The following press release was sent to media in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area on June 1. 2016
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Transport Action Ontario urges Toronto Council to re-examine Scarborough Express Rail in lieu of Subway Extension
At a public meeting in Scarborough on May 31, Toronto City staff revealed for the first time that the forecast ridership for the proposed one-stop 6 km subway extension from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Centre would be just 7,300 passengers per hour at the busiest time in the busiest direction. This is much lower than the projected ridership of 9,800 to 11,600 for a three-stop extension presented to City Council in March, which was used by Council to justify further work on the project.
Transport Action Ontario has long argued that this $2.6B subway extension makes no sense. Other transit experts agree, including Dr. Eric Miller, Director of University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute, who has developed the City’s ridership forecasting model.
Instead, we urge Toronto Council to re-examine the Scarborough Express Rail (SER) concept, which provides subway-like service to Scarborough Centre using electrified GO service in a short new corridor, consistent with Smart Track/Regional Express Rail. This option has substantially lower capital cost ($1.15B) and provides more relief to Toronto’s highly congested subway network at Bloor-Yonge. The same funds used for the subway extension could potentially take SER to Centennial College’s Progress Campus, a neglected major education node in the current Scarborough plan, allowing more major areas to be served by transit for the same investment.
Further information on Scarborough Express Rail, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available on our website: http://ontario.transportaction.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TAO-SER-FAQ-2016-02.pdf.
For further information contact:
Peter Miasek, President