Tag Archives: Go Transit

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.

Link

Keep it simple stupid Air Rail link options dead on arrival


Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline (Photo credit: Bobolink)

Keep it simple stupid Air Rail Link options dead on arrival

It was actually a novel idea and it was nice to see a unity at City Hall. They may have been a bit far reaching, however it would have been nice to see connections at Eglinton and maybe St. Clair. However this was “dead on arrival”. As indicated on NewsTalk1010 this morning, the Government said “what part of express rapid air link to you not understand”.  Well I guess council got it’s answer? In some sense it was nice to see a decision actually made by Metrolinx. It would have been nice for them to offer an opinion and some decisions in regards to Transit City.

On Wednesday council will consider a motion put forward by Councillor Frances Nunziata – a close ally of Rob Ford – that calls for a major revamp of the Air Rail Link planned to run between Pearson Airport and Union Station by 2015.  

Read More

You burb I burb we all scream for the suburbs


The Suburbs

Cookie cut lives in the suburbs

It’s a cookie cut life of mediocrity, welcome to the burb. It’s all the same, we love it and it’s nothing to absurd. Admit it, we were sucked into the dream; the dream of owning a piece of Canadian terra-firma and all that it means. You love the plastic playground and uniform styles. The box stores and endless cars scream out the word character. It’s perfect and fun! It’s lovely and glorious, isn’t it? We enjoy the hours spent in the daily commute; a life like this is a wonderful pursuit. We love, even more, waking up early to catch a GO Train; packed in like sardines, it’s all normal, we are not insane. We enjoy closing ourselves out from the world; shielded by our iPhone, Android, Blackberry and tools. Thank you fast food, easy meals, it’s all so divine. Yes, we live in the suburbs and our lives have never been better. It’s all so simple and pedestrian.

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/

Ont. to provide $100M for GO Transit improvements


The Ontario government will announce $100 million in immediate improvements to GO Transit in its fall financial update on Thursday, CTV News has learned. Sources say the funding plan includes:

* $60 million for 20 new bi-level passenger coaches to increase capacity on the busy Lakeshore line;
* $9 million for 10 double-decker buses to improve service on the Highway 407-403 corridor and to York University; and
* $20 million for new passing-track sections for GO’s Bradford and Stouffville corridors.

The cash injunction will also be used to provide all-day, two-way service between Toronto and Markham, and Toronto and Newmarket, CTV’s Paul Bliss reported.

read more | digg story

Are you looking for transit related information?


Are you looking for transit related information? Have you had enough of the political promises? Look no further than the links below. From opinion on GO Transit expansion to the TTC spending and more, check out these links below for excellent commentary on transit related issues.

  • The Toronto LRT Information Page – informing GTA residents on what LRT (Light Rail Transit) is all about; promoting the idea of LRT as a preferred rapid transit option in most of the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Steve Munro – Transit Advocate – One of the best, if not top, transit advocate for the GTA. Taking time to analyze our transit options and how we spend our precious transit funds in the Toronto area.
  • Stephen Rees Blog – A transit advocate who worked for the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority on wide variety of policy issues. He offers enlightened opinion on transit related issues and light-rail.
  • Durham Transit Review – Covering news about public transit in Durham Region in Ontario.
  • Urban Toronto – Transportation & Infrastructure – Discuss transit related issues in Toronto.

If you have anymore links, please feel free to let me know and I will add them to my blogroll!

Andy MJ
Toronto,
Ontario

Barrie South GO Station opens December 17


The Barrie South GO Station opening December 17, 2007. It is located on the Bradford line, northeast of the intersection of Mapleview Dr. and Yonge St. and will be accessible to passengers using wheeled mobility aids. The extension of service from Bradford to Barrie will feature four trains morning and night.

Barrie GO Line

  • Morning trips will leave Barrie South at 5:43, 6:15, 6:45, and 7:15 a.m.
  • Because of the new stop, train times at Bradford will change. Starting December 17, trains will leave Bradford four minutes later at 6:06, 6:36, 7:06, and 7:36 a.m.
  • Morning train departure times from all other stations on this line will stay the same, as will arrival times at Union Station: 7:15, 7:45, 8:15, and 8:45 a.m.
  • Evening train departure times from Union Station will stay the same: 4:10, 4:40, 5:17, and 6:00 p.m. Evening train arrival times all the way to East Gwillimbury GO Station will also stay the same.
  • Arrival times at Bradford will be seven minutes earlier, at 5:21, 5:51, 6:28, and 7:11 p.m. Evening trips will arrive at Barrie South at 5:45, 6:15, 6:55, and 7:35 p.m.

New GO Trains - BarrieThe extension of the GO Train may have an important impact on the prices and demand of real estate properties in the Barrie area.

The GO Train is also good news for the local business community; it will help Barrie to attract more business, tourists and people looking for affordable housing. It will also benefit Barrie residents that work in the Toronto area and will take the pressure off the 400. At some point, with a move to all-day service to the Barrie region, expansion of the smart growth strategy could be expanded.

