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"Getting Toronto moving again":
George Smitherman unveils $7 billion transit plan

If George Smitherman becomes Mayor of the City of Toronto, he would build $7 billion of transit projects.

Smitherman’s plan to “get Toronto moving again” would connect the Yonge subway to Downsview station, extend planned subway and light rail lines and add billions of city funds to the funding that the province of Ontario has pledged over the next decade to build the transit projects.

His plan has two phases.

Highlights of phase one - lines operating by 2015

For phase one, Smitherman proposes:

  • extending the Spadina leg of the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway to the Pan-Am Games venue at York University and the Sheppard East light rail Transit City line to the Pan-Am Games venue at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus. (Various governments have already funded the Spadina and Sheppard projects and they are already underway, but Smitherman proposes earlier finish dates. The new proposal is extending the Sheppard line to U of T and that would cost $240-million.)
  • finishing the Queen’s Quay waterfront light rail transit line from Union Station to the Portlands. This would cost $225-million.
Highlights of phase two - lines operating by 2020

For phase two, Smitherman proposes:

  • extending the Etobicoke - Finch West light rail Transit City line from Finch West Station to Highway 27, beyond the current terminal at Humber College to include Etobicoke General Hospital, the Woodbine Centre and the Woodbine Racetrack. Estimated cost: $250-million.
  • building a Sheppard West Subway from Yonge Street to Downsview Station. Estimated cost: $1.3-billion.
  • replacing the 3 Scarborough rapid transit line with an above-grade subway beyond Scarborough Town Centre. Estimated cost of converting the RT to subway: $535-million.
  • extending the Eglinton - Crosstown light rail Transit City line beyond Black Creek Drive to Weston Road. Estimated cost: $300-million.
  • extending the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway to Sherway Gardens. Estimated cost: $1-billion.

The additional $7-billion to fund the next decade of transit projects would come from additional debt. As Mayor, Smitherman would build the projects through public - private partnerships so that the city could pay off any debt over time.

Smitherman also intends to give seniors 65 years of age and older free transit passes to use Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

You can read more about George Smitherman and his proposals by visiting his campaign website.

Read Transit Toronto’s March 3 post for James Bow’s view of Smitherman’s proposal to finance transit lines through partnerships with the private sector here.

Read what Steve Munro thinks about the Smitherman plan from his website.

From the Transit Toronto newspaper clippings archives, read:

Transit Toronto plans to report on the transit platforms of all candidates for Toronto Mayor before election day, Monday, October 25.

Read our January 23 for and May 5 posts for details of Rocco Rossi’s transit plans.

Read our March 22 post for Sarah Thomson’s transit plans.