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Rob Ford talks transit: More subways, no more streetcars

Watch video above: Rob Ford has two simple fixes for gridlock: no streetcars and more subways. Mark McAllister reports. 

TORONTO – Rob Ford wants to build two more subways, one in North York and another in Scarborough, before tackling the relief line.

“[People] downtown, they have subways,” Ford said after an event at Polson Pier. “People are getting ignored in North York, they’re getting ignored in Scarborough.”

Ford added that the relief line, sometimes called the Yonge relief line or downtown relief line, is his third priority. He wants to build a subway along Sheppard Avenue and along Finch Avenue first.

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TTC CEO Andy Byford suggested in September, 2013 that the relief line was a bigger priority, for him, than the Scarborough subway.

“If I had to pick one, I would choose the Downtown Relief Line,” he told the National Post.

And a provincially appointed transit panel also suggested it should be one of the city’s top priorities.

WATCH: What is Rob Ford’s transit plan? More subways and no streecars.

 

The mayor also promised to “phase out” streetcars as mayor (and he plans to be mayor for “a long time,” he said).

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“The streetcars, that’s what causing congestion in this city,” he said. “Get rid of the streetcars, build subways.”

He said he would replace streetcars along King Street and Queen Street with buses.

He admitted there’s “no magic solution” to ending gridlock in the city but was adamant streetcars won’t help.

“You can start by building subways, getting people out of their cars,” he said.  "I’ll tell you one thing, I won’t get in a streetcar.”