Toronto Transit Commission OneCity
OneCity was a short-lived transit plan created by the Toronto Transit Commission on June 27, 2012. Chair Karen Stintz and Vice-Chair Glenn De Baeremeker proposed up to 170 kilometres of transit expansion proposals for the next 30 years, totaling at $30 billion. It would have been funded via an increase in property taxes via a “current-value assessment uplift”, and 1/3 funding each from the provincial and federal governments.
The plan was defeated by city council on July 12, 2012.
The OneCity Transit Plan had a total of 21 proposals, separated into four categories: Subway expansion, train expansion, light rail transit, and bus rapid transit/streetcars.
Subway expansion proposals included the following:
- Replacing the Scarborough RT with an extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line to McCowan and Sheppard.
- Extend the Yonge Line to Steeles.
- Extend the Sheppard Line west to Downsview Station.
- Build a "Don Mills Express" Line from Eglinton to Queen Station.
- Upgrade Bloor-Yonge Station.
Train expansion proposals included the following:
- Build a "Scarborough Express" Line from Steeles to Union Station, using or paralleling the GO Stouffville Line tracks.
- Build an "Etobicoke Express" Line from Pearson Airport to Union Station, using or paralleling the GO Kitchener Line tracks.
Light rail transit proposals included the following:
- Sheppard East LRT to Meadowvale, Toronto Zoo, and Malvern.
- Scarborough Malvern LRT from Kennedy Station to Sheppard and Morningside.
- Extend the proposed Eglinton Crosstown LRT west to Pearson Airport.
- Extend the proposed Finch West LRT west to Pearson Airport and east to Yonge (Finch Station).
- Jane LRT from Steeles to Bloor (Jane Station).
- Waterfront West LRT from Union Station to Long Branch.
- Don Mills LRT from Steeles to Eglinton.
Bus rapid transit and streetcar proposals included the following:
- Waterfront East streetcar line from Union Station to Parliament.
- Ellesmere BRT from Scarborough Centre Station to Kingston Road.
- Kingston Road BRT from Victoria Park Station to Kingston Road and Eglinton.
- Extend route 512 west from Keele to Jane.
- Wilson BRT from Wilson Station to Keele.
The OneCity Transit Plan required 2/3 approval of council members (30 of 44) in order to proceed. However, several council members criticized that the whole plan was a disguise to replace the Scarborough LRT plan with a subway; something that was debated and approved many times over. Transit advocate Steve Munro, while supportive of the plan, criticized about several parts such as a lack of knowledge on operating costs, service quality, and maintenance costs of the current service as well as this proposed plan.
Queen's Park was also unconvinced about OneCity. Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli criticized the LRT to subway conversion for the Scarborough RT and the Etobicoke Express proposal (which is a disguise to electrify the Air Rail Link, now called the Union Pearson Express), saying the provincial Liberals want to get digging on these proposals as-is. The province also rejected the "current-value assessment uplift" idea, saying the city already has other tools to provide transit funding.
Defeat of OneCity
With the elimination of the "current-value assessment uplift" as a funding tool, OneCity as presented to council was significantly scaled down. Only the Bloor-Danforth Line extension and the Waterfront East streetcar line made it to city council, and the Waterfront East streetcar line was approved for further study.
While OneCity as a name is officially dead, various elements of the transit plan have been approved in recent years:
- Replacing the Scarborough RT with an extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line to McCowan and Sheppard. This was approved on October 8, 2013 after federal funding was announced and another contentious LRT vs. subway debate for Scarborough residents.
- The "Don Mills Express" Line roughly mirrors the proposed Downtown Relief Line, however the exactly routing is still to be determined.
- The "Etobicoke Express" Line is still in the form of the Union Pearson Express.
- Sheppard East LRT to Meadowvale.