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March 18, 2010

Sarah Thomson proposes Massive Subway Expansion

CANADA - Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson is proposing a massive subway expansion, something Toronto dearly needs despite its shortage of funds to pay for the expansion.

The solution is rather daring: A $5 charge for Torontonians using the DVP and the Gardiner, Toronto's busiest highways, but only during rush hours times Monday to Friday.

The highway surcharge would eventually be phased out (somehow doubtful when the city council realizes what a huge moneymaker it would be), but in the process it would pay for 58 km of track across the city, extending the subway to the airport, east through Scarborough and north to York University and Steeles. The total cost would be $11 billion, based on estimates that each kilometre of track costs about $200 million to build and maintain. The estimate includes renovations to existing subway stations.

Naysayers are saying this is political suicide, but polls show Torontonians (drivers included) support subway expansion because it will reduce traffic, road rage, congestion, traffic jams. Furthermore the elderly (statistically the age group which votes the most) uses public transit regularly. Its also strongly endorsed by young voters, green voters, subway enthusiasts and anyone who's ever been waited hours in a traffic jam on the DVP or the Gardiner.

The Mayoral Candidates

Giorgio Mammoliti - A Conservative who wants to build a casino and red light district, turning Toronto into a Canadian version of Las Vegas and Bangkok.

Joe Pantalone - A lefty who has name recognition. He's currently trying to distance himself from current Mayor David Miller.

Rocco Rossi - A Centrist with no clear policy and with no past history in office. He's been pretty quiet so far.

George Smitherman - A Liberal who is running more on his personality than his policies.

Sarah Thomson - A fiscal conservative but socially liberal. She's caught our attention with her bold plan for a bigger, better TTC. She wants a hiring/spending freeze until Toronto can get its budget fixed and more public/private investment in the TTC.

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