Mayoral candidate announces $1.2-billion commitment to Scarborough Moves network that will connect Scarborough from Victoria Park to the Rouge
May 9, 2023 – Mayoral candidate Josh Matlow today announced that, as Mayor, he will launch a comprehensive transportation network that finally treats Scarborough residents with the respect they deserve and delivers faster, more reliable ways to get around. Matlow’s $1.2-billion Scarborough Moves plan includes a connected network of public transit routes and cycling and walking trails that will shorten commute times and improve quality of life.
“Scarborough commuters stuck in gridlock know that empty political promises aren’t getting them where they need to go any faster,” said Matlow. “Our Scarborough Moves plan provides a comprehensive public transit, walking and cycling network that eases congestion on our roads and offers residents safe, reliable and healthy physical connections to their community.”
Each day, 35,000 people rely on the TTC’s Line 3, the Scarborough RT, but this aging line will be closed this fall. Residents will have to wait seven years until the upgraded three-stop subway line is up and running.
The Scarborough Moves network will finally provide world-class transit to historically underserved communities and increase access to amenities and services residents need, such as recreation, health care, healthy food, school and community programs.
Matlow’s comprehensive Scarborough Moves plan includes eight commitments to the people of Scarborough with funding to:
CONNECT TO TRANSIT
Create a new Eglinton East LRT with 23 stops from Kennedy Station (Lines 2,5) to Malvern Town Centre, including University of Toronto Scarborough.
Create a new Sheppard East LRT with 9 stops from McCowan subway station (Lines 2,4) to Neilson Road and connect it with the new Eglinton East LRT and the provincial subway extension.
Create a new Scarborough Rapid Busway to run quick and efficient buses on dedicated, congestion-free bus lanes along the separated corridor used by the RT from Kennedy (Lines 2,5) to Ellesmere Road, connecting to Scarborough Town Centre.
Restore the frequency and reliability of TTC bus routes in Scarborough by reversing recent transit cuts as announced in Matlow’s transit plan. Ten of the 13 most drastic wait-time increases are on Scarborough bus routes.
CONNECT TO TRAILS
Transform the elevated portion of the rail line just north of Ellesmere Road into the Scarborough High Line, a destination that includes green walking and cycling trails modelled on the High Line in New York City.
Transform the north-south portion of the new Rapid Busway into a multi-purpose Busway Trail, a transportation corridor with separated cycling and walking trails alongside the length of the bus lanes.
Create a new West Scarborough Rail Path adjacent to the existing Bloor-Danforth subway line between Victoria Park and Kennedy Station. It will be similar in design and concept to the West Toronto Rail Path, which bills itself as a multi-modal human-powered trail that connects the west end.
Connect this new network of cycling and walking corridors and trails to the proposed 16-kilometre Meadoway, which will transform a hydro corridor in Scarborough into a vibrant stretch of urban greenspace and meadowlands that will become one of Canada’s largest linear urban parks.
“For a community to thrive, it needs access to jobs and opportunities as well as green space and nature. This fully funded network will get people where they need to go and make the area a recreation destination with new trails, including the Scarborough High Line, the West Scarborough Rail Path, the Guideway and the Meadoway,” said Matlow.
The Scarborough Moves network will be paid in part by $1.2 billion in City funds already earmarked in the City of Toronto budget for the Eglinton East LRT, plus an additional $1.125 billion announced today, for a total City contribution of $2.325 billion, or 50 per cent of total Eglinton East LRT and Sheppard East LRT project costs. In addition, Matlow would pursue 25 per cent each from the federal and provincial governments to complete the projects.
Funding sources for Matlow’s $1.2-billion Scarborough Moves plan:
The Eglinton East LRT and Sheppard East LRT will be funded with a $37.5 million annual contribution over 30 years from his climate-action levy.
The Scarborough Rapid Busway will be funded with $58.6 million from the $586 million saved by rebuilding the eastern portion of the Gardiner on the ground.
The Scarborough High Line, Busway Trail and West Scarborough Rail Path trail projects have not yet been costed by city planners. Matlow will commit $15 million annually over two years from his climate-action levy towards these projects. Projections are that this funding will be sufficient, especially when combined with recently announced federal support for similar active transportation projects through Infrastructure Canada’s $400-million Active Transportation Fund.
