Transportation Planning Casebook/Transit Plans in Toronto

Summary edit

Since the 19th Century, mass transit has been an integral part of transportation in the City of Toronto. Beginning with horse-drawn omnibuses and streetcars, and evolving to subway systems and rail transit, the city has shown consistent interest in the improvements of their mass transit systems. However, with Rob Ford, Transit City and suburban versus urban debates, the mass transit systems in Toronto are at a turning point. Currently, the Toronto Transit Service Improvement Plan focuses on cost-effective service but does not plan for any new lines to be created. With the coming election on October 27th, 2014, the expansion of the Toronto transit system will continue to be a topic of discussion, controversy and unique solutions.

List of Actors edit

Kathleen Wynne-- Premier of Ontario

  • Wynne is Ontario’s first female Premier, and first openly gay Premier. She is the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Wynne took office on 11 February 2013 and was re-elected as of 12 June 2014

Rob Ford-- Current “Mayor” of Toronto

  • Ford has officially been stripped of Mayoral powers by the Toronto City Council: Partially as of November 2013 and fully as of May 2014. Ford’s term as Mayor will end as of the 27 October 2014 election of a new Mayor. Due to health concerns, Ford will not be seeking re-election as Mayor, but is seeking to return to his former position on the City Council.

Norm Kelly-- Deputy Mayor of Toronto

  • Kelly has been delegated the powers of Mayor by the Toronto City Council in votes in November 2013 and May 2014.

Maria Augimeri-- Chair, Toronto Transit Commission

Maureen Adamson-- Vice-Chair, Toronto Transit Commission

John Tory-- Lead candidate for Toronto Mayor, as of 23 September

  • Tory is a career politician and former head of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.

Doug Ford, Jr.-- Candidate for Toronto Mayor

  • Doug Ford has taken over the Mayoral election campaign of his brother, Rob Ford, as of early September 2014. Ford is currently a Toronto City Councillor, representing Ward 2, Etobicoke North.

Olivia Chow-- Candidate for Toronto Mayor

  • Chow was named one of the top 25 most influential immigrants to Canada in 2012, and is the widow of NDP leader Jack Layton. Chow was an early frontrunner in the Toronto Mayoral election, but has faced difficulty and is currently polling in third place. Though Mayoral elections are nonpartisan, Chow is closely aligned with the New Democratic Party.

Metrolinx-- Agency of the Government of Ontario

  • Metrolinx is responsible for all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto Area. Initially created in 2006 as the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority. Metrolinx was created to oversee transit in the region in order to deliver a seamless transit experience to riders throughout Greater Toronto.

Toronto Transit Commission-- Operating body for transit in the Toronto Area, established in 1920 by the Provincial Act.

Dalton McGuinty-- Ontario Premier from 1993 - August 2013,

  • McGuinty was instrumental in both getting funding for many of the Transit City projects and in allowing Rob Ford to put the Sheppard East LRT line on hiatus in December, 2010.

Karen Stintz-- City Councillor and TTC Chair from 2010 - 2014

  • Stintz stepped down from her post as TTC Chair in order to run for mayor. She was a vocal opponent of Rob Ford during 2011 and her stringent opposition served as the catalyst for the City Council and Metrolinx to fight back against Rob Ford’s dismantling of the Transit City projects.

David Miller-- Former Mayor of Toronto from 2003 - 2010

  • Creator of the Transit City plan. He was a vocal advocate for transit and alternative modes in Toronto.

