The visionary transit plan for the Scarborough area may come to light despite many set backs. Today in a press conference, federal finance minster,...

The visionary transit plan for the Scarborough area may come to light despite many set backs. Today in a press conference, federal finance minster, Jim Flaherty announced the federal governments full support for the Scarborough subway extension.

The federal government has committed to providing $660 million towards the project. Funding a project is one of the key issues surrounding a project of this magnitude.

Metrolinx in 2008, christened their visionary transit plan “The Big Move.” The transit expansion is to create a user friendly system across different municipalities. The expansion would also, improve and hopefully create relief of highway congestion.

On an environmental perspective, an efficient transit system would reduced vehicular traffic, which in results reduces carbon emissions and substantially reduce gridlock during rush hours.

Part of this vision is to elevate the transit requirements of the GTA and its neighbours, to world- class status.

‘The Big Move’ is to integrate all sectors of public transit within the GTA, Mississauga, Brampton and other suburban areas.

The Scarborough subway extension that was proposed would be much shorter. This new proposed subway extension would run from the Bloor-Danforth Line from Kennedy station up to Sheppard.

Metrolinx has a detailed project development process, which governs how a subway proposal is processed.

Preliminary Phase

–       Once the project is proposed it goes through a Benefits Case Analysis (BCA)

–       Metrolinx Board of Directors decides whether they will go ahead with the plan or not

–       The project is then advanced to the next level of Planning, Design and Engineering (PDE)

–       The cost of the project is projected

–       In this process there are a lot of factors that are taken account, these include: road space, platform/subway exits and entrances, train storage space etc.

 Phase 1:

Once everything has been approved in the preliminary process, the project is sent for a Environmental Assessment, otherwise known as the Transit Project Assessment,

–       Normally this phase takes 6 months

–       For large scale projects the environmental factors have to be taken into consideration

–       The Government of Ontario needs to approve these projects before the project is sent to the other stage.

–    During this phase at 2-10% of the design should be completed

 Phase 2:

– Environmental assessment should be completed

– 30% of the design should be completed

– Contracts and Request For Proposal (RFP), should be submitted

Phase 3 (final phase): 

– Final budget is approved.

– 100% of the design is completed

– Acquiring property for carrying the project

– Final contracts are awarded

If a transit proposal goes well, construction of an actually rapid transit or light rail transit could take 4-6 years to build. Subway expansions can normally take a longer time because drilling underground and other factors have to be taken into account.

Construction is set to start in 2014 however, according to the Toronto Transit Commission report a feasibility plan which needs to be provided by Metrolinx needs to be provided. All information needs to be provided by the next city council meeting on Oct 8.

The Scarborough subway line expansion is set to be completed around 2023, according to the TTC.

Angelica Sydney

Aspiring journalist, currently reporting for