Scarborough RT to close between 2015 and 2019 | Scarborough TTC riders will be stuck with buses for 4 yrs.
TTC ridership in parts of Scarborough is expected to plummet after the 2015 Pan American Games as the obsolete rapid-transit line is shut down for four years of construction, warns general manager Gary Webster.
Dozens of extra buses will be added to the route between Kennedy Station and Scarborough Town Centre while the updated light rail system is built, but Webster thinks people are likely to return to their cars until the LRT opens in 2019.
“We’re going to drive people away from transit, there’s no question,” he said, noting that a parallel bus service that’s operated for years alongside the SRT has never been embraced by riders.
Meanwhile, Webster said the full length of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT won’t be done until 2022, although Metrolinx maintains it can be finished by 2020 and is considering a public-private partnership to speed things up.
To any constituents who are angry they’ll be stuck with buses during that time, local Councillor Chin Lee says: Be careful what you vote for.
Lee said he had an understanding with former TTC chair Adam Giambrone that the planned Sheppard LRT should be complete before the SRT — which is on its last legs — was torn down.
“He agreed with me on that,” said Lee. “Unfortunately, the subway advocates were a very vocal group and the mayor listened to them.”
The Transit City plan, which included a Sheppard LRT linking with the SRT at its northern end, was cancelled in favour of the mayor’s subway vision. And the Eglinton light rail plan, connecting seamlessly at the southern end, was moved underground, which takes significantly longer to build.
“Just be careful what you ask for and think of all the implications, not only just the short term,” Lee said.
As he finished speaking to reporters, the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, said: “I totally disagree with those comments, 100 per cent,” before returning to the budget committee meeting.
The SRT, with its cars resembling a mini subway train, opened in 1985 to much fanfare. Today, it moves up to 5,000 riders an hour at peak periods.
The TTC will put between 20 and 30 extra buses on the road to accommodate the closure, but it’s likely to take significantly longer to get from point A to point B on a bus.
Left-wing Councillor Gord Perks said the mayor has let down the people who elected him. “Scarborough voted for a transportation plan that was supposed to get them more. Now they’re finding out they’re going to get dramatically less,” he said.
gtarealtyagent |6:23 PM | Dec 07, 2011
@ STC lots of condo get built as the commuter get way out from there to DT toronto, can you imagine…………no SRT means to them?, please discuss… Alert a moderator
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