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Student leader urges City Hall to move quickly on transit file

In this screen-grab image, City Studies student Yasmin Rajabi makes her deputation to the City of Toronto Executive Committee.

As a City Studies student and student leader at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Yasmin Rajabi got to put her knowledge into practice when she spoke to the city’s Executive Committee about the future of transit in Scarborough.

The most recent proposal, she told the committee, will provide long-overdue service to both the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and the Scarborough area as a whole.

 “I summed up all the students’ sentiments in one word: finally,” says Rajabi, a second year student and Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU) VP External. “This will help students get around in Scarborough, but also connect us to Toronto and the downtown St. George campus.”

Her experience in City Studies played a key role in her presentation. “It was a great opportunity to offer my perspective as a city studies student, because I feel that the work of city planners wasn’t valued for so long,” says Rajabi. “The city should be well-planned, not just to benefit election outcomes.”

To demonstrate the demand for transit the SCSU recently had a one-day shuttle service that transported students from the Scarborough Campus to the St. George Campus. The service was supported by a petition of over 1,300 signatures.

“It was to show the bigger problem of transit, and that it’s a huge demanding and essential service, the TTC should be a top priority,” says Rajabi.

The new transit proposal for Scarborough includes a 17-stop Eglinton Crosstown LRT that would include a stop at UTSC.  

Principal Bruce Kidd echoed these sentiments in his presentation, insisting that the expansion isn’t simply to accommodate the student, staff and faculty at the University.

“It’s a great moment for transit planning in Scarborough, a forward thinking plan that serves our growing student population and all of the Scarborough,” Kidd told the committee. “We hope that you will put the shovel in the ground as soon as possible to make it a reality.”

While she supports the long-term proposal for an LRT, Rajabi stressed the need for better transit to the campus right away. Later in the day, Ward 41 Councilor Paul Ainslie moved a motion to improve bus transit immediately at U of T Scarborough in addition to ensuring the LRT is built in accordance with UTSC’s Master Plan.

“As a city studies student it was such a treat to see governance and urban planning in action,” says Rajabi. 

For Rajabi, the opportunity to speak with city council proved to be productive in more ways than one. “I also did my homework for my city structure and city choices class.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough