TTC announces TRANSIT CITY plan


Today at City Hall, the TTC announced its intentions loud and clear: If Toronto is going to become the greenest and most sustainable city in North America, it begins and starts with our transit system. [ click on the map to see a larger version ]

The “Toronto Transit City — Light Rail Plan” put forth today by TTC Chair Adam Giambrone and Mayor David Miller envisions a vast network of above-ground LRTs (like the streetcars in the rendering below) that stretch out into the far-reaches of this city. In order to bring reliable and effective transit to these communities, rapid-transit vehicles in their own dedicated lanes are being proposed on the following streets and traffic corridors:

Etobicoke-Finch West LRT (17.9 km): from Humber College in the west, to the Finch bus/subway station at Yonge (there is no indication in the plan for the LRT to run along the hydro corridor, as hypothisized yesterday in the Star);
Sheppard East LRT (13.6 km): connecting Don Mills subway station to Scarborough Town Centre and its RT station, and to the proposed Scarborough-Malvern LRT (see below). The line would operate underground for a short distance when leaving/approaching Don Mills station;
Jane Street LRT (16.5 km): terminating at the Jane subway station at Bloor in the south and the Steeles West subway station that will be a part of the University-Spadina subway extension;
Eglinton-Crosstown LRT (30.8 km): this line will cross the entire city starting at the airport, connecting to Mississauga Transit’s busway, and stretching across to Kennedy subway/RT station in Scarborough. Of note, the line would operate underground from Keele in the west to Laird in the east, avoiding the tight corridors of midtown Toronto;
Scarborough-Malvern LRT (15 km): running northeast out of Kennedy station, and then north along Malvern and Morningside;
Don Mills LRT (17.6 km): terminating at a Bloor-Danforth subway station (not specified) in the south, and Steeles Avenue in the north (with possible connection to York Region’s VIVA network);
Waterfront West LRT (11 km): Starting at Long Branch in the west, connecting to the CNE stop near Dufferin and terminating at Union station in the east. The line would runs along the Gardiner Expressway/GO Transit corridor between the CNE and the Queensway and Lake Shore streetcar lines.

rendering by Matthew Blackett for Spacing.

The plan also outlines the current ridership numbers (almost all have bus routes) and the estimated LRT ridership in 2021:

Etobicoke-Finch West LRT
current
: 11.3 million trips/yr
in 2021
: 24.6 million trips/yr
Sheppard East LRT
current
: 10 million trips/yr
in 2021
: 16.5 million trips/yr
Jane Street LRT
current
: 11.9 million trips/yr
in 2021: 24 million trips/yr
Eglinton-Crosstown LRT
current
: 19.0 million trips/yr
in 2021: 52.8 million trips/yr
Scarborough-Malvern LRT
current
: 9.6 million trips/yr
in 2021
: 14.1 million trips/yr
Don Mills LRT
current
: 13.7 million trips/yr
in 2021:
21.2 million trips/yr
Waterfront West LRT
current
: 5.2 million trips/yr
in 2021
: 20.8 million trips/yr

Also attached to the Transit City plan were a number of projects already approved or in the Environmental Assessment (EA) process. These include:

• St. Clair ROW, under construction
• Harbourfront East LRT, in the EA process
• University-Spadina subway extension
• Extending the Scarborough RT to connect with Sheppard East LRT
• Yonge Street busway from Finch to Steeles to connect to York Region’s VIVA bus routes, in EA process

Spacing, along with other transit advocates like Steve Munro, has been very vocal about how the TTC needs to fully embrace the LRT option if it wants to increase its ridership without sucking every penny out of the TTC’s constrained budget. Transit City incorporates the TTC’s own Ridership Growth Strategy [2.3mb PDF], Building a Transit City report [2.9mb PDF], the mayor’s own political platform from the 2006 municipal election, and adheres to the City’s own Official Plan.

As many of our readers mentioned in yesterday’s comment section (“Is Toronto about to become a Transit City?“), this is just a plan. While most of us may be excited to see such a smart outlook on how to make our transit system more effective for a variety of regions in the city, there’s no way we can build this system without permanent funding from the two higher levels of government. It is no coincidence that the One Cent Now campaign was launched a month ago, then the National Transit Strategy by the Big City Mayors’ Caucus was announced a few weeks later, and now this — all in time for the upcoming federal and provincial budgets. It is a clear strategy on the mayor’s part to force the province and the federal governments to pay attention to Toronto’s most dire needs. Since we could find ourselves going to polls to elect federal MPs within weeks, and a provincial election coming in October, Miller and company want Toronto voters to make public transit one of the most important issues when choosing which political party you vote for.

UPDATE: LINKS TO OTHER MEDIA ON TRANSIT CITY

TTC rail web would criss-cross city [ Toronto Star ]
$6-billion LRT to transform Toronto transit [ Globe and Mail ]
TTC unveils $6-billion LRT plan [ cbc.ca ]
Mind the transit funding gap [ Toronto Star ]
Toronto transit dream needs cash, mayor says [ Globe and Mail ]
• COYLE: Escape to an oasis transit tranquility [ Toronto Star ]
TTC plan hinges on Queen’s Park, Ottawa [ National Post ]
Light rail popular in Europe, US [ National Post ]
Some businesses, residents fear disruption from Transit City plans [ National Post ]
Happy being in transit [ National Post ]
The good new: it’s fast; the bad news: it’s fast [ Globe and Mail ]
Success driven by TTC [ Toronto Star ]
Transit strategy could benefit from US-style funding [ Globe and Mail ]


101 comments

  1. Interesting that they used a Bombardier Flexity as the pic.
    But that is not important.

    What is important is that a network is finally in the planning stages. This is a good day for Toronto.

  2. Looking at the report, the estimated cost of all projects is actually 5.965 billion, not the 2.2 billion noted in some earlier press releases.

  3. Cool.

    1. I wonder whether extending the Jane line down to interconnect with the Waterfront line would have been feasible? Seems odd to leave the Waterfront line with so little connectivity.

    2. Does anyone know where the GO station interconnections are? I guess there’s one at Pape, where the Don Mills line seems to hit Bloor-Danforth, and Exhibition, on the Waterfront line. Is that right? Any others — maybe Mimico?

  4. This may all sound good and fine,

    but the really big question for spacing fans everywhere is…

    When do the new buttons come out?

    ;-P

  5. Well, this is awesome :D

    Although I am trying to figure out which connections will be in-station and which will require walking outside. That will make a huge difference to both accessibility and convenience.

  6. Looks good. But one question. Isn’t there are already an Environmental Assessment underway or soon to be for a Kingston Road LRT going south from Eglinton?

    I don’t see that on the map.

  7. This is indeed wonderful, except for one very large and glaring ommision – the proposed Jane and Don Mills lines end abruptly at Bloor/Danforth, which will completely overwhelm the already packed Yonge subway south of Bloor and B-D subway west of Pape.

    I supposed Jane isn’t as big a problem, since the Spadina/University subway already acts as a western relief line for Yonge, but to terminate the Don Mills LRT at Danforth is insane, really.

    On a brighter note, it’s about time something is planned for Eglinton Ave! I really hope that line gets built, because it is long overdue.

