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Rob Ford Releases Transit Plan

While the rumbling of a streetcar may be a familiar sound of home for some Torontonians, it apparently punctuates gridlock problems in the downtown core for Rob Ford.

The mayoral hopeful released his transit plan Wednesday and in it he says he’d like to remove some streetcars and replace them with buses in an effort to increase traffic flow and ease congestion.

Ford claims streetcars slow traffic and track work destroys streets and hurts businesses.

His other transit plans include completing the Sheppard subway line by 2015 at a cost of $3 billion; extending the Bloor-Danforth line to the Scarborough Town Centre at a cost of $1 billion and using the provincially-approved Smart Card fare system.

Ford says where the city can’t afford to expand subways, buses will be used to move commuters.

When it comes to roads, pedestrian paths and bike lanes Ford is proposing maintaining expressways without tolls; synchronizing traffic signals by installing SCOOT technology to improve flow at a cost of $50 million; simplifying parking signage and creating bikes lanes of roads where “it makes sense”.

Read Ford’s full transit plan here (pdf).

Fellow candidate Sarah Thomson weighed in on Ford’s plan Wednesday and said it was not well-thought out.

She noted that she, too, is pushing for more subways as opposed to streetcars, but instead of pushing to first expand the Sheppard line, she’d instead focus on constructing a downtown relief line.

Thomson would also like to expand bike lanes on main arterial roads.