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New report slams Ford’s transit plan - Metro

March 7, 2011

Mayor Rob Ford’s transportation plan cheats Toronto’s suburbs of their fair share of $8.7 billion in provincial transit funds, according to the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

TEA, which supports an older transit plan, says Ford’s underground proposal will mean less transit, to fewer riders.

Only 217,000 commuters would benefit from light rail under Ford’s plan, which is still being considered by Metrolinx, the provincial agency that approves transit funding.

That compares with about 460,000 commuters who could have accessed light rail under the old plan, which Ford has declared dead.

TEA’s ridership numbers are based on the population living or working within 500 metres of the proposed light rail lines.

The “compromise” Ford plan, which calls for the entire Eglinton light rail line to be tunneled from Jane St. to the Kennedy subway station, is also more expensive, argues TEA.Its report, issued yesterday, compares only the light rail covered by the $8.7 billion pledged by the province.

TEA hasn’t included ridership on Ford’s proposed Sheppard subway extensions or any increase from more buses on Finch Ave. because neither accounts for any of the $8.7 billion in provincial funding.

The Ford proposal will cost $348 million per kilometre for 25 kilometres of light rail, compared with $167 million per kilometre for the previous 52-kilometre light rail plan, says TEA.

Under the pre-Ford plan, the $8.7 billion would have paid for light rail down the middle of Sheppard and Finch Aves., the conversion of the Scarborough RT to the same light rail technology, and about 10 kilometres of light rail underground on Eglinton Ave.

As originally published here: