Shovels are in the ground for one of Transit City’s light rail lines.
With a groundbreaking on Dec. 21 attended by all officials from all levels of government, construction was underway on the Sheppard East transit, a light rail line that will pick up where the Sheppard subway stops and continue east into Scarborough.
“By providing more convenient, affordable, faster rides on public transit, we are tackling congestion, creating jobs, stimulating the economy and improving the air we breathe,” Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley was quoted as saying at the event.
The federal government is footing about one third of the bill for the new line, up to $333 million, with the province kicking in the rest.
The light rail line, which will extend 13.6 km from Don Mills Station east to Meadowvale Road, represents the first in seven planned lines. Other routes in the plan include the Waterfront West line along the lakeshore and the Eglinton Crosstown.
The Sheppard line is expected to be completed in 2013.
But what will it look like?
According to the TTC’s website, the light rail lines will look similar to Toronto’s streetcar system but with two major differences: The new system will be faster. Operating on dedicated lanes, they will be free from traffic congestion.
The other difference is the vehicles themselves, which are roomier than the traditional streetcar and more closely resemble a modern subway car.