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Ford's transit plan hurts the 'burbs, environmental groups says - Toronto Sun

March 7, 2011
Don Peat
City Hall Bureau
Toronto Sun

The Toronto Environmental Alliance tried to hit Mayor Rob Ford right in the suburbs Monday.

Jamie Kirkpatrick, transit campaigner for the alliance, unveiled a map of Toronto outlining the differences between the $8.7 billion Transit City plan which relies on light rail and Ford’s yet to be unveiled subway plan.

The Transit City plan Ford declared dead last December would provide 52 km of light rail at a cost of $167 million per kilometre while the Ford plan would provide 25 km of light rail and cost $348 million per kilometre, TEA’s numbers show.

Kirkpatrick doesn’t include Ford’s proposed Sheppard subway extension because right now it is not expected to be funded with provincial tax dollars.

Based on the map the alliance has sketched out, Kirkpatrick argued the city could end up spending $8.7 billion and doing nothing for the suburbs — the areas of Toronto that voted overwhelmingly for Ford.

“If you look at the original proposal — 52 km of light rail that would cost $167 million (per kilometre) — serving way more Torontonians and delivering transit on schedule by 2020 to the suburbs in both Finch West and along Sheppard,” he said.

TTC chairman Karen Stintz said Ford’s plan is still being hammered out so it’s hard to compare it to the Transit City plan.

“The plan (TEA) provides is not a complete plan,” Stintz said.

She pointed out the map does not include the extension of the Sheppard Ave. subway line or a bus rapid transit plan for Finch Ave.

“We’re building a system for the next 100 years,” Stintz said, adding Ford’s plan could be revealed in the next six to eight weeks.

Former TTC vice-chairman Joe Mihevc says he’s witnessing a “tragedy unfolding” as he watches the city blow the opportunity to invest in transit with the Transit City plan.

“I think what Torontonians really want is sound public transit planning, it can’t be done on a whim,” Mihevc said.

As originally published here: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2011/03/07/17527901.html

2011-03-07 Ford's transit plan huts the 'burbs _Toronto Sun_.pdf15.71 KB