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10 million more for a new light train in Toronto?

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The City of Toronto's executive committee voted in favor of a motion increasing funding for the project on Tuesday. (Archive photo)

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The City of Toronto could extend an additional $9.5 million to advance the project of a new light rail line east of Scarborough, whose construction would begin in 2027. The executive committee voted in favor of the funding on Tuesday. The municipal council will have its say in December.

Several public transportation projects, including the extension of certain metro lines, are planned in the Scarborough neighborhood, which has a population of approximately 630,000 people.

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The Eglinton East light rail, whose route is red, would cross several areas of the neighborhood and Scarborough and could connect new metro stations.

According to Mayor Olivia Chow and Councilor Paul Ainslie, the 27-station Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT) project is still necessary since Parts of Scarborough's population will not be affected by other planned projects.

This project should have been carried out 20 years ago.

A quote from Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow at the executive committee meeting

Officials say the light rail line could raise the value of homes and increase economic activities in areas crossed by light rail.

Scarborough residents currently rely primarily on buses if they live east of Metro Line 2. A train on metro line 3 in Scarborough derailed in July and service never resumed.

The EELRT bill is however salty. The at least $4.65 billion project will require help from Queen’s Park and Ottawa. The three levels of government, Olivia Chow hopes, will align their priorities and tell the people of Scarborough: You deserve a better transportation network.

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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow hopes the province and federal government will contribute to the light rail project, which will cost $4.65 billion. (Archive photo)

In addition, if the project does not see the light of day, it will lose $18.5 million.

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Asked if it would contribute to the project, the province says it will invest $70.5 billion in public transit over the next few years and has signed a new financial agreement with Toronto, but does not specify its position relative to the EELRT.

The construction of this new light rail line will complete a public transit loop in Scarborough, according to Paul Ainslie, Scarborough-Guildwood city councilor. This is because other existing lines could or will be extended by Metrolinx.

Last January, the provincial agency began digging the Line 2 tunnel north to Scarborough. Up to six stations could be built, from Kennedy Station to a new station at the intersection of McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue East.

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The Eglinton East light rail could end at the intersection of McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue, north of Highway 401.

At the same time, Metrolinx is exploring the possibility of extending Line 4, which has only five stations and ends at the Don Mills Mall.

City officials warn, however, that the province could, under the Moving Ontario Act, designate the Line 4 extension as a rapid transit project.

If this occurs, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission would not have the right to design, develop or construct anything similar to the Sheppard Avenue Extension.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Thus, if a portion of the EELRT overlaps the extended line, the City may have to remove a portion of the light rail, it is explained in the municipal report given to members of the executive board.

With information from Mirna Djukic

By admin

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