Yonge North Subway Extension and Toronto Downtown Relief Line Should Proceed Full Steam Ahead
Yonge North Subway Extension from Finch Avenue to Highway 7 is needed today for underserved transit riders
MARKHAM, ON - May 10, 2017- Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti has dismissed Mayor John Tory’s contention that the planning and design work for the Yonge North Subway Extension cannot proceed until the Toronto Downtown Relief Line is well advanced. While both projects are priorities for an integrated transit system across the GTA, one project is not dependent on the other.
The 2015 Metrolinx Yonge Relief Network Study (YRNS) found that while growth will add new riders, significant relief to the Yonge subway line will be achieved through already committed transit improvements, including the TTC’s automatic train control and new subway trains, Toronto-York Spadina extensions, and the GO Regional Express Rail. The YRNS concluded that the Relief Line is a long term project that will not be needed immediately. Nevertheless, direction was given to continue project planning and development on both the Toronto Downtown Relief Line and the Yonge North Subway Extension.
The Yonge North Subway Extension to Highway 7 is the top transit priority for York Region and the City of Markham, and the required Environmental Assessment has already been completed. The Province of Ontario has approved $55 million in funding for preliminary engineering. York Region has also applied for funding as part of the Phase 1 Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, and is expecting the federal government to support this important project.
Transit riders are underserved along the Yonge Street corridor. Twenty thousand bus passengers travel along this stretch of Yonge Street daily. Another 10,000 people are left behind in gridlock because of inadequate and inefficient transit service.
Over the past 12 years, Toronto has received $21.7billion from the Provincial and Federal governments for transit. By comparison, York Region has received under $2.7 billion even though York Region is Canada’s high tech capital and home to two of the GTA’s four employment ‘Megazones’.
The City of Toronto Staff have prepared a thorough, well researched report which concludes that planning and design for both the Toronto Downtown Relief Line and the Yonge North Subway Extension should proceed.
“The need for businesses and residents to have access to good public transit, jobs and greater housing options is fundamental to ensuring that the Greater Toronto Region economy remains resilient,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “The Yonge North Subway Extension is a critical part of the regional transportation plan, and to stop the work underway would be shortsighted and irresponsible.”
“This is the most justifiable subway construction in recent history,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti speaking of the Yonge North Subway Extension. “There are 20,000 people jammed into buses going down Yonge Street every day. York Region is the fastest growing region in Canada so municipalities need to be interconnected now more than ever. With significant funding in new infrastructure investment over the next decade, the need to make forward thinking infrastructure investments has never been greater.”
For more information:
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti: firstname.lastname@example.org or 905.475.4872
Media inquiries / interview requests: Corporate Communications & Community Engagement Department at email@example.com or 905.415.7548