- May 27, 2019
Transit riders in Toronto are under strain. Congested trains, platform overcrowding, and service delays. These issues affect the lives of our 1.7 million TTC riders every day.
Despite divided opinions on the ongoing ‘TTC upload’ negotiations between the City and Province one thing is clear: Toronto needs transit relief now.
In my capacity as Toronto’s Relief Line Champion I passed a motion at March City Council to reiterate the importance of the Relief Line to the Premier and MPPs at Queen’s Park. I have written to the Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek, urging him to recognize the Relief Line as Ontario’s top transit priority (see a copy of my letter below).
We need the Relief Line before we consider any other transit expansion project. Without it we cannot add capacity to our system or address the real frustrations of millions of transit riders each day.
I am calling on you to add your voice below so we can send a clear message to Premier Ford and Queen’s Park that no matter what the direction of the upload negotiations, the Relief Line be Ontario’s top transit priority.
Thank you for your support.
Re: The Relief Line – Ontario’s Top Transit Priority
I am writing to urge you to recognize the Relief Line as Ontario’s top transit priority. Transit riders in Toronto are under strain. Congested trains, platform overcrowding, and service delays. These issues affect the lives of our 1.7 million TTC riders every day.
Last week Toronto City Council had an important debate about the future of Toronto’s transit system and the ongoing ‘TTC upload’ negotiations. Despite differing opinions among Councillors one thing was clear: Toronto needs transit relief now.
The TTC is working hard to address the pressure on a daily basis. We are spending over $500 million on Automatic Train Control, adding staff on the most crowded platforms at peak times, and much more. But without careful investments to relieve the whole transit system we face an impossible challenge.
City Council approved an additional $162 million in TTC funding this year to deliver the Relief Line two years faster than planned. Based on our current schedule we are on course to open the line by 2029.
2029 cannot come soon enough which is why I was concerned to see that the Province is interested in changing the plan again, with the risk of adding further delays. With this in mind I asked Council to reiterate the importance of the Relief Line to you and our Provincial colleagues last week, they did so unanimously.
Though I am writing to you in my capacity as a Toronto City Councillor, a TTC Board Member and the City’s Relief Line Champion, the future of this project has implications beyond Toronto. The Relief Line is a critical link in adding capacity to the system and has significant implications for Toronto’s role as the economic engine for the Province and Canada. Our region cannot realistically consider any other transit expansion project without this critical link.
Toronto City Councillor
Beaches-East York | Ward 19