Category Archives: LRT

The “One City” 30-year plan possibly 20-years too late?


English: "Transit City" billboard pr...

English: “Transit City” billboard promoting proposed LRT expansion in Toronto by the TTC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford says “No”, and Karen says “Yes”! Most Torontonians know we need subways and better transit. We need a proper transit system in Toronto and transit is a smart investment. I was amazed to see how bad transit is in Toronto, when I attempted to make a simple trip on the roads the other day. To travel on Eglinton, from Wynford to Warden, took approximately 20-30 minutes, and I thought I was taking a short-cut. On another day I got off the 401 and got stuck on York Mills. I could not believe how many cars were on the road.  I understand why people are stressed. Drivers are upset in traffic, it makes sense. Trips that should take 10-15 minutes are now taking 45 minutes to an hour. There is not even a proper strategy for bicyclist downtown.

So what to do now? Well we have ‘another’ new 30-year transit plan. I have some news for our politicians, and I will keep it simple. We don’t have 30-years! I think we actually only have 10 years, max 15. We need shovels in the ground now and some out of the box ideas.

1. GO Transit has lines and tracks crossing through the city. Keep it simple! We need trains running on these lines in minimum 20-30 minute intervals; both ways, not in one direction downtown. Let’s utilize some of the infrastructure that exists and make it better.

2. Open up David Millers original Transit City plan and do more. Lets enhance that plan and fix what needs to be fixed. Get it done! No more long-term plans. Let’s get the maximum value out of the plans we have.

3. Let’s get a downtown “No Frills” relief line for Toronto. It does not have to be fancy. There are under-utilized CP/CN lines in the city. Put something on them and get people moving! In Ottawa they created a line on a single track, with track switching on certain portions of the line. It was not fancy, but they got it done.

4. Where are the BRT‘s and bike networks? Lets use our hydro corridors for BRT’s and a proper bike network.

5. Let’s get inventive and use Lake Ontario to move people to downtown Toronto, between Oshawa, Bowmanville, Hamilton and more.

6. Possibly re-visit Leslie as a relief to the Don Valley Parkway, maybe even using it for transit. We don’t need a massive change, but when we get to Eglinton somehow connect the road to the Bayview extension via a tunnel or via the valley in a creative fashion.

7. Merge transit across the city and lets get Presto implemented everywhere! Should Metrolinx be in charge of the entire transit system across the G.T.A?

We have to stop saying Torontonians, and G.T.A residents, cannot afford new taxes. I don’t like them either, but I don’t like to see people idling their cars. I don’t like stress. It’s pointless, if we know the solution to a better and healthier city. We do not need fancy, we just need to move! We know something must be done, so let’s get it done now; not 30 years down the road. It’s nice to have a plan, but we have had too many since the Liberal Peterson Government. We need transit in 10-15 years, not 30.

The debate over Subways or LRT transit is over – David Miller will see his vision for Toronto


"Transit City" billboard promoting p...

David Miller‘s original plan for Transit City will go ahead. The debate is over and it’s time to move on. It is pointless to delay building transit in Toronto and we should accept the conclusion. According to the original plan, if Transit City was started on time the Sheppard portion would have been completed by 2014. Hopefully the province will get it done quickly and on budget. Any further delays will add to the overall costs. Oddly enough construction on the Sheppard portion of the LRT will not begin until 2014, in a municipal election year. Is it a coincidence? Rob Ford may want to consider leaving this issue alone during the next election. Let’s look at the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), or something else. Unless he has a Federal ace card up his sleeve he may find himself on the wrong side again.

http://www.thestar.com/mobile/news/transportation/article/1167448–metrolinx-recommends-sheppard-lrt-building-start-in-2014

David Miller launching "ICT Toronto"...

David Miller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great source for transit information – The LRT Information Blog


Subways North of Steeles

my photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With transit in Toronto taking a back seat to casino expansion and red-light districts it’s nice to see that there is still action taking place outside of the G.T.A. In particular York Region and expansion of the Yonge line, north of Steeles and LRT expansion in Peel. With the Yonge line I am still a bit concerned about the load factors affecting affecting travel along the route. Toronto needs to seriously look into expansion of a Downtown Relief Line, as soon as possible; to ease the congestion on the Y-U-S. The Toronto LRT Information Page provides updates and commentary on both the Yonge Subway extension and the Brampton / Mississauga LRT expansion plans.