  8. This plus regional rail, and a Downtown Relief Line from Pape to Downtown (and eventually back up to Dundas West) would give Toronto bragging rights.

    My favourite part of the plan is Eglinton – it would go underground where it makes sense (Keele to Laird), and this way would be a speedy alternative. It would also serve the most people. Jane isn’t bad, but are we going to take 2 out of 4 lanes for LRT on Jane through the tight part south of St. Clair? Same with Pape for the Don Mills line.

    Jane, Don Mills, Finch West (depends on whether it uses the street or the Hydro ROW), Kingston Road, Lakeshore West are generall great ideas and real LRT is the right technology for these corridors.

    My least favourite part is Sheppard. While the Stubway is overbuilt, having parts of Sheppard covered only by bus, a small section by subway, and another section by LRT makes it more difficult than it should be. I’m not sure I have the answer, but it shows that the stubway has hurt our future plans, unless we make the whole thing one mode.

  9. how come the pic of the LRT has no overhead wires to run it?

  10. They include Spadina as an example of LRT in this. So does this mean we’re just going to get streetcars running in ROW, or are we going to get LRT the way other cities run LRT?

  11. I’m from Mexico City. I was living for two months in toronto and Montreal. The diferences between both transportation services are quite remarkable. I’m glad that Toronto will finally have the service that every great and marvelous city deserves!

    In Mexico we are still light years away from having a public transportation like that… and yet it moves.

  12. Call me a cynic, but I’m sure this will all happen right after the completion of a “Clean Green Waterfron” and Canada’s first urban national park at Downsview. Other major projects that I’ve turned blue waiting for.

  13. Very nice! A big price tag for the whole system, but that’s sort of the selling point… for the first time in a very long time, there’s actually a system being proposed, not just individual lines in total isolation! And these could all dramatically improve quality of life in the inner suburbs. Midrise redevelopment along these corridors spurred by the LRT could really transform parts of the City, giving us more village-type areas in places that are now strip malls!

    And the Don Mills line ending at Pape leaves me with hope for the one subway project we really do need, the DRL/Weston line. Once Blue 22 is dead and buried, we can build stations along the railway right of way from Pearson to the east waterfront and cut and fill the last few km’s to meet up at Pape.

    And the whole plan is doable piecemeal, once we have guaranteed annual funding. :)

  14. Maybe I’m just not reading closely enough, but I see an east harbourfront route on both maps: The city map seems to show it as a subway, while the spacing map shows it as an LRT.. And yet I don’t see any mention of this line anywhere in the documentation. What’s the deal?

  15. Here’s the first problem with the transit city plan – it only speaks to extensions. It does nothing for the poorly operated streetcar routes downtown and thus the fear must be that the new routes will be operated just like the existing ones with the capricious short turns and the over-timetabling and under-scheduling.

    The second is that the Plan can’t be relied upon. Toronto has had plans (Network 2011 anyone?) before but political interference renders the good bits null and throws in bits no-one wants (the Sorbara Line).

    Why bring Jane LRT to a dead end at Steeles when it could end at Finch West and interconnect/interoperate with Finch LRT?

    Compare the BRT overground extension of Yonge (obviously with a view to subway extension) with the underground LRT extension of Sheppard. Can it be that politically any subway extension must cross the city boundary because the 905 must support it for the feds/provs to get on board?

    One can only hope the intent is to rebuild the rest of Sheppard as LRT because to leave it as subway in its truncated form would be a bad joke – too short to succeed. No sign of extension to Downsview. No BD extension to Sherway either.

    The Don Mills LRT seems doomed to dead end at Pape – did extra capacity happen on the BD at peak to accommodate the Don Mills LRT (and extended SRT and the Malvern LRT) while I wasn’t looking?

    Did Yonge-Bloor lower platform become less dangerously overcrowded? Did a Parliament streetcar to Castle Frank miraculously appear, and streetcars on Bay to relieve the Yonge line below Bloor?

    At least end DMLRT at Broadview and give people the option of 504/506 (albeit that by the time DMLRT is built traffic enforcement on King will still be nil).

  16. It’s a good, but not a great plan. The vision is large but not co-ordinated enough. It’s a bit hodge-podgey. Many of the points posted in the past couple days such as:
    -Portlands/Cherry st. line
    -downtown relief line (Pape to Union)
    -drawbacks of sharing streets
    -airport link
    and many others could all be addressed in one grand stroke by using the existing rail right-of-way that runs from up near Pearson on the northwest, swoops down to Union, east through the Portlands and up to Scarborough in the Northeast. Their are many obvious nexuses (nexii?) along the way for stops connecting with subway and streetcar. Look at a city map – it practically jumps out and bites you on the nose!! I can’t believe it wasn’t included.

  17. Another useful fact would be how many of these are slated to be 24 hour routes. The idealist in me wants to say “all of them”, because the time my non-downtown friends complain the most about transit is after 1:30

  18. Any idea why there isn’t a Waterfront East line?

  19. There is no GO station at Pape. The connection with Danforth is at Main Station. Although the TTC and GO stations are not connected at this point. One has to go outside and walk two blocks between them.

  20. As another comment noted above, the has far too many abrupt ends to the proposed lines.

    Consider the fact that a person who today drives across the 401 daily in either direction (and there’s a lot of us!) would require FOUR vehicles to do the same trip across the top of the city if their commute crosses Yonge.

    I don’t understand why they have a Finch stub and a Sheppard stub instead of a single “upper crosstown” that effectively parallels the 401 all the way through. How many people who currently drive this route daily would give up their cars if it means having to take TWO LRTs and TWO subways to get to the same place???

  21. K – as noted in the article – the Waterfront East is in EA process…would it be a stretch to say that that would somehow integrate into a downtown relief line?

  22. FYI – the pic of the tram is from Bombardier’s website, it is a Flexity Outlook in Belgium that’s been recoloured to fit. the Outlooks in Austria can handle the tight turns and hills in parts of Toronto, so perhaps the use of this specific streetcar in the image is no mistake.

    as for the plan, I see two problem areas. first on Jane Street, south of St Johns the road is too narrow to fit in a dedicated right-of-way. normally you have a lane for Streetcars, one for Traffic, and one for Parking, and that’s just one direction (meaning you need 6 lanes), but the 1 and a half KM of Jane street in this area can only fit 4 lanes. there are two options, one is to buy front yards where possible and turn them into parking areas somewhat like on Spadina or parts of western Lakeshore. the other is to ban parking altogethor.

    There is a similar, but longer, problem along Pape. why route Don Mills down here? to make that makes little sence. You would have to knock down buildings to make pape wider then 4 lanes, that means you’d have to take parking away, but even stopping. this is a residential area and I dont know if the people living in the houses there will want to give up thier parking so easily.

    these things can be avoided by tunneling, but this will increase costs. overall a great plan.

  23. A few things:

    BUTTONS > the buttons will look familiar because I was commissioned by Giambrone’s office to design them, as wellas the stylized map. We are discussing with the TTC how to distribute the buttons, etc. They WILL be available soon.

    LRT vs. STREETCAR > The service in the ‘burbs on LRT would be different than the streetcars we have downtown. Expect stops in the burbs to be 500-plus metres apart.

