Toronto Mayor Rob Ford unveiled his transit plan Wednesday, calling for 32 kilometres of new subway lines to be built at a cost of $9 billion for the first phase.
Highlights of his plan include:
- Subways along Finch Avenue West and Sheppard Avenue East, where the province currently plans to build light rail. For the Sheppard line this means a subway from Don Mills to McCown. Ford estimates this will cost $1.8 billion.
- Building "phase one" of the downtown relief line by connecting Queen Street and Pape stations with a subway line. Ford estimates the cost to be $3.2 billion.
- Burying the east end of the Eglinton-Crosstown line. The line is currently under construction with plans to go above ground east of Laird Drive, which Ford says will cause traffic congestion. He estimates putting the line underground from Laird to Kennedy will cost $1.4 billion.
Ford estimates the cost of "phase one" of these plans (burying east end of the Eglinton line, the Queen-to-Pape line and subways on Finch and Sheppard) will cost $9 billion.
Reporters at Wednesday's announcement questioned that cost estimate, but Ford said the numbers are based on projections from the TTC and Metrolinx.
"Our subway system has fallen far behind," said Ford. "We have approved and funded construction of the Scarborough subway line when my opponents said this could not be done."
Ford was vague in explaining exactly how his plan would be paid for. He cited a number of funding options, including money from senior levels of government, development charges, public-private partnerships, the sale of air rights over subway stations, reallocating money from LRT projects and asset sales.
Ford is seeking re-election in the Oct. 27 municipal election.
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