The Ontario PCs’ victory in the June 7 provincial election has revived one city councillor’s hope of cancelling the Finch West LRT, but killing the project could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and critics warn it would deprive northwest Toronto of badly needed transit.
At a community meeting hosted by Metrolinx in North York on Thursday evening, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7 York West) plans to renew his push to stop the $1.2-billion Finch LRT, which would run for 11 kilometres between Finch West subway station and Humber College.
Mammoliti wants a subway on the route instead, despite projected ridership that falls well below levels that would justify a more expensive underground line, and the fact Metrolinx, the provincial agency in charge of the project, has already spent at least $236.3 million on the LRT. The province has already awarded the contract to build the 18-stop line, which is scheduled for completion by 2023.
“(Premier-designate) Doug Ford has already stated during the provincial election that what he wants is to build subways, and that he will revisit all transit projects to ensure that Torontonians are getting the best option available. I believe that the Finch LRT is a good place for him to start,” said Mammoliti in a news release Wednesday.
Ford made his preference for subways over LRTs well known during his one term as city councillor, but during the provincial election his party said he would proceed with the Finch LRT as planned. The Ontario PCs did not return a request for comment Wednesday.
Mammoliti’s latest attack on the LRT rests on a claim that local residents weren’t consulted about its construction impacts.