Saturday, November 20, 2010

Transit City: It’s too late to switch tracks -

The usual shallow, thoughtlessness from The Star this morning. Here is the link to its editorial. My letter in response is below.

Transit City: It’s too late to switch tracks -

Your editorial is off the rails on many points. There would certainly be some sunk costs absorbed in switching away from the "Transit City" plan. However, there is ample opportunity to recover most of the money.

The cost of the Sheppard LRT study would be sunk. However, there is already a completely approved environmental assessment and plan to complete the Sheppard Subway.

The tunnel boring machines could just as well tunnel for a subway as for an 'LRT'. In fact, the original vision for the Eglinton LRT was to convert to full subway at a later time.

As Bombardier is the supplier for subway and LRT vehicles, it would be in its interest to agree to switch the order over. Enforcing penalties could well lose the supplier its long-term cosy relationship with the TTC and Ontario.

The Transit City plan came to light only after the 2006 election. In the 2010 election, neither of its main proponents (David Miller and Adam Giambrone) deigned to run and defend the plan.

In 2012, the Spadina LRT - put in service in 1998 - will be out of commission as large sections and major intersections need rebuilding. If LRT were the right idea for Toronto, would lines need to be rebuilt in less than 15 years? Toronto voters have said no.