this, the Mayor Miller plans to have financing early in 2009 and break ground by the end of the year.
"If we have [federal] funding commitments in January, we can do a lot to get shovels in the ground by the end of 2009," Mr. Miller promises.That's all well and good, but don’t let the exclamation points and italics fool you. There are issues and problems with the plan (financing it not to mention that it probably won’t shorten the commute downtown by that much), but it’s a start and an effort at tackling a huge problem in this city.
The first visible project of Transit City is a new light-rail line on Sheppard Avenue (from Don Mills Station to Morningside Avenue), with construction set for September, 2009. But the mayor says federal dollars could speed up plans for the next two projects in the lineup: the Eglinton Crosstown (from Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport) and a new Etobicoke-Finch West line (from Yonge Street to Highway 27).
All the articles about the plan always mention the “European-style light rail” which is funny but completely true. Light rail in some form has been in most of the cities I’ve been to (with London a notable exception). I have to admit, when I first heard about the plan a year or two ago, I was very skeptical. Streetcars in Scarborough sounded like the worst idea I’d ever heard. But then I went to Europe. It works. The Dutch rely on nothing else in Amsterdam and streetcars cross major streets with no problem. It works for them, let’s see how it’ll work for us.