Another Comment, Worthy of a Post.

Justin Bernard, who reads the RftV blog offered a link yesterday about the Scarborough ICTS/SRT which deserves a post of its own. What was considered cutting edge transit technology in the 70′s, is now considered somewhat obsolete today; somewhat like the Wuppertal Schwebebahn.


Photo: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star

Mon Jul 15, 2013
Local News

Scarborough transit debate goes back to the future

The Scarborough RT was once hailed as a space-age system. Hereai??i??s how we wound up back at the drawing board.

Torontonians love arguing about the same proposed transit lines ad nauseum. Tuesdayai??i??s City Council debateai??i??regarding which form the Scarborough RTai???s replacement will takeai??i??feels like a replay of past battles where a streetcar/LRT line was displaced in favour of a pricier, sexier option.

Among the priority studies recommended in January 1975ai??i??by a joint provincial/Metro Toronto task force on the regionai??i??s transportation needs for the next quarter-centuryai??i??was a high-speed transit line linking the recently approved Kennedy subway station to Scarborough Town Centre, Malvern, and Pickering. Scarborough officials saw this line as key to spurring development in a downtown area based around the new civic centre, which would employ 25,000 people.

Click on the above link to read more.


One Response to “Another Comment, Worthy of a Post.”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The reason Scarborough got the RT was that originally, the LRT which had been planned on was facing a tough vote in Metro Toronto Coucil.During that period Capital budgets for transit were 75% paid for by the province and 25% paid by the municipality, in this case The Regional Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto or Metro (The Upper Tier Municipality) as it was called. Merto council was not going to vote to support something that would just benefit Scarborough at the expense of North York, Etobicoke, York, East York and the old City of Toronto (The lower Tier Municipalities). So the province stepped in and said we will pay 100% of the capital costs if you use our publicly owned UTDC’s (Urban Transit Development Corporation of Ontario) transit technology. The rest is history.

    The issues stem back to the 50′s when Ontario created the Upper-Lower Tier Regional Government Operating System as a political comprimise to not have the then City of Toronto continually have to swallow up town after town to provide the needed services but still have some degree of area planning. So officially in 1953 the Province created The Regional Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto by severing the botom third of York County and creating this new system of communitites. In 1967 13 lower tier municipalities were shruken to 6 and some responsibilities were shifted. The Regional Government took care of regional roads, including snow removal, part of welfare and social (shared with Provice), the TTC, Metro Police, Regional Planning, Metro Toronto Ambulence Service, 911, Metro Parks, Metro refernce Liabraries, sewers and water treatment, generally speaking, most true regional services. Local municipalities took care of local roads, local parks and rceration, Fire Services, local libraries, local planning, generally the very small scale local issues. Each city also had a public Board of Education. For the most part this great experiment worked very well. After time had passed It became hard for residents to keep track of who did what and as the development in Metro went beyond the Metro boundary issues became as it is today problems from the outside as well as from inside. The province got tired of it even after the regional form of government had been exported to all the surrounding old County’s (all were transformed into Regional governments with their own upper and lower tier responsibilites all slightly different because of their own strengths and weaknesses.). In Metro Trornto Transit was regional responsibility, every other region in the Toronto area it was local. This lack of standard requirements still haunts the Greater Toronto Area or even the wider Greater Golden Horshoe Area today. The province then amalgimated Metro and its 6 cities into one creating a Mega City of Toronto in charge of now almost 2.8 million residents. Surounding Toronto are 4 other regional governments York Region, Durhan Region, Peel Region and Halton who have been forced to regionalise many of their local responsibilities like Transit and give some support to them so that their combined population just under 4 million does not all get into single occupent cars and drive into Toronto. Even today almost 60% of the traffic in the city of Toronto is from people who do not live there. Toronto and these 4 regions make up what we knopw as the Greater Toronto Area. Hamilton was a regional govwernm as well and it was forcibly amalgamated into a Mega Hamilton of approximately 600,000 residents. Hamilton is also now considered for pracitical reasons part of the GTA. GO Transit was meant to be the bridge that joined all these local and regional transit systems which technically can not go beyond their own boundary unless a special operating agreement exists. The TTC’s routes into York region is a good example of this but, you still have to pay an extra fair when you cross the northeren boundary ot Toronto at Steeles Ave. Unfortunately GO has just kept expanding so now Transit planning now has to extend into the Region of Waterloo, Wellington County (Guelph), Peterborogh County (Petrborough), Niagara Region, Simcoe County (Barrie). Brantford is also wanting GO Transit service as well and soon may get it. These outlying aras as well as the GTA and Hamilton is known as the Greater Golden Horshoe Area and it has in total over 8.4 million residents all with Toronto at its core. This represents just over 68% of Ontario’s entire population. The Greater Toronto Transit Operating Authority now provides overall transit planning for the whole region and it is generally known by its marketing name, Metrolinks. Unfortunately, local politicians don’t feel they have to answer to them even though Metrolinks is a provincial agency at least publicly anyway. (Rob Ford is just the most well known)do not want to do this . In Toronto as it has always has been, its about a different way of seeing how people should be surved by government, locally or regionally with the people either accepting it or pushing back sometimes both at the same time.