    LRT RENDERING > I did the streetcar rendering on my own for Spacing and is not part of the TTC’s media package — this is entirely a Spacing illustration. I wanted to show how this network would differ from the streetcars we have today.

  24. I like the idea of the Eglinton LRT line. Way overdue and smart to have it underground. This city needs that Downtown Relief Line, badly. Too bad it’s not planned for.

  25. The TTC does not appear to be afraid of tunneling in parts where it is required, such as the proposed Eglinton Crosstown line through midtown. So I would imagine that the Don Mills line will be underground between O’Connor and Danforth, as well as on the narrow stretch of Jane. These are short stretches and as such, the cost of burying them shouldn’t be prohibitive.

    The real issue with this plan is the lack of additional north-south service south of Bloor-Danforth. In fact, it’s striking in its absence. Everything else is great, and will do wonders for the city.

  26. On the LRT rendering: it is somewhat part of the TTC’s media package in that the same picture — with a Brussels street and no TTC logo — appears at the end of the TTC report. But they also have pictures from Amsterdam, which doesn’t use Bombardier vehicles, and Strasbourg, which does.

    Can’t resist playing guess-the-intersection on the picture: Eglinton and Leslie, looking west, with the ghost of the Inn on the Park reflected in the front window?

  27. I think part of the reason you dont see connections between BD and the Lakeshore line is that ridership demand is just not there. Bus routes like Royal York South and Kipling South are some of the biggest ‘money makers’ for the TTC. They actually do lose money, as does every TTC route, but they lose far less then other routes. Even in the east end of the city, routes like Coxwell and Woodbine south of Danforth nearly pay for themselvs.

    I will do further research on the “tight squeeze” on Jane, as well as possible problems on Lakeshore and Morningside, but these difficulties can be dealt with. where the real problem is comes with Pape between O’Connor and Danforth. There is just no way to squeeze a line in there. The options come down to this:
    A – Reduce Pape to having one lane in each direction for traffic with no parking at all
    B – Have the streetcars come down Pape, but up another road, like Donlands. Adding one lane is easier then adding two.
    or C – Tunnel

    Frankly, C is the most logical, but the fact that it is lacking in the official plan makes me worry that they might try some kind of Option D, and close Pape to car traffic altogethor.

    As for the buttons, I’d certainly like to purchase some.

  28. Mark, Adam: thanks re: my Pape/Main confusion. What does the Transit City plan mean when it talks about “connection opportunities to all GO Transit rail lines”, then? The only concrete things in there are (a) a “possible” direct connection with GO Stoufville, and (b) using the Gardiner/Lakeshore GO corridor to run the Waterfront West line. I wonder whether any of this will actually interconnect with GO trains? Not make or break, but I do not understand why linking local and regional transit would not be one of the goals of this thing.

    Leo, I agree about bringing Jane and Don Mills down to interconnect with the Waterfront and Harbourfront East lines. Is there some sort of physical barrier blocking things?

    Mark, on Jane, I assume it would interconnect with the Finch line, regardless of whether it continues on to interconnect with the subway at Steeles. Given that, it’s hard to see Finch as an “interconnection” and Steeles as a “dead stop” — they’re both interconnection points.

    Finally, I am beginning to agree (as I posted in the earlier thread) with the idea that the northern east-west routes here basically cripple the stubway. Either extend the stubway into a full subway line, east to Scarborough Town Centre and hopefully west to the YUS, or convert it into an LRT. In either case, the constant transfers kill flow.

    Right now to get from Scarborough to Etobicoke across the northern part you’d have to transfer from the westbound RT to subway at Don Mills, transfer at Yonge to Finch, and transfer at Finch to the westbound RT. Granted, RT is not a great long-haul transit scheme, but lots of people will want to do at least portions of that route, and maybe more, given the lack of good long-haul alternatives. Andrew is right on this one: why the disjointed pieces instead of a northern Crosstown route?

  29. I’m sure I’ve seen a proposal floated somewhere to route the Don Mills LRT through the Don valley south of Overlea/Laird, connecting with Broadview station and continuing on to run into the waterfront east line. Certainly seems a lot more sensible than trying to squeeze it down Pape, doesn’t it?

  30. I haven’t had time to look over the full report, but I didn’t see Pape mentioned by name. I know the line on the map goes down there, but the whole theme here seems just to connect Don Mills with the Danforth line – is there any other street that might serve as well? I heard Broadview mentioned, but that might be too far west; perhaps Coxwell? Woodbine even?

  31. Good comment, Andrew G. 2:24!

    The Shepherd line should be extended at both ends, and most likely above ground but the line would have to be integrated. It makes no sense to have to jump out of an LRV and then into a subway car and maybe back into an LRV again all along one line. The option of running one type, likely LRVs, without breaks/transfers should be investigated. Track gauges and vehicle heights are the hurdles, I guess.

    Tie that into a Pearson-Union-Scarborough LRT route to rival a major subway line and you effectively get a big circle (okay, squashed oval) or peripheral route.

  32. jon,

    your memory of the don mills / broadview connection is likely from the “Don Valley Corridor Transportation Master Plan” available here:
    http://www.toronto.ca/planning/dvp.htm

    i believe the purpose of the plan was to ease congestion on the parkway.

    the plan included all kinds of funny things. i think one proposal was to extend redway road (from the overlea & laird area) through the valley (yes, another road down there) as a bus-rapid-transit line, terminating at or below castle frank station. egads!

    anyway, the flaws in today’s proposed lrt network probably come from the big hurry to release this thing before the federal budget is delivered. i think any improvements to transit are welcome. though a child at the time, i have fond memories of the pre-mike harris days when everyone wanted a transit system like toronto’s.

  33. i think a big part of the extension of the srt is to shorten some of the longest bus routes there are.

  34. So graphic-design instructor Matt Blackett admits he designed a “stylized” map that colourblind people can barely read.

    I wonder when graphic designers will get over their infatuation with style and pay more attention to function.

  35. Two TTC meetings ago, I overheard a suit who was walking somebody else through a printout of one of the TTC’s notoriously atrocious PowerPoint “decks.” (The TTC is a prisoner of PowerPoint.) The guy asked about the different photos of European cities and their trams, and the suit from TTC clearly stated they liked the one from Brussels.

  36. I designed a map that fit into the current iconic mapping of the TTC. Sorry to the colourblind folks out there.

    It is not meant to be a final version, just one that can fit into an 11×17 format. I would have liked to have made it wider to be alittle more proportional, and spent more time than two days developing the maps and buttons. Obviously, you can’t please everybody and folks like Joe will ultimately find faults where they want to find them.

  37. LRT may address getting around in the suburbs. What is still needed for downtown is more subways THAT GO DOWNTOWN.

    The relief line (using Queen St.) is an ideal feeder for people who work in the area. Extending a subway that is already full in rush hour is a waste of money, will in fact drive riders away. Real downtown transit should allow you to disappear underground (or ride above it all on unsightly raised right-of-way) and bypass the traffic mess of dwoontown. Nothing beats the experience of a European city or New York, where you can disappear into the subway and pop up where you want to be. More feeder lines to downtown reduces the load on the current ones.

    LRT may be applicable in the suburbs but… when the city is so spread out, and too many inconvenient changes are required to go where you want, nobody will choose transit unless forced to.

