City Council adopted a package of recommendations this month to move forward with SmartTrack and Eglinton West LRT. SmartTrack is the integration of 6 new stations on Metrolinx’s GO lines. The Province is working towards the electrification of these lines to allow faster moving trains running at greater frequency. Adding stations through these corridors will make the GO a more viable subway-type option for Toronto residents and, more importantly for Willowdale residents, take some pressure off of Line 1 (Yonge).
John voted in favour of these recommendations on that basis that SmartTrack, despite its significant costs, still represents a relatively efficient opportunity to create significant transit network improvements in the near term. He is however concerned about how the City will pay for this work. City staff report that proposals to finance the cost by borrowing against future tax revenue along a densified transit corridor aren’t realistic. John would not be supportive of financing this project strictly through property taxes nor by selling off City assets Toronto Hydro.