Lloyd Alter | Urban Design

There is a never ending debate going on in Toronto about whether to build a three-stop subway in the former suburb of Scarborough, or whether to build a seven-stop LRT (Light Rapid Transit) system. Mayor Rob Ford, who hates transit because it gets in the way of his Escalade, says “People want subways, folks… subways, subways. They don’t want these damn streetcars blocking up our city!” Somehow he struck fear into the hearts of suburban councillors who are convinced that World Class Cities have subways and that LRT is somehow second-rate, and right now the subway, which costs twice as much and serves half as many people, is the approved system.

One factor in the choice is the projected demand: which system will have bigger ridership? In the Globe and Mail, Oliver Moore writes a thoughtful article that looks at the math, the calculations of how many people are going to be riding the subway and concludes that it’s complicated, and nobody really knows. It is also clear that nobody really cares; Subway booster Glen de Baeremaeker simply says “All Toronto residents should have access to a good healthy vibrant transit system.” Read more