Why Is The Scarborough Rt Closing

why is the scarborough rt closing


Since its introduction in the 1980s, the Scarborough Rapid Transit (RT) has been essential for the movement of people within Scarborough. However, in recent years, the transit system has faced numerous challenges, culminating in the decision to close it. This article explores the reasons behind the Scarborough RT's impending closure.

The Ageing Infrastructure and High Maintenance Costs

The Scarborough RT, launched in 1985, has aged significantly. The wear and tear over the years have resulted in frequent mechanical issues and disruptions. Notably, the infrastructure’s design utilizes ageing ICTS technology that is no longer in widespread use, making parts for repairs increasingly hard to procure. The high costs of maintaining the ageing infrastructure and its increasingly frequent downtime led to the decision of decommissioning the line.

Inadequate Capacity

When the Scarborough RT was initially constructed, Scarborough's population and accompanying transit needs were significantly smaller. Over the decades, however, Scarborough's population has dramatically increased and so have the demands on public transit. The current system has been unable to keep up with the surge in demand, causing overcrowding during peak hours, leading to discomfort and inconvenience for passengers.

Necessity for Modernisation

Modern transit systems around the world incorporate environmentally friendly technology, improve accessibility, and include modern passenger comforts. The Scarborough RT, however, has fallen behind regarding these enhancements. The need to offer a transit experience at par with global standards played an essential role in the decision for closure and overhaul.

Replacement with a More Efficient System

Following the closure of the Scarborough RT, plans are in place to replace it with the Scarborough Subway Extension. The subway system will have greater passenger capacity, better accessibility options, and will offer a more reliable and efficient transit service than the existing RT.

Public Input and Community Concerns

The public has been integral in the decision-making process. Through public consultations, many residents expressed their desire for a more modern, efficient, and dependable transit system in Scarborough. In response to public sentiment and needs, the decision was made to close down the Scarborough RT and embrace the new Scarborough Subway Extension.


The decision to close the Scarborough RT is a reflection of Scarborough’s growth and evolving needs. While this decision marks the end of an era, it will pave the way for a new and improved transit system that aligns with today’s demands and global standards. While it does bring some nostalgia and change, the move is sure to offer a better, more effective, and more reliable transport system for the residents of Scarborough.