Timeline of Historical Events edit

  • 1849 - Burt Williams opens the first omnibus service between St. Lawrence Hall and Yorkville.
  • 1861 - The Toronto Street Railway Company (TSR) is formed, with Alex Easton as president.
  • 1861 - TSR streetcar service opens from St. Lawrence Market to Yorkville.
  • 1862 - The omnibus is sold and shut down.
  • 1891 - The Toronto Railway Company (TRC) is formed, with William Mackenzie as president.
  • 1891 - TRC operates the first electric streetcars in Toronto.
  • 1894 - All horse-drawn systems are dismissed within the city.
  • 1920 - The Provincial Act creates the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC).
  • 1927 - The TTC takes control of all mass transit systems in Toronto.
  • 1930 - Buses replace a streetcar line for the first time
  • 1942 - The first subway system is proposed.
  • 1949 - Construction begins on the first subway system.
  • 1950s- The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto is created.
  • 1954 - Construction is completed on the first Toronto subway.
  • 1960s-1980s - Construction of subway lines continues, adding additional lines and stations.

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History of Mass Transit in Toronto edit

Mass transit in Toronto began in the early 19th century, primarily on Yonge Street, a major thoroughfare in the city. The first of these modes was the stage coach, which was operational throughout most of the century. By 1849, stage coach travel had expanded to include horse-drawn omnibuses made by Burt Williams. Initially, Williams created four six-person omnibuses. These omnibuses were similar in style to the concurrent stage coaches, but smaller and more comfortable. With the immediate popularity of the six-passenger omnibus, Williams created larger versions which sat ten passengers. After only a few years, the Yonge Street omnibuses were servicing stations between St. Lawrence Market and Yorkville multiple times each hour. The set route, short ride, and fixed price of the omnibuses, served as a model for streetcars, and later the subway system in Toronto. Invalid parameter in <ref> tag. In 1861, Alex Easton moved to Toronto, from Philadelphia, to promote his horse-drawn street railway and the “Haddon Car”. With the success of the omnibuses, Toronto business owners were interested in building a street railway system which could carry more passengers along the busy Yonge Street route. With Easton as president, the City Council created the Toronto Street Railway Company (TSR) in 1891. This fledgling company was immediately given a 30 year franchise for street railway rights in Toronto. By September of 1861, the first streetcar route was opened, following roughly the same track as William’s omnibuses from St. Lawrence Market to Yorkville on Yonge Street. Within the year, a second route was opened west of Yonge Street from Queen Street to Dundas Street (the modern Ossignton Avenue). The larger passenger cars, prominent investors, and City Council support of the street railway proved too high of competition for William’s omnibus. In 1862, Burt William’s was forced to sell, rendering omnibuses nearly extinct. The Toronto Street Railway Company left long standing effects in the mass transit of Toronto. It was Easton’s street railway that established the standard track gauge of 4’-10 7/8”, still used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) . This unique gauge is speculated to be the result of assurances to the City Council that steam railroads would never use the street railway system, or possible due to the standard size of an English wagon widthInvalid parameter in <ref> tag.

The close of the 19th century brought significant changes to the mass transit system in Toronto. The Toronto Street Railway Company 30 year franchise ended in 1891. Seeing the success, and driven by the want to electrify the street railway, the Toronto City Council decided to make the street railway a publicly owned system. After much discourse and discussion, the price of $1.4 Million paid to the Toronto Street Railway Company was reached and public operation began. However, the City of Toronto quickly decided it was much too risky to maintain the street railway and offered a franchise to a company which would electrify the system. In September of 1891, the newly formed Toronto Railway Company (TRC) was granted a 30 year franchise by the Toronto City Council. Within a year, electric streetcars were in service, and by 1894 horse-drawn mass transit systems were entirely obsoleteInvalid parameter in <ref> tag. It is worth note, that within this era, subway lines were proposed. However, these were costly, and quickly dismissed for the following decadesInvalid parameter in <ref> tag. The Toronto Railway Company laid the modern foundation for future mass transit systems in Toronto. Lead by the company’s president, William Mackenzie, the electrified streetcars featured discounted fares for students and children, and free transfers, both commonly seen among transit systems today. The success of the Toronto Railway Company did not last long, however. By 1910, William Mackenzie was experiencing financial troubles with both the TRC and the Canadian Northern Railway. This was furthered when, out of concerns the franchise would not be renewed, Mackenzie refused requests from the City of Toronto to extend routes to surrounding annexed villages. The Toronto Railway Company franchise was not renewed in 1921Invalid parameter in <ref> tag. Under the 1920 Provincial Act, the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) had been created. This commission took control of the street railway systems in 1921, and the Toronto mass transit was once again publicly controlled. The unification of the street railway was a difficult task, but necessary to expand the transportation mode. By 1910, the system had multiple separate rail systems. The annexation areas in the surrounding villages, West Toronto and North Toronto each had individual, unconnected lines and collected their own fares. Under the TTC, the nine fare systems were consolidated and efforts were made to create transfers between each of the systems. By 1953, 35 new city routes and 23 suburban routes were added to the Toronto Transportation Commission railway systemInvalid parameter in <ref> tag.

