City Hall reacts to Sheppard LRT delay
TORONTO – Leaving the Sheppard LRT in limbo until at least 2021 sets the stage for another transit fight.
Councillor Jim Karygiannis said Tuesday that he’s “ecstatic” that construction of the LRT is being delayed until the Finch LRT is finished by 2021. He vowed to mobilize Scarborough residents to urge City Hall and Queen’s Park to finish the Sheppard subway instead of building the light-rail line.
Here’s reaction from around City Hall to the ongoing delay of the Sheppard LRT that was supposed to be built by 2013 — and the prospect of another Scarborough transit debate:
- Jim Karygiannis insists the province’s decision puts transit on Sheppard Ave. back on the drawing board:
“I think people north of the 401 were given an opportunity to take another swing at this. I’m looking forward to starting an online petition and bringing it back to council.
“I want the Sheppard subway. Forget the LRT, OK … Although (the LRT) is some people’s wish and some people say let’s do it now because it is faster, it costs less, the lifespan of an LRT is 20-30 years. The lifespan of a subway could be hundreds of years.”
- Councillor Shelley Carroll calls the continuing delay of the Sheppard LRT a tragedy:
“They should be riding that thing today. We lost $80 million when we shut down an already started up project in 2010 as a result of (former) mayor Ford’s comments.
“(Reopening the Sheppard subway debate) guarantees we won’t do anything until 2035. We don’t even know that the Scarborough subway will be running in 2025, they still don’t have the design yet. They have nothing. Scarborough went from possibly having rail today all the way to Morningside, rail to the Scarborough Centennial campus where 10,000 students take a bus everyday by 2018 Christmas to nothing — to bupkis.”
- Mayor John Tory just wants to finish the transit plans which are on the books (along with his SmartTrack idea):
“Enough debate about what kind of transit where, get on with the ones you’ve agreed to, build them so we can ride on them. We don’t want this to be a never-never land proposition.”