TTC saying goodbye to Scarborough RT with public celebration this weekend
Published Thursday, September 21, 2023 4:10PM EDT
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is allowing the public to step foot on a Scarborough RT train one last time as part of a public memorial service for Line 3 this weekend.
The public farewell will take place at Scarborough Centre Station on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The line, originally scheduled to end service in November, was decommissioned in August, a month after one of its trains derailed. The train was travelling southbound on Line 3 on July 24 when it derailed near Ellesmere Station, sending five people to the hospital with minor injuries and rendering the SRT out of service as an investigation ensued.
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"This is a difficult farewell for all those who relied on the Scarborough RT," Mayor Olivia Chow said in a news release.
"Like so many people in Toronto, I have fond memories of riding the iconic blue trains, high above the ground with panoramic views of Scarborough. Although its journey did not end the way (I) had hoped, this farewell event is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to the rapid transit line that served Scarborough so well for 38 years."
When the TTC decided to close the line permanently, it introduced some elements of its replacement plan, including a new shuttle service that started to run on Aug. 26.
Officials said by November, eight bus routes will run through Kennedy Station, "eliminating" commuters' need to transfer. In the long run, officials said buses will run in a designated lane along the Line 3 corridor until Line 2's east subway extension opens.
Transit advocacy group TTCriders held a memorial service for the SRT on Aug. 23, a month before the TTC's farewell ceremony.
Krissan Veerasingam, a TTCriders' board member, told CP24 back then the memorial was aimed to spread awareness of the "seriousness" of the train's derailment and to reflect "the current state of transit in this city and how we got there."
"In (Canada's) biggest city, we have a train derailing, and I don't think it's any surprise that it happened in Scarborough," he said, pointing to years of inadequate and antiquated transit options in the city's former easterly borough.
"Luckily, it wasn't fatal, but this should serve as a wake-up call that there's a lack of investment in the city's transit system.”
Saturday’s celebration will also have live music, a silent auction featuring “authentic” SRT parts and merchandise, a local market, and memorabilia for guests to look at.
With files from CP24’s Joanna Lavoie