which option would you take:
1. $7 billion line, running from downtown to pape, ~7km, opening in 2029. *Maybe* you might get another $6-7 billion extension to Sheppard in another decade, if you are lucky. hope you don't live or work on the west end of downtown.
2. $11 billion line, running from the west end to Eglinton, ~15km, opening 12 months later.
The City's relief line was a bit further ahead, but it as a bloated, poorly designed line, and ultimately those extra 12 months are going to result in a line which works a lot better for it's users for a much longer time.
For clarity, the O/L is unlikely to open by December 2030; its always possible, but that's certainly optimistic.
Also, the largest chunk of 'savings' in overlapping segments of the O/L and Relief Line aren't from any changes in alignment, they are from smaller stations and lower capacity rolling stock.
I don't think we need to, and I will not re litigate the whole question of which project design is better and why; but I will make the case that you are awarding credit for achievement that isn't really merited.
Segment for segment, if one chose to go with the reduced capacity model, you could have built the R/L (meaning same alignment) and easily afforded the extension to Eglinton.
Alternatively, based on the R/L's unit cost, had you bloated the budget by 4B, or roughly 57%, allowing for fixed costs etc, you certainly could have achieved a 65% increase in length and stations. That gets you at least 11.5km of length.
And that is also if you believe the O/L budget holds.
Ford didn't deliver any miracle or panacea, he delivered delay, much consternation, and reduced capacity with, yes, an advancement of future extensions by a few years.