The dark underside of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension

Keith Sibley, Bechtel Director at the TYSSE construction site, May 4, 2015.                                                                                                 Joell Ann Vanderwagen

Bechtel’s contract for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension signals privatization of new transit delivery

For the most part, mainstream media has bought the political spin about the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) being pulled from the brink of disaster to become a win-win for the TTC and the people of Toronto and Vaughan.

The reality is that this project marks another private-sector takeover of transit megaprojects – and a harbinger of crippling indebtedness for the TTC and Toronto as a whole. ...  read more

SmartTrack funding approval puts the cart before the horse

Update on April 25, 2018 approval of SmartTrack by Toronto Council 

Last month, a delegation of Scarborough residents and transit advocates spoke to City Council’s Executive Committee regarding the SmartTrack Stations and Metrolinx Regional Express Rail (GO RER) programs (agenda item EX:33.1). We objected to Mayor Tory’s plan to replace the existing five Scarborough RT stations with one GO/SmartTrack station at Lawrence East and a one-stop subway from Kennedy station to Scarborough Town Centre (STC).  ...  read more

Does Mayor John Tory really want to build the Eglinton East LRT further into Scarborough?

On Tuesday, May 22, Toronto City Council voted to proceed with plans to extend the Eglinton East LRT, despite the fact there is no money to pay for it. An extended Eglinton East LRT network is consistent with our wish for a robust, reliable, well-functioning public transit network in Scarborough but there’s one problem — Mayor John Tory continues to spend all of the approved funding on the Scarborough subway.

The Eglinton East LRT extension to Malvern, formerly known as the Crosstown East LRT, formerly known as the Scarborough-Malvern LRT, has already been studied, planned and designed for the last decade. It would have been built many years ago, but for lack of political will to pay for the project.  ...  read more

Transit is supposed to serve people. Which of these routes serves more priority neighbourhoods and people?

Mayor John Tory continues to promote the myth that he is building a subway for Scarborough, but it doesn’t appear that he has actually visited many neighbourhoods in Scarborough.

Transit riders in Scarborough know well that it is useless to build a subway station if almost no one can walk to the station. The network building potential for high value rapid transit, like LRTs and BRTs, is washed away from the agenda by a political dynamic that begins with the concerns of car drivers and ends with a hostility towards useful transit. By talking to transit riders, we know that good transit moves beyond fixing a single route. It involves thinking about how to spend $3B to benefit the most number of people.  ...  read more

Take Action to Save our Stations to join us at the Executive Committee meeting April 17 at 9:30 a.m. – City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Committee Room 1.

Ten reasons why Lawrence East SmartTrack/GO station will hurt Scarborough transit riders

  1. It removes rapid transit access. Four RT stations: Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland and McCowan will be eliminated and replaced with one SmartTrack/GO station at Lawrence and a one-stop subway to Scarborough Town Centre.

  2. You will pay more. TTC riders with a Presto card traveling on the 54 Lawrence East bus will have to pay a total of $4.50 to take SmartTrack at Lawrence East station.

  3. It will be hard to get to. Riders on the 54 Lawrence  bus will have to get off at the Lawrence East overpass and walk down several flights of stairs or take an elevator to get to the Lawrence SmartTrack/GO platform.

  4. You will wait longer. Instead of every four minutes riders will wait 15 minutes for “local service” via  SmartTrack.

  5. You will be on buses permanently. The Lawrence East RT station will remain open during construction of the SmartTrack station but once the Scarborough subway is complete, the SRT will be dismantled leaving more TTC riders on buses, forever.

  6. You will spend more time on buses. More than 16,700 existing riders use the four RT stations that will close.  They will have to take the bus, drive or walk to where they want to go.

  7. No more rapid transit from Lawrence East to Scarborough Town Centre – and no replacement bus service either. There is no plan to run a 54 Lawrence East bus to the new Triton (STC) bus station after the Scarborough RT is shut down. Riders will only be able to ride an express 54 Lawrence East bus to Kennedy Station.

  8. You will  wait ten years to replace the Scarborough RT with a one-stop subway and one SmartTrack station when we could be replacing the SRT with the seven-stop Scarborough LRT to Centennial College Progress and Sheppard Avenue East in five years.

  9. Our public money is being wasted. Why spend $3.7-billion for a one-stop subway and one SmartTrack station when we could replace the SRT with a seven-stop LRT for a lot less?

  10. Scarborough’s Priority Neighbourhoods are being ignored. With the money for the one-stop subway and the Lawrence East SmartTrack/GO station we could be building a 24-stop Scarborough and Eglinton East LRT, bringing a real rapid transit network to seven Priority Neighbourhoods.

Sign our petition for the seven-stop Scarborough LRT ...  read more

Build the Eglinton East LRT publicly now!

There is $3.56 billion for rapid transit in Scarborough. John Torys’ one-stop subway extension has already claimed most of this money and it would take 10 years before it was up and running. This leaves the Eglinton East LRT without funding and without a clear plan as to when it would be built.  It means most people in Scarborough would continue to be without access to rapid transit for years and years.

But the Eglinton East LRT could be built faster, less expensively and it would serve more people than the one-stop subway extension. So, we say “Build the EELRT now!” Eglinton East LRT to Sheppard East would have at least eighteen-stops, could be built publicly and could be operating by 2022. ...  read more

Mayor Tory and Council don’t keep us in the dark about Scarborough subway costs


Torontonians should know the costs of the Scarborough Subway Extension before casting a vote in the October 2018 municipal election.

Mayor Tory and Toronto Council

I am asking you to release the upcoming report on Scarborough subway costs before the October 2018 municipal election.

An update on the costs of the Scarborough Subway Extension is slated for September, and the public has a right to this information as soon as it is available. It is undemocratic to withhold it until January 2019.

Candidate's running in the October 2018 municipal election should be able to take a position on the Scarborough Subway Extension knowing the latest cost estimates and the public has a right to the latest information on costs before casting a vote.

Don't keep us in the dark about Scarborough subway costs.


**your signature**


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How do we get the politics out of transit planning?

The politicization of subway planning in Toronto began in 2002 with the $10/ride subsidized Sheppard line to nowhere.  In 2006, then-Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, finagled a secret deal to extend the Spadina subway beyond York University to an industrial field in Vaughan.

Nothing has changed. The appetite for vote-buying vanity projects among politicians is stronger than ever: a prime example of this is that despite global notoriety for being a white elephant, the $3.35-billion, one-stop Bloor/Danforth extension to the Scarborough Town Centre is going forward. ...  read more