By 1927, the TTC had successfully unified the system and was running all streetcars in Toronto. This unification of the system and improvements made to infrastructure helped dramatically increase ridership throughout the 1920’s. The stock market crash of 1929 brought this growth to a grinding halt, but the TTC was able to weather through the 20 percent ridership loss and continue to make improvements. One of these improvements was the 1938 investment in the new President’s Conference Committee (PCC) cars. These new cars, along with the Second World War, helped ridership to surge throughout the 1940’sInvalid parameter in <ref> tag.

As automobile use became increasingly prevalent, traffic in the City of Toronto was getting to be a pressing issue. The narrow streets were clogged and chaotic with the mix of autos, streetcars, and horse-drawn carts. In 1942, the TTC first proposed underground streetcar lines on Queen and Yonge Streets. However, it wasn’t until after the war that voters approved construction of a subway underneath Yonge Street, in addition to a streetcar subway beneath Queen. Construction commenced in 1949Invalid parameter in <ref> tag.

In the early 1950’s, the Province of Ontario decided to join Toronto and its twelve suburbs into a single municipality, called the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The Toronto Transportation Commission was brought under the jurisdiction of this new Municipality and renamed the Toronto Transit Commission. The new agency was now in charge of an area several times larger than previousInvalid parameter in <ref> tag. In 1954, construction was completed on the Yonge Street subway, Canada’s first subway line. This new line was an instant success and almost immediately plans were created for expansion. This first subway line was paid for almost entirely from fare revenue, although subsequent extensions had to be funded almost entirely by Provincial and local government subsidiesInvalid parameter in <ref> tag.

Subway Systems edit

It is 100 years since the first mayoral candidate for the City of Toronto, Horatio Clarence Hocken, made the underground issue the main plank of his campaign to become Toronto’s mayor (1910).Although Hocken did not win the mayoral race in 1910 (it was won by George R. Geary who opposed subways) his idea of subways received overwhelming support from the citizens of Toronto. The result of a referendum held on subways together with the Mayoral ballot question was supported almost two to one (19,268 to 10,697). Yet, after numerous studies and reports, development of a subway plan and the issuing of a call for tenders for the construction of the first subway, the City backed away from its subway plans. It did not have the support of citizens who were weary of rising taxes.

It was another 36 years before the subway question was raised again in earnest (1946). This time the City approached the issue of financing first. It secured support from the federal government (up to 20% of the cost of the project) and developed a capital financing plan for transit revenues to fund the remainder, with the City taking responsibility for funding the moving and improvement of pipes and installation of roads. This time, when the referendum was put to citizens with a well thought out financing plan, it was supported seven to one (69,935 to 8,630). In 1946 (April) Toronto City Council approved construction of the Yonge Street subway line. Construction began on the Yonge Subway line on September 8, 1949 and it opened from Eglinton to Union in 1954; 44 years after Hocken ran on subways as the main plank of his campaign for Mayor. In 1952 Allan Austin Lamport was elected Mayor of City of Toronto (he later resigned in 1953 to become head of the TTC). In 1953, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed the Metropolitan Toronto Act creating Metro Toronto which came into effect in 1954 (Metropolitan Toronto Act, 1953). Fred Gardiner became the first Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto.

