Historic downtown relief line could solve subway congestion
April 14, 2012 by Chloe
A 25 year-old solution for Toronto’s transit woes has recently come to the forefront. The looming capacity crisis at Union Station has sparked a debate that the TTC should be building a downtown subway extension, rather than extending the subway further east and north.
The Downtown Relief Line was first proposed in 1985 as part of the Network 2011 plan prepared by the TTC, along with extensions to the Yonge and Spadina lines, as well as the Sheppard subway. The downtown subway extension was quickly shelved once the cost of construction was released. Extending from Union Station eastward under Front Street all the way to Pape Avenue, and then turning northward to connect up with the Bloor subway line, the Downtown Relief Line is intended to be a much-needed alternative for the overcrowded Yonge line south of Bloor Street.
A number of maps showing different layouts for the Downtown Relief Line can be downloaded from the Toronto Star, Wikipedia and the Get Toronto Moving website. No doubt the maps will also be used in flyer printing to promote the new layouts.
Supporters of the Downtown Relief Line argue that the overwhelming congestion at Union Station will only be magnified by extending the subway lines further east and north past the city limits as these extensions will encourage even more riders into the already crowded subways. Instead, a new subway line downtown will reduce the crowding at Union Station by offering a third subway line to transport riders through the downtown.