    I suggest the TTC switch to deep boring tunnels (like London’s tube, like stretches of Sheppard and North Yonge) to avoid the cost of disrupting the surface. They should be building a new one all the time – a “mile-a-year” plan.

    Putting a line in the hydro right-of-way may be convenient for construction, but if the lines don’t go where the people want to go, it’s a waste. Where people want to go is typically the most concentrated, congested areas – they’re consgested for a reason.

  38. Wow really seems like the TTC is learning. The Transit Toronto website is fantastic and even offering printouts for new buttons. I think this is the first time I’ve been this optimistic and confident in City Hall. Now about the money…

  39. Nice plans but the money isn’t comming from the Prov./Feds any time soon. We can start to transition towards some of LRT bits but why wait for the big money?

    We can start today by putting up some temporary routes as designated busways especially along the more broad streets and for streetcar corridors east/west… Let’s get out those pylons!(or at least some type of barriers). It’s not pretty but have you been inside a subway station lately?

    If you want to get people out of single occupancy vehicles there is no better arguement than to see a bus or rail based transit blow by you every day at rush hour. Maybe even put stops at subway length intervals and you will do wonders for trip time.

    And for our suburban friends, a real express bus system that is fit for the name.

  40. Joe,
    Looking over your blog entry about the stylized map, I really don’t understand your complaint. The Protan you talked to had no problem with the thick red used to depict the new LRT lines nor the white used for descriptive text. This is the entirety of new, unfamiliar content.
    The yellow, green, blue and purple that were troublesome are the colours the TTC itself uses for the existing subway lines. If someone’s familiar with the TTC, the shape and colour (or lack thereof) of these lines are enough to identify them.
    Wouldn’t changing them (just for this map) to something else more colourblindness-friendly in fact make the entire map less familiar and readable for the majority of people?

  41. the buttons will look familiar because I was commissioned by Giambrone’s office to design them, as wellas the stylized map. We are discussing with the TTC how to distribute the buttons, etc. They WILL be available soon.

    So that explains the mysterious “We have secret details and we’re working to confirm them” that appeared in the original post, then mysteriously disappeared.

    Obviously, you can’t please everybody and folks like Joe will ultimately find faults where they want to find them.

    Yeah, because accessibility is on the same level as bruising someone’s ego.

    Joe Clark may be abrasive, but he has the (un?)fortunate habit of being correct almost all the time.

  42. My suggestion would be to build an underground LRT downtown relief line extending south from Pape station (where an underground station should be built) on the Don Mills line, turning west at Queen, and continuing west on Queen, King or Front through the downtown core to at least Bathurst. This would be expensive, and it should probably be built to metro standards in case the line becomes heavily congested in the future, but it would be worthwhile.

  43. thickslan: I recall reading a post by you the other day telling people to stop crying about something, but I can not remember waht. Now you defend crying because I assume it is your friend or cohort doing it. Abrasiveness is a form of inaccessibility, but I suppose it is ok to pick and choose what kind of accessibility to get behind. Plus, there is criticism, then there’s being creepy.
    More power to the people who do things! Let them keep doing it. I am so glad I moved to this city.
    Jen B.

  44. Jen B:

    First I was telling people “to stop crying about something” and now I’m defending crying? Can you at least screech about something that I’ve actually written instead of your imaginings?

    As for Joe Clark, I met him *once* for about three minutes something like seven years ago, and I didn’t even know who he was back then. Other than that, I have never met Joe Clark and he is nothing more than an online acquaintance.

    Finally, pointing out that something has flaws, even if done abrasively, is not “creepy” for any reasonable definition of the word “creepy” — and abrasiveness is not a form of inaccessibility, at least not in my universe.

  45. We still are missing looking at the potential for a Front St. transitway (instead of a road folly) that could begin to work as a downtown relief line and zip back and forth from etobicoke to the dense core and help out destinations in between – and likely for a lot less money than some of the other things that are piling up the multi-millions we are well supplied with. The incredible obdurate persistence of the “left” in supporting the Front St. Extension in the last 4/5 years and missing the idea of a Front St. transitway (though Miller did see it before he was elected Mayor) doesn’t make me embrace these LRT proposals wholeheartedly, though it’s clearly good.
    I also agree that we’re missing using the Weston rail corridor or a slightly expanded one for transit as the weston community coalition and I’m sure at least one or five old plans likely call for. But the FSE would foul that up, and things like the OMB okay of the Queen W. triangle condos/48 Abell demo will likely mean we’ll build yet another opportunity shut.

  46. That’s an interesting mock-up, but for some real fun, take a look at these trams from Brno, in the Czech Republic, with a colour scheme that is pretty close to, say, some of the Orion 5s:

    http://www.ckdpragoimex.cz/i/Image/PA120310.jpg
    http://bmhd.goo.cz/foto.php?1596_2:20061018

    With a trailer:
    http://bmhd.goo.cz/foto.php?1551-1302_2:20070219
    http://bmhd.goo.cz/foto.php?1551-1302_5:20070219

    Trailer:
    http://bmhd.goo.cz/foto.php?1301_2rak_ma:20050617
    http://www.ckdpragoimex.cz/i/Image/P8180010.jpg

    There is a longer articulated version but I don’t think Brno operates any, so here’s one with some decidedly un-TTC colours:
    http://spz.logout.cz/mhd/cz/cz_ost_variolf3.html

    To be honest, these excite me more than the vehicles in the Transit City report or elsewhere, because they offer more operational flexibility – it is possible to find a low-floor streetcar the size of a PCC/CLRV that won’t decimate service in off-peak hours like a long one would; it is possible to enhance capacity at peak times with trailers; and there is a longer version available that will still maintain some consistency of vehicle type (like the CLRVs/ALRVs). Adam Vaughan was quoted in the Star today making a comment to that effect, and reading that was the best surprise of the day for me — I nearly let out a Homer Simpson “woo hoo!” on the bus to work this morning!

  47. I wonder how much it would cost to build covered bikeways for a few kilometres?

  48. This is a tad off topic but…wouldn’t it be great if transit systems allied themselves internationally so that you could use your metropass to get to the airport or train station, hop your plane or train, and then use your metropass at your destination be it London, NYC, Ottawa or wherever?

    Ideally, it would be at no extra charge as a perk or selling point for transit in general.

  49. I’m quite surprised that the report does not do the simple math to figure out the cost of the incremental trip on each line. The cost per new trip per year varies quite widely line to line:

    • Waterfront West LRT: $34.62;

    • Eglinton-Crosstown LRT: $66.27;

    • Scarborough-Malvern LRT: $140.00;

    • Etobicoke-Finch West LRT: $62.78;

    • Sheppard East LRT: $85.38;

    • Jane Street LRT: $52.07; and

    • Don Mills LRT: $90.00.

    (I simply subtracted 2021 estimated ridership from current ridership to get ridership growth, and then divided the cost of each line by ridership growth)

    Surely TTC analysts would have done the same. I wonder what the calculation would have been for the Weston/Airport/DRL line that was discussed in the comments above. I suspect it would be far lower than the $140/rider cost of the Scarborough/Malvern LRT.