Between 1963 and 1972 eight more subway transit lines were proposed or constructed. In 1972, the Davis Provincial government announced an urban transportation policy for the Province of Ontario “indicating a shift in emphasis from urban expressways to a variety of transportation facilities which put people first.” A subsidy program subsidy of 75% to assist municipalities in the roll out of intermediate capacity transit technology (similar to the Scarborough rapid transit) was announced. A series of light rail transit expansions were proposed for the Toronto region (Intermediate Capacity Transit Plan) based on 1972 population capacities. This light rail plan and others rejected by the TTC. In 1973 (February) the Yonge-University line was extended up Yonge Street to Lawrence and York Mills.In 1974 Paul V. Godfrey became the Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto. In 1986 (June) Metro Toronto Council approved the building of the Sheppard Subway from Downsview to Scarborough Centre in a vote of 36-2. In 1987 (June) a new station was added to the Yonge-University line - North York Centre station.

Amalgamation of Toronto edit

In 1998, the Government of Ontario combined six municipalities (City of Toronto, East York, North York, Scarborough, and York) into a “megacity” which is now dubbed the City of Toronto and covers more than 2.6 million residents. This amalgamation was carried out by the Government of Ontario, because in Canada the municipalities are creations of the provincial government which can change municipality borders when desired. The rationale for amalgamation, presented by Ontario Premier Mike Harris, was because the governments would be merged together into one the overall size of government could be streamlined and this would result in significant cost savings. The government projected a cost savings of nearly $865 million by the year 2000, thanks mostly to the elimination of upwards of 4,500 civil service jobs [1]. Also, the amalgamation was intended to reduce redundancies throughout the six cities such as unifying the six fire departments, all of which had different training stations and their own fire chief. The proposed amalgamation was met with stringent opposition from many residents in the six different cities. Since the amalgamation would reduce the number of city councilors from 106 to 44, the risk of weakening the people’s political voice and making the local government far less responsive to specific local issues was a main concern of residents[1]. Additionally, city mayors were against the idea of amalgamation including the City of Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall and North York Mayor Mel Lastman. The residents of the six municipalities also held a non-binding referendum in which over 75% of the voters rejected the proposed amalgamation[2]. Despite the mandate of the people which was diametrically opposed to amalgamation, the Ontario Government pushed through Bill 103, which combined all six municipalities into the current City of Toronto[2]. This amalgamation became especially important during the 2010 election as Rob Ford primarily represented the interests of the pre-amalgamation districts, or the suburbs. Rob Ford won all the suburban wards while the downtown wards (mostly the Old City of Toronto) voted for George Smitherman, the leading opposition candidate to Ford[3]. This was a sign of the suburban-urban divide that was growing in the city and would come to a head during Ford’s tumultuous mayorship.

Transit City Plan edit

Transit City was a public transportation plan developed by then-Toronto Mayor David Miller in a partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The plan was announced by Miller and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone on March 16th, 2007 [4]. The most prominent piece of the plan was the construction of seven new light rail lines that would run a total of 76 miles all across the city. A promotional video for Transit City can be found here. The lines detailed in the plan were:

  • "Etobicoke-Finch West LRT (17.9 km): from Humber College in the west, to the Finch bus/subway station at Yonge (there is no indication in the plan for the LRT to run along the hydro corridor, as hypothisized [March 15th, 2007] in the Star);
  • Sheppard East LRT (13.6 km): connecting Don Mills subway station to Scarborough Town Centre and its RT station, and to the proposed Scarborough-Malvern LRT (see below). The line would operate underground for a short distance when leaving/approaching Don Mills station;
  • Jane Street LRT (16.5 km): terminating at the Jane subway station at Bloor in the south and the Steeles West subway station that will be a part of the University-Spadina subway extension;
  • Eglinton-Crosstown LRT (30.8 km): this line will cross the entire city starting at the airport, connecting to Mississauga Transit’s busway, and stretching across to Kennedy subway/RT station in Scarborough. Of note, the line would operate underground from Keele in the west to Laird in the east, avoiding the tight corridors of midtown Toronto;
  • Scarborough-Malvern LRT (15 km): running northeast out of Kennedy station, and then north along Malvern and Morningside;
  • Don Mills LRT (17.6 km): terminating at a Bloor-Danforth subway station (not specified) in the south, and Steeles Avenue in the north (with possible connection to York Region’s VIVA network);
  • Waterfront West LRT (11 km): Starting at Long Branch in the west, connecting to the CNE stop near Dufferin and terminating at Union station in the east. The line would runs along the Gardiner Expressway/GO Transit corridor between the CNE and the Queensway and Lake Shore streetcar lines” [4].

