Welcome to SOS: Save Our Subways!

Save Our Subways has been created to promote subways in Toronto, in particular to replace the Scarborough Rapid Transit line from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Centre, and to finish the planned Sheppard Subway from Don Mills to Scarborough Centre, and from Sheppard-Yonge to Downsview.

1) Too many transfers. Takes two transfers to go from Agincourt to Downsview or from STC to Yonge St. Continues to force hundreds of thousands of riders a day to transfer at Kennedy station and Don Mills needlessly. Will impose a new transfer on riders travelling along Eglinton from east of Kennedy.

2) Too slow. While buses average 17 km/h and subways average 30 km/h, the LRTs will average 23 km/h. The Transit City proposal won't provide rapid transit across northern Toronto and won't be a significant improvement over the buses for local travel either. >From Meadowvale till Don Mills, the maximum amount of time a rider can save would be about 14 minutes. However, the closer a rider is to Don Mills, the less the time that will be saved. West of Agincourt, the reduction in frequencies from today's buses could actually increase total travel time even if the transit time is shorter due to longer wait times.


SOS Vision 2012

Throughout the recent history of Toronto, transit plans have been created, started, and then thrown out in favour of something else. The end result is that only a small fraction of the original plan ever gets built. This cycle needs to stop.

This is why SOS has decided to support various elements of Transit City. But it must be stressed that we do not endorse the plan as a whole, and we would still like to see changes made to the plan in order to make it more efficient. Below is a brief summary of each of the 4 Transit City lines, as well as other projects, and our position on them.

  • Eglinton LRT
  • Scarborough LRT
  • Finch West LRT
  • Sheppard East LRT
  • The Downtown Relief Line
  • Expansion of GO Transit
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An Update on SOS

Since the creation of Save Our Subways (SOS) in 2009, much has changed. The transit projects that make up Transit City are much further along, there is a new Mayor in Toronto, and the Provincial Government is about to enter a new era of austerity.

As a result, SOS has needed to change its mandate somewhat. While we are still committed to demanding high quality rapid transit for all Torontonians, some realities must be faced.

Stay tuned for further updates and news.

Please Note: This group pre-dates the SOS Group founded by Councillor Doug Ford, and we do not have any connection with him, nor do we share his vision entirely. The similarity in name is purely coincidental.

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Move Toronto: The Backbone Plan

Subway backbone plan

In light of Queen's Park's recent decision to reduce Provincial funding for transit, the Save Our Subways Coalition has had to make changes to it's initial proposal, in order to accurately reflect the current political realities. We realize that city-wide transit expansion is no longer politically feasible.

As a result, we have created a separate version of Move Toronto, one that we have dubbed "The Backbone Plan". The purpose of this plan is to outline the subway projects that are of the highest priority to the City of Toronto, with the hope that the funds remaining for the construction of Transit City will be diverted to these 4 projects. These projects, if completed, would form a solid backbone of true higher-order transit that could more easily support future transit expansion in the GTA.

This plan is by no means the complete solution for the GTA, rather it is merely an attempt to 'catch up' to where transit in the GTA should be. With the new limits on transit funding that have been imposed by the Province, Toronto now more than ever, needs a reliable backbone network of subway lines upon which to build an even stronger transit network. None of the proposed lines in this "Backbone Plan" are new by any means. They have all been proposed in various forms before, with most of them having already been extensively studied. We believe that because of this fact, these projects can be fast-tracked, with construction beginning as soon as possible.

Transit expansion in Toronto has already gone by the wayside once in this generation, we cannot afford to let that happen again.

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Move Toronto

Move Toronto - Proposal for the future of transit in the GTA.

The Move Toronto plan is designed to take advantage of various modes of transit in order to move people effectively throughout Toronto. We realize that the subway network is the backbone of any municipal transit network, and that the backbone in Toronto is currently insufficient.

The Move Toronto plan, designed by the Save Our Subways Coalition, outlines an alternative, cost-neutral vision to Transit City. Rather than having LRT lines designed to transport passengers across Toronto, Move Toronto has proposed additions to Toronto’s subway network, with BRT and BRT Light lines delivering efficient, reliable, and cost-effective service to those without direct walking access to the subway network.

We believe that our vision for transit in Toronto is more dynamic, more versatile, more cost-effective, and a better long-term solution for transit. The investment in subway infrastructure that this plan proposes will be useful well into the next century. In addition, the relative little capital cost of the BRT and BRT Light network is adaptable, and upgradable to full BRT, LRT, or subway should future need present itself.

Toronto deserves a plan that will serve it’s transit needs for decades to come. Toronto deserves Move Toronto.

The Move Toronto plan is available for downloading from our Documents section.

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Move Toronto vs. Transit City FAQ

Here is some information about our transit development plan called Move Toronto. The plan is almost ready and will be released next week or two.

Q: Won’t this plan cost more than Transit City?
A: Transit City is a 15 year plan, projected to cost $15 billion. The 15 year portion of Move Toronto will be cost-neutral to Transit City, also costing $15 billion. Not included in either of those estimates are the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), the Spadina Subway extension, or the Yonge Subway extension. They are being funded independently, but are included in Move Toronto.

For the same cost as Transit City, Move Toronto will provide true, grade-separated rapid transit to many areas of Toronto.

Q: Will Transit City help reduce congestion at Bloor-Yonge station, or on the subways leading into downtown?
A: No. There is nothing in the Transit City plan that will reduce congestion at Bloor-Yonge station, or on the Yonge and University lines south of Bloor. If Transit City succeeds at boosting ridership, it will likely make the congestion even worse.

However, Move Toronto is proposing the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), a wider U-shaped line passing through downtown which, according to Metrolinx, will take approximately 17,000 rush hour passengers off the Yonge-University-Spadina subway south of Bloor.

Q: Will Transit City help reduce congestion on the subway network at all?
A: No. The entire Transit City plan is based around dumping LRT riders onto the existing subway network. Under Transit City, there are no new subway lines or extensions inside the 416. This will only increase congestion on existing subway lines that are already congested. In essence, Transit City is a $15 billion project to make it more efficient for people to reach a backlog on the subways.

Move Toronto proposes several new subway lines, which will have several advantages. They will relieve the existing lines by providing passengers more rapid transit options. They will also provide service to areas that are currently under-served. They will also mean shorter travel times on your local bus in order to reach the subway system.

In addition, Move Toronto will eliminate the transfers at Don Mills and Kennedy, providing an increase in convenience for thousands of commuters. These transfers would remain in place under Transit City.

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