TORONTO – The majority of Torontonians say a 7-stop light rail transit option for Scarborough is a much better choice than building a 3-stop subway, according to a new poll released on transit issues.
Of those polled, 51 per cent support the LRT while only 40 per cent would opt for the subway, if costs for building both were the same.
However, the numbers are flipped when just Scarborough residents were asked with 56 per cent supporting the underground option and 41 per cent for LRTs.
“It’s almost as if there were two cities involved in Toronto’s transit planning, Scarborough and everywhere else, and Scarborough wants to be the tail that wags the dog,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff in a media release.
“It doesn’t surprise us that Rob Ford’s subway plans are very popular there, as that increasingly may be the only way they get a subway in the east end of the city.”
Mayoral candidates Rob Ford and John Tory have said they prefer to build a subway extension in Scarborough, which was approved by city council last fall.
Olivia Chow said she would support an above-ground light rail line because it would serve the most people with extra stops.
Meanwhile, 6-in-10 voters said they would want the Downtown Relief Line to be built before the Scarborough subway.
Those surveyed were evenly split when it came to approving (46 per cent ) and disapproving (46 per cent) Ford’s transit plan which would see 32 kilometres of new subways built across the city at a cost of $9 billion.
As for the Toronto Transit Commission’s new streetcars, those who’ve seen or experienced them (36 per cent) say they highly approve (79 per cent).
The new streetcars were launched Aug. 31 on the Spadina line and more are scheduled to roll out in the coming years.
The Forum Research poll was conducted on Sept. 8 based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1069 people and considered accurate +/- 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.