Using the city's candidate information service, which allows candidates equal access to financial and other information from city staff, Smitherman's people have compiled a detailed look at some of Ford's transit plans, including the penalties for cancelling Toronto's historic order for new streetcars.
Ford has suggested that streetcars cause more congestion than they alleviate and he is proposing to rip up some of the existing downtown lines and halt the building of light rail into the suburbs.
TTC spokesman Brad Ross confirms the numbers are directly from transit officials but many are guesstimates because they represent scenarios the TTC has never had cause to calculate.
"We get asked frequently the cost to cancel contracts for the streetcars. We don’t know. It’s not the kind of thing we would have undertaken unless direction were given to us," he said.
The cost of ripping up streetcar tracks, for example, is tough to calculate.
"We would never rip up the network. It’s not something you would do. If a policy decision was made to eliminate streetcars, then over time, the track and overhead wires would obviously be removed, but only over time… so we never provided an actual dollar figure. It’s too difficult to say," according to Ross.
But some of the numbers being floated in response to the Smitherman questions, include:
- $116.3 million wasted on Transit City light rail work so far
- $1.6 billion in contracts against which penalties could be levied, including new streetcars and tunnel boring machines for the Eglinton Transit City line.
- $1,100 to remove and repave each metre of existing streetcar tracks (although Smitherman's documents didn't have the total metres, Ross called The Goods to report that there are 90,000 metres of double track)
-$1,100 to remove each metre of overhead wire along streetcar tracks
-$200 million for new bus garages given that Ford is proposing to replace downtown streetcars with buses
- $407 million for 550 new hybrid buses at a cost of $740,000 each
- $35 million a year for 700 additional bus drivers