  50. The TTC’s ambitious LRT plan is really nothing more than giving kickbacks to construction companies for their donations during election time. Almost all of the proposed routes are wrought with diffculties and can be solved with better alternatives or the doing nothing is the better alternative.

    -If you want to talk about saving money from building subways, you should compare the cost statistics between the 29 Dufferin route and the 506 Carlton route (75% return to 51%). As well, did anyone forget to mention that you have to include the cost of building maintenance facilities for all these new LRT routes as well?

    – The Sheppard LRT system proposed is only a replacement for the 190 Scarborough Rocket. Do you really think that a LRT on Sheppard is going to make the ride any faster or better given the worst part of the route is the congestion on Sheppard between VP and Don Mills station? I would also like to see how they plan to widen Sheppard ave to accomodate the LRT because right now it would be impossible to widen.

    – Wouldn’t it be interesting if Viva actually went the full way down to downtown via Don Mills. Alas, if TTC was willing to contract out, 25 Don Mills could handle passengers on Don Mills locally and Viva could handle passengers coming from major intersections. While it can be argued that this will increase costs without ridership, this would be better than spending more money on an LRT.

  51. Even more interesting, estimated cost per new rider per year for the Spadina Extension is only $74.67 – a lower cost/rider than three of the proposed LRT lines.
    (using $2.2 billion estimated cost and 30 million estimated new riders per year – estimates from http://spacing.ca/votes/?p=253).

  52. The plan, in my opinion, looks amazing. The structure of the city’s current population aside, if you simply look at the map, it shows the lines are quite even and balanced and fill out much of the city of Toronto, which means wherever u live, you won’t be too far from one of these lines, which is a great thing and that’s probably a main reason the new plan was decided the way it is.

    I think Jane and Don Mills are already semi-DRLs, relieving Yonge north of bloor. And if you look, Don Mills can easily extend southwards to form a DRL into Union or perhaps cross through Dundas (better than crossing Queen imo).

    I’m really hoping Jane will be intensified with developments and this will really provide a new area of population growth as we expect more immigrants in the coming years.

  53. I am loving this idea.

    To get things underway more quickly, would it be at all feasible to create the right-of-ways with the electrical wiring without the tracks and run trolley-buses as a first stage on at least a couple of these routes? Just asking.

  54. One of the five possible options for the “Don Valley Corridor Transportation Master Plan” is a buses only extension of Redway Road west to the Bayview extension where the buses would then turn south along Bayview to a new ramp that would connect to the road up the hill to Castle Frank and thence downtown via Parliment. It’s all of 500 meters of busway adjacent to an existing railway right of way. It’s probably not the best option but neither is it the horror show that critics imply.

    Y’all should stop thinking about Pape as the BD connection/downtown relief, it can’t work. Frankly the whole issue of the DMLRT south termination needs work. No LRT can make the climb out of the valley on the south side without a cut so it’s either follow the existing routing of the 25 bus which dies for LRTs at the south end of the Millwood bridge as neither Pape or Donlands are wide enough or run straight south from Don Mills into the valley and tunnel into the south valley hill and keep going to meet up at with the BD at Donlands, Greenwood or even Coxwell (look at a map, draw a straight line along Don Mills from Eglinton to Overlea and keep going, it meets the Danforth at Coxwell). One option not in any of the plans would be to follow that DVCTP route west to the extension, turn south and connect to the east waterfront line, easy transfers to the 501, 504, 505 and 506, you could even do a transfer up the hill to Castle Frank with escalators.

    I also wonder if Vic Park makes more sense as the N-S LRT than Don Mills, a leave DM with the improved bus service in the DVCTP

  55. No, because trolleybuses require two wires, while trams only require one because they use the tracks as a ground.

  56. ernie: kickbacks to construction companies? do you also enjoy AM ufo radio from arkansas? the world is not an eternal conspiracy, as exciting as that sounds.

  57. Don Mills LRT ending at Broadview is a good idea but I shudder about where they will put the LRT stop. Broadview was recently reconstructed to allow for two streetcar platforms (one for 504, and one for 505). I don’t see how it is possible, given the dimensions for the lot, how they will stuff the extra transit stop at this station.

    On the other hand, I hear that the LRT is supposed to be using the same gauge as the existing TTC lines. Thus it is very likely that Pape south of Danforth will likely have to be developed, and if they are smart enough, at least create streetcar tracks all the way down to Queen to provide that convenient connection to Russell Carhouse. Of course this means we’ll have a nice, short streetcar line on Pape and Carlaw, and hopefully a precursor for a downtown relief LRT possibly by way of the Port Lands.

    I am hearing whining from the right wing critics about “who’s gonna fund the damn thing”. I have the answer: axe the Spadina Extension.

  58. I would file this mega-project announced yesterday
    under “P” for “pipe dream” or “pie in the sky”.

    Except for the subway to York U and Vaughan, none of
    these proposals are ever likely to see shovels in the ground. Even if los Federales and Parc de la Reine come through with the funds from the gas tax and one cent of the GST, the city can’t remotely afford its share of the costs. Where is His Blondness Miller going to find a billion bucks or two? By the time we’re singing a re-make of Bobby Gimby’s CA-NA-DA for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the “Transit City” report will be gathering dust on the shelves of the city archives and Municipal Affairs Library (assuming it still exists in the former Metro Hall), alongside “Network 2011″ et al., not to mention
    the 2008 Olympics and 2015 Worlds Fair bid books, while instead of new LRTs, the Scarborough RT rolling stock is replaced by some patched-up Bombadiers that were rejected by the Detroit People-mover.

    Too bad so many trees had to die, so much bandwidth
    had to be wasted, and so much carbon dioxide had to be expelled from the mouths of politicians, for yet
    another unachievable and ridiculous grand multi-giga-dollar project when the TTC can’t even afford “state of good repair” on it’s present system, implement some kind of smart card automatic fare collection, or hire and train enough drivers to keep their spiffy new Orion VIII buses on the road.

  59. Just a minor point, since I honestly think it was pretty innocent: shouldn’t the post have disclosed upfront that Matthew Blackett had been commissioned by the TTC to create some graphics for the Transit City project? He brought it up himself in the comments, which was great, and Spacing’s support for this project isn’t a surprise, but I do think it’s important to know when a Spacing editor has done paid work on a project being discussed.

  60. I am extremely hopeful that the lack of mention of any subway expansions at all is not because council believes they are all unnecessary, but rather because they have learned their lesson from past reports and plans.

    If you put a subway option on the table alongside more network expansion, provincial and federal politicians will get behind the photo-op and essentially ignore the rest of the recommendations. This is what happened to the Ridership Growth Strategy.

    To serve the most people in the City, we need a network of lines like the one proposed. They can be implemented piece-by-piece and none of them provide a better photo-op than any other. But every year a new route will open and build ridership.
    The annual construction cost for this coincidentally lines up very nicely with what we would take in from one cent of the GST. This plan is designed to pressure the feds to give us exactly that as stable, perpetual funding.

    The need for a DRL will only increase as these lines and east waterfront development bring more people on to the TTC. In a few years, Council can pressure the province for one-off funding for a DRL subway from Pape (where the Don Mills LRT has been terminating underground) to the rail corridor near the waterfront where it will go to Union. If Blue 22 has been killed off properly by then, a cheap continuation of the DRL along the rail corridor all the way to Pearson (with its proven trip generation on the Eglinton line) can also be on the table. But you will not hear anything about a Weston line until Blue22 is dead and buried. And you will not hear a word about building any subways until we have guaranteed stable city-controlled funding.