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Subways for the Downtown Relief Line


The war over Sheppard was barely finished and Andy Byford is already talking about a Down-town Relief line; hoping to take the pressure off the packed Yonge-University-Spadina subway. For years transit leaders have talked creating a line, however other priorities have always taken precedence. With Andy Byford openly talking about the line, maybe we will start to move away from the wrangling over transit. Originally the plan was part of the “Big Move”. The line, initially, would start at Pape station and then move onwards, with a limited amount of stops, to Union station.

TTC - Downtown Relief Line

Original Proposed DRL for Toronto

At the moment the talk merely hovers around Pape to Union, however there is the potential possibility of sending it north to Eglinton East (through Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park). Doing this could negate the need for a Don Mills LRT, opting for a BRT. There may also be the possibility of sending the line, over-ground through the Don Valley, to the Sheppard line; which would at least give some sense of completion to the line.

Leaside Bridge

Over-ground is definitely a cheaper option than underground. However a big problem is the Millword (Leaside) bridge. Sending a subway under the bridge would be quite costly. Closing the bridge, for subway construction, would be a traffic nightmare for the area. I imagine, for now, sending the line into the Don Valley area is out of the cards, however you never know what options the TTC may come up with; being that the Don Valley and the option of by-passing Thorncliffe all together or utilizing the open corridors in the area (Hydro, etc…) It will be interesting to see if any happens or if the DRL is ever built. Some will have to be done to move pressure from the Yonge line. I imagine the next civic election will be something to behold in Toronto. With Mayor Ford pushing for subways and both levels of government out of cash, how will these subways be built?

Stuck between a rock and a tunnel?


Well its come down to the wire and a final vote on the future of transit in the city. Will we go with an LRT module for Sheppard, leaving an unfinished subway at Don Mills? Or will we go all in and spend all of our capital on one project? In the end the choice should be yours, however its not. Its unfortunate that such an important decision will be decided by a group of politicians that cannot seem to get anything done on transit. What will the long-term legecy be for the people of Scarborough? A subway, an LRT or 20 more years of talking?

Let the war for Toronto begin!


Well let the war begin in the city of Toronto. In an apparent move to remove all opposition to Mayor Rob Ford’s subway plans a special Toronto Transit Commission meeting called with only one item on the agenda. A vote to remove Gary Webster’s from the Toronto Transit Commission. The nine-person commission voted 5-4 to remove Gary Webster. I am not sure how this will play out for the mayor and his allies, but I do not foresee it going well. Rather than seek an alternative, and work with council, they have decided to attempt to take control. This is not the best way to promote subways and I believe in the end Rob Ford may lose the battle.

Rob Ford

The Liberal government originally promised $8.15 billion in 2007 to Transit City. Transit City was almost entirely funded by the province, with the federal Conservatives chipping in $300 million. It was a plan, and we did not have to agree with all aspects of it, but for the first time we had all levels of government in agreement. If Transit City had gone ahead there would have been a renaissance. However, Mayor Rob Ford declared that David Miller’s transit vision was dead. He called the highly advanced trams, seen in Europe, Australia and many cities around the word streetcars. Yes, they operated on portions of the street, however this is not the St. Clair right-away. He should have worked with council and now a full-out war has been declared. The question is, will anything ever get done?

 

 

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Conservatives and Toronto’s Rob Ford Nation – Subways please…


Interestingly enough this election may be a boon for the G.T.A. Not that Toronto can expect the Conservatives to only pander to their needs. As the Prime Minister said last night “we will govern for all Canadians“. Despite that the Liberals took for granted the support of Torontonians and the G.T.A. For years, we voted for the Liberals without our needs being heard. Now the Conservatives will have to listen. However, my take is the Conservatives will take a page out of Rob Ford‘s book. Rob said “we will get subways”. Will the Conservatives deliver? I imagine that they will have to. Why? Rob Ford nation is a powerful force. Although he is now mayor and tends to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum, Rob is not afraid to push his agenda and fight for what he believes. The Conservatives would be wise to not upset Toronto’s exalted leader. He wants subways and an end to waste. The Conservatives will have to deliver. He wants Toronto’s common-sense issues listened to. The Conservatives will have to deliver. The Conservatives can no longer ignore Toronto. The Prime Minister had a strategy to target the G.T.A and it worked. Albeit, a lot of vote splitting happened. It does not matter. They solidified their base, in the G.T.A and gained additional votes. You cannot take that away from the Conservatives. However, much care is needed. Ontarians are also sometimes not as forgiving. The Conservatives would be wise to not follow their Liberal predecessors. Do not take that vote for granted!

