Scarborough has two out of three of the highest bus ridership corridors in Toronto. Usually when bus routes are heavily used we replace them with higher capacity transit like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), streetcar, LRT or subway.  Instead, our politicians have wasted ten years arguing over a replacement for the aging Scarborough RT (SRT). It will be at least ten more years before a subway extends east of Kennedy station.  But a three-stop subway is not a network and Scarborough doesn’t end at McCowan and Sheppard East.

Our buses are already full and the Scarborough RT is on its last legs. What will happen to the  35,000 daily SRT riders who will lose this rapid transit service with the inevitability of winter icing and a permanent break down of the RT?  What about the residents near Lawrence, Midland and Ellesmere stations who will lose their rapid transit access when Ford’s $5.5 billion, three-stop subway replaces the SRT in 2030? What about connecting our Priority Neighbourhoods and campuses?

We need an affordable, fast, convenient rapid transit network including the Eglinton East and Sheppard East LRTs, to get us where we need to go now and a prioritized bus network while we’re waiting for new lines to be built.

The 2020 TTC Capital and Operating Budget fails to address Scarborough’s looming transit crisis:

  • No funding for the Eglinton East LRT. 
  • The TTC will study bus priority along Finch East, Eglinton East and Lawrence East but this doesn’t include Sheppard East and there is no money for bus only lanes, priority signalling and queue jump lanes this year.
  • A ten cent fare increase but this only improves service on two bus routes in Scarborough: 39/939 Finch East and 86/986 Scarborough along Eglinton East.
  • $18.2 million  to study extending the life of the SRT but no money for full time, prioritized bus service when the SRT breaks down for good.
  • No funding to make Warden station accessible.

Mayor Tory is to be commended for introducing an 8% increase to the City Building Fund. But most of the $6.6-billion generated will go toward housing and maintenance of our existing subway system.  We need new revenue tools to fund the TTC.  A 2016, KPMG study says that under the City of Toronto Act, we can generate  $350 million a year with a $1.00  Parking Levy. Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao (Toronto Davenport), is advocating for a vacant home tax and an increase to the municipal land transfer tax on luxury homes.  What revenue tools will Scarborough councillors support to address our transit deficit?

tell our politicians ‘Scarborough deserves better’ at these city budget consultations:

January 20, 2020

  • Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chamber; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards

January 21, 2020

  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
  • North York Civic Centre, Council Chamber; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards

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2 comments

  • John Stillich

    I’d like to meet with Scarborough Transit Acton to talk about dealing adequately with the climate change emergency by maximizing modal shifts to transit. And that requires a new approach.
    The Scarborough subway is going ahead; the focus now needs to be on more buses, a modified Eglinton LRT extn, AND another, critical bus-supported rapid transit line that will serve Scarborough residents far, far better than what’s been planned by Metrolinx (or Toronto), and that needs to undergo feasibility and impact studies now.
    Please access the 401RT document at http://www.401rt.ca.
    I will flex my calendar to meet with you at your earliest opportunity. Scarborough Transit Action, please contact me at 416-400-0553 and/or via email.
    A Powerpoint presentation can be arranged.

    March 14, 2020 at 3:15 pm Reply

    • admin

      Hi John,
      Thank you for reaching out and for your comments.
      Someone for Scarborough Transit Action will get in touch with you shortly.
      Best regards,
      STA team

      March 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm Reply