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Councillor calls Scarborough transit planning 'dysfunctional'; requests inquiry
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:11PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:56PM EDT
A Toronto city councillor has called for a public inquiry into the planning process for the Scarborough subway extension.
In a five-page document, Ward 22 Coun. Josh Matlow put forward a motion stating “transit planning in Toronto is dysfunctional.”
“Our city has far too often neglected evidence-based transit priorities while approving proposals that serve the fewest people for the most money,” Matlow said. “The existing system has become overcrowded.”
“The Spadina Extension and the Sheppard subway line have monopolized scarce resources, leaving most residents of Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke with long bus rides before being able to access rapid transit. There bloated projects are plagued by low ridership, requiring significant subsidies.”
Back in 2013, city council stepped aside from a seven-stop LRT line in Scarborough that would have travelled in its own corridor replacing the Scarborough RT and been fully-funded by the province. In its place council moved forward with a one-stop Scarborough subway extension from Kennedy Station on Line 2 to Scarborough Town Centre in July 2016.
Matlow said a misleading briefing note produced by the TTC was only shared with the mayor’s office and TTC chair Councillor Josh Colle. He said the briefing note was used to influence council ahead of the vote.
Matlow said the briefing note stated incorrect costs and construction dates.
In a statement, the mayor’s office said the decision regarding Scarborough transit has “been affirmed many times.”
“There seems to be no limit on the extent to which this Councillor will go to gain personal publicity on the issue of the Bloor-Danforth subway extension to Scarborough,” the statement said. “The decision to proceed with this expansion to transit in Scarborough – which has been affirmed many times by council, the Ontario government and the government of Canada – is now actually being implemented.”
“In light of the fact, this publicity stunt merits no further response.”
In his request, Matlow said he is recommending council apply to the superior court of justice to establish a judicial inquiry in order to investigate the information provided to council at the time of the vote.
Council is expected to meet starting April 24.