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Toronto transit unveils $6B streetcar plan

Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2007 | 4:39 PM ET CBC News

The Toronto Transit Commission may not have the money yet, but it unveiled a sweeping $6-billion transit plan for the city Friday morning.

In the plan, the TTC recommends building seven streetcar right-of-way routes in a network intended to connect the more distant reaches of the city to the public transit system.

The $6 billion, if raised, would pay for 120 kilometres of track and the streetcars needed to run on them.

The transit plan “will totally change the way people travel in Toronto,” said Mitch Stambler, TTC’s service planning manager.

The report, available online at a city-created website, clearly states there is no funding in the TTC budget or the city’s capital budget and that the plan is dependent on receiving money from the provincial and federal governments.

TTC chairman Adam Giambrone deflected questions about how the city was going to pay for it, saying it was important to come up with a plan first before figuring out how to fund it.

The vast majority of the money will have to come from the provincial and federal governments, said Giambrone, because the city can’t even afford to pay for one-third.

The federal budget is due on Monday and it is hoped that it will include money for urban transit.

When federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was asked about the possibility of funding in the budget, he responded that it was unlikely, though he added that there will be funds for infrastructure.

The TTC’s plan includes the following right-of-way streetcar routes:

  • An 18-kilometre route along Don Mills Road from Steeles Avenue to the Don Valley, then south to a connection with the Bloor-Danforth subway.
  • A 31-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown line from Kennedy Station in the east, going through midtown and linking to Pearson Airport.
  • An 18-kilometre line running from Finch Station and ending near Humber College.
  • A 17-kilometre route along Jane Street from Steeles West Station to the Bloor-Danforth subway.
  • A 15-kilometre Scarborough Malvern corridor running east from Kennedy Station to Eglinton Avenue and then north into the Malvern and Morningside Heights communities.
  • A 14-kilometre route along Sheppard Avenue running from Don Mills Station east into northern Scarborough, Malvern and potentially the Durham Region.
  • An 11-kilometre line along the western part of the waterfront starting at the Exhibition streetcar loop and running west along the Gardiner Expressway/Lake Shore GO Train corridor to the existing Queensway and Lake Shore streetcar tracks.