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Scarborough Residents, Councillors, Push for Bloor-Danforth Extension to Replace RT

As the TTC considers what to do with the Scarborough RT as the line wears out, Scarborough councillors are encouraging residents to flex their political muscles and demand that the line be replaced by an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Toronto Star has more details on this.

Although an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway from Kennedy to the Scarborough Town Centre would cost around $1.5 Billion, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of work needs to be done to keep the RT operating beyond 2015. The line is already operating at capacity and the TTC believes that space limitations are keeping as many as 6 million riders off the TTC each year. A subway extension would not only increase capacity, but eliminate an inconvenient transfer between the SRT and the subway at Kennedy, saving Scarborough commuters as much as ten minutes on their trips downtown.

As a result of this, some Scarborough councillors are calling for the Bloor-Danforth extension to have a higher priority than the currently favoured Spadina extension to York University.

Back in June, we called for just such an extension. The Scarborough RT has always been an awkward appendage to the subway, and the line should have been built as a subway extension in the first place. Since hundreds of millions have to be spent anyway, why not spend the extra money to do it right, and substantially improve the public transit picture in Scarborough? The Bloor-Danforth subway should eventually connect with the extension of the Sheppard line, producing a real subway network in this city. The SRT appendage detracts from that.

I hope the province listens to the call of Scarborough residents and councillors and shifts their focus in Toronto’s near-term rapid transit development.

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