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Council considers Scarborough transit options today

Artist's rendering of what the LRT could look like where it runs at grade (ie. mainly in Scarborough). This rendering is part of the Eglinton Connects Planning Study.

"When they voted in May to reconsider, the vote was 35-9 to look at the Danforth subway extension."

So says Joe Pennachetti, the city’s manager, expressing what in his view is the likelihood that council will vote to approve and fund the subway extension into Scarborough, overturning the previous commitment to making it part of the city’s new light rapid transit (LRT) system.

Council is considering the issue today, and may make a decision right away, or defer the issue for further consultation.

"We had literally 10 days to prepare the report that should have taken three or four months," Pennachetti says of the document council is discussing.

"What Planning is saying is that it's difficult to get final impacts for the whole system without doing more analysis. The one piece where there's some conern is that if we move on the Scarborough subway now, it will put an added burden on the downtown subway, and we've already got problems getting the downtown relief line done, so what we're saying is, we'd have to hurry that up, too."

So, one subway extension begets another.

And in addition to the billions that are being bandied about, there is one more extra expense involved in shifting transit gears.

"If council approves the subway, we’ll have to pay Metrolinx the sunk cost money," Pennachetti says, referring to the $85 million already spent on staff, research and property acquisition for the LRT.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Joe Penachetti
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