For more information go to the GO Transit website.
http://www.gotransit.com

Bombardier Awarded Fleet Operations Contract With GO Transit In Toronto


Bombardier Transportation announced today it has received a contract to supply fleet operations services for the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GO Transit) commuter rail system serving the city of Toronto and surrounding regions.

read more | digg story

GTTA and the MoveOntario 2020 Plan – Phase 2


It looks like the GTTA has received funding for the following projects. Maybe I am still in disbelief until I see shovels in the ground? I am not in favour of all of the plans listed, but this definitely will be some good news for once for public transit in the Greater Toronto Area. What seems to be lacking is funding for Transit City, other than the head start funding. What is interesting is the Durham BRT funding, which will be a definite boost to transit in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa.
By: Andy MJ (a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot” / Toronto, Ontario)

MoveOntario 2020 Foundation Investments Total: $791.3 million

  • Hamilton A-Line, James-Upper James corridor and Airport connector – $6.9 million
  • Hamilton B-Line, King-Main corridor – $17.4 million
  • Hamilton James Street North GO/VIA Station – Gateway to Niagara – $3.0 million
  • Halton Region Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – $57.6 million
  • Bolton GO Transit service improvements – $600,000
  • Dundas and Hurontario higher-order transit corridor development – $26.5million
  • Mississauga Transitway Hub: Airport-Renforth Gateway – $39.0 million
  • York-VIVA Highway 7, Pine Valley Drive to Kennedy Road – $62.0 million
  • York-VIVA Yonge Street, Richmond Hill Centre to 19th Avenue – $19.0 million
  • York-VIVA Yonge Street, 19th Avenue to Newmarket – $29.0 million
  • Toronto-York Yonge subway extension to Richmond Hill (Phase 1) – $423.7 million
  • Toronto-TTC Transit City Light Rail Transit (LRT) head start – $7.1 million
  • Toronto Yonge Finch-Steeles BRT – $17.3 million
  • Durham-Highway 2 BRT Spine – $82.3 million

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See more information from the link below:

http://www.urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=7454

Weekend Lakeshore West GO Train service extended starting October 28


Starting Sunday, October 28 weekend train trips will now start and end at Aldershot GO Station, rather than Oakville GO Station. The extension offers new weekend service for Bronte and Appleby passengers. This is a big improvement and gain for G.T.A residents. On weekends one can now take trips from Oshawa to Burlington. Hopefully, this is permanent and at some point maybe all-day service to Hamilton will begin. We can only hope that further improvements start to appear on other GO transit lines around the Greater Toronto Area.


For more information, on the changes, go to the GO Transit website.

Merging the TTC and GO under GTTA control?


The Toronto Star, CityTV (Breakfast Television) and other media outlets are reporting that the TTC maybe “high-jacked” by the Liberal Government of Ontario, which may have been secretly planned all along. Rumors are flying high that the TTC may be taken over by the Government of Ontario and merged with GO Transit, under the umbrella of the GTTA (Greater Toronto Transit Authority). Many have believed that this would eventually happen, since the TTC has become so large and important to the welfare of the GTA that it may have become just too large for the City of Toronto to handle. Of course speculation is that this may have been their plans all along. Many have wondered, for a while now, why the province was so adamant on expanding the TTC into Vaughan, and beyond, when it seem illogical for Toronto to care on managing transit into the other regions of Toronto. Greg Sorbara, one of the proponents of the plan, tied up funds to ensurCity Halle that the expansion into Vaughan took place. If this is the case it may have simply been the master plan of the province. Now the Liberal Government has a majority and there would be no stopping them from doing this. Of course this is only rumored, however one has to wonder if this was not the plan, than why bother with the GTTA? The Metropass has passed the mythical bar of $100, now costing $109 dollars. With the TTC complaining about funding, almost every year, the province may simply believe that the TTC is just too much for the City of Toronto to handle, removing control of the Toronto symbol from David Millers hands.

Ironically, moving the control of the TTC to the province would allow Toronto to better balance their books, now that council passed the new taxes. In some ways it would seem that the province may have been waiting for the results. Or it maybe a simple choice of choosing what they feel is best. We know that the Liberal government, although they promised, has not uploaded services that were downloaded during the Mike Harris years. What would happen if the province simply decides to take control of the TTC, covering all costs and leave everything else as is? Would, removing the TTC from Toronto’s books balance the budget? It definitely would help, however how would service be affected? Would the province run the service as is, or run it like GO Transit? Would they merge services with GO Transit? Would they start Zone fares? Would you be able to jump on the “GO” and then to the TTC seamlessly? There are hosts of unanswered questions. Or, is it time for the TTC to simply grow up?

TTC StreetcarThe TTC is a Toronto icon, from the storied streetcars of yesteryear to the way the subways were originally created along Yonge Street. I will not go into a rant about the TTC not being able to innovate and change the way they do business. The TTC, unlike other transit systems across North America, receives little Federal funding for operating costs. However, at least the Federal government did kick in the needed funding for the extension of the subway to Vaughan (ill-conceived, but done nonetheless). If this really does happen then some of the moves the government made, along with their promises for Move2020, would make sense. What we should debate is whether this is a good idea or a bad one? I am not sure if this is a good or bad idea, but do not be too quick to jump on the bandwagon? Does the province understand the needs of Malvern, King Street West, Don Mills, North Etobicoke or the Beaches? What about those routes that do not make a lot of money? Will they be continued or operate like other jurisdictions? Do they think streetcars or buses are more important? Do they care to support the “Transit City” initiative or Subway expansion? What does this mean for the YRT and VIVA? How about Mississauga Transit? These are all unanswered questions, which Torontonians, and GTA residents, should think about and want answers to. What maybe good for Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga and others, may not be good for Toronto, and so visa versa. The debate on merging the TTC with GO, and surrounding systems, has been going on for years, with pros and cons on both sides. This was not on the table during the last provincial election; however loosing the TTC may be the evolution of progress or the greatest public transit “coup” ever conceived by the Province of Ontario.

Read more news from the Toronto Star Article, below.
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/269896


Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”

Toronto, Ontario