  61. Matt, you mean “Better-informed people will find faults in less-informed people’s work”?

    You’re a graphic designer. You aren’t supposed to draw maps (a) that nobody can actually print out because it will empty their ink cartridge and (b) 4% to 8% of males and some females cannot actually read. You’re supposed to *know better*.

    Now, I suppose it makes sense that you would also want to get away clean.

  62. thickslabs, I will try to find the post(s), but there seems to be a lot of activity here, I will have to dig.

    I will also leave it at (in light of the post I just saw from the person in question) that in my world it is creepy when a critic critiques with agression and in a strangely personal way. All I see is a grudge being aired publicly. The main point being the message gets lost, and the critic becomes yet another web parody. That renders something inaccessible.

    But we all choose to work at things in the way we want. Keep up the good work!

    Jen B.

  63. Does anyone know the extent of the the Harbourfront East line? How far east will it stretch?

    (thanks for pointing out that it exists geoff)

  64. Ugh — Joe clark tries to ruin every good thing that SPacing does. very sad.

    If everything was “designed” to accommodate every type of disability out there than all of our product would be just geometri shapes and printed in black and white. C’mon. Wikipedia says about 2% of the population is colourblind. If 4-8% can’t read why are we putting any words on our products?

    As a former graphic design student we were never made aware of colourblind people when doing our product design classes. It is NOT WIDELY KNOWN, as Clark seems to suggest, that every graphic design “should know better.”
    As for the map, it is designed in TTC style. Live with it. As was stated earlier, it is not official, just a part of the media kit. too bad for your printer carteridge. Its your choice if you want to print it out. There are technical maps to print out if you so desire. Or cut it out of the Star today.

    This is not to sat that Joe doesn’t has a point about accessibility, but every problem that people have can never be accommodated. There are ways around it and I hope the TTC considers how to make their maps more friendly in the future (this is the first time I’ve heard of this and probably 98% of these readers wouldn’t have known it either). But to start the discussion here with an unofficial document just shows how easily excited Clark is to pounce on Spacing folks to show the world just how smart he really thinks he is.

  65. I am curious – where did the image of the “futuristic” Streetcar with the TTC logo come from. According to the name of the file, it appears to be from the Eglinton line, but I’ve also found the same image on Bombardier’s website without the logo – my guess is an “artist” changed it. I am less curious as to who the artist is, and more curious as to why, and if there are more pics? my suspicion is that the TTC plans to purchase the model of tram in the picture

  66. NICK >
    The credit to the rendering notes “rendering by Matthew Blackett, for Spacing”. The photo of the b/g is of Eglinton in Etobicoke and the streetcar is from Veinna, I think. I took it from an older TTC report cuz it was the best streetcar image that fit with the local photos I could find.

    Please read the post carefully as well as the previous comments since I cleared this up much higher up in the comment section.  No conspiracy.

  67. I was interested in your calculated “cost per new rider” above, Rob (Galea).

    It’s an interesting, simple comparision per se, but, money has a time value which aggregate ridership through to 2021 ignores, as the ride revenue should be discounted back from the year received to 2007 for a truly fair comparison in today’s 2007 dollars.

    It’s beyond my expertise or knowledge to comment on how realistic the Transit City’s ridership and constructions cost estimates are, let alone what year they occur in… but subjecting the YorkU/VCC subway to simplistic Net Present Value (NPV) analysis is much easier for one subway project and gives an order-of-magnitude estimate of the incremental ridership needed to “payback” the initial capital costs.

    NPV analysis shows it must achieve over 20% of combined TTC/YRT ridership—106M incremental, new rides to “payback” the initial ≈$2.4B investment—an opportunity cost—as if not spend to build this subway, it could, for example, fund $2.4B of the Transit City LRT Network or any other much needed Municipal, Provincial or Federal social programs.

    Is it realistic that this 8.6km YorkU/VCC subway extension will generate 106M incremental new rides, over 20% of combined TTC/YRT annual rides? I’m obviously skeptical, but I give the last word to Steve Munro in his excellent March 7th 2007 “Who will Ride?” post (www.stevemunro.ca/?p=349).

    NPV ANALYSIS TTC/YRT York University/Vaughan Corporate Centre Subway

    TTC/YRT Total Annual Rides (M) 2006 462.5

    Capital Cost—PV York~Vaughan Subway –$2.4B
    Cost of Capital—i 6.50%
    Life (years)—n 30
    Future Value—FV 0
    Breakeven Cashflow—PMT $183.8M
    TTC/YRT Average Fare (AvgF) $1.74
    Breakeven Rides-M (PMTà·AvgF) 105.9
    Breakeven Rides—% Annual Rides 22.9%

    N.B. TTC Average Fare ≈$1.72—Feb.07; YRT Average 2006 Fare: $2.13.
    TTC 2006 Rides: 445M; YRT 2006 Rides: 17.5M
    Cost of Capital: TTC EGM & GenSecr Estimate: Prov CofC= 6-7%.
    Life: generally accepted life of subway cars/trains before major rebuilds or disposal.

    Comment: The above example is meant as a simple illustration as construction expenses will occur in phases over 7 years and ridership/revenue, on-going maintenance & operating costs will not occur until after the subway opens in 2014. The above assumes the subway is built, has opened and rides/revenue are constant each year—hardly realistic—if anything generous, as subway ridership typically builds slowly years after opening.

    Switching gears from YorkU/VCC back to the Sheppard subway will illustrate the “opportunity cost lost” of bad subway expansion decisions. Sheppard subway is dismally below even the TTC’s own pessismistic ridership targets. It cost over $900M to build (very efficiently, under budget by TTC E&C btw), but it could have purchased 1,200 new hybrid buses (full $750,000 price—no Federal subsidy)—almost doubling the TTC’s present bus fleet! Imagine what TTC rides would be today in 2007 if they had 1,200 extra buses on the road and were actually leading, instead of trailing demand!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Technical details:

    I calculated the above NPV on my HP 12-C “Classic” Financial calculator. This calculator is available online for anyone wanting to play CFO and crank out similar NPV analysis (time value of money) of “Transit City” or “FLOW” projects—in both Mac and PC versions:

    Mac OS X–HP 12C Classic RPN: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/21950

    PC Windows–HP 12C Classic RPN: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/win/30685

    If you’re not familiar with HP 12C Classic’s Reverse Polish Notation-input entry, HP 12C Platinum versions (with both Algebraic & RPN-input entry) are available at either of these sites:

    Mac or PC HP 12C Platinum Algebraic/RPN: http://www.rlmtools.com/Calculators/12CP/12Pmain.html; or search HP 12C in Mac OS X or Windows at http://www.versiontracker.com

    Have fun playing CFO… or GTTA Chair-for-a-Day!

  68. Glo, it is important for designers to accomodate people with disabilites, and not as hard as it may sound. If you know a few baby boomers, it may not be long before you know someone with limited mobility or reduced vision. The TTC’s elevators aren’t just for people in wheelchairs, and web accessibility isn’t just for people who are completely blind.

