Toronto council approves Scarborough subway plan
Published Wednesday, July 17, 2013 9:02AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:32PM EDT
Toronto city council voted Wednesday to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway line into Scarborough, despite an already approved plan to construct light rail transit.
Council voted 28-16 to extend the subway into Scarborough.
“We have shown we are fully committed to building new subways. I want to thank the 28 councillors that stood by me and took a clear position,” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said in a news conference Wednesday.
The subway plans include a continuation of the existing Bloor-Danforth subway north and east with three stations continuing to Sheppard Avenue East.
These plans will move forward if the city receives provincial and federal funding.
During his news conference Wednesday, Ford called it a “historic day in Toronto,” and said he believes that he can count on the provincial and federal government to provide funding.
The provincial government has already pledged $1.8 billion for the light rail project that council committed to in 2012.
The city must amend the master agreement or strike a new agreement with the province and Metrolinx to use the money the province allocated for a subway.
“We’re going to be providing less transit for more money as opposed to more transit for less money and that’s a setback,” Coun. Adam Vaughan told CTV Toronto.
The route length for the light rail extension is 9.9 kilometres with seven stations. The subway route is 7.6 km with three stations.
According to a report prepared by City Manager Joe Pennachetti, the subway extension would cost an additional $1.1 billion.
The report recommends a property tax hike of 1.1 per cent to 2.4 per cent over three years, starting in 2015, to cover that additional cost. The report also called for a minimum tax increase of 0.5 per cent in 2014.
During the two-day council meeting, Mayor Rob Ford said he is open to raising taxes by 0.25 per cent starting in 2015.
Back in May, city councillors voted against proposed taxes on citizens to help fund public transit.
Council also passed a motion saying the provincial and federal government have to decide whether or not they will provide funding on September 30.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot
Toronto city council votes in favour of subways over light rail to replace the Scarborough RT on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the media after city council approved Scarborough subway plan on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.