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Toronto's capital budget emphasizes transit projects



At its meeting yesterday, Wednesday, December 10, Toronto City Council approved the City’s 2009 - 2013 capital budget and plan.

By approving the capital budget, City Council has supported a number of major capital projects that the City of Toronto will undertake in 2009 and during the next five years. It has also outlined how it intends to fund capital projects for the next ten years.

Public transit projects form a large part of the capital budget.

The budget allows the City and the TTC to:

  • buy 360 new subway cars (60 trains) to replace cars that TTC currently operates. This will increase the capacity of the subway by 10 percent. Manufacturers will start delivering the new cars by 2010. (2009 cost: $105.95 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $728.481 million.)
  • buy 130 new buses to replace buses that the TTC currently oeprates. The City will also buy a total of 410 new buses by 2014. (2009 cost: $93.256 million, 2009 to 2013 cost: $282.6 million.)
  • buy 204 low-floor, accessible light rail transit (LRT) vehicles to replace the current streetcar fleet. The City will also buy another 21 LRT cars. Manufacturers will start delivering the new cars by 2010. (2009 cost: $81.261 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $656.025 million.)
  • continue to rebuild Islington subway station and, with GO Transit and Mississauga Transit, build an inter-regional bus terminal at Kipling subway station. (2009 cost: $14.841 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $30.702 million).
  • finish building a reserved streetcar right-of-way along St. Clair Avenue West so that streetcars no longer share lanes with other traffic. (2009 cost: $14.983 million; 2009 - 2013 cost: $14.983 million.)
  • install state-of-the-art signaling systems on the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway line. The new signaling system also requires the City to upgrade the subway’s power supply, communications system and safety measures. (2009 cost: $73.685 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $442.940 million.)
  • continue to build a bus rapid transitway (BRT) from Downsview subway station to York University and to develop a BRT along Yonge Street from Finch subway station to Steeles Avenue. (2009 cost: $12.209 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $40.256 million.)
  • upgrade the platform at Union subway station. (2009 cost: $0; 2009 to 2013 cost: $53.400 million.)
  • design and build new features at subway stations to improve accessibility. (2009 cost: $12.722 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $154.358 million.)

Other transportation projects include:

  • resurfacing or rebuilding 420 kilometers of roads and rehabilitating 80 bridges and structures (2009 cost: $173.193 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $836.679 million.)
  • building an underpass to eliminate the Dufferin Street jog, resulting in a regular intersection at Queen Street West. (2009 cost: $24.770 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $26.270 million.)
  • finishing the Morningside Avenue / Finch Avenue East grade separation to improve safety and reduce delays to traffic at the railway crossing (2009 cost: $4.150 million.)
  • building 410 kilometers of bike lanes, 122 kilometers of shared roadways and 83 kilometers of off-road bicycle paths. (2009 cost: $7.990 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $70.290 million.)
  • finishing the environmental assessment process for replacing the Gardiner Expressway east of Yonge Street. (2009 cost: $5.000 million; 2009 to 2013 cost: $10.000 million.)

The budget also highlights a bundle of projects to improve and renew the waterfront, including introducing transit service to the West Don Lands and East Bayfront areas.

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