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Toronto, York reach deal on subway extension


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Sat. Sep. 16 2006 5:14 PM ET

Toronto, York reach deal on subway extension

CTV.ca News Staff

Toronto and York Region have finally reached an agreement on splitting the hefty price tag for expanding the Spadina subway line to York University.

The province announced in March that it would pay one-third of the cost, and gave the two municipalities a deadline to figure out how they would split their third.

With that deadline approaching at the end of September, Toronto has agreed to pay 59.96 per cent of the municipalities' third, while York Region will pay 40.04 per cent.

The parties are now waiting on the federal government to come up with the remaining third of the cost of the $2.1 billion, 8.6 kilometre extension.

The deal is still tentative, however, and must be approved by the respective councils. It will be presented to York regional council on Sept. 21 and to Toronto city council on Sept. 25.

The agreement marks a new level of cooperation between the two municipalities, which have often squabbled in the past.

"We decided to ride off into the sunset, arm in arm," Councillor Howard Moscoe, chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, said Friday.

York Region chair Bill Fisch agreed the deal is fair.

"We came to the conclusion that basically a 60-40 split was appropriate," Fisch told the Toronto Star.

"Hopefully, both councils will agree it's appropriate and we'll have an agreement in place by Sept. 30."

Eric Richler, press secretary for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, said the government hopes to reach a deal and get the parties together to begin work before the end of the year.

However, no funding has been earmarked thus far, Richler said.

The TTC also hopes to receive money from Ottawa to pay for new buses, trains and improved driver security.

Moscoe said he hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper will honour a commitment he made in June to make $16.5 million available for Canadian municipalities over the next four years to boost funding for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure.

If the money appears, the TTC will acquire 220 buses by fall 2007 and 140 hybrid buses in early 2008.

The city budget advisory committee met Friday morning and also gave preliminary approval for the controversial order of 39 new subway trains from Bombardier. However, critics of the deal say it was wrong for the city to negotiate exclusively with Bombardier, and that a bidding process should have been employed

Interesting :P . Comments??

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Sat. Sep. 16 Moscoe said he hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper will honour a commitment he made in June to make $16.5 million available for Canadian municipalities over the next four years to boost funding for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure.

Should that say $16 .5 billion? I don't see how $16.5 million could be used effectively for infrastructure. :P

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Here's the Star's take:

York-Toronto deal puts subway link on the rails

Sep. 16, 2006. 01:00 AM

PAUL MOLONEY

CITY HALL BUREAU

The proposed Spadina subway extension to York University and beyond moved a step closer to reality after Toronto and York Region reached a tentative funding deal.

The two municipalities have worked out terms to pay one-third of the cost of the $2-billion line, which will be presented for approval by York Region council on Thursday and Toronto council Sept. 25.

The provincial government announced in its March 23 budget that it would pay one-third, and gave the municipalities until Sept. 30 to come up with their one-third share.

Now the focus of the 8.6 km project — 6.1 km in Toronto — shifts to the federal government, the final funding partner.

Yesterday's agreement will increase pressure on Ottawa to pay their third share so that construction can begin next year, York Region Chair Bill Fisch said.

"I think the federal government will come on board," Fisch said yesterday. "I think this is the beginning of looking at transportation issues in a different way by all levels of government."

A spokesperson for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Ottawa expects to have a decision by the end of the year.

"Nothing has been earmarked," said Eric Richer, Flaherty's press secretary. "The goal of course is to be able to get a deal together and to work with the partners before year-end."

The municipal cost-sharing deal is something of a breakthrough for two municipalities that have done their share of squabbling, said Councillor Howard Moscoe, the TTC chair.

"Previously, we've been at each other's throats," Moscoe said. "But frankly, we both want to see the subway extension. We realize it has enormous benefits for both the city of Toronto and for York Region."

Under the pact, Toronto will pay 59.96 per cent of the municipal share and York Region will pay 40.04 per cent. Toronto finance officials estimate that works out to about $397 million from the city and $265 million from the region.

York Region will also pay the city $29.98 million to cover previous transit spending that laid the groundwork for the extension.

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Am I the only one who thinks paying 2.1 billion dollars for a 8 kilometre subway is stupid?

That 2.1 billion could pretty much modernize the entire TTC subway system, significantly expand and improve VIVA in York Region, with money left over!

The only plus, is that at least Vaughn has plans to develop around the subway in the 905.

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Am I the only one who thinks paying 2.1 billion dollars for a 8 kilometre subway is stupid?

That 2.1 billion could pretty much modernize the entire TTC subway system, significantly expand and improve VIVA in York Region, with money left over!

i think spending hundreds of millions of dollars on express buses is stupid. VIVA isn't even a BRT yet so much was spent on it.

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Am I the only one who thinks paying 2.1 billion dollars for a 8 kilometre subway is stupid?

That 2.1 billion could pretty much modernize the entire TTC subway system, significantly expand and improve VIVA in York Region, with money left over!

The only plus, is that at least Vaughn has plans to develop around the subway in the 905.

