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Update: Expert Transit Panel Pushes LRT on Sheppard - Newstalk 1010

March 16, 2012
Russ Courtney

A special panel of experts has officially announced it's recommending Toronto city council expand transit above ground on Sheppard.

The panel released it's report Friday suggesting that an LRT on Sheppard from Don Mills to Morningside is a more cost effective option than a full subway expansion on Sheppard or a one or two stop expansion of the subway line.

"The Panel established specific criteria to evaluate each option that was before us," said Professor Eric Miller, Director of the University of Toronto's Cities Centre. "After a detailed assessment, the Panel concluded that Light Rail Transit (LRT) is the recommended mode of transit for Sheppard Avenue East."

Council will vote on the panel's recommendations next week.

Even before the report was made public, Mayor Rob Ford declared the panel was biased against subways.

The panel is made up of members of Metrolinx, the TTC, the Toronto Civic Action Alliance and the Toronto Environmental Alliance and former mayor David Crombie.

The Mayor was out in the Sheppard East area on Thursday talking to residents about his subway expansion plan. He told reporters he still has not been approached by one person who wants LRT.

Councillor Norm Kelly says despite the panel's recommendation he doesn't think Rob Ford's subway dream on Sheppard is a lost cause.

"No I don't. Because I think the evidence shows that subways are the way to go. "I think that this is the opening salvo of the final debate."

Not all councillors agree.

"The majority of councillors are not going to succumb to the bumper sticker slogans that the mayor has been going out using," says Councillor Josh Matlow. "The expert panel has recommended a clear plan. The Mayor has not. It's as simple as that."

The report can be read in it's entirety by clicking here.

As originally published here: http://www.newstalk1010.com/News/localnews/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10360631

2012-03-16 Update_ Expert Transit Panel Pushes LRT on Sheppard (Newstalk1010).pdf281.6 KB