The plan also sought to extend the Scarborough RT line, create new bus rapid transit lines as well as enhance service along 21 bus routes. These new lines and services were intended to be fully integrated into the existing transit infrastructure[5][6].

Projections for ridership on the completed network showed an annual ridership of 175 million, 75 million of which were projected be new TTC riders[7]. The most ambitious LRT line detailed in the Transit City plan was the Eglinton Crosstown LRT which was to be 19 miles (30.6 km) in length running east-west and connecting both existing subway lines. The proposed alignment called for a tunnel to be built for a 10 km stretch of the line in order to not disturb the heavily developed Midtown area[7]. This line alone was projected to have an annual ridership of 50 million passengers[8].

Move Ontario 2020 and The Big Move edit

In connection with the Transit City plan, the Government of Ontario announced their MoveOntario 2020 plan in June of 2007[9]. This plan echoed the ambition seen in the Toronto focused Transit City plan by calling for a total of 52 transit projects to be completed in just 13 years. The total cost of all the projects outline in the plan totaled $17.5 billion, of which Ontario committed $11.5 billion[8]. The rest of the funds were intended to come from the Government of Canada. All of the projects combined were projected to reduce the number of vehicle trips by nearly 300 million and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 10 megatonnes by 2020[8]. These projects were subsequently rolled into The Big Move, which was the Regional Transportation Plan for the province of Ontario. This plan was adopted by the Metrolinx Board in 2008. This plan also involved $750 million in immediate funding deemed “Quick Wins” which was focused on transit investments that would be in service within five years[10]. These include Bolton GO service improvement, Spadina Subway extension to Vaughn Corporate Centre, and Yonge Subway extension Phase 1 (capacity and service improvements) along with other BRT improvements and service extensions[11].

With the Toronto Transit Commission, Metrolinx, the Toronto City government, and Ontario government all on board, planning and engineering for all seven LRT lines began in earnest with construction on some lines set to begin in 2010[11]. In late March 2009 the Ontario government dedicated an additional $3 billion dollars to transit in Toronto as part of a larger $27.5 billion dollar recession-fighting infrastructure stimulus package[11]. The $3 billion was not earmarked specifically for any of the Transit City projects, which were still seeking dedicated funding at the time, however then-Mayor was positive that some of the money would be going towards these important projects[12].

In trying to keep the Transit City projects moving forward, the Ontario government began to dedicate funding to specific projects so that they could begin construction by 2010, as some of the projects were in the final stages of engineering. On April 1st, 2009 the Ontario government dedicated $7.2 billion to help move certain Transit City projects forward and an additional $1.8 billion for a bus rapid transit line that would have a dedicated bus lane on Highway 7 and extend into the York region[12]. The largest portion of the $7.2 billion, $4.6 billion, was dedicated to the Eglinton Avenue, which was a central piece of the Transit City plan[13]. This line was intended to be partially tunneled and would serve to connect both subway lines east-west across the city. The line was projected to carry nearly 50 million passengers annually by 2021 and at the time it was scheduled to be completed by 2016. Another portion, $1.2 billion, was dedicated to the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT Line which would serve as an east-west connection in the northern sections of the city[12]. Furthermore, $1.4 billion would be allocated to renovating and expanding the Scarborough RT line. This expansion was set to be completed by 2015 and would greatly improve transit connections in the northeastern portions of the Toronto region. This announcement of additional funding for transit in Toronto came on the heels of major restructuring of the Metrolinx board. Metrolinx, the Toronto area transportation committee ran by the Ontario government had originally been comprised of elected officials. The Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, dissolved the 11-member board and created a new 15 member board consisted of private sector experts. The massive change in the board was met with harsh word by then-Toronto mayor David Miller but once the additional $7.2 billion of dedicated funding was announced, the issue was quickly resolved[14].

As the engineering and planning processes were underway, additional funding for other lines was sought from the Government of Canada in order to keep the projects on schedule. The funding came in May 2009 for the Shepard East LRT. This funding came through a federal-provincial partnership between the Ontario government and the Canadian government. The Ontario government committed to spending $633 million with the addition third, $333 million, coming from the Canadian government[14].

Construction Begins edit

Following the commitment of funds from both the Ontario and Canadian governments, construction on the first LRT line could begin. The Sheppard East LRT Line began construction on December 21st, 2009 at the Agincourt GO station[14]. With the newly dedicated funding from both the provincial and federal governments, the project was set to be completed by September, 2013. This line was intended to replace the Scarborough East bus line and would connect the Sheppard Subway Line, VIVA bus service, and future planned transit lines.

Rob Ford and Transit City edit

Rob Ford's New Plan edit

When David Miller decided not to run for another term as Toronto mayor in the 2010 election, the field of candidates grew. One of the most promising candidates at the time was Rob Ford, who was city councilman at the time. During the 2010 campaign, transit and transportation had been a hotly contested issue. Nearly all of the candidates came out with transportation plans and new transit plans that would change some of the new transit lines detailed in the Transit City, Big Move, and MoveOntario 2020 plans. Rob Ford’s plan, which was released via YouTube months after his opponents had released their plans, called for the extension of the Sheppard subway line instead of the construction of the Sheppard East LRT line[15]. His plan also called for $50 million to be spent on a ravine and trail based bicycle network throughout the city as well as $5 million for bike lanes on some major arterials. In total, his plan was set to cost $4.8 billion and would focus on building subways instead of LRT, and eliminating streetcars in the downtown in order to reduce traffic congestion[15] His plan relied on raising money from private partners, although none were identified, and on renegotiating $3.7 billion from Queens Park that had originally been committed to the Transit City plan[16]. His plan also did not take into account that millions of dollars in penalties that the City would have to pay in order to stop construction on the Sheppard East LRT Line as well as the millions of dollars that had already been spent on the planning and engineering of the seven LRT lines specified in the Transit City plan[16]. The budget chief remarked after hearing of the plans that, “Subways get built with intergovernmental co-operation. They don’t get built with magic beans”[16].

Rob Ford Gets Elected edit

Rob Ford was elected as Toronto’s 64th mayor on October 24th, 2010 with 47.1% of the vote[17]. He primarily won in the suburban districts and lost badly to Smitherman in the downtown districts, as shown below. This divide between the inner-city and the suburbs is due in large part to the amalgamation of 1998, in which 6 different municipalities were united into what is now the City of Toronto.

War Against Transit City edit

On the first day of being in office, Ford declared the Transit City plan to be dead[18]. In declaring the end of the Transit City plan, Ford angered much of the city council and the Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty. As his term moved on, Ford developed a proposal to have a majority of the financing, design, and development of the Sheppard subway extension come from private parties[19]. This proposal was met with heavy opposition due to the reliance on tax-increment financing and because it would halt construction on the Sheppard East LRT line, which began in December 2009. Eventually, the construction of the Sheppard East LRT line was put on hold, which caused the city to have to pay nearly $49 million in penalties and alter a $777 million contract with Bombardier which was intended to purchase 185 LRT vehicles[20]. Through much of 2011, Rob Ford fought against any Transit City plans that included LRT to move forward and he was able to halt any plans Transit City projects from moving forward as he pushed for his own plan to be adopted and implemented by the city council. He signed an agreement with the Ontario government that did away with the Finch light rail line, changed the original plans for the Eglinton Line to be completely underground, and continued to promise a Sheppard Subway line instead of the surface light rail line[21].