    When done properly, accessible designs usually end up being better even for people who don’t use the “accessibility features”. (GoodGrips products are an excellent example of this — many people don’t even realize how accessible their designs are.) The best accessibility advocates I’ve worked with always start by understanding the goal of the project — in this case, a map that resembles the TTC subway map — so that they can make suggestions that are compatible with that goal. They’re also part motivational speaker, given that many decisions that affect accessibility are made by people who don’t deal with it on a daily basis and cannot be expected to be experts. Taking accessibility into account does not have to be painful.

  69. Thank you Matt L, you made a very good point without violating basic human codes of interaction.

    Thank you for doing all that work Bob Brent.

  70. Bob – great point. My note above was meant to be a simple ‘back of the envelope’ calculation to illustrate the differences in the relative cost of the different LRT lines based on the TTC’s given assumptions, not lay out the actual cost or set out the TTC’s capital budget. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to use an index, but I didn’t want to complicate things.

    I wanted to highlight that, if these lines are evaluated on the basis of the growth in ridership that they would create, the proposed Eglinton LRT is actually one of the less expensive proposals (at $66 per new rider per yr), when compared to Scarborouth/Malvern ($140), Don Mills ($90), or Sheppard East ($85). On a per rider acquired basis, the Scarborough/Malvern LRT would cost 400% more than the Waterfront West LRT ($140 vs. $35), and may in fact be more expensive than the Spadina extension (though to accurately determine this we would have to make sure the estimates used for Spadina growth and cost are consistent with those used for LRT – I’m doubtful that they are – and Bob is correct in noting that because the longer construction time of a subway line vs. a LRT, time-value of money/opportunity cost would skew my simple calculation).

    I can’t comment on the TTC’s assumptions on ridership or costs, except to say that if their assumptions are consistent for their estimates on each line, then an analysis of the relative costs of the lines on a per rider basis should still be reasonably accurate. (e.g. if for some reason the TTC’s estimates for ridership growth were overly optimistic and 150% of what they should have been, the Scarborough-Malvern LRT would still be 400% more expensive on a per rider basis than the Waterfront West line).

    Bob – if you have the time/inclination, I would be quite interested in seeing a more nuanced DCF analysis for each of the proposed LRT routes and the Spadina extension rather than my shorthand analysis.

  71. Hopefully this becomes a true LRT rather than a “ROW” streetcar line we have now. Seeing how it includes the Spadina and St. Clair lines, I am not optimistic that this will be much faster than the current system we have now. If those lines are supposed to be part of this LRT network, at the very least cut down the number of stops so it stops no more frequently than a subway, and give them true light priorities. It takes 9 minutes from Spadina station to Union by subway, while 26 minutes by streetcar!!! No offense to the streetcar crowd, but if they gave Spadina/Harbourfront a dedicated bus lane and rearranged the stops to what they are now, it would probably be much faster than running a streetcar. Though a true LRT with streetlight priorities would be even faster.

  72. I think this plan is stupid for these reasons:
    1) it goes goes for LRT because they are cheap not because they work.
    2) it’s Canada – we have a winter, if you want people to give up cars, let them wait for their ride in a subway station (warm) as opposed to a windy street corner (cold)
    3) we can’t just keep dumping people off on the subway – I live at Broadview Danforth and can’t get on the subway in the am because they are full
    4) screw the burbs – we don’t need to connect to Vaughn and other such poorly designed god forsaken places – there should be a simple upgrade strategy such as busy streets will get a bus, busy buses will get a streetcar, busy streetcars will get a subway –
    5) transit should not be used to spur development, it should be built to reward density which is far more efficient with city resources
    6) did I say screw the burbs? I’ll say it again, if you work in Toronto – live in Toronto, otherwise pay up to come into the city. Make the DVP, 401 and Gardiner toll roads, then spend the money on the expensive subways – they’re worth it.

  73. Rob,

    I agree your “back of the envelope” new cost/new ride comparisions are an interesting way to quickly compare the “acquisition cost” of a new rider (to use the marketing term)… in 2007 dollars and 2021 rides! :P

    I’m on a NPV RT Capital Rationing kick these days as some sort of financial discipline nust enter the RT expansion decisions… other than what riding does the Finance Minister live in or want to get votes in! Without it the TTC gets saddled with underperforming subways like Sheppard, Downsview, Spadina that drain its operating budget for generations… long after the politician du jour has retired from office (see sermon above! :P)

    I’ve done an XL table for the individual Transit City routes with the 2021 rides and initial 2007 $ capital but it’s hopelessly general, hard to draw specfic conclusions without more details on the timing of construction and revenue cashflows. Some of the Transit City route’s breakeven rides look high against the TTC’s current 2006 ride base, but not so high assuming 3% compound ride growth to 2021 (673M) and 5% compound ride growth to 2032 (932M), the expected 25 year life of trackbed.

    I did a NPV comparison of the $5.9B in B$ GTA transit capital requests: $2.4B YorkU/VCC subway; SexyTransit Part I LRT Network (then $1.5B); and $1.0B GO Transit rail/busways and $1.0B ViVA busways to show the rides to payback and % of current rides. It’s even more important on a GTA basis as it’s the only way the GTTA can strip transit of political “gerrymandering” and evaluate the competing capital proposals of the GTA transit systems—on anything approaching an equitable basis—mode and system neutral.

    Where did you get your base rides from, Rob? Are they in the TransitCity deck? I couldn’t find them in the pdf. I read in newspaper that of 175M total rides, 75M are expected to be “new” but didn’t see the route breakdown or base rides.

  74. A thought on the fragmented east-west line to the north. If the Sheppard subway could double the Yonge line between Sheppard and Finch, then a major part of the headache would be gone — it’d be a single east-west subway line with LRTs at either end. Anyone know whether that would be realistic?

  75. Will these new vehicles still run on overhead wires? They didn’t look like they did in the picture!

  76. Rob: yes, they’d use overhead wires. (I believe it’s almost impossible to avoid those when the tracks run through intersections with pedestrian crosswalks: power along the ground is just too dangerous.) The wires probably got lost in the Torontoization of the picture.

    Dishparishun: unfortunately, I don’t think those turning tracks exist, and Finch station is already at capacity handling Yonge line trains.

  77. c williams,

    What you’ve just wrote is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  78. When I was in Amsterdam I saw that they had stretches of single-lane, two way LRT tracks. Then the track splits at each stop back into two sets of tracks. All the cars are timed to pass eachother only at the stops.

  79. Miguel, that’s a really nice map. Good work!

    Matt, I hope you’re not paying too much attention to Joe on his colour-blindness complaints. Frankly, his arguments seem mostly drawn from jealousy rather than any real problems with the design and your defence was sufficient. If he was really interested in the topic, he’d have a comments component to his own site where he soapboxed about this.

    Nice work to all of you, now lets see it through… though on a personal note, I really wish there were more subways in the future of this city. Toronto’s weather is just to hostile to lean so heavily on LRT.

