UPDATE: Rob Ford defends funding of ''ambitious'' subway expansion plan

Promises 32 km of new subway track, costing $9-billion

Rob Ford unveils his subway expansion plan
Siobhan Morris/Newstalk 1010

Rob Ford has unveiled what he calls an "ambitious plan" to expand subway service across Toronto.

As part of his mayoral re-election campaign, Ford is promising to build 32 kilometres worth of new subway track at an estimated cost of $9-billion.

Phase one of Ford's "Toronto Subway Expansion Plan" includes:

-Completing the eastern half of the Yonge or Downtown Relief line, linking Queen and Pape stations
-Cancelling a planned LRT along Finch Ave, replacing it with a subway to link Humber College and the future Finch West Station.
-Cancelling a planned LRT along Sheppard Ave, linking Don Mills and Sheppard-McCowan Stations
-Burying what is to be an above-ground section of the Eglinton Cross-town LRT between Laird and Kennedy.



While Ford did not offer an exact timeline for the projects, he says he wants to "bore, bore, bore until the cows come home." Speaking with Newstalk 1010's Jim Richards on the Showgram, Ford suggested if re-elected, his next term would be spent getting the expansion approved and funded.

"I have funding options in place," Ford insisted at a news conference Wednesday morning "and this is not putting the onus on the taxpayers."

At the top of Ford's list of funding possibilities, is partnering with provincial and federal governments. His mayoral rival, John Tory cast doubt on that possibility while appearing as a guest on Newstalk 1010's Moore in the Morning, suggesting Ford is "out of gas."

But Ford says he has heard it all before.

"Some of my competitors are saying I can't work with the provincial government and the federal government. It's funny that I could work with them quite well to build the Scarborough subway."

Ford is also proposing to sell city land along future subway lines and to develop the space above new stations to help fund expansion. At his news conference Ford predicted the sale of land and "air rights" could pull in "hundreds of millions" for Toronto, depending on the market.

By the time he spoke with Jim Richards, Ford's expectations had ballooned.

"There's a lot of land and air rights along the corridors, (it's) valuable. You can't a price on this, Jim," said Ford. "These options that I've given could be 50 billion dollars. There's tens of billions of dollars, not just nine billion dollars."

Ford dismissed suggestions that the math behind his plan was shaky or that he had low-balled the cost.

"This is as accurate as you're gonna get, for this time and these are the numbers. And if we're off by a million or so...," Ford trailed off.

Ford says he took his financial cues from the Toronto Transit Commission and from Metrolinx. But two of his planned projects have lower individual price tags than what is on the books. Ford's scheme also seems to suppose a lower cost per kilometre of subway track cost.

The supplied map does not lay out how many subway stops would be added or where they would go, including along the 11 km-long Finch line. But Ford tells Richards the cost of new stations and related environmental assessments are included in the $9-billion tally.

Phase two of Ford's plan would see another five subway extensions, including construction of the western half of the Yonge or Downtown Relief Line. Ford has not offered any possible timeline or pricetag for that phase.

You can read Rob Ford's entire "Toronto Subway Expansion Plan" HERE.

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  1. Fact Provider posted on 09/03/2014 07:39 AM
    Ford's "transit plan".
    An oxymoron from the city's chief moron.
    1. StuG posted on 09/03/2014 10:33 AM
      @Fact Provider c'mon now! be nice. the slug stayed up all last night dreaming up this BS one more time.
      i would like to know who else with transit experience and background helped Rob in devising this plan.....?
      Rob couldn't do it all his own could he
      I can't stop laughing.... Rob's transit plan.
      Rob the LRT goes on the side on the side Rob not down the middle. on the side :)
  2. AbbyW posted on 09/03/2014 08:46 AM
    It's inexcusable that city councillors along with other levels of government never expanded subway significantly during the last 40 years.
    1. DawnP_5509 posted on 09/03/2014 11:26 AM
      @AbbyW Yeah the Ford Administration has been dreaming about getting the Private Sector to fund Subways.
      At least Miller got funding from all 3 levels to fund the Spadina subway extention...
    2. MarkFromEtobicoke posted on 09/03/2014 12:28 PM
      @AbbyW True. We had a real subway (not light rail) along Eglinton funded and work started thanks to the Ray administration until Mike Harris cancelled it in 1995, nearly 20 years ago now. By now, we could have had a real subway to Pearson, not that Union Pearson Express joke. In addition we would have had that Sheppard subway extension to Scarborough Town center up and running by now (Harris cancelled the follow-up Phase II as well), an extension of the Bloor-Danforth to Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke (environmental assessment completed, follow-up not take by, you guessed it Harris) and the current Spadina line extension a going concern. Plus Ray had started the environmental assessment for an extension of the Young line north past Steeles Ave. Don't know what that fool Ford sees in the Common Sense Revolution, it was horrible for Toronto.

      And now we have Ford trying to pull the no cost to Taxpayers scam again, the same way he did in 2010 on the Scarborough Subway extension. $800 million with a 1.5% property tax surcharge for the next 30 years anyone?
    3. AbbyW posted on 09/03/2014 01:02 PM
      @MarkFromEtobicoke Had subways been expanded in the 70's & 80's instead of waiting until now the cost in today's dollars would have been substantially less. Too bad these politicians were more concerned with re-election than with a transit vision. It's also too bad that successive governments after Harris never restarted the subways as they've had 20 years.

      Incompetence piled onto incompetence.
    4. MarkFromEtobicoke posted on 09/04/2014 03:56 PM
      @AbbyW The Younge line was extended north from Eglinton to Finch in 1973/74. The Spadina line was built from St. George to Wilson opening in 1978. In 1980 the Bloor line was extended one stop west to Kipling and one stop east to Kennedy. Spadina was further extended to Downsview in 1996. The Sheppard subway opened in 2002. These last two were started under the Bob Ray government. Construction of the Spadina extension north to Vaughan began under McGuinty in 2009 with an opening expected in 2016.

      So it is obvious that there was a lot of subway construction in the 1970s. The lack of construction occured under David Peterson (Liberal) and Mike Harris (PC).
  3. IBLeaf posted on 09/03/2014 12:06 PM
    This transit plan looks like Rob was up late last night with his crayons.
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