Tag Archives: subways

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

New construction timeline for Transit City


Overview of Anonas LRT Station

Overview of Anonas LRT Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New construction timeline for Transit City

Despite 16 months of flailing on the transit file, all four of Toronto’s new provincially funded light rail lines will open within the original timeframe of 2020.

Only the hotly contested Sheppard LRT will be completed much later than it would have been before Mayor Rob Ford came to office and stalled all plans for street-level transit expansion.

Now, instead of the Sheppard LRT opening in 2014 as originally scheduled, work will only begin that year. The Finch LRT is scheduled to break ground in 2015. Both projects are expected to take about four years to complete.

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)

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?

Game over for Rob Ford in Toronto?


It seems that the transit debate is over. With a vote of 24 – 19, Rob Ford lost his battle to get the Sheppard Subway built and completed. Torontonians’ have endured a long battle over transit, with Rob Ford championing the cause of subways for the suburbs. Unfortunately it seems that he lost that battle and now we will finally turn to the alternatives of Light-Rail-Transit, using Bombardier made vehicles. For some the thought of never seeing the Sheppard subway completed, forever ended at Don Mills Road, seems to be a hard pill to swallow. So is the battle now over? I can only say, with an upcoming federal budget it would be nice to see a surprise and real long-term funding for transit. Years ago David Miller pressured the government, to no avail. Maybe both sides should have gotten their heads together to look at the bigger picture? For now the debate is over and we will move forward with the options we have. Maybe now we can start to explain to the citizens of Toronto the differences between a streetcar and a LRT (or tram). Rob Ford claimed that he will win the war. So what does this mean for Toronto? Of course, with an upcoming budget maybe we will just need to talk about it a bit longer

The Sheppard Subway

Election Day in Canada – May 2, 2011


Stephen Harper, Canadian politician

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Well a historic election has just taken place in Canada. The Bloc was decimated in Quebec, and almost wiped off the map. Newfoundland told Conservatives what to do with themselves. The Greater Toronto Area is painted blue and Toronto has gone NDP Orange. Also, it looks like we have our very first Green member of Parliament. So what went wrong for the Liberals? They took their support for granted. Canadians were looking for change and they did not see it in the Liberals, in Ontario. Yes, there was a lot of vote splitting, however lets be honest. Ontario has been red for a long time. This is a breakthrough for the Conservatives in Ontario. The question is, can they live up to that support?

The G.T.A is an important battleground and they better take note. As for the NDP, they better not take their Quebec support for granted. The Bloc imploded, Liberals were yesterdays news and they did not like the Conservatives. So we are left with the NDP. Jack the time to start working is now. As for the Liberals, there is a lot of soul searching.

However I will offer this advice to all parties. (1) Liberals, you need to go back to your roots. Your party is not dead. I’d rather say that it is in hibernation and healing. Canadian’s have not forgotten you, rather the opposite happened. You forgot them. Remember who you are and what you stand for. Otherwise, what is the point of the Liberal Party. It is time for you to reconnect. (2) NDP you have been given the chance to prove your worth, so do not disappoint. From the people I have spoken to many parked their vote with the NDP. Also, in Ontario, people simply love and trust Jack Layton.  It will be important, despite a majority Conservative government, that the NDP choose their battles well and fight for those who voted for them. Less we forget, as often Canadians do! (3) Conservatives fought a simple and straight-forward campaign. You delivered your message and Canadians listened. We are concerned about the economy and trust in that has been given to you. However, do not take that trust for granted. A lot of Canadians still do not trust the Conservative Party and a lot of seats were gained from vote splitting. Be careful how you govern. Canadians are watching. Do not slip to the right with arrogance. As Harper said, keep a steady ship. If you can prove your worth maybe your quality will be remembered. (4) Finally, to Elizabeth May and the Green Party. You have made Canadian history! Despite the media ignoring you, thank you for running and not giving up. The Green Party should be a wake up call to ALL parties. People voted for Elizabeth May and the Greens across Canada. Their ideas and policies should not be ignored! Summed up in Elizabeth May’s own words “amateurs built the ark and professionals built the Titanic”. People are wary in Canada and if the status-quo parties cannot deliver, Canadians may decide someone else can.

Congrats to Prime Minister Harper, who has finally gotten a majority government for the Conservative Party. We will all watch, wait and see what policies are implemented and what happens in the next Parliament. See you in 2015!

