The Scarborough Rapid Transit was certainly one of the most technologically advanced projects in Toronto, Ontario. SRT still has lot to offer to the people of Toronto.
Scarborough RT (Rapid Transit) was opened on 24th March, 1984. It’s been more than 30 years that this transit system has been servicing the people of Toronto, Ontario. This is a six-station transit system connecting the eastern part of Bloor-Danforth subway to the Kennedy-Midland corridor and the visitors and shoppers at Scarborough Town center.
The Scarborough RT is a rapid transit line on the rapid transit system in Toronto, Ontario. This transit system is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission, popularly known as the TTC. The line is 6.4 km long and almost the entire line is above the ground. And in between there are six stations.
Bridging the gaps
Unlike the other subways where comparatively larger subway cars are used on the lines, the Scarborough RT lines consist of comparatively smaller and fully automated transport system with Intermediate Capacity Transit System Mark I. These vehicles were built by the Urban Transport Development Corporation (UTDC). These vehicles were powered by the liner induction motor like what is used by the Vancouver SkyTrain and the Detroit People Mover. While standard gauge tracks were used in these lines, in the rest of the Toronto Subway wider gauge.
Whatever it is, the lines have been virtually unchanged ever since the opening of this transit in the year 1985. Among the six stations that it covers, there are two least used stations. The revitalization and expansion plan of this line has been in the debate for long by the Toronto Municipal Government.
The Political Controversy
However, the political uncertainties and the controversies regarding the Scarborough RT have been in the news since the 1970s. Questions regarding the cost-effectiveness, technology, existence of this line have always been there among the politicians. A number of politicians both from the municipal and provincial have come and gone with time but the debate has always been there in its own place. The debate was mostly centered with topics like how to design the cities and serve properly, who will be actually benefited out of this public transit and so on. And above all there was the matter of favoring the own by the politicians and obviously talking in support of the splashy infrastructure projects over the tested solutions.
Issues with SRT
There is very little doubt that the Scarborough RT served more people than buses could serve comfortably but it soon became a part of some kind of criticism as well. Some of the issues that became evident were change of the design in the halfway of the construction process, teething pains with the equipment, poor design and so on. This situation forces the TTC to go to the province and ask for another $27 million for the repair all those problems. Some of th4e major expenses mentioned in the list were $6 to 15 million for rebuilding the turning loop near the Kennedy station, $1.5 million, the cost of machinery to re-grind worn wheels, $5.9 million for the land cost, $1 million for restructuring the computer system and another 1.5 million for repairing other communication errors.
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