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Will Rob Ford’s Sheppard subway fantasy die on March 15?

The long-running saga of Rob Ford’s Sheppard subway dream looks like it will finally reach a not-so-surprising conclusion. Council is now slated to meet in two weeks’ time to decide whether Sheppard will get a subway extension—like the mayor wants—or light-rail transit, which seems to be the consensus choice among pretty much everybody else, including an expert panel the Globe and Mail’s sources say is “leaning heavily toward recommending light rail.”

The Globe has more:

Mayor Rob Ford is making a last-minute bid to salvage his Sheppard subway plans, working behind the scenes to forge a compromise, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be able to win over enough councillors before a crucial vote March 15…

Mr. Ford also met Tuesday with at least two other councillors – former ally and TTC chair Karen Stintz and centrist Councillor Josh Colle. Those meetings came less than a week after the mayor invited two key swing voters, Ana Bailao and Mary-Margaret McMahon, into his office to see if they would consider new levies such as a parking tax or road tolls to help pay for a subway.

We have to admit we’re a little surprised to hear Ford is working toward a ninth-inning compromise after his recent displays of obstinacy. Of course, Ford has been offered several opportunities to compromise already and refused to accept any of them. His colleagues gave him an opening when they asked him to sign on with their light-rail plan, and John Parker said he’s open to a modest Sheppard subway extension that would connect to an LRT line. Unfortunately for Ford, his efforts may come too late: even Josh Matlow, council’s resident Switzerland, says the mayor missed his chance. Win or lose when the matter comes before council, though, we expect Ford to continue to beat the subway drum. He appears to believe championing that particular cause (even when it’s dead in the water) will give him a boost on the campaign trail in 2014.

Mayor Rob Ford’s subway dream for Sheppard could be dead March 15 [Toronto Star]
Ford bids for Sheppard compromise [Globe and Mail]
City council to consider Sheppard transit options in March 15 special meeting [National Post]

(Images: Rob Ford, Christopher Drost; Yonge-Sheppard subway, gloom)

  • W. K. Lis

    When is a heavy rail (Subway) more efficient than light rail? When it moves more transit users.

    Rob Ford wants the TTC to be more efficient. Is it more efficient to build heavy rail for a Downtown Relief Line and a light rail for Sheppard East? Which would move more transit users? Is it more appropriate to use light rail and heavy rail where the number of transit users are?

    Transit City is appropriate for light rail. The Downtown Relief line is appropriate for heavy rail.

  • Andrew

    The vast majority of Toronto residents work in the suburbs, and there is substantial residential and employment density along the Eglinton and Sheppard corridors (particularly at Scarborough Centre, the Consumers Road business park area, Eglinton/DVP, Eglinton/Yonge, North York Centre and if the Eglinton line is extended west to the airport, Pearson Airport and Airport Corporate Centre). Highway 401 is extremely busy and carries far more people than the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway. Sheppard and Eglinton definitely need heavy rail subways.

  • lori

    I SUPPORT ROB FORD FOR SUBWAY LINE ON SHEPPARD IT IS LONG OVER DUE FOR ONE. THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE MOVING EAST AND NEW HOUSES BUILD THESE LAST 2-3 YEARS. WE SEE THE 401 BUMPER TO BUMPER IN THE MORNING. THOSE THAT VOTED IT DOWN MAYBE DONT HAVE TO TRAVEL THERE AND DONT CARE THAT OTHER TAX PAYER THAT NEED IT HAVE NO SAY. WAKE UP, THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT DO NEED IT.THIS IS A RELIEF ON THE 401 EAST TO WEST NOT TO MENTION EVENTUALY IT WILL HELP OUR ATMOSHERE FOR GAS EMISSION.CHEAPER IS NOT THE WAY TO GO. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE FOR IT AND NOT SOME POLITITION AFTER ALL WE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING YOUR PAYCHECK.

 

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