TTC chair Karen Stintz was out-voted Tuesday by other allies of Mayor Rob Ford on a request that transit staff report on the controversial $8.4-billion Eglinton Crosstown light rail line, including the pros and cons of burying the portion east of the Don Valley. Mayor Ford is unequivocal that the entire line must run underground, as outlined in a deal he struck last March with the McGuinty government. That deal has yet to get the required approval of city council and there are questions about whether the mayor has the support he needs to get his deal done.
Ms. Stintz was one of a small group working on a compromise that included street-level trains on the eastern leg of the route, with the money saved directed to the mayor’s promised Sheppard subway extension and improving service on Finch Avenue West.
This week the mayor dug in his heels, saying a “subway” was what the taxpayers of Scarborough wanted, claiming his success at the ballot box gave him the mandate to push forward. Tuesday’s vote at the TTC meeting was taken by the mayor’s critics as further evidence of his determination to fight rather than compromise, with some painting it as a political manoeuvre designed to end-run council.