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Toronto Subway Plan Gains Federal Backing – News

The Canadian government has promised to spend more than $12 billion to help fund the public transit plans spearheaded by Ontario Premier Doug Ford for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), reports Ben Spurr.

The controversial “New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA” has been expedited through the planning process after the province, led by Premier Ford, took over subway planning from the city of Toronto.

“The plan consists of the Ontario Line, Eglinton Crosstown West LRT, and the Scarborough and Yonge North subway extensions,” explains Spurr. “Together the four projects are expected to cost $26.8 billion to build, plus $1.7 billion for design and planning. The federal government has agreed to contribute up to $10.7 billion for construction, while the province has committed $17 billion.”

The article includes more context about the political conflicts created by Ontario’s ongoing struggles with COVID-19 infections, as well as the politics of transit planning during the Ford administration. Spurr provides this summary of the criticisms of the provincial subway plan:

Some elements of the province’s transit plan have been criticized as expensive overbuilds. Ford’s government intends to spend $1.8 billion extra to build the Eglinton West LRT underground despite there being ample room to construct it at the surface, while the $5.5-billion three-stop Scarborough subway extension will take so long to complete residents will be stuck riding buses for at least seven years before it’s done.

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