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Toronto rethink?

In a deal reached in 2009 the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) planed a number of light rail lines including lines on Eglinton Avenue, Finch Avenue West and Sheppard Avenue East and to replace the existing Scarborough Rapid Transit line

Mayor Rob Ford scrapped that plan after he was elected, replacing it with one that called for one underground route, dubbed the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and a Sheppard subway expansion to be funded by the private sector.

Now TTC chair Karen Stintz is expected to present a petition to the city clerk Monday calling on city council to renew its support for a transit expansion plan that was scrapped by the Mayor. In what's expected to be a significant test of Ford's authority, 24 councillors have signed a petition that urges the city to shelve Ford's transit plan and go back to a light rail plan, dubbed Transit City, developed under former mayor David Miller, according to reports. In the petition, the councillors ask for a special city council meeting to be called later this week.

Support has been given to the petitioners by a report from the environmental think-tank the Pembina Institute which says forget subways and going underground, a light rail transit network is the way to go. The study’s key finding: It would cost 30 per cent less than tunneling Eglinton and Sheppard and put rapid transit on the doorsteps of another 120,000 Torontonians. It also offers the best environmental outcomes per dollar invested, according to Pembina.

6 February 2012

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