61% majority of Torontonians prefer LRT over subway for Scarborough: Poll
56% in Scarborough oppose $3.5 billion subway extension and the $1 billion tax increase
TORONTO - A majority of Toronto voters, including a solid majority in Scarborough, want to build a seven-stop Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in Scarborough rather than a three-stop subway extension that means a $1 billion tax increase over 30 years. These are the key findings of an independent survey conducted by Leger Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2014.
As part of its regular sampling of opinion on key public policy issues, Leger asked Torontonians aged 18 and older who are eligible to vote to evaluate the LRT and subway options for Scarborough, including their cost, property tax impact, accessibility to transit users and projected dates of completion. Here are the survey's key findings:
• Among voters expressing a position, 61% say they support the LRT line to provide improved public transit service to Scarborough, while 39% support a subway extension.
• Voters in Scarborough prefer an LRT over a subway for their own part of the city by 56% to 44%.
• The strongest support for the LRT option is found in the former City of Toronto at 75%, York (68%) and East York (67%).
• The strongest support for building a subway extension in Scarborough comes from voters in North York, who are split 50%-50% on which transit option is best for Scarborough.
The findings indicate a change in voters' views from January 2011, when a Leger survey of Torontonians found 52% chose building subways over building light rail. That question was not specifically about which option is best for Scarborough, and did not mention that building a subway extension in Scarborough would mean a $1 billion tax increase for all Toronto taxpayers.
Leger surveyed 523 Toronto adults over the age of 18 and eligible to vote on January 31 and February 1, 2014, using its online panel, LegerWeb. The data have been weighted according to Statistics Canada population data for age and gender.