Taxpayers and Suburban Transit Users Big Losers in Mayor Ford’s Transit Plan

For Immediate Release
December 1st, 2010

Taxpayers and Suburban Transit Users
Big Losers in Mayor Ford’s Transit Plan

Toronto: Today, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) urged Mayor Ford to scrap his costly and unrealistic subway expansion plan that will hurt suburban transit users and taxpayers.

"Compared to the plan he wants to kill, Mayor Ford's plan builds dramatically less transit that will serve fewer Torontonians and take much longer to build," said Jamie Kirkpatrick, Transit Campaigner for TEA. “It will mean wasting millions of taxpayer dollars already spent on Transit City and forfeiting hundreds of millions more in penalties to contractors, money that should be used for building needed transit into Toronto’s suburbs now.”

"The bottom line is that Torontonians want fast, reliable transit in their neighbourhoods as soon as possible,” said Jamie Kirkpatrick, transit campaigner at TEA. “Mayor Ford’s plan will not make this happen. He needs to stop focusing on technology (subways) and start focusing on building a system that will provide the most number of people with fast reliable transit.”

The Transit City plan will build roughly 52 km of fast, light rail transit for people who live around Sheppard East, Eglinton, Finch West and the Scarborough RT. A large number of Torontonians will have fast, reliable transit starting in 2014 and completed by 2020. In contrast, Mayor Ford's plan would build a single subway extension along Sheppard East which will take much longer to build than approved LRT lines. This single subway line would serve a much smaller number of Torontonians than the 4 approved Transit City Light Rail Lines.

"Mayor Ford’s plan will take much longer to build and build much less than the plan he wants to kill,” said Kirkpatrick. “It will doom Torontonians along Finch West, and Eglinton to slow, crowded buses for another generation, and will leave people who rely on the Scarborough RT stranded."

Kirkpatrick called on the Mayor to think about all the parents who live close to Finch West and Eglinton who will not gain fast, reliable transit service so that Mayor Ford can build a small subway line along Sheppard East. “These people will be doomed to wait for overcrowded buses and spending less time with their children. And to add insult to injury, they will have to pay extra for voiding existing Transit City contracts,” said Kirkpatrick.


Contact Jamie Kirkpatrick, Transit Campaigner
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Cell: 416-895-3406
Office: 416-596-0660