Wednesday, September 3, 2014
10 problems with Rob Ford's transit plan
Here’s a rundown of 10 problems with the plan Ford rolled out on Wednesday:
1) Ford: Cost to build Sheppard subway extension is $1.8 billion.
Fact: In 2012, an expert panel pegged the cost to build the extension between $3.25 to $4.73 billion.
2) Ford: “World-class cities build subways” including Tokyo, London and New York City.
Fact: Cities around the world use LRT technology. The three cities listed in the Ford platform to illustrate superior, subway transit systems — Tokyo, London and New York — all use at least one line of light-rail in their transit systems or to connect suburban communities.
3) Ford: Phase 1 of his plan will cost $9 billion for around 32 km of subways.
Fact: The Scarborough subway extension alone will cost around $3.5 billion for 7.6 km.
4) Ford: His $9-billion figure is attributed to Metrolinx and the TTC.
Fact: Metrolinx and the TTC do not stand behind that figure and both agencies deny providing it.
5) Ford: Surface rail reduces lanes of traffic and causes slower and less reliable commute times.
Fact: Metrolinx says surface rail will not cause congestion because it travels on a dedicated right-of-way separate from the flow of traffic.
6) Ford: The Sheppard LRT should be cancelled and the Sheppard subway should be extended to the Scarborough Town Centre.
Fact: In 2012, an expert advisory panel recommended light-rail because a subway was not needed to accommodate the projected growth in the area. The panel noted an LRT could serve the area at 60-70% less than the cost of a subway.
7) Ford: The Finch and Sheppard LRTs could be cancelled, providing $2 billion for subway construction,
Fact: Planning and design work has already started on the Finch and Sheppard LRTs. Although any transit project could be stopped, money is being spent on the projects now so less funding would be available and that funding is controlled by the province not the city.
8) Ford: “I am the only candidate who is committed to expanding Toronto’s subway system.
Fact: Olivia Chow, John Tory and David Soknacki have all come out in support of various subway lines.
9) Ford: The Eglinton Crosstown should be built underground in Scarborough.
Fact: Metrolinx has said that burying the Crosstown would be “technically difficult” given the Don Valley.
10) Ford: “There is one reason Eglinton (Crosstown) is underground, it is because of Mayor Rob Ford.”
Fact: The Crosstown included a 10-km underground stretch when it was announced in 2009 (before Rob Ford was mayor or even running for the top job).
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