Eventually, as details came to light about Rob Ford and his not so well thought out plans the city council, who had voted along with Rob Ford until now, rebelled[22]. A report in January 2012 stating that Ford had overstepped his legal authority in cancelling the Transit City plan was used as a catalyst for taking action against Ford’s new transit plan[23]. Under the leadership of Counselor Karen Stintz, the city council gave their support back to the Transit City plan in March of 2012 despite vocal criticism from Ford[24]. Almost simultaneously, Metrolinx released a study of the viability of both Ford’s plan and the Transit City plan; they agreed with the City Council that the Transit City plan should move forward[25]. Although this decision meant that the Transit City projects would finally be built, the chaos caused by Ford effectively pushed the completion of all the lines back four years later than they were originally projected to be completed[26].

Rob Ford Today edit

Despite his complications with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as odd behavior, Ford has remained as Toronto mayor. Ford has continued to push for new subway lines despite construction of the Transit City LRT lines being well underway. He released a new $9 billion transit plan on September 3rd of 2014 in which he outlined new subway lines all throughout the city[26]. Although he recently withdrew from the race after an abdominal tumor was found to be malignant, his brother Doug Ford is continuing the fight for new subway lines[27].

Future of Transit in Toronto edit

The current Transit Service Improvement Plan dates from April 2008 and focuses on cost-effective service which provides the highest mobility to Torontonians. It does not, however, include the building of any subway or LRT lines[45]. The Toronto Transit Commission’s Ridership Growth Strategy is 2003, however, remarks on the City’s plan of Continuous Subway Expansion[46]. The document does not include any new rapid rail lines, only extensions of the lines which existed in 2003.

Transit in Toronto is currently in a state of flux. The current planning documents are up to 11 years old and are due for revision. The city of Toronto is currently in the midst of a mayoral election race. Voting will take place on October 27th, 2014. There are three candidates-- Olivia Chow, John Tory, and Doug Ford--each with very different plans for expanding the transit system in Toronto. A recent poll of residents in Toronto identifies transit as the number 1 issue for 49% of residents [47]

Rob and Doug Ford edit

As of this writing Doug Ford is just beginning his campaign following his brother’s withdrawal from the Mayoral Race. He has not come forth with his own transit plan, but he has long been a vocal supporter of Rob Ford’s ambitious Subway plan for Toronto, and it is expected that he will adopt this plan as his own. Further discussion in this section refers to the plan laid out by Rob Ford.

Regarding the financing of his $9 billion (CAD) plan, Ford remarked “I have funding options in place”. His options included relying on other levels of government, public-private partnerships, sales of assets and air-rights over stations, and tax-increment financing[47]. Further Ford’s estimated cost of the Sheppard subway ($1.8 billion CAD) departs significantly from the expert-quoted $2.7 - $3.7 billion (CAD). [48]

This plan has been met with much criticism from other candidates for Mayor.

Olivia Chow- "Moving People Now" edit

Chow claims that her plan will save taxpayers $1.6 billion (CAD) over the other candidates’ plans, but it facing opposition from residents who are unfamiliar with LRT. Toronto currently has only subway and commuter rail, and some residents are wary as to LRT’s ability to perform in a harsh Ontario winter. [49] [50]

John Tory- "OneToronto" edit

John Tory’s transit plan focuses on extending rail service outside the downtown core of Toronto. [52] This plan will be funded through the controversial method of Tax Increment Financing, along with, funding from the Provincial and Federal Governments. The City of Toronto would be responsible for one-third of the capital costs. [53]

Tory’s plan for increasing transit in the Toronto core is to run “all-day, two-way, frequent service” on existing rails within the city. The existing rails are currently in use as GO lines, providing one-directional rush hour commuter rail service [54]. His plan terms this mode “surface subway”

Discussion Questions edit

  1. Should Toronto’s mass transit system be expanded using subway or light rail lines?
  2. What is the most important policy that needs to be revised to resolving the mass transit dilemma in Toronto?
  3. Do you think that Tax Increment Financing is a responsible method by which to finance a transit System? Why or Why not.

