The Route

The existing Sheppard Subway would be converted to ALRT technology. A new section of line 6.5 km long could be built linking it and the Scarborough RT, which can be upgraded and extended to Sheppard Avenue. The new line can be elevated, running mostly above Highway 401. There cannot be too many objections to the visual impacts of an elevated ALRT line built above a 14-lane freeway. This would be much less expensive than proposals to extend either the Bloor or Sheppard subways, while actually offering much greater benefits.

Three new stations would be built. One, at Victoria Park Avenue, would serve the Consumers Road area, which has major development potential. The second might be at Warden Avenue. A third would be at Kennedy Road where there is also development potential.

A junction could be built with the Scarborough RT between Midland and Kennedy, so that trains could run from Sheppard/Yonge to both Kennedy/Eglinton and to Malvern via Scarborough Centre. With automated, driverless trains, a high-frequency service can operate on all three routes over what we call a "Scarborough Wye."

Figure 24: Most of the Vancouver Skytrain network is elevated. This does not seem to have damaged Vancouver's reputation as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Transit passengers enjoy the view. The system has been extended several times, and now includes three lines, with 47 stations and a total length of 69 km. Ridership is almost 400,000 per day. It forms the backbone of Vancouver's public transit network. The Evergreen Line, an extension to the original Expo Line, is now under construction. The construction cost of the 11-km line, mostly elevated with six stations, is $1.4 billion or about $127million per km. Bombardier is supplying 28 "Mark 2" ALRT cars for $91million or $3.25million per car.

Figure 25: The Airtrain to New York's JFK Airport, which uses the same Ontario-designed technology, runs high above the 6-lane Van Wyck expressway. The proposed link between the Sheppard Subway and Scarborough RT would run above 401, which is more than twice as wide.