Why Spadina's a bad idea
• How do we count the ways? This stub of a line will cost a staggering $2 billion (not including cost overruns), will cover little more than 8 kilometres (to Highway 7 in York Region) and won't be operational until 2014.
• When all is said and done, the Spadina extension will be the second-most-expensive nine minutes in the entire system, carrying 100,000 passengers a day - not exactly setting the tracks on fire.
• That number is only slightly larger than the number of passengers currently using the Sheppard subway. Remove peak travel times and what you've got is another mostly deserted line.
What else can we get for $2 billion?
• Enough light rail to start really connecting the city. For the $2 billion the feds et al. are sinking into Spadina, a 31-kilometre light rail line carrying millions more passengers per year could be built right across Eglinton from Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport.
• Or, for the same amount of money that's to be spent on Spadina, we could build an 18-kilometre light rail line along Don Mills from Steeles to the Bloor subway; an 11-kilometre line along the waterfront from Union to Long Branch; and a 17-kilometre line along Finch from Yonge to Highway 27.
Have we learned any lessons from the Sheppard subway?
• Apparently not. That 6.4-kilometre stretch of madness cost $1.1 billion to build and only moves about 83,000 passengers a day, not exactly getting people out of their cars, while at the same time giving rise to abominable development aboveground at major nodes along the route.