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Ford's subway plan not cost efficient: Group - Toronto Sun

January 5th, 2011
Don Peat
City Hall Bureau
Toronto Sun

Mayor Rob Ford's subway plan will leave more losers than winners when it comes to access to public transit, two environmental groups warned Wednesday.

The Toronto Environmental Alliance held a press conference at City Hall Wednesday to unveil a map of the city comparing the full Transit City plan with Ford's proposed Sheppard subway. 


Jamie Kirkpatrick, transit campaigner for the Toronto Environmental
Alliance, points to two maps comparing the full Transit City plan with
Mayor Rob Ford's proposed subway expansion. (DON PEAT, Toronto Sun)


"We're here today essentially because there has been a heck of a lot of talk about transit in the last while but unfortunately most of it has been of the political variety," Jamie Kirkpatrick, the alliance's transit campaigner, told reporters. "We haven't really talked about who wins with what plan … Pembina did a great report and we analyzed it and put it together in map form here just to show the fact there is winners and losers out there and we want to focus on the plan that brings the most winners to Toronto."

TEA's initiative coincided with the Pembina Institute's release of a report examining the costs and benefits of the proposed subway expansion compared to the light rail plan already underway.

The report, entitled Making Tracks to Torontonians, compared the four funded Transit City lines with Ford's vow to build a subway out along Sheppard Ave. E. and down to the Scarborough Town Centre and across Sheppard Ave. W. from Yonge St. to Downsview.

According to Pembina, the LRT projects would deliver more than twice as much service for every dollar invested, LRT would bring "rapid transit service" to six times as many low income homes and the four lines would bring rapid transit to within a six-minute walk of 290,000 Toronto homes.

Ford's subway plan, based on what has been said publicly, would only be within walking distance of 60,000 people, the report states.

"Low-income commuters and people living in underserved areas will have an affordable, reliable way to get to work and around the city. Rapid light rail transit offers an efficient alternative to driving, while revitalizing the neighbourhoods it runs through. It really is a win-win solution," Cherise Burda of the Pembina Institute stated in a press release. "As Metrolinx and TTC discuss the options, this analysis brings some numbers to the table - not just costs, but where and who transit will serve."

Officials in the mayor's office referred calls to TTC chairman Karen Stintz.

Adrienne Batra, Ford's press secretary, stressed the mayor is waiting to see a report from the TTC and Metrolinx at the end of the month.

As originally published here: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2011/01/05/16769521.html

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