For over a decade, Matlow has been a leading champion on City Council for evidence-based transit in Scarborough. He stood up to then-Mayor Rob Ford when Ford unilaterally cancelled two Transit City rapid transit routes in Scarborough and later misled Torontonians about the fully funded Scarborough LRT. Matlow also publicly criticized former Mayor John Tory’s inadequate one-stop subway plan and successfully passed a motion to move forward with the Rapid Busway included in the Scarborough Moves network announced today.
To learn more about Josh Matlow’s mayoral campaign to make Toronto a city that works, the safe, affordable, livable city that we all know it can be, please visit VoteMatlow.ca.
Scarborough Moves | complete network
Scarborough Moves | transit network
Scarborough Moves | trails network
Eglinton East LRT
The Eglinton East LRT was approved by City Council in 2016 and was part of the original Transit City plan. The most recent iteration is an 18-km extension of the Eglinton Crosstown (Line 5). The route would run east from Kennedy Station (Lines 2,5) on Eglinton Avenue East and Kingston Road and then north to Malvern Town Centre via University of Toronto Scarborough.
The Eglinton East LRT and Sheppard East LRT would provide significant change for underserved communities via rapid transit to seven Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (Chart 6) connecting 38,000 equity-deserving residents to better transit for the first time. The City’s business case notes that the Eglinton East LRT line will increase access to amenities and services residents need, such as “health care, healthy food, school and community services.”
Sheppard East LRT Extension
The Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills station (Line 4) to Malvern was an approved and fully funded part of Transit City that was cancelled by Rob Ford. In the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, the provincial government confirmed its 2019 announcement that it would extend the Sheppard subway (Chart 1.2) (Line 3) to McCowan connecting with the northern terminus of the Scarborough Subway Extension (Line 2). The subway to McCowan leaves a 3.5-km rapid transit gap on Sheppard between Line 4 and the Eglinton East LRT terminus at Neilson Road in Malvern. As Mayor, Matlow will build an LRT on Sheppard from McCowan to Neilson, connecting with the Eglinton East LRT.
Financing Eglinton East LRT and Sheppard East LRT
The City estimated the Eglinton East LRT project cost at $3.9 billion in 2022. Through the special transit levy originally meant for the Scarborough Subway Extension (subsequently uploaded by the provincial government and now a Metrolinx project), the City is raising $40 million per year that allows for its own $1.2 billion contribution. Matlow will raise an additional $800 million to ensure a 50 per cent share of the project with the expectation that the federal and provincial governments will contribute 25 per cent each to the transit line.
The Sheppard East LRT extension has been considered by City Staff but not yet costed. A reasonable estimate can be made by using the per-km cost of the Eglinton East LRT: $3.9 billion/18 km = $216.6 million per/km. The Sheppard extension is 3.5 km*$216.6 million, for a total project cost of $650 million. A 50 per cent share = $325 million.
The total remaining City contribution required for 50 per cent share of the Eglinton East LRT and the Sheppard East LRT extension is $1.125 billion. Using the same 30-year debt-funding formula for the Eglinton East LRT to date, Matlow will contribute $37.5 million per year from his previously announced City Works Fund, which will total $390 million annually by its fifth year.
Scarborough Rapid Busway
After running for 38 years, the Scarborough RT (Line 3) will be out of service this fall. The provincial government is replacing the 5-stop line with a 3-stop subway scheduled to open in 2030. Despite an approved 2021 motion from Matlow and Councillor Paul Ainslie to run buses on the separated corridor used by the RT, city staff have not completed design work and are instead recommending on-street buses. The proposed Rapid Busway would run north from Kennedy Station to Ellesmere and would go into service in 2025.
TTC staff have estimated the busway cost at $58.6 million. Matlow will fund that from $586 million in capital savings from rebuilding the crumbling part of the Gardiner east of Jarvis at ground level.
Reversing TTC bus cuts disproportionately affecting Scarborough
In his first year, Matlow will invest $50 million from his recently announced City Works Fund to fully reverse TTC service cuts made earlier this year, including the 10 bus routes in Scarborough with the longest wait-time increases. In subsequent years, a combination of funding from the City Works Fund and new climate action levy will secure the remaining amount of the up to $183 million needed annually to restore full service.