Seriously – we need to talk planning – not politics

Toronto, desperately needs to get past the point it now finds itself.

1-It has virtually zero credibility with its voters on long term planning

2-Planning appears to be largely done by polls and interest groups.

Mr Tory needs to be serious – a Scarborough subway – and city involvement with RER are mutually exclusive.  This is not a question that Scarborough does not require a very serious transit investment, that would provide real mobility within Scarborough and do a much better job of linking it to the balance of the city – it just needs to make sense in the context of Scarborough.  People need to stop being sent on brutally long bus riders in order to get a few miles, or spend 30-40 on a bus in congestion minutes to access the subway (note it is not the bus – but in congestion).

A quick look at travel intentions – tells you that the city should be working hardest to fix the trip within Scarborough, and allow that fix to support the traveller to the core, not the other way around.

RER – is a service that the city could provide rapid transit links to in order to support the core bound trip from the outer reaches of Scarborough.  The city needs to work with the province on a real plan for fare integration, transit support to GO stations, and frequent service in GO corridors.  This should be fare integration – not a city service.  The money available to the city for capital projects is far too small to spend billions to tweak RER at the edges, and get a city logo on it.

The money to build a renewed Gardiner East – should instead go to a boulevard, and finally building the Eastern Waterfront LRT.  If we improved the transit service to the beaches, we might just reduce the cars coming from there. Build a DRL, and connect the Crosstown, and we might actually hope to the reduce the volume coming down the DVP as well.

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