Further Readings edit

These will provide a good overview of the topics we will be discussing!

If you are extra interested, here is the Toronto City Plan, which includes the planned surface improvements in Section 2:

References edit

  1. a b [1]The Canadian Encyclopedia, "Toronto's Struggle Against Amalgamation" McCleans, March 17th, 1997, <>
  2. a b [2] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Six Years After Amalgamation" Jeffery Cohen, September 20th, 2004 <>
  3. [3] The Torontoist, "How Toronto Voted for Mayor", David Topping, October, 28th, 2010 <>.
  4. a b [4], Spacing "Toronto Announces Transit City Plan" March, 16th, 2007 <>. Invalid <ref> tag; name "Toronto Announces Transit City Plan" defined multiple times with different content
  5. [5],Transit City Bus Plan.
  6. [6],The Star "Transit City Proposed Bus Service Improvements" Tess Kalinowski, August, 21st, 2009 <>.
  7. a b [7] The Transport Politic, "Huge Funding Boost to Toronto Transit" Yonah Freemark, April 2nd, 2009, <>
  8. a b c [8] The Office of the Premier "MoveOntario 2020" June 15th, 2007, <>.
  9. [9] Metrolinx "Provincial Funding" <>.
  10. [10] Metrolinx "The Big Move. Appendix D: Metrolinx Quick Wins" <>.
  11. a b c [11] The Transport Politic "Ontario Pledges $3 Billion to Mass Transit" Yonah Freemark, March 17th 2009.
  12. a b c [12] The Globe and Mail "McGuinty makes nice with Miller, offering $9-billion for transit" Jeff Gray, April 10t, 2009 <>.
  13. [13] The Transport Politic "Mass Transit Gets Another Huge Boost in Ontario" Yonah Freemark, April 2nd, 2009 <>.
  14. a b c [14] Ministry of Transportation "Construction Starts on the Sheppard East Light Rail Project" December, 21st, 2009 <>.
  15. a b [15] The Globe and Mail "Rob Ford Transit Plan Focuses on Subways and Roads" Anna Mehler Paperny, August 23rd, 2012 <>.
  16. a b c [16] The Star "Scrap the Streetcars Says Rob Ford" Tess Kalinowski September 8th, 2010 <>
  17. [17] CBC News "Rob Ford Elected Mayor of Toronto" October 26th, 2010. <>
  18. [18] CBC News "Rob Ford: 'Transit City is Over'" December 1st, 2010<>
  19. [19] The Globe and Mail "Rob Ford Floats Private Funding Plan for Sheppard Subway" Kelly Grant, Feb. 16, 2011<>
  20. [20] CBC News "Toronto Must Pay At least $49 Million to Cancel LRT Plan" March 31st, 2011 <>
  21. [21] The Transport Politic "Torontos Transit City Plan Back In Play" Yonah Freemark, April 25th, 2012<>
  22. [22] The Star "Karen Stintz's Bold Moves on Transit Draw Admirers and Critics" Tess Kalinowski, January 30th, 2012.<>
  23. [23] The Star " Rob Ford had no authority to cancel transit city lawyers say" Tess Kalinowski, January 29th, 2012 <>
  24. [24].Metrolinx "Board Report:Toronto Transit Projects" April 25th, 2012<>
  25. [25] Now Toronto "Rob Ford's Four Year Folly" Ben Spurr, April 24th, 2012.<>
  26. a b [26] The Globe and Mail "Rob Ford's Transit Plan Unveiled; Focuses on Subways" Oliver Moore, September 3rd, 2014<>
  27. [27], CNN "Rob Ford Withdraws from Mayoral Race" Greg Botelho, Susanna Capelouto, September 14th, 2014.<>