Toronto fires starting pistol for $4bn Scarborough tunnel project

Infrastructure Ontario and Canadian public transport operator Metrolinx have published a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership to excavate a US$4bn tunnel for the Toronto metro.

The Scarborough Subway Extension project, which is due to be completed before 2030, will extend the city’s Line 2 almost 8km and add three stations to it.

The winning consortium will finance, design, build and maintain the line, which is expected to serve about 105,000 people a day.

A first draft of the planned extension (Metrolinx)

Scarborough, a borough in east-central Toronto bordering Lake Ontario, is presently served by a light rail system that makes up Line 3 of the city’s metro system. The extension will replace this and add stops at Lawrence Avenue, the Scarborough Centre and McCowan Road.

Metrolinx says Kennedy Station will provide connections to GO Transit rail services and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and the proposed station at Scarborough Centre will connect to GO and proposed Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit services. There will also be local bus connections at every stop along the extension.

The deadline to submit the qualifications is 15 April 15; a pre-bidding event will be held on 12 March as a live webcast.

Top image: The extension will replace the Scarborough light rail system (Adam E Moreira/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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  1. What a sad, colossal waste of money and effort. There is not one single transit expert that endorses an extension of the subway to Scarborough Town Center or beyond. The ridership simply does not warrant it. This is confirmed by the Metrolinx business case analysis. What does work? Light Rail Transit (LRT), as has been adopted by many cities in North America and Europe. For the $$ we’ll spend on this white elephant, we could have an extensive LRT network all through Scarborough, bringing reliable, rail-based transit to the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. How sad that common sense and the reality of need have no impact on the flighty minds of the people making decisions on this (I mean YOU Mr. Ford and Mr. Tory). One can only hope that the more reasonable will emerge and assume a position of influence (I’ve been begging Josh Matlow to run for Mayor… still have fingers crossed). I wonder how history will judge us, when our grandchildren are still paying for the short sighted decisions we’re making today?

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