Metrolinx is studying the extension of rapid transit along Sheppard Avenue in Toronto, both west from the current western terminus at Yonge Line 1 over to University Line 1, and from the current eastern terminus at Don Mills Road over to the future McCowan/Sheppard station on the Danforth Line 2 extension, now under construction.

Map of the area covered by the study, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The Sheppard Line 4 subway has operated far under capacity ever since it opened in 2002; it serves just under 3,000 passengers per hour at peak periods, while it could easily handle 10,000 per hour, and up to 30,000 per hour following some physical alterations. Only five stations long, it's been jokingly called the 'Sheppard Stubway,' a reference not only to its perceived lack of utility, but also refers to the fact that there has long been an intention to extend rapid transit further to the east, ever since the line was first imagined and built. For most of that time, the City's stated intention is that an LRT line would eventually be built eastwards from Don Mills station into Scarborough, and that the existing subway might be converted into LRT service at that point too, to eliminate the time and inconvenience of one transfer point for passengers.

A recent community consultation regarding expansion of rapid transit along Sheppard Avenue, image by Craig White

Recently, an initial business case study has again determined that considering the various options of improving transit along Sheppard was worthwhile, and following provincial funding, Metrolinx is now collecting the public's comments on what they would like to see happen along Sheppard, transit-wise.

While three public meetings were recently held over the last two weeks in community facilities along the route, all of the information presented at the meetings is still available online, and the public has the opportunity until December 7 to provide their input by filling out a 10-point questionnaire. From this round of feedback, Metrolinx will develop concepts for the expansion, which will then be submitted for a second round of public feedback.

Where we are at in the Sheppard Extension process, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Only two of many pieces of information regarding the study are presented here, but much more can be found online. The welcome page is here, while the detailed information can be found on this PDF. Following going through the information, click on the green 'Join event' link at the bottom of this page to provide your feedback. The chance for feedback closes on December 7.

You can also get in on the conversation about this line in UrbanToronto's dedicated thread, here, where you can simply read the posts, or also leave comments if you are a member.

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