Toronto

Jennifer Keesmaat talks downtown relief line, other transit projects on Twitter

5 things we learned from chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat’s transit tweets.

5 things we learned from the chief planner's transit tweets

Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat answered questions about a plan to give transit priority on King Street, as well as several other transit-related issues, on Twitter Wednesday. (Reuters)

Toronto's chief planner took to Twitter to talk transit on Wednesday.

Jennifer Keesmaat took questions from the public on a number of topics, including the downtown relief subway line. The conversation also fell on a day marked by a major funding announcement for the relief line and a significant subway failure on the Bloor-Danforth line as well.

Among her first tweets, tagged #TransitTO, Keesmaat was quick to point that this morning's chaotic commute would have been different with a relief line.

"A network needs redundancy," she tweeted.

Keesmaat was also asked when Torontonians can expect to see construction begin on the project — note TPAP stands for Transit Project Assessment Process.

One person also questioned how the city will develop a brand new underground line without disrupting life for those who live near the approved route, which runs under Queen/Richmond Streets and Eastern and Pape Avenues. 

Several people asked Keesmaat about the planned Scarborough subway, and whether or not the new line would have enough riders to justify the cost. Keesmaat said it would, and used a chart to illustrate her point, though later, several people had more questions about the chart's figures.

Earlier, Mayor John Tory sharply criticized those who attacked the estimated ridership numbers for the Scaborough extension. 

Keesmaat also discussed a pilot project that will prioritize transit on King Street — the busiest streetcar line in the city. The pilot project is set to begin on June 16 and Keesmaat said she considers it a "key priority."

One King Street transit user asked Keesmaat why a pilot project is needed when the demand for better service on the line is so clear. 

And since June is bike month in the city, one person asked Keesmaat how the new developments would work for cyclists.

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