Monday, May 18, 2009

TTC Sheppard Line gets funding pledge

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty have pledged joint coverage of the entire C$950 million (US$815 million) cost of Toronto’s planned light rail transit line along Sheppard Avenue East. Provincial funds would cover roughly two-thirds of the amount, with the federal government providing the remainder.

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The 15-kilometer (9-mile) Sheppard Line would run from Toronto Transit Commission’s Don Mills subway station to Meadowvale Road. The line is among TTC’s top priorities among several LRT proposals. TTC says construction could start this fall, with service beginning in 2013. The Sheppard Line has long been the highest priority of the proposed new lines sought by TTC.

Last month, TTC awarded a C$1.2 billion (US$1 billion) contract to Bombardier Transportation to replace Toronto’s current LRT fleet. The additional vehicles required for the Sheppard Line are an option in that proposed contract, with the option required to be exercised by June 27.