Friday, September 13, 2013
Karen Stintz guest column hammers Murray's transit plan
In a tough-talking guest column exclusively in the Saturday Sun’s comment section, Stintz fires back at the Ontario government’s Scarborough subway plan that Transportation Minister Glen Murray rolled out last week.
“The Province, through a hasty press conference by the Transportation Minister, has derailed transit planning,” Stintz wrote. “The Province is ignoring city council, transit planners, and its own transit planning agency and is threatening to impose an unfeasible transit plan in Scarborough.”
Not surprisingly, Murray disputed Stintz’s claim the province has “derailed” transit planning by opting for a shorter subway route along the Scarborough RT alignment rather than the costlier subway extension to Sheppard Ave. council had requested.
“The Ontario government remains committed to building a subway to the Scarborough Town Centre along the same alignment and route as described in the Big Move and the (memorandum of understanding) with the City of Toronto,” Murray said in a statement Friday. “The province is funding this entire project and will be working collaboratively with the City through a joint working group chaired by Councillor Michael Thompson and (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities) Minister Brad Duguid (who is the MPP for Scarborough-Centre) that seeks to maximize land use and rapid transit integration in Scarborough.”
Stintz has a track record of driving Toronto’s transit plans — for better or worse depending on perspective. She led the council revolt against Mayor Rob Ford last year to revive Transit City including the Scarborough LRT plan, ignited a debate over transit funding through the brief debate over her rejected OneCity plan and then successfully led a move on council to ask the province to change the Scarborough LRT to an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway line into the suburb.
“Although the TTC has communicated that the proposed route is unfeasible and the Province continues to ignore expert advice,” Stintz states. “(TTC CEO Andy Byford) has clearly communicated to the Province that the proposal has so many technical challenges it is not worth pursuing.”
TTC spokesman Brad Ross said Byford hasn’t communicated that to the province.
“We have said we need to review in greater detail,” Ross said.
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