Toronto’s executive committee approved moving ahead with Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack plan. The report is scheduled to go to council next week.
The executive committee debated a report, released by city staff last week, which recommended the implementation of the six SmartTrack Stations program.
SmartTrack, which Tory campaigned on during the 2014 mayoral race, will use existing GO Transit lines.
However, the original vision for SmartTrack had 22 stops over 53-kilometres of heavy rail track.
Despite its drastic size change, Tory believes it will still be a good thing for the city.
“It will provide real transit options, real relief and real economic benefits at a reasonable cost,” he said.
According to Tory, SmartTrack will “provide a service level of six to ten minute peak service frequencies at six new stations and eight existing stations” and remains in the projected budget of $1.2 billion.
However, city staff recommended council approve up to $268-million for city-initiated station requirements, bringing the total to $1.46 billion.
The original plan also had SmartTrack being built in six years but now the new stations are expected to open within the next decade.
“What is actually going to be built is something that is different than was originally conceived of and there’s no question that the timeframe is going to be a little longer than we had contemplated for a variety of reasons,” Tory explained.
The mayor also said he would not be raising property taxes to pay for SmartTrack and while, technically, that is true, the city building fund will be used and that is funded by taxpayer money.
Again, the report will go to city council next week.
To read the complete report, click here.