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Money OK'd to study rapid transit

SUSAN O’NEILL
Feb. 16, 2007

Funding has been approved to assess rapid transit projects in Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York.

Toronto’s budget committee approved more than $3 million in capital funding Friday to enable the TTC to proceed with a series of environmental assessments on the rapid transit projects highlighted in the mayor’s mandate.

“The city intends to get in the ground by the end of this term on new light rail projects,” TTC chair Adam Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport) told reporters Friday.

“That’s what the money is in the budget for, so that we can move forward and then get the shovel in the ground on new light rail corridors before the end of the term,” Giambrone said.

Initiatives included in the mayor’s mandate include considering a dedicated transit corridor along Finch Avenue, establishing a west waterfront rapid transit to connect western Etobicoke to Union station and an environmental assessment on the north Etobicoke rapid transit line.

Environmental assessments are already under way on a series rapid transit lines across the city including Yonge Street from Finch to Steeles avenues; Don Mills Road; Kingston Road; waterfront west; and waterfront east.

When asked which project will be given priority, Giambrone said it depends on which environmental assessments are completed first.

“My guess is some of the waterfront projects are going to be the first in the ground, they are very close. We’ve already been working on the EAs,” he said.

TTC chief general manager Gary Webster said TTC staff have met with the mayor’s office, but said no final decisions have been made on the timing of the projects.

“There will be some wrap-up meetings in a couple of weeks and at that point in time it will be decided how much of that EA money we actually need to proceed with in 2007,” Webster said, adding there “is enough money to do all of the mayor’s campaign. We just haven’t finalized exactly what it is we want to focus on yet.”




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