Congratulations on your appointment to the Metrolinx Board.
Hence, while Mrs. Dunn fights for a Leslie Street stop on Metrolinx’s, “It’s just crazy, it’s insane”, Eglinton Crosstown Line, so she can have the option to park her car and take transit to the Opera; Ms. NewMother delivers her baby on a sidewalk while walking to hospital because she cannot afford the bus fare.
Where was the deliberative public engagement and discussion of relevant information when formulating this plan?
Unfortunately, Metrolinx, like some other Ontario government agencies, avoids transparency. Therefore, we must question the adequacy of the oversight provided by the Board.
Most of Metrolinx’s decisions are made behind closed doors. As noted in the Auditor General’s December 2012 Report, “GTHA municipalities indicated to us that Metrolinx has not consulted with them…” It goes further to ponder: “Metrolinx’s ability to objectively act as the GTHA’s central transit planning authority to ensure that the most cost-effective and value-added transit infrastructure decisions are being undertaken.”
And now, Metrolinx is asking us how we want to pay for their ‘transformational’ plan!
Well, we don’t want to pay. Who would want to pay for these Metrolinx projects:
- an Air Rail Link, for which there is no supporting business case;
- LRT(streetcar) lines in the middle of congested streets that will decrease service and increase gridlock;
- an underground LRT line, within walking distance of the existing subway, that does nothing to improve transit service or help connect people with jobs;
- a subway extension to Vaughan, for 300,000 non transit oriented citizens, when 3,000,000 transit oriented Torontonians don’t have a basic subway framework that meets their needs;
- extension of GO Lines when riders and potential riders want improved service;
- a revitalized Union Station and Train Shed, where cost control is considered an anomalous concept;
- PRESTO, the most expensive fare card system in the world ?
So when our Premier, Mrs. Wynne, asks Prime Minister Harper for money to fund her government’s transit ideology, we insist he, “Just say NO!”
Because $8 Billion could deliver a direct, interconnected and continuous subway line from the Airport to Scarborough Town Centre, where it is needed most, and where it would ultimately pay for itself through land development. The Sheppard Subway cost $0.9 Billion and has realized a total building permit value (value of construction only) 1999-03/2012 of $2.736 Billion, and still planning.
Electrifying the GO lines (particularly Lakeshore and Stouffville) could enable these transit lines to act as Downtown Relief Lines.
Connecting the subway lines, the GO lines, and Toronto’s unique feeder bus system, would create a compound affect of an integrated Network: the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.
But, as the boring machines are delivered, the stage is set for an initial $8 Billion of ‘fully funded’ debt to be squandered by a province already on credit watch.
It was George Orwell who said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
We invite you to be part of the revolution. Let’s Get Moving, by implementing an equitable and prudent plan.
Real Torontonians Dig Subways
 TTC makes ‘dumbest decision ever,’ former head warns July 5, 2011 Globe and Mail