Yes it is stupid. Especially in Vaughan. The king of all suburbs when it comes to parking lots the size of massive football fields.

It especially pisses me off that York Region, not Vaughan, is paying for this subway. The subway only benefits Vaughan, and not Southern York Region as a whole. Whereas, if the Yonge line were to be extended, it would benefit Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham, as well as shorten the commute for those heading north to Newmarket, Aurora, and beyond. This line would probably increase travel time for those who don't live in Vaughan. So yes, to conclude, this line will be a POS waste of money. :lol:

If the TTC wants to break into the "905" region, Mississauga would be the most viable suburb for subway service. We all know that won't happen any time soon. :P

Wilson Wu

Markham, ON

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i think spending hundreds of millions of dollars on express buses is stupid. VIVA isn't even a BRT yet so much was spent on it.

No offence intended, but I would like to see VIVA service increased, the number of people who use VIVA has to be equal, or more than YRT now, even if they are one system. A lot of people use the system, and I think that it is a great idea because it is usually a lot faster than YRT.

It especially pisses me off that York Region, not Vaughan, is paying for this subway. The subway only benefits Vaughan, and not Southern York Region as a whole. Whereas, if the Yonge line were to be extended, it would benefit Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham, as well as shorten the commute for those heading north to Newmarket, Aurora, and beyond. This line would probably increase travel time for those who don't live in Vaughan. So yes, to conclude, this line will be a POS waste of money. smile.gif

I totally agree with this. Expanding the younge line would be a lot more useful than the Spadina line. But hey, no one asks the people who are gonna be using the service.

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Yes it is stupid. Especially in Vaughan. The king of all suburbs when it comes to parking lots the size of massive football fields.

It especially pisses me off that York Region, not Vaughan, is paying for this subway. The subway only benefits Vaughan, and not Southern York Region as a whole. Whereas, if the Yonge line were to be extended, it would benefit Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham, as well as shorten the commute for those heading north to Newmarket, Aurora, and beyond. This line would probably increase travel time for those who don't live in Vaughan. So yes, to conclude, this line will be a POS waste of money. :P

Totally in agreement. After having driven in Vaughan for a while, its probably the worst of all of York Region for transit or just plain walking. There are many areas of Vaughan which are literally undeveloped or are just dirt mounds. If Vaughan was the only one paying for it, I don't think much of the region would care. Instead the whole region pays for something most of the region won't use. York Region is slowly becoming the City of Toronto...

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I think that they should expand the subway but ONLY till York Univeristy.

And then expand the other end of the yellow line (I think its the Yonge line) north.

But I would rather see them expand the subway into Mississauga, it'll ease congestion on MT routes heading to the subway and then increase the service on the Hurontario corridor.

If the TTC wants to break into the "905" region, Mississauga would be the most viable suburb for subway service. We all know that won't happen any time soon. :angry:

i completely agree with your statement!

I don't really know what the current reason for them not expanding to Mississauga is. But could it be that back in the 1970's Mississauga turned down the proposal to expand the subway into Mississauga, and TTC has held a grudge against them ever since?

Or is it that Mississauga just doesnt want the subway in their city?

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I read somewhere on the old board that Mississauga wanted nothing to do with the subway and wanted to continue pushing toward their own solution, which is probably the BRT/LRT that I keep hearing about. I don't know anything about it though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read somewhere on the old board that Mississauga wanted nothing to do with the subway and wanted to continue pushing toward their own solution, which is probably the BRT/LRT that I keep hearing about. I don't know anything about it though.

Yeah, Hazel Mccallion wanted, nothing to do with the Subway, apparently she doesn't like Mississauga being in Debt.

Our solution is a Transitway along the (Ninth Line) 427, Square One, Eastgate Parkway and Eglinton Avenue (Eglinton West Subway Station). We've got the funding already and it's supposed to open in 2011.

Well they've been mentioning the BRT since 1992, and finally they doing something about it NOW.

And I just hope that the LRT becomes a reality also. Might take them like 5 years, but I still have hope.

Yeah, we won't see the LRT along Hurontario for at least another 10 years!

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York Region has got too much cash on their hands...... Toronto should take some lessons

This should be interesting..........let's hear it.

There is too much density along Yonge Street, no space for any Subway Infrastructure.

What the hell is too much density?

While you're at it, got any more propaganda to spew at us from the Conservative spin-meisters?

Dan

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York Region has got too much cash on their hands...... Toronto should take some lessons

Well, York Region never lost hundreds of million of dollars a year in transit funding thanks to the anti-transit Progressive Conservative government of Ontario, which also spent millions to cancel the Eglinton subway.

York Region has got too much cash on their hands...... Toronto should take some lessons

There is too much density along Yonge Street, no space for any Subway Infrastructure.

How on earth did the subways in Tokyo and New York ever get built? If Tokyo and New York are low density enough of all their subway lines, then Yonge in York Region must be v e r y dense. Wow, there must be a l o t of skyscrapers in Richmond Hill and Thornhill. CRAZY! I must visit there some time and see for myself. In the meanwhile, anyone got some pics of the skyline? It must be very big.

