Ford plans to extend transit into Pickering and Markham

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Premier-elect Doug Ford spoke with reporters in Pickering on June 21 to reiterate his plans for extending the subway lines into other cities.

Ford told reporters in Pickering that “we’ve been preaching for 10 years in Toronto … we love subways. Rapid underground transit, unlike the LRT that they rip up two lanes of road traffic and they clunk along the street, antiquated system.”

He added that his government will be focussing on a rapid underground transit system that extends outside of Toronto. “[…] We’re the first government that’s going to run a regional transportation system. So, folks in Pickering eventually will be able to hop on a subway and get to downtown Toronto. People of Markham and the outlying areas, over time, will be on a subway, to make sure that we get traffic moving.”

Simon Jefferies, PC spokesperson, said that Ford wants to “build a state of the art transit system across the GTA, which includes looking at all options for extending transit lines to regions outside of Toronto.”

Globe and Mail added that Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins didn’t comment on Ford’s aspirations, instead saying “I can’t really comment on something I don’t have full context or information about. But we’re happy to talk to the new government about any proposals they have.”

Ford described his ambitions for the subway on the campaign trail. He and his brother, Rob, had big plans for the subway when they were in office, which included extending service into additional cities. In May, Doug talked about how he wanted to return to the original Scarborough plan and add two stops along the line, whereas right now there’s only one. At the time he said, “My friends in Scarborough, help is on the way. We’re going to build proper transit, underground transit. Not the two-tiered transit system that all the people in Scarborough have to stand out in the freezing cold in the winter and everyone else in the city gets rapid underground transit. So, we will be adding two additional stops on that.”

Amidst his promises for the subway, people were quick to point out the price tag of such projects and wondered how much money would be spent building these stops. When Doug was speaking with reporters in Pickering he didn’t mention how he would fund the project, just that he wanted to extend service into Markham and Pickering.

The two cities already have GO train service available that connects them and Toronto.

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