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Subway or LRT for Scarborough? Commuters divided

A series of photos posted by a City Hall staffer show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford riding Scarborough rapid transit and engaging a fellow passenger in discussion on Feb. 9, 2012.

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Like it is for many people who commute from Scarborough to downtown Toronto everyday, the Scarborough Rapid Transit is a necessary evil for Rahul Iyer.

"It's not very comfortable, but it serves a purpose," he says as he waits Thursday to board the elevated train at Kennedy station. "A subway would probably be better because than I wouldn't have to switch [trains]."

A plan is in place to replace the SRT with a new light rail transit (LRT) line. However recently, some Scarborough councillors have began calling for a subway line to extend to the east-end borough. On Thursday, Ontario Minister of Transport Glen Murray said the LRT plan will be going forward.

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Catherine Seguin, who moved from Montreal to Scarborough two weeks ago, doesn't see how a subway would make things better.

"Since I've been here, I've seen the subway have more problems than the RT," she said, noting that generally she's more problems with Toronto's public transit than she did in Montreal. "[The SRT] has worked just fine for my back and forth."

However, other passengers would prefer a more direct route from downtown.

"It took me about an hour and a half to get [to Scarborough] from downtown Toronto," said Edith Branco, her voice nearly drowned out by the train's screeching breaks. "If a subway extended out here it would be much faster."

Marcio Leoni works a short walk from the final stop on the SRT line and commutes using the RT and subway everyday. He sees the advantages of extending the subway like, but understands it wouldn't come cheap.

"A subway might be better, but it's pricey," he said. "From a cost perspective, I don't think it's the best solution for the city."

For Eric Hutt, who's not a regular user of the SRT, one thing's clear: "They have I so something. I don't know about a subway, but update the cars, something."

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