After years of public and political debate, Toronto Council has voted to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway in Scarborough by 1 stop (6 kilometers) at a staggering capital cost of $3.2B. The extension is part of a proposed network in Scarborough including improved GO transit and the Eglinton East LRT line. As readers know, Transport Action Ontario has been very active in this debate, including meetings with staff, councillors and public deputations. Although we support the rest of the network, we have strongly opposed the SSE as too expensive and leading to capacity pressures on the balance of the subway network.
Instead of SSE, we have advocated vigorously for Scarborough Express Rail, a new GO line branching from the existing GO Stouffville corridor, as providing subway-like service at much lower cost. But strong political pressure lead to this alternative being dropped from detailed consideration.
Toronto remains on the hook for the $900M SSE capital funding increment over and beyond provincial and federal funding, and is responsible for all of the substantial operations, maintenance and lifecycle costs of the SSE. The Eglinton East LRT is unfunded, and there is scepticism that it will ever be built, due to funding constraints exacerbated by the SSE decision.