Thursday, July 19, 2007

An end to the Sheppard line?

What a fiasco! Apparently, the TTC is planning on slashing its services, including closing the Sheppard subway line (which cost $1 billion and took 8 years to build), in an effort to cut $30 million from its budget this year, and $100 million next year.

It is truly a travesty that Toronto's transit system is in the shape that it is right now. With traffic clogs increasingly snarling the highway infrastructure, the GO Train system woefully inadequate on the non-Lakeshore routes, and urban sprawl continuing to expand the metro area's boundaries, it is disgraceful that existing bus and subway services within Canada's largest city would be cut.

I am particularly stung by the chance that the Sheppard line is on the chopping block. I lived mere blocks away from Sheppard throughout my childhood, praying for the day when Mel Lastman's dream of a Sheppard line would come through. It wasn't until I had moved downtown to go to university that initial construction even began. I've only had one opportunity to ride it since it opened (which was after I moved away from Toronto). I hope that it won't end up being the only time.

It makes you wonder what future there is for McGuinty's planned transit expansion. I imagine that the York University subway line is in serious jeopardy.

This smacks of an ugly power-play, and I hope that these announced measures don't go through!

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5 Comments:

At 10:02 pm, Blogger James Bow said...

Have you read Steve Munro's take on this?

 
At 9:06 am, Blogger Mark Dowling said...

The problem with the Sheppard to my mind is that it is too short. It runs through one of the worst areas for subway with few connecting arterial streets to bring bus traffic. Extending Sheppard to Downsview and to Vic Park and beyond would have solved that, but it was truncated by an arbitrary decision to hold costs to 1 billion.

What will the reaction of the developers building condos at Leslie and Sheppard be I wonder?

 
At 9:09 am, Blogger Matt said...

Mark,

I agree with you, based on my (admittedly dated) memories from growing up in the area. The Sheppard buses used to be very heavily used - but most of the bus passengers seemed to live from Don Mills eastward, where higher-density housing and apartment buildings were concentrated. Early plans were supposed have the line run out to Scarborough Town Centre, which would have been much more useful, in my opinion. There are only so many people who want to take the subway to IKEA.

 
At 9:25 am, Blogger J@ckp1ne said...

We should be expanding transit services not cuting them with global warming such a concern now.How will they encourage people to use transit if it isn't available.

 
At 6:15 pm, Blogger katy said...

I now live at king w and bathurst. I now go to school at humber lakeshore. We got an email from our program head telling us that they might be shutting down Jane- Kipling, and the 501 streetcar's hours just got cut back. Everyone I talk to says that there's no way they'll shut down Jane on, and I tend to agree, but cutting hours for the streetcars when they should be increasing them to me is absurd. Hope Guelph is going well!

 

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