Ford’s transportation deal with province

City and province to make joint transit announcement
It’ll include Ford’s privately-funded Sheppard subway plan
Plus provincial cash for Eglinton and Scarborough LRTs
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 30. March 31 UPDATE.)

Mayor Rob Ford's plan includes $4 billion in private sector cash to build a Sheppard subway. Town Crier file photo.

The city and province are both climbing aboard a new transportation deal that will be unveiled tomorrow morning.
TTC chair Karen Stintz confirmed on March 30 that the provincial government, its transportation agency Metrolinx and the city are moving full steam ahead with the plan outlined by Mayor Rob Ford.
“We have an agreement that will see major transit expansion in the City of Toronto,” Stintz told the media at an impromptu press conference this afternoon. “It is a real win for both the city and the province and I am really excited about the announcement tomorrow.”
That announcement to take place at the TTC’s Wilson yards at 9 a.m. on March 31 will be to confirm the province is still committed to its original investment of about $8.4 billion.
The provincial cash will be spent on a fully underground and expanded Eglinton LRT and to turn the Scarborough RT into an above ground light rail transit route.

“The Eglinton Crosstown will be fully underground from Black Creek to Kennedy Road,” said Stintz.
Construction on Eglinton could start “immediately” as Metrolinx already has the boring machines.
Any leftover provincial money, up to a maximum of $650 million, could be diverted to help build a Sheppard subway from Downsview to Scarborough Town Centre. However, the city will be on the hook for just over $4 billion for Ford’s election vision of a Sheppard subway that will be paid for through a private-public partnership.
“We are looking to the private sector to fund the construction and pay back through development on the line.”
Sheppard subway construction depends on how quickly the funds can be secured.
Stintz said with Metrolinx, the city and province in agreement the plan doesn’t need council approval with some exceptions.
“There is no question we will need to come back to council when we have a plan for financing the Sheppard subway,” said councillor Stintz.
“We have already approved the environmental assessments and work has already started on Eglinton,” she said. “There will be new environmental assessments needed for the new portion underground from Laird to Kennedy.”
The province has been pushing Toronto to roll out the Presto fare system. The TTC had resisted that in the past, but Toronto maybe ready to play ball on that issue as that because that will also be part of tomorrow’s announcement.

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2 responses to “Ford’s transportation deal with province

  1. Your post reports that the eglinton line will be ‘fully’ underground. McGuinty in the news conference said ‘mostly’ (or some similar qualifier).

    Who is right? I couldn’t see it underground between laird and bermonsdey.

    • Rod, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT as announced yesterday at the press conference I attended will be mostly underground, the premier is right. Although Mayor Rob Ford often refers to it as an underground rapid transit plan. This is the exact wording in the backgrounder provider by the province, “Along Eglinton from Black Creek Drive in the west to Kennedy station in the east. It will run largely in a tunnel except for sections in the Don Valley, in the approaches to Kennedy station.”
      As I reported, the existing Scarborough RT will be converted into a surface LRT and it will run between Kennedy station and the Scaborough City Centre.
      We should learn more now that it’s official. In the past when I reported on the new plan the mayor’s office and Metrolinx provided no details to me despite my requests for more info.
      By the way, because the mayor cancelled the previously approved Sheppard and Eglinton LRTs (city council has never voted on cancelling these routes) the city will be on the hook to pay back Metrolinx $49 million in costs already spent on those projects. Read that story here.

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