In Toronto, a Major Victory for Light Rail

During the last year, Toronto has been heatedly debating the future of its transit network, with billions of city dollars at stake. Toronto's current mayor, Rob Ford, ran his campaign on a pledge to build underground subway lines rather than build an above-ground light-rail network to reach the suburbs. Last week, the city council voted in favor of the light-rail plan, with future implications for international cities:

"In Toronto, the debate pivoted around a question that now confounds many large cities: how to deliver higher-order, cost-effective transit in low density suburbs: with subways or LRTs?...In the end, council supported Stintz, handing Ford a huge defeat that seriously undermines his ability to deliver a key campaign pledge...But the decision reflects the experience of a growing number of international cities that have discovered it is ultimately more cost-effective to build LRT (or bus rapid transit) in lower-density areas on the urban periphery."

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