Apr. 12, 2019

Ford Government Proposed GTA Transit Expansion Plans - Apr 10'19

So here is my take on the latest plans recently announced by the Ford government:

What’s New?

The Ontario Line – A new longer “light” subway line in place of the City’s proposed subway Relief Line


-        A great move on his part – The subway light with smaller more frequent cars could result in  other subway lines being built sooner than later – This could be a good option for a spur line in place of the proposed Relief Line West – Even better; I would call it “Ontario Line 2” and run it along Weston Road through Dundas West subway station, along King Street replacing the King Streetcar, and then east along Kingston Road towards Pickering (no; I am not advocating for a subway all the way to Pickering; unless they can prove that this “alternate” technology is much faster than our standard subways, the trip would be long and torturous) – However; should this new subway light be faster than our better way subways; it would also be a good option in place of my proposed MBTD Express LRT


-        The termination of the Ontario Line at Ontario Place is a hint that he has very big plans for the park; let’s hope it’s not condos, a casino, or any other form of commercial development (deep down I know that's exactly what he's planning to do) – It should remain fully public recreational space – I would even go as far as to letting him have his Ferris wheel

Yonge North Subway Extension – Not really new; this has been on the books for decades; just no funds or capacity to build it – As long as the Ontario Line is complete and open before; I’m all for it (Who isn’t?)

Burying portions of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension – Doug Ford’s plan is to bury more of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension than the City had planned to – This is a positive move – The only reason the City didn’t do so was to keep costs down – It’s the right move and will allow for shorter and more direct routing

What’s Regurgitated?

The Three-stop SSE – Yeah!!! – Cutting the two stops from the Scarborough Subway Extension was a mistake; I would even go so far as adding a forth stop at Brimley and Eglinton

Making the Final Connection between the Sheppard Subway (Line 4) and the New Scarborough Subway Extension – Yeah again!!! – This will provide riders with options; it will get vehicles off the 401, and have a greater impact on ridership on Line 4 than anyone can imagine

McCowan and Sheppard Station – Yeah!!! - Ford’s plan to route the Line 4 and SSE extensions through McCowan and Sheppard is the way to go – It’s a perfect opportunity to eventually extend the subway north to Markham; it’s the right location for a major parking facility and transit hub (not Scarborough Centre and the City was planning to do)

McCowan and Lawrence Station – What can I say but, Yeah!!! – The Lawrence Avenue bus routes are some of the busiest bus routes in the city – The station at McCowan and Lawrence will result in shorter and faster trips for so many – I’m not a big fan of SmartTrack; I can take or leave the Kennedy and Lawrence SmartTrack Station, but if we have to choose, the McCowan and Lawrence Subway Station is a far superior option