Monday, February 03, 2014

Poll perpetuates Scarborough Line fracas

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Public opinion over the future of Toronto Transit Commission's Scarborough Line apparently continues to vacillate, with a new poll suggesting light rail transit (LRT) once again is favored over a subway extension for the line.

An opinion poll by Leger found 64% of those questioned now favor LRT, a mode rejected by current (and beleaguered) Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has championed a subway extension for the route. Slightly more than 24% still favor a subway extension, while "Who cares, just build something" garnered almost 12%.

Modal preference reportedly varied little depending on whether respondents lived in downtown Toronto or in Scarborough, east of downtown. Scarborough was incorporated politically into greater Toronto in 1998.

The poll results, posted Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 on the City News Toronto website, counter a similar poll by Leger in 2011 tallying a 52% majority favoring a subway line. TTC's 4-mile Scarborough Line (pictured above left) currently runs as an advanced rapid transit operation, employing linear induction rail technology similar to Vancouver's Skytrain.

Toronto mayoral candidate David Soknacki has said that if elected, he will reverse Ford's current stance to build a Scarborough subway and go back to LRT. Ford is running for re-election.

Montreal-based Leger is a polling, research, and strategic marketing firm with operations in Canada, the U.S., and Switzerland.