TTC chair Karen Stintz waits for the subway at Union Station (Toronto Sun files)
City council is meeting Wednesday to vote on reviving the Sheppard LRT rather than Mayor Rob Ford’s dream of a Sheppard subway.
While TTC chair Karen Stintz has led the charge at City Hall to revive the Transit City light rail lines cancelled by Ford, she wasn’t always a fan of LRTs.
Back in 2009, Stintz told the Sun the LRT plan was “short-sighted” and argued Sheppard Ave. E., Eglinton and Scarborough-Malvern lines should be subways.
At that time, she advocated the idea subway lines be used to encourage development in areas where increased density is desirable.
“Had we taken that approach on Yonge St., we wouldn’t be the city we are today,” she said. “From a long-term city-building perspective, (Sheppard) really should be a subway, as should the Eglinton and Scarborough lines.”
“I think that we are taking a short-sighted approach to how we’re going to use this investment to benefit the city.”
Stintz of course did change her take on Transit City, even joining then-Mayor David Miller in fighting the “Save Transit City” campaign in 2010 before the municipal election.
Asked this week about her anti-LRT comments in 2009, Stintz said she had a view that LRTs were streetcars.
“I now have a better understanding of the technology and a better appreciation of how important it is to spend scarce resources wisely to improve transit across the city,” Stintz wrote in an e-mail response.
“I can also tell you that I support subways and support their construction. Our challenge is finding the resources to meet all our transit needs.”