Subways are the best form of rapid transit. They do not interfere with street traffic and move a lot of people. They also do not require as much winter maintenance as surface transit. Streetcar LRT's remove road space, cut off neighbourhoods on either side, as has been experienced on St. Clair Avenue West, move slowly and require much winter maintenance. They are less expensive than subways but only carry about 40,000 passengers per day while subways carry up to 200,000 passengers per day and attract development and investment. Expansion of the subway system will also reduce auto traffic especially if adequate parking is provided at stations.
In the long term, subways are the most effective form of public transit as they move a greater number of people and compete with the private automobile. Toronto has not built a new subway extension since 1980, except for the short Sheppard line and the Spadina line extension into Vaughan, now under construction. Subways are expensive to build, but with the use of financing from new development, at least two kilometres of subway and one new station could be constructed every two years.
Underground subways cost approximately $230 million per kilometre to constuct while surface LRT costs approximately $100 million per kilometre to construct. However, the double cost of subways provides capacity for five times as many people as LRT. Contingency costs for inflation shuld be no more than 10%.
The following extensions to Toronto’s subway system are recommended:
Subways, light rail, buses and streetcars in the City of Toronto are under the jurisdiction of the Toronto Transit Commission. Commuter rail lines are under the jurisdiction of GO Transit, which is part of Metrolinx, a Provincial agency overseeing transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
Follow this link for:
A report comparing the effect on development of streetcar LRT's and subways
There has been a deliberate attempt by Toronto politicians to stop subway construction and put money into streetcars in order to reduce road space as part of their war on the car. It is shown in the Fenton report in this link:
Alan Fenton report on the misdirection of public funding in Toronto into surface transit to prevent subway construction
NOTE: As of July 13, 2016, all of the proposed subways in this plan are now under consideration by City of Toronto Council. On this date, Council approved the eastern extension of the Bloor-Danforth Subway to the Scarborough Town Centre. Studies are being undertaken on the proposed Downtown Relief Line along Queen Street, the route recommended by this plan, and the northern extension of the Yonge line. Councillors have asked staff to take a look at completion of the Sheppard Subway east to meet the extended Bloor-Danforth Subway in Scarborough and west to the Spadina Subway at Downsview. Staff have also been asked to take a look at a western extension of the Bloor-Danforth Subway to Sherway Gardens. These mean that the entire 'Get Toronto Moving' subway plan is now being seriously considered.
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