Could Brampton Get A Subway Connection to Toronto?
Brampton has had a rather tumultuous history when it comes to public transit projects. A provincially funded LRT system along Hurontario and Main Street was rejected a few years ago by city council, so the final stop ended up being at Steeles Avenue and Shoppers World.
The city has been studying alternative routes for the LRT to reach downtown Brampton, but there are still those that value having a connection to Toronto that is convenient and not only available during the morning and afternoon rush hour, like the Brampton GO train service.
Although there are connections that Brampton Zum has to the recently opened Spadina subway extension, the notion that a TTC subway extension coming right into Peel Region, let alone Brampton, has merely been a fantasy at most.
But it seems the new provincial government taking the idea of expanding the TTC subway more seriously.
Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek made a speech at the Toronto Region Board of Trade in which he repeated the government’s plans in the Fall Economic Statement to upload the TTC subway to the province, saying that is the immediate priority.
“Uploading the subway system will enable the province to fund and deliver additional transit projects sooner, and support an integrated regional network. In August 2018, the government appointed a special advisor to help determine the best approach for the upload, including the building and maintenance of new and existing subway lines.”
Yurek repeated those promises in his speech to TRBOT, which can be seen below:
LIVE: Minister Yurek delivers remarks at the Toronto Region Board of Trade https://t.co/tPrlRFSAb2— jeff yurek (@JeffYurekMPP) November 21, 2018
“Our government is stepping up to treat the subway network as a critical service not only to Torontonians but to rest of Ontario,” Yurek said, adding that as the third largest subway system in North America, the service has to be about serving people and giving them value for their top dollar.
Yurek highlighted other benefits of uploading the TTC’s subway operations and construction to the province: greater funding capacity, able to issue zoning orders, capture land value through developments above transit stations and the ability to effectively appropriate land.
“This will allow (the province) to push the subway further into York, Peel and Durham Regions. We can prioritize projects based on what is best for all of Ontario, not just Toronto.”
However, the union representing TTC workers were not happy when they issued this statement:
“At Doug Ford’s hand, Toronto is set to lose its integrated system and local democratic controls in way for reduced service and higher fares while paving the way for privatized transit. It’s not just wrong; it’s a rush job that will leave Torontonians waiting at the curb. The so-called subway upload is nothing more than another attack by Doug Ford on Toronto,” the statement says, adding that Yurek is looking to break up the TTC by early 2019 without consulting the 10,000 workers who operate the service daily.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie had this to say regarding the minister’s commitment to expanding the TTC subway into the rest of the 905.
Crombie has previously referred to what is known as ‘The Missing Link’ whereby freight cargo will be diverted to a new train line, freeing up the existing Milton GO line for increased trips, eventually transforming the Milton GO line into an all day two way service. The Kitchener GO line that runs through Malton and Brampton has also been slated to become all day two way at some point.
Overall, the long term issue here is funding. Can Doug Ford, who not only promised to upload the TTC subway, but also promised to find $6 billion in ‘efficiencies’ during the campaign, find the money to do this upload, never mind expanding the subway out into the other regions?
If the plan is to get the subway station into Peel via Mississauga at Square One, you’d still need some rapid transit link from Brampton to get people down there to use it, like an LRT. But if LRT is not even in the long term public transit strategy of the government, Brampton residents might as well rely on the Zum link to the Spadina subway extension rather than taking another bus down to Mississauga just to use a future subway.
Do you think a subway would be coming to service Brampton in the near future?
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