Options for Scarborough RT Replacement

Recent news reports have raised questions regarding the 2013 decision by Toronto City Council selecting a subway extension to replace the previously approved by council light rail plan. To encourage accurate discussions, here are the facts:

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LRT plan:

  • 9.9 km, with 7 stations
  • scheduled to open in 2019
  • serves nearly double the number of Scarborough residents
  • redesigns the transfer at Kennedy to be a one-storey difference
  • costs $1.5+ billion less
  • requires a shutdown of the SRT line for 2-3 years
  • is under current legal contract to be fully funded by the province, including all overruns

Subway plan:

  • 7.6 km, with 3 stations
  • would open in 2023 or later
  • eliminates transfer at Kennedy
  • has not yet been studied so costs and timeframes are estimates
  • requires city to renegotiate existing Master Agreement with the province
  • requires city to pay for all sunk costs and cancellation fees, operations costs, at least $750 million of construction, and all construction overruns

Note that neither option would disrupt mixed-vehicle traffic on city roads once construction is complete.

Sources:

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