Toronto's OneCity transit plan rejected by province

The Ontario government won't back Toronto's new OneCity transit proposal, says the provincial minister of transportation and infrastructure.

Bob Chiarelli said Friday that the province would not support TTC Chair Karen Stintz's plan that Mayor Rob Ford publicly slammed Wednesday. Chiarelli said that the idea would require legislative changes and that the congested city can't afford any further delays.

On Wednesday, Ford refuted a $30-billion transit plan proposed by Stintz, arguing it will cost taxpayers too much money.

Stintz's plan included the construction of six subway lines, 10 light-rail lines and five buses and streetcar lines over 30 years to transform the TTC.

OneCity, as the plan is called, would be funded by financial aid of the provincial and federal government as well as an increase in property taxes .

Chiarelli instead announced that cabinet has approved the light rail transit plan passed by Toronto council in March 2012.

Chiarelli said that the plan to deliver the largest transit expansion in Toronto's history will create 80,000 jobs.

"Our government's public transit investment will keep commuters moving across the City of Toronto and provide an easy connection to subways, buses and the GO Transit network," said Bob Chiarelli, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

"Our focus is on getting shovels in the ground and delivering much-needed public transit projects for the residents of Toronto."

The province announced that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Black Creek to Kennedy Station is already underway and is set to be complete by 2020.

Work on the Scarborough Rapid Transit replacement and extension to Sheppard Avenue as well as the Finch West LRT from the Toronto-York-Spadina subway extension to Humber College is also expected to be completed by 2020.

Construction on the Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills station to east of Morningside Avenue will begin in 2017 and be completed by 2021.

"We are committed to building these projects and ensuring that they meet the transit needs of Toronto residents and the broader region," said Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO of Metrolinx.

Ontario — through the provincial Crown agency Metrolinx — will own all four LRT lines.

The government has thus far committed $8.4 billion towards the current plan.

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