SmartTrack Was A Mirage

TORONTO — August 30, 2018: In a press conference to set out her Network Transit Plan today, Toronto mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat said that talking about transit must begin by telling the truth about the plans of the current mayor, John Tory.

“When John Tory left his role as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party hoping for better luck here in Toronto, he ran on one promise: Make him mayor and he would get transit moving with ‘SmartTrack’”, Keesmaat said. “Why is it that John Tory isn’t talking about his failed signature transit plan anymore?”

Keesmaat pointed to the real outcome of Mr. Tory’s plan:

  • In the 2014 election, Mr. Tory promised to build 53 new kilometres of track for his plan. Zero — not a single kilometre — of that track has or will ever be built, because expert planners and Toronto City Council determined that Mr. Tory’s plan was unrealistic and impossible to implement.
  • In the 2014 election, Mr. Tory promised to build 22 stations for his plan. Now, six new stations are currently planned to be added to the GO system at the City’s expense. Stations were dropped because expert planners and Toronto City Council determined that Mr. Tory’s plan was unrealistic and impossible to implement.
  • In the 2014 election, Mr. Tory promised to buy and operate new purpose-built “surface subway” trains. Zero — not a single train — has or will ever be bought or operated, once again, because expert planners and Toronto City council determined that Mr. Tory’s plan was unrealistic and impossible to implement.

“Mr. Tory ran for mayor asking for a mandate to implement his signature plan, which is a political mirage that has been abandoned and will never be built”, Keesmaat said. “Mr. Tory is going around now saying that we shouldn’t interrupt plans that are half-finished. But ‘SmartTrack’ never started.”

Keesmaat said Mr. Tory should be held accountable for his record.

“He abandoned his efforts in provincial politics and came to Toronto to implement ‘SmartTrack’. He was elected to do it. And it has proved to be what it always was — a political promise drawn on the back of a napkin that has never started and will never be built.”

BACKGROUNDER – JOHN TORY’S “SMARTTRACK” MIRAGE

John Tory’s failed signature transit plan no longer exists as he promised it to voters during the last election. It is nothing more than a mirage that was designed to get him elected.

Here are the facts:

What John Tory promised in 2014 What we know now

22 stations[1]

At most 6 new stations (final total is currently under study)[2]

“London-style surface rail subway”[3]

GO Trains[4]

53 km of new track[5]

No new tracks[6]

200,000 passengers a day[7]

Projection not possible given uncertainty around fare integration and 5-minute service levels

In service in seven years from 2014[8]

GO RER in service in 2024-26 (10-12 years) if expansion of Union Station completed in time[9]

Paid for using Tax Increment Financing[10]

City contribution of $1.463 Billion to Metrolinx RER project[11]

Fare integration with TTC[12]

Separate GO fare on top of TTC fare[13]

[1] https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/08/26/is_john_torys_smarttrack_on_track_for_sevenyear_delivery.html

[2] http://smarttrack.to/smarttrack/new-stations/

[3] https://smarttracker.ca/

[4]https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/17/go-and-smarttrack-are-one-and-the-same-service-says-metrolinx.html

[5] https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/08/26/is_john_torys_smarttrack_on_track_for_sevenyear_delivery.html

[6] http://smarttrack.to/

[7]https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2014/05/27/john_tory_promises_relief_rail_running_from_mississauga_to_toronto_to_markham.html

[8] https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/08/26/is_john_torys_smarttrack_on_track_for_sevenyear_delivery.html

[9]https://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/article/Ontario-invests-billions-in-ambitious-plan-to-boost-GO-Transits-commuter-rail-service--54376

[10]https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/torys-smart-track-plan-cant-be-funded-built-as-promised-report/article32591560/

[11] http://smarttrack.to/smarttrack/smarttrack-current-work/

[12]https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/10/16/candidates_transit_platforms_say_nothing_about_how_well_pay_to_run_new_trains.html

[13]https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/08/03/john-torys-smarttrack-plan-faces-uncertain-fate-as-pcs-refuse-to-commit-to-key-policy.html

August 30, 2018
Contact: Beth Clarkson
(647) 354-3780

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