Thursday, September 05, 2013

Ontario: Scarborough should be subway line

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Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray said Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, the province will pursue subway rapid transit as the mode for the controversial Scarborough Line in Toronto.

"We are announcing that we are putting C$1.4 billion (US$1.33 billion) into extending the subway to Scarborough Town Center," Murray said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

"We are not asking for any money from the city, we are not asking for any money from the federal government. Time to end the conversation and start delivering the results," Murray added.

Toronto's City Council and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) had planned to apply light rail transit to the line, which currently runs as a fully automated rapid transit line, powered by linear induction motors, similar to Vancouver's Skytrain operation. But others, including Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, have argued for the more costly subway extension as the preferred replacement rail mode.

The subway plan is estimated to cost C$1.8 billion, leaving roughly C$400 million to be funded from other sources. The federal government has not pledged money for the project.

Murray said after the province built the subway, it would hand over responsibility to the TTC. TTC Chairwoman Karen Stintz told local media she was not notified about Murray's announcement, and would not comment on Murray's plan, which appears to have surprised and/or irritated numerous political factions in Ontario.

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