Transit Equity: Retrofitting Inner Suburban Corridors
Scarborough has been the site of transit expansion debate over the past decade. As Toronto developed into a global city, the gap in transit provision and socioeconomic status emerged between the City of Toronto and Scarborough. Although various transit expansion plans have been proposed Scarborough, there has been little to no action from the City of Toronto, nor commitment from consecutive Provincial governments. In the mid to late 20th century, the development and policies of Toronto were largely influenced by mobility-based planning. This has manifested an environment centered around the private automobile, and has negatively impacted the development of transit in Scarborough, causing problems of inaccessibility and transit inequity. The relationship between the provision of transit and transit expansion in Scarborough and accessibility and transit equity are examined. Accessibility and transit equity are defined to reflect this relationship. Only after defining these terms can we discuss how transit development in Toronto and Scarborough has created an environment of inaccessibility and transit inequity in Scarborough. Efforts made by the Province of Ontario, namely “The Big Move” regional transit plan (2008), have been made to remedy the situation. However, the projects that are prioritized under The Big Move have focused on improving the competitiveness of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region in the global market. The list of projects anticipated under The Big Move, was the Sheppard Light Rail Technology (LRT). Researching the proposed LRT plan, I utilise ArcGIS to create visual maps to examine and compare the socioeconomics of Scarborough and the City of Toronto. I also investigated Eglinton Crosstown as a case study to understand the impacts of an LRT system on a corridor and use Eglinton Crosstown to forecast the impacts of LRT on Sheppard Avenue East. I suggest utilising transit oriented development (TODs) as the method of intensification under the main street intensification approach to justify the implementation of an LRT system, and overall improve transit equity.