Mayor David Miller threatens the future of his own Transit City light rail lines by refusing to get on board with a new provincial plan that will mean TTC riders wait longer for shorter lines with fewer stops, says Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne.
“Does he want (the projects) to stop? Because undermining the process can lead to that,” she said.
It was the latest salvo in a war of words between the province and mayor over the deferral of $4 billion in funding for lines on Sheppard, Finch, Eglinton and the Scarborough RT.
The volume went up after Miller wrote Premier Dalton McGuinty Wednesday saying the city would never support a revised Metrolinx plan that cuts the lines and delays their completion to at least 2020 rather than 2016.
While Miller said Thursday he was aware of “a proposal” to reduce the scope of the projects by 22.5 kilometres and 25 stops, he never agreed to it if it meant construction would be delayed.
The revised Metrolinx plan is “a big, massive cut,” he said.
“They’re proposing building little stubs of lines just like happened in 1995. We ended up with just the Sheppard line and, if the Metrolinx proposal goes ahead, we’ll have a subway from Leaside to Forest Hill and that’s a violation of all the people who need transit the most,” he said.
Metrolinx CEO Rob Prichard said Thursday that, while Miller had supported the scaled-back Transit City plan once it became clear the four lines were about $2.5 billion over the $8.15 billion the province originally promised, that was before the March provincial budget pushed the timelines back.
He said there are documents that prove Miller attended meetings where the cuts were discussed.