The Never Ending Story!

The Never Ending Story!
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Sheppard East Light Rapid Transit (LRT)
l 13 kilometres of light rail transit along Sheppard Avenue from Don Mills subway station to east of Morningside Avenue. The line will operate in a dedicated lane in the centre of the street. It will help connect Morningside Campus to rapid transit.
l Rapid Transit Connections: Sheppard subway line, and the new Scarborough RT
l Total capital costs: $1 billion ($2010).
l Projected Ridership: 3,000 people per hour in the peak direction by 2031
l The Sheppard East LRT is fully funded and approved
l Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and be complete by 2021
Eglinton Crosstown Light Rapid Transit (LRT)
l 19 kilometres of new light rail transit along Eglinton Avenue from Jane Street/Black Creek Drive to Kennedy subway station, with approximately 10 kilometres underground; 26 proposed stations & stops. It will help connect Ashtonbee Campus to rapid transit.
l Rapid Transit Connections: TTC Subway at Eglinton West Station and Eglinton Station to Yonge-University-Spadina lines, and Kennedy Station to the Bloor-Danforth line and Scarborough RT.
l Total capital costs: $4.9 billion ($2010). Part of the $8.4 billion funding commitment from the Province of Ontario.
l Projected Ridership: 5,400 people per hour in the peak direction by 2031.
l The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is currently under construction, and is expected to be complete by 2020.
Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) Upgrade and Extension
l The new Scarborough RT will run from Kennedy Station to McCowan Avenue and will be extended from its current terminus at McCowan north-eastward along Progress Avenue to Centennial College Progress Campus and connect to the planned Sheppard East LRT line.
l The upgrade will involve conversion to LRT technology, with the same light rail vehicles used on the Eglinton Crosstown, the Sheppard East and Finch West LRTs.
l Length: 10 kilometres, including the extension
l Rapid Transit Connections: Bloor-Danforth subway line, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and new Sheppard East LRT line
l Total capital costs: $1.8 billion ($2010)
l Part of the $8.4 billion funding commitment from the Province of Ontario
l Projected Ridership: 10,000 people per hour in the peak direction by 2031
l Construction was to begin in 2014 and be completed by 2020

Just when you thought the transit question in Scarborough had been solved, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Ontario Minister of Transportation Glen Murray’s dueling announcements have left more questions than ever. From Minister Murray’s confusing claim that a majority of Centennial’s students travel to the college from east of the city to Flaherty’s promise of $660 million for a project that hasn’t been studied and has no other funding; Scarborough is left wondering what will get built –if anything– and if it will happen in our lifetimes.
Centennial College’s Communications Officer Mark Toljagic admits the College was confused by Murray’s claim.
“We looked at our Fall 2013 cohort and asked based on postal code where our full time students are coming from. If you add up the communities east of Toronto we have Ajax at 3%, Oshawa at 1%, Pickering at 3%, Whitby at 1%, if you add that up, that’s only 8%.” Toljagic said.
“Even if you took all the little locales in Durham that aren’t identified as municipalities, we are estimating about 12% of our students come from East of Toronto.”
The statistics show that almost 40% of Centennial students come from Scarborough and 24% come from the Old City of Toronto with more coming from places like Woodbridge, Mississauga and Brampton.
Centennial College welcomes investment in Scarborough’s public transit in any form Toljagic said. Since many students, especially international students are so dependent on transit any funding that would improve access and efficiency would be an improvement.
“We still stick by our original preference and that is to go with the LRT proposal which Metrolinx put forward quite a while ago. It gives us 7 stations north of Kennedy to Sheppard including a station of our very own that would be on Progress Ave. right at the entrance of the Progress Campus,” Toljagic said.
“That’s far and away the best option for our students and faculty who do use transit. Just because it means having the ability to disembark and get on the system within a few minutes walk of the front door.”
Even if the two stop subway does get built it may not serve Centennial College students much better than the existing SRT.
“As (Minister Murray) has pointed out it will be a continuation of the subway so the same train that you got on at Bathurst or High Park is going to deposit you at the Scarborough Town Centre. So that does save you the inconvenience of getting off at Kennedy and walking up stairs to get the different mode of transportation, but they’re leaving you at STC, you still have the terrible inconvenience of lining up for a bus to get out to Progress.”

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