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Light Rail Transit is proving to be a costly boondoggle for Toronto

May 2023

Given the latest issues surrounding the trouble-plagued Eglington Crosstown LRT line, over-budget and years behind on its construction schedule, can someone remind me why it’s a good idea to build a dedicated LRT line, instead of dedicated bus lanes?

The benefits of having lanes dedicated exclusively to transit vehicles are quite obvious, but when dedicated bus lanes can require as little construction as some sort of physical barrier to keep not-transit vehicles out of the lane to, at most, the construction of a new curb lane to accommodate the transit vehicles. If you designate the curb lane as the bus lane, you wouldn’t even need to construct platforms to allow passengers to get on and off the buses. All existing bus stops could continue to be used.

Back in 1961, President John F. Kennedy set a goal for America to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.  Within 8.5 years, that dream had been achieved.  The big brain people, using their big brains, managed to achieve something truly remarkable.  They knew, in theory, that they could send three astronauts to the moon and bring them safely back to earth, a round-trip distance of around 770, 000 kms.  The task included not only the journey, but keeping the astronauts alive during the full-length of the mission, from launch to splash-down.  Their computers told them that their mathematical calculations were correct, but until they actually did it, no one knew that it could actually be accomplished.  So many things could have gone wrong, especially given that no one had ever done such a thing. 

So, are there any big brain people out there who can explain to me why Metrolinx can’t get a 19-km light rail project completed within the anticipated 9 years?  Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line across Canada took four years  to complete.

In light of the boondoggle-in-the-making that is the Eglington Crosstown, I’m not feeling over-confident to the success of the proposed Hamilton LRT project. It might not be too late Hamilton.

Sources: Eglinton Crosstown plagued by 260 quality control issues, including improperly laid track: Metrolinx CEO | CBC News, There’s no ‘credible plan’ to complete the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, confidential documents say | CBC News.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/light-rail-transit-is-proving-to-be-a-costly-boondoggle-for-toronto/

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