  80. I think the Sheppard LRT as proposed in Transit City is just a ‘placeholder’. It’s just too disjointed and inconvenient for me to believe that they’re serious about building it as described. I know the Sheppard subway was a mistake and it should have been built as LRT, but why perpetuate the error by having an inconvenient and cumbersome transfer at Don Mills? (I know people will also ask why perpetuate the error by extending an underforming subway, but extending it will attract more riders whereas having awkward transfers will not.)

    If the city is able to somehow obtain funding for the Transit City network, I think they’ll build all the other lines first and leave Sheppard for last. At that point, I see the City and TTC pushing for one-time funding to extend the subway along Sheppard to a more reasonable terminus, maybe Victoria Park, and possibly further. There, they would build a proper subway/lrt transfer, alhtough I’m sure the new terminal will still be designed so that the subway can eventually be extended (it may be long after we’re all gone, but a full Sheppard subway from east to west will eventually be built).

    In short, I think the TTC will wait and hope that in 10 or 15 years, ridership along the Sheppard corridor is at least closer to justifying a subway extension, and if all other LRT lines are up and running, it would be much easier to accomplish (you’ll always have people saying that we can buy ‘so much more’ with LRTs, but you also can’t just exlude subways in the context of a city-wide network).

  81. Frankly, his arguments seem mostly drawn from jealousy rather than any real problems with the design and your defence was sufficient. If he was really interested in the topic, he’d have a comments component to his own site where he soapboxed about this.

    Dude, are you for real? “If he was [sic] interested in the topic?” He literally wrote the book on the topic.

  82. Although C Williams was rather abrasive in his comments, there is in fact a grain of truth in what he so rudely tried to convey.

    I know far too many people who choose to live very far away from where they work, and then do nothing but constantly complain about traffic. I work at Kennedy and Sheppard and know many people who commute to the office from places as far as Whitby, Oshawa, Brampton, Newmarket, Bradford and even Barrie!

    People often say they have to move to far-away suburbs because they can’t afford to live in the city. Yet, when they move out to the burbs, they buy huge 2500sq ft (or more), 4-bedroom houses in places like Vaughan, when for the same money, they could buy a comfy 3-bedroom bungalow in a desirable location, such as East York, that is close to the Bloor-Danforth subway. So I have little sympathy for these people, to say the least.

    I made a conscious decision to live close to the subway and relatively close to work (it’s a 13km trip). I currently live in a 1000 sq ft 2-bedroom bungalow in East York, but could just have easily bought a much larger house for the same money somewhere out in Whitby, for example. But I didn’t, because that would be an irresposible thing to do, given that I work in Scarborough and there is no practical way to get from Whitby to Scarborough other than by car. Sure, I’d love the extra space for my wife and my son, but I also don’t want to rape the environment by driving insane distances every day just to get to work.

    My point, in summary is this: people need to take responsibility for their actions. Living in a place like Barrie and working in Scarborough places a huge strain on our road infrastructure, our environment, and ultimately, our quality of life. Public transit can only go so far (and it shouldn’t go to Vaughan in the form of a subway, that’s for sure), so I honestly believe that people should start considering where they live in relation to where they work, even if it means having a smaller house without the enourmous yard and two-car garage. I did, and I couldn’t be happier.

  83. Well put, Leo. Sheppard will likely have to wait. Subways are meant for more urbanized areas. Some expert may correct me but I don’t think subways generally go from one suburban zone to another. In New York at least all the 8 or 10 lines lead to Manhattan. They don’t go from one outer borough to the next.

    The proposed crosstown Eglinton Line LRT is the priority and an excellent idea.

  84. Leo,

    While we don’t agree on the completion of the Sheppard subway East, I do agree with you that ppl have to take “responsibility for their actions…” and high gas prices and exponentially increasing road congestion/commute times are undoubtedly going to speed the process of living, working in closer proximity! :P

  85. Hi Bob,

    I really do respect your point of view on Sheppard, and in fact I find it hard to argue against it, other than the fact that I feel I’m selecting the better of the two ‘evils’ by hoping for an extension to at least Victoria Park.

    Anyway, do you think it would be wise for the TTC to hold off on the Sheppard LRT for as long as possible (ie the last line to be built as part of the proposed Transit City network), just to see where we stand in 10 or 15 years? Lots of things can change in a decade, plus we’ll be able to assess how the other lines are performing. Maybe the priority becomes extending the Finch LRT eastward? Maybe an extension of the Sheppard subway can be justified? Or maybe nothing really changes so we go ahead and built LRT from Don Mills eastward? At least we won’t be wasting our time between now and then, because we’ll be busy enough building all the other LRT lines.

  86. “Frankly, his arguments seem mostly drawn from jealousy rather than any real problems with the design and your defence was sufficient. If he was really interested in the topic, he’d have a comments component to his own site where he soapboxed about this”

    The accessibility comments provided by Joe Clark should be viewed as constructive criticism. It is unfortunate that he uses (or is perceived to use) a bitter tone in his posts that appears to alienate the very people his advice should help.

  87. Does anyone have more details on what exactly the Harbourfront East proposal is? Is it subway or LRT and how far east would it go?

  88. Leo,

    I do agree with you that Transit City’s Sheppard East LRT should be one of the last lines built, as it has a –$555M capital cost but only delivers +6.5M new rides (740 hybrid buses @ $750K!!!!)

    My first priority for an incremental subway extension would be to push Yonge north from Finch to Steeles so that TTC Steeles East/West, YRT, ViVA, GO, Brampton east/west routes could save the congested 2.1 km trip up/down Yonge (busway will have to have passing lanes at stops to avoid express bus tie-ups behind local buses). This will likely justify a Transit City II Steeles East/West LRT line once GTA transit is seamlessly integrated by the GTTA (an optimist!)

    The Sheppard subway may someday warrant a one-stop extension to Victoria Park like you advocate for, but, I don’t know the route well enough to comment. I think the GTTA should be involved managing GTA RT EA’s or at least subjecting them to financial review to remove politics from RT expansion planning, as much as is possible. RT should be where riders want to travel, not be used to garner short term partisan political advantage. A full blown Sheppard extension to STC is an uphill battle with Transit City LRT Network now in vogue and the TTC’s 2001 RTES study rightfully gathering dust.

  89. I’m adding my voice to those who are disappointed that there are no solutions to downtown congestion. I live near Ossington, but can’t take the Bloor subway in the morning because it’s too full. In the winter, I walk to Spadina where subway trains mysteriously alternate between ‘standing room only’ and ‘nearly empty'; I only ever let one train go by before getting one with available seats. Will extending the line to Vaughn mean that it too will be too full for me to get on?

    Hey, if that’s what it takes to encourage those in the suburbs to leave their cars at home, then I’m all for it. Just build me some heated tunnels so I can bike year-round and I’ll gladly give up my spot on the subway.

    Annie

  90. Hi. I am just breezing through after reading a hysterical critique of this map on Joe Clark’s blog. Since he doesn’t allow comments (wise move) I just wanted to marvel at the fact that someone can accumulate so much knowledge, and be so meticulous, yet still fail completely to interact with other human beings in a useful way. Yikes. Basically, a reasonable goal in life is to not become That Guy–the extremely informed expert with passionate ideas who simply cannot get along with other people to make an effective use of that admittedly considerable knowledge. He’s a lesson to us all.

    In other news, I must admit that map deserves a good deconstruction.

Comments are closed.