By Mannee Jay

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/

Before You Move: Where Are The Next Transit Hubs?


Toronto Light Rail NetworkHere’s an easy question: where do you live?

Now here’s a much harder one: where should you live to ensure you’re near a GTA transit hub and how will the TTC’s plans for expansion impact the value of your home?

The answer to both queries can be worth thousands of dollars because the old real estate axiom about location, location, location has a well-known addendum: being near a subway or major transit route can instantly increase what your home is worth without you having to do anything at all.

But can you tell where they’re going to build or if the place you’re looking to buy will one day find itself on a subway or major transit line? The answer is yes, if you believe government plans about where officials hope to put the new routes.

Adding transit takes years of planning and a commitment of millions of dollars and all of it has to be done well in advance. That means the powers-that-be know where they’ll be putting the new tracks and trains as much as a decade or more before a shovel actually hits the ground.

One of those locations could be along waterfront-adjacent Cherry Street, which would make the folks on Condo Row lick their collective chops at the thought of bulging resale values.

“Streetcar access is phenomenal in terms of adding to value and presence … people want to be on a streetcar line,” said David Jackson, a Toronto urban planner.

Plans for the new tracks could start as early as spring 2009, while the underground expansion of the Don Mills subway line all the way to Morningside could have homeowners on the north side of town dreaming of dollars, though there’s no official date for that project to commence.

So just how much of a bottom line difference are we talking about here?

“Easily thirty to fifty thousand dollars,” confirmed Toronto realtor Janice Mackie. “Thirty thousand dollars is a parking spot … you don’t have to purchase that.”

What’s more, given the constant rise in gas prices and the GTA’s traffic volume, the Better Way may soon be looking even better still.

And while the two mentioned above are among the more central and immediate transit expansion schemes in the works, there are dozens of others being hatched around the GTA and Ontario as well.

Toronto Transit City

Here’s where you can check out the best laid plans that are being laid out right now.

Transit City: Can tell you about planned expansions in the city of Toronto.

Transit City map: Have a peek at what a future light rapid transit system might look like.

Move Ontario 2020: See the plans for the rest of the GTA here.

Move Ontario 2020: See a map for the GTA

Waterfront Toronto: The downtown core may soon look a lot different than it currently does.

Metrolinx: Transforming transit in the GTHA

See original CityTV News video and read more | digg story

The case for a Downtown Relief Line


In the last 100 years, there have been many subway proposals that have come and gone. One of the first serious proposals, in 1911, would have seen streetcar subways built under Yonge, Queen and Bloor streets to feed city and interurban cars downtown. Later proposals called for a Queen Street subway for streetcars or heavy rail, which remained on the books until about 1980. The Eglinton West subway even started construction, until filled in by order of the Harris Conservatives in 1995. Another serious subway proposal that never got anywhere was something called the Downtown Relief Line.

read more | digg story

Ontario legislature orders Toronto’s transit workers to end – Strike is over for now!


Ontario’s legislature has ordered Toronto’s 9,000 transit workers to end their suprise strike that idled the country’s largest fleet of subways, streetcars and buses. All parties supported the bill, introduced personally by Premier Dalton McGuinty, who called a rare Sunday session of the legislature to pass the back-to-work legislation.

As a result, subway trains, streetcars and buses should be rolling within hours, well before Monday’s commuter rush begins – welcome relief to the 1.5 million people who use transit weekdays.

The legislation imposes fines on individuals and the union if they don’t heed the back-to-work order.

The city was caught flat-footed when the transit workers walked out with barely any notice at midnight Friday night after rejecting a tentative contract.

McGuinty called on transit users to extend courtesy to transit workers.

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

Control of TTC deserves study


Transit advocates at Toronto City Hall passionately oppose any suggestion that Queen’s Park might snatch the TTC from municipal hands and put it under a region-wide transportation authority.

“I would fight that tooth and nail,” Mayor David Miller said in a recent interview. “It would be worse than stupid,” declared Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, a member of the Toronto Transit Commission’s governing board. “It reminds us of Mike Harris, who forced the megacity onto Toronto,” said commission chair Adam Giambrone.

From their standpoint, the city would be correct in resisting a transfer of the TTC to the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, an agency set up last year to co-ordinate commuter services from Hamilton in the west, to York Region in the north and to Durham Region in the east, and everywhere in between.

read more | digg story