By Mannee Jay

Toronto Mayoral candidate Rossi plans on stopping all TTC Light-Rail (Transit City) Expansion


TTC LRT

New Light-Rail for Toronto

Have we learned nothing from history and the reasons why there is a lack of good public transit options in the city of Toronto? What about jobs for the people of Thunder Bay? Again, with another knee-jerk reaction we may loose all we wanted in the city of Toronto and public transit by electing Rossi. Remember, if this is the attitude we took in the past, we would never have had the full Bloor-Danforth line, Spadina extension or top-end of the Yonge line (even our network of Streetcars that make the city). In other words, if you think transportation is bad now, what do you think it would be like in the future?

Read more below

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Rocco RossiToronto mayoral candidate pledges to make waves at city hall by banning bike lanes on major arteries and possibly quashing light-rail plan.

When Rocco Rossi vowed to banish bike lanes from major streets, the suit-and-tie crowd at the Empire Club event erupted into its most enthusiastic applause yet for the first real speech of the 2010 mayor’s race.

The line demonstrated that Mr. Rossi knows whom he’s after: right-leaning suburban voters fed up with David Miller’s city hall.

Mr. Rossi is promising to halt all but one of the city’s planned light-rail lines until he can review the project’s finances; to replace the Toronto Transit Commission’s board of councillors with private-sector experts; to create a region-wide economic development corporation; to sell assets, including Toronto Hydro; and to outsource city work in a bid to decrease the power of unions.

“Make no mistake, last summer’s city workers strike showed just how weak the city has become in the face of its major unions and how utterly without a plan we are to correct this imbalance,” the former Liberal fundraiser and businessman told a packed room at the Royal York hotel. “As mayor I will bring us back into balance by pursuing outsourcing and managed competition for certain city services.”

Mr. Rossi’s speech was unusual for making concrete commitments early in the marathon campaign, leaving his competitors 10 months to savage his proposals. They didn’t waste time.

“I’m glad to see he’s throwing out 1,000 ideas and seeing what sticks,” scoffed Joe Pantalone, the deputy mayor who is running to replace his boss. “But this is not a carnival we’re talking about here. This is a city that’s complicated.”

Mr. Rossi drew the most fire for suggesting he might halt the Transit City plan, even temporarily.

In his speech, Mr. Rossi lamented the delays and cost overruns that plagued the construction of a streetcar right-of-way on St. Clair West, but it wasn’t until afterward that he expressed his concerns about Toronto’s plan to lay 120 kilometres of light rail on dedicated lanes.

“I think there’s some real problems that have been shown by what’s happened at St. Clair and I think we’d be foolish not to have a deep and long look at that,” he told reporters.

Asked whether that constituted a moratorium, he replied: “On anything that we can stop right now, yes.” Only one Transit City line, Sheppard East, has broken ground so far.

“Mr. Rossi’s suggestion that he would freeze all new transit projects until he has reviewed the city budget would not only put countless constructions jobs at risk, it reflects a troubling lack of understanding of the city’s finances,” a senior member of George Smitherman’s campaign said. “These projects are funded almost entirely by the province, sometimes with federal help.” Mr. Smitherman, the former deputy premier, is the race’s early front-runner.

The centre-right voters Mr. Rossi is hoping to attract likely would have voted for former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

But Mr. Rossi will have to run a campaign vastly different from Mr. Smitherman’s if he hopes to make the leap from virtual unknown to mayor. For now, he’s casting his lack of elected experience as an advantage.

“It’s been over a hundred years since we elected a mayor who wasn’t already in elected politics,” he told the crowd. “Maybe, just maybe, that’s part of the problem.”

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Conversion the Scarborough RT to an LRT Not a Dead Issue according to reports


The possibility of converting the Scarborough RT to true LRT when its current fleet reaches the end of its life, instead of conversion to ICTS Mark-II, is still being considered by the TTC.

In the supplementary agendafor the October 23 TTC meeting, the status update on Transit City includes a section on the planned upgrading and extensions of the Scarborough RT. The following paragraph appears in the document:

The project team is currently re-visiting the option of converting the Scarborough RT from its current vehicle technology to light rail technology, when the current fleet of vehicles reaches the end of its service life.

Read more at the Toronto LRT Information Site

Website: http://lrt.daxack.ca/