Mayor John Tory has claimed recently. Neither government has committed to those funds.
There is a total $3.56 billion committed to transit in Scarborough from all three levels of government.
At the town hall this week, Tory rallied residents to support the subway plan — one that has changed significantly in scope and cost since he promised to build it during the 2014 campaign.
“We are ending years of indecision and waffling with transit across the city,” Tory told the packed crowd, which rose one-by-one when it was time to ask questions to inquire about how a lack of transit stops anywhere else in the region.
Council meets starting March 28, where they will debate moving forward with a subway alignment along McCowan Rd. and giving city staff permission to move ahead with that design.