1. @lynnea Why? Because Toronto alone generates 20% of Canada's GDP. When your local bridge gets repaired, you get a new school, or your hospital gets upgrades, you have Toronto to thank for 1/5 of that, even though most of us "will never set foot" in your town, either.

    And with congestion hobbling that GDP by $6 billion every year, anyone with grade-3 math would understand why investing in Toronto transit quickly pays for itself, then generates dividends every year for the entire country.
  2. @AbbyW Workload 30% of the private sector? Surely you have a verifiable study to back up such a strong statement… right?

    And I hate to break it to you, but politicians *are* representatives of the taxpayers — that's the very essence of our system of participative democracy.
  3. @spicygarage Pardon the brain fart. The new LRT line won't actually reach into Malvern ,stopping 1 km from its southern border. But it does mean that Malvern residents will only need to ride buses for 10 minutes to reach rapid transit, vs. 26 minutes for the subways-only plan.
  4. @Will Will, thank you for your measured response.

    Short version: even if subways are more reliable than LRT by a tiny fraction, the fact that they cost 300% as much to build means that for every km of new subway operating near 100%, there are TWO km of subway operating at 0%. LRT brings more transit to more neighbourhoods and more people.

    Long version:

    Although our subways do get knocked out by ice (20% of our subways runs aboveground), they are a bit more reliable than 100%-surface rail, yes. I don't have hard facts on reliability, but let's do some quick math here.

    Our 30-year old streetcars have antiquated pneumatic systems prone to failure in extremely-cold weather. How much downtime does each experience in a year? I'd say less than a day, i.e. less than 0.3% of the time — so streetcars are reliable over 99% of the time.

    The new streetcars (and LRT) use different systems much more resilient to extreme cold, but let's pretend LRT would use 30-year old streetcars, just for fun.

    Since the same money builds 3 times as much LRT as subways, you could add 15 km of new rapid transit and get:

    - 15 km of rapid transit running 99% of the time

    - 5 km of rapid transit running almost 100% of the time
    - 10 km of rapid transit running 0% of the time (because it wouldn't exist)

    Southeast/East/Northeast Scarborough residents currently stuck on 19 km/h buses for 45 minutes to reach the nearest rapid-transit stop would kill to live on or near a 27 km/h rapid-transit line, even if its vehicles were replaced by buses one day a year. That's the difference between Ford's all-subway plan and Tory's subway-plus-12-km-of-LRT plan.
  5. @City Slicker Most Torontonians will never live close enough to a subway. They currently have to wait outside, in the Canadian climate, for a bus to take them to the subway. They would still have to wait outside for an LRT, but with the LRT, they would immediately be _on_ rapid transit — not have to endure a 20-minute bus ride to even get _to_ rapid transit.

    Subways are so expensive that cancelling 2 subway stops creates an entire 12-km, 17-stop rapid-transit line where there were only slow, bumpy, lurching buses.

    But all you see is the indignity of having to wait in the freezing cold. Ironic that you would choose Rosedale subway, an above-ground subway stop exposed to the freezing winds rushing in through either end every time a subway enters or leaves. Have you ever been on that platform? Rosedale is brutal in winter.
  6. @Will Scuttlebutt from City Hall shows this plan has near-unanimous support from Councillors on the Left, Centre and Right.

    Evidence-based transit watchers love LRT where appropriate because it moves people 85% as fast as a subway, but at 1/3 the build cost — which is why it's successfully used worldwide to bring tons of rapid transit to suburbs with nowhere the density appropriate for subways.

    And finally: worldwide evidence shows that a single lane of road can only move 2,400 max. people/hour per direction (pphpd) if dedicated to cars, compared to 15,000-25,000 pphpd with LRT. You don't need Left-wing politics to support LRT in Scarborough — you just need basic math.
  7. @LoretoS "World-class cities", as you say, use buses where appropriate, streetcars where appropriate, LRT where appropriate, and subways (wait for it) where appropriate.

    Scarborough is getting 18 rapid-transit stops instead of 3.

    12 km more rail lines, finally connecting Malvern, which desperately needs it, to the rest of the city. Not to mention the Scarborough University campus.

    Rapid transit within walking distance of 5 times more people.

    All for the same cost.

    One would have to really be willfully blind to argue that this plan is garbage.
  8. @LoretoS Tory's plan gives Scarborough 18 rapid-transit stops instead of 3.

    12 km more rail lines, finally connecting Malvern, which desperately needs it, to the rest of the city. Not to mention the Scarborough University campus.

    Rapid transit within walking distance of 5 times more people.

    All for the same cost.

    Anyone with Grade-1 math can clearly see this plan is vastly superior and brings more transit, for the same money, to Scarborough.
  9. @AbbyW The streetcar parts were designed in Europe, manufactured in Mexico, and the streetcars are assembled in Bombardier's Thunder Bay assembly plant. This is the norm in today's globalized world. Nothing substantial — these streetcars, your phone, your automobile — is ever designed and built 100% in Canada in this millennium.

    That's the way business works, and is independent of whether the contract was signed under a left-wing or right-wing city government — the business world didn't start shipping off jobs around the world when Miller was elected, or bring all those jobs back to Canada when Ford took the helm.

    So what did we get by sole-sourcing to Bombardier rather than some foreign corporation?

    We got jobs in Thunder Bay to actually build these streetcars. You can thank Miller for that. Had the contract gone to a foreign firm, those assembly jobs would have gone to foreign workers.

    So please, before you post knee-jerk two-liners, think.
  10. Here's your smoking gun, folks: LRT opponents at Council don't want all the facts to come out.

    They shot down Matlow's requests for information about the true costs and ridership of the proposed subway extension. Why could this be?

    1) Most people don't realize that during the morning peak, only HALF of trains would ever go past Kennedy onto the Scarborough extension, The other half will turn around as if the extension had never been built. [a]

    You're not getting "subways, subways, subways", folks — at the time where it's most crowded, you're getting _half a subway._ It's obvious why subway supporters don't want voters to know that.

    2) When Council voted in 2013 to switch to a subway extension, a 2031 ridership of 14,000 peak passengers/hour/direction was a strong point. (Earlier numbers pegged subway ridership at 9,000 = running 2/3 empty.) City documents now reveal that higher 14,000 number was based on the subway reaching Sheppard rather than Scarborough Town Centre — and was based on more frequent subway service than is currently budgeted for — and was based on the existence of other transit lines which aren't yet approved. [b]

    So this 14,000 number is pure fiction. It's easy to see why subway supporters wouldn't want this to come out publicly.

    3) And as has been widely reported, the subway would only carry 16% more people yearly than the LRT — but cost over double, 115% more! Making Toronto taxpayers pay 115% more money for 16% more ridership is a colossal waste of taxpayer money.

    Again, you never hear a subway supporter admitting those inconvenient facts.