Dear esteemed councillors,
In today’s Globe and Mail, I have read that some of you are being asked to vote against Councillor Stintz’s revised proposal for the Eglinton Light Rail. As you likely know, this plan restores the surface light rail east of Laird and west of Black Creek, in exchange for directing the billions of dollars in savings toward extending the Sheppard subway by two stops, and building a bus rapid transit system along much of Finch Ave in the city’s north. These are all areas where transit improvement is desperately needed, as identified in the studies leading up to the former Transit City plan.
Some of you are balking at the proposal, it seems, because it does not include a light rail line on Finch. This is foolish and irresponsible. The Province has committed a fixed amount of funding to Toronto to build transit. Bus rapid transit is a proven, cost-effective solution to northern Toronto’s transit dilemma: rapid transit at reasonable cost. We can afford it now and we should build it now.
Metrolinx and the Province have said that the money is there. Toronto just needs to decide how to spend it. By that they mean you, Toronto City Council, must decide. You can all see that suburban Toronto desperately needs modern rapid transit. Don’t let the funding dry up while you quibble over vehicles. Bus rapid transit could be rather easily upgraded to light rail in the future, when funding is available.
Toronto has spent at least 30 years arguing about the best solution, while everywhere else in the world has been leaving us behind. That solution is in front of you now. Councillor Stintz’s proposal has broad public support and very high potential to pass Council. Don’t kill yet another good plan for your stupid political games.
If you ignore Toronto’s dire transit needs and vote against Councillor Stintz’s proposal, you will be no better than the Mayor’s band of cronies, with their thumbs firmly up their asses and their heads buried deep in the sand.
Vote for rapid transit now. Stop fighting about what to build and start building it. Move Toronto forward.
Sincerely and gratefully yours,