In March, the City Manager released a comprehensive update on transit expansion planning in Toronto. This report makes it clear that the TTC and City have made significant progress on our planned transit expansion projects to-date.
I’ve been pushing to prioritize and accelerate the construction of the Relief Line for the past eight years both as the Councillor for Don Valley West and the new TTC Chair. The Yonge Line is one of the busiest transit lines in North America, with an average of 730,000 riders every weekday. The report confirms that the Relief Line remains our top transit priority and includes a recommendation allocating federal funding available through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund to the project.
Without any significant changes, shovels could be in the ground to construct the Relief Line as early as next year. In February, I was joined by the Mayor to announce a new plan to fast-track construction by 2-3 years. TTC staff are making significant progress on the detailed design and will be prepared to proceed with procurement shortly.
The transit report identifies three other major projects ready to move to procurement and construction within the next year: the SmartTrack Stations Program, Exhibition Loop Streetcar Connection and Line 2 East Extension. The expansion of Bloor-Yonge Station will also be accelerated to accommodate growing ridership on Line 1.
On April 10, the Province announced an ambitious transit network plan building on the priority projects identified by the City. While we welcome the additional funding committed to Toronto’s subway system, we still have many questions about the costs, plans, and timelines for the proposed projects. City staff are beginning to assess the changes and will be reporting back to City Council with their findings.