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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Student transit in Scarborough

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Scarborough LRT

The Varsity, the University of Toronto student newspaper, has an interesting story in today’s issue about the difficulties facing students taking transit to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus. While the campus is significantly increasing the number of students it takes in, TTC service has not been expanded to catch up. The story also points out that Scarborough is competing with York University for scarce funds for subway expansion — in Scarborough’s case, to replace the aging Scarborough light transit line.

The case for expanded transit to the Scarborough campus is complicated, because the current light rail line does not come close to the campus, which is even more isolated than the York campus. It might be worth a solution such as a dedicated streetcar line, however.

The federal and provincial governments claim they want people to start taking transit. Here are two crying needs for improved transit — why not fund both? Get students enjoying transit, and it may become a lifetime habit for them. Pack them into overcrowded and erratic buses, on the other hand, and they will stop taking transit as soon as they can.