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Well, York Region never lost hundreds of million of dollars a year in transit funding thanks to the anti-transit Progressive Conservative government of Ontario, which also spent millions to cancel the Eglinton subway.

How on earth did the subways in Tokyo and New York ever get built? If Tokyo and New York are low density enough of all their subway lines, then Yonge in York Region must be v e r y dense. Wow, there must be a l o t of skyscrapers in Richmond Hill and Thornhill. CRAZY! I must visit there some time and see for myself. In the meanwhile, anyone got some pics of the skyline? It must be very big.

I'll compare it for you, Yonge in York Region is kind of like Hurontario north of Eglinton.

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Alrighty then...

1) Toronto should take some lessons. York Region manages to provide all major services to the region and manages to have their balance (as well as York Region's local municipalities) in the Green every year.

2) Yonge Street is completly built up north of FINCH. There is no room for Above Ground infrastructure (i.e. Bus Terminals). The Entrances would have to be downtown style, (i.e. at St Andrew, Osgoode, Museum)... and I don't see much Elevator't space.

You don't have Bus Terminals in downtown Tokyo or New York either.

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Alrighty then...

1) Toronto should take some lessons. York Region manages to provide all major services to the region and manages to have their balance (as well as York Region's local municipalities) in the Green every year.

Do you know why?

Of course not. Because knowing would totally invalidate your arguement.

York Region collects massive development fees. Toronto does not. As does Mississauga, until very recently. Did you notice that Mississauga in the past two or three years has suffered from a budget crunch? That happened to co-incide with their slump in new developments?

On top of that, Toronto has to pay for a whole lot of social spending that the surrounding regions don't but yet is derived from the suburbs (in many cases), such as homelessness. Actually, York does pitch in slightly, but it's nowhere close to the amount that Toronto does.

So, now knowing all this....how exactly can Toronto take lessons from York Region, other than perhaps learning how to push their homeless away?

2) Yonge Street is completly built up north of FINCH. There is no room for Above Ground infrastructure (i.e. Bus Terminals). The Entrances would have to be downtown style, (i.e. at St Andrew, Osgoode, Museum)... and I don't see much Elevator't space.

You don't have Bus Terminals in downtown Tokyo or New York either.

And you think that Yonge south of Eglinton was a wasteland prior to the building of the original stretch of the Yonge Subway? All of that land had to be bought before it could be built upon (trivia for you...the stretch from Wellesley to College was changed from open-cut to tunnel as a cost saving measure), just like what was done for all the subways since, including the Sheppard and the still-in-planning York U extension.

Bus terminals take up very little space if planned properly, especially in comparison to the amount of property needed if the line was to be built above-ground. And they can be built into the ground-floor of office towers if need be, but the tower needs to be planned around it.

Dan

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Well, York Region buying land could alone raise the cost of the extention significantly.

Anyways, the lesson Toronto needs to learn - Effective Debt Management.

York Region has a decent sized debt, but the difference between it and toronto is that it manages the debt well, and has Capital left over for things like this.

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Alrighty then...

1) Toronto should take some lessons. York Region manages to provide all major services to the region and manages to have their balance (as well as York Region's local municipalities) in the Green every year.

Municipalities in York Region raised property taxes a lot more than Toronto did. York Region will also soon have highest transit fares in the 905 too, so it is hardly a model of financial sustainability.

2) Yonge Street is completly built up north of FINCH. There is no room for Above Ground infrastructure (i.e. Bus Terminals). The Entrances would have to be downtown style, (i.e. at St Andrew, Osgoode, Museum)... and I don't see much Elevator't space.

You don't have Bus Terminals in downtown Tokyo or New York either.

The Yonge corridor in York Region is NOTHING like New York or Tokyo. Yonge is a typical low density suburban corridor, nothing like anything Tokyo and New York.

Toronto was building subways along Eglinton and Sheppard, both MUCH denser corridors than Yonge in York Region, not mention the very dense and built out Yonge and Bloor corridors in the past that have been completely transformed anyways.

If there are parking lots, there is room for development, it's as simple as that. Existing buildings can also be demolished and redeveloped. This happens in all cities. Cities do not exist in stasis, they are constantly changing and there is always room for change.

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Well, York Region buying land could alone raise the cost of the extention significantly.

Anyways, the lesson Toronto needs to learn - Effective Debt Management.

York Region has a decent sized debt, but the difference between it and toronto is that it manages the debt well, and has Capital left over for things like this.

Of course York has debt....they've had to pay for things like the Big Pipe.

But at the same time, they've got the development fees and levies to pay for them. And unlike Mississauga, they still have lots of land to sell to the highest bidder to continue to pay their capital costs.

Toronto basically hasn't had land to build on for the past 20 years. Thus, they can't charge development fees to pay for capital costs that are needed for new developments. Or to maintain the existing infrastructure that was built decades ago.

If anything, York needs to learn to manage its capital spending. I don't know what they charge in terms of development fees, but I can't see why they would have had to go into debt for any of their capital costs, or receive money for VIVA.

Dan

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