Good luck with their plan to use buses while the line is being converted. Roughly how many buses will have to be used to prevent any serious delays?
They could pave a temporary bus corridor for express busses in the ROW.
Another idea would be Between Ellesmere and Eglinton, Widen Midland and Kennedy to a 5 Lane cross-section throughout its entirety. Then during the shutdown, there will be 5 lanes, 3 Northbound on Kennedy and 3 Southbound on Midland. Buses would have a reserved lane on both roads. Once the shutdown is complete, these 5 lane roads can turn into 4 lane + bicycle lane boulevards or 4 lane + middle turning lane. Either way there is a short term and long term benefit.
Another option that is quite obvious is... Create a new Ellesmere and Lawrence branch of buses, Lets say 54S and 95S. These two routes would be local along their respective routes and then once they pass Midland, they travel express straight to Eglinton Station?
Also, how about an express point-to-point service from Kennedy to Scarborough Town Centre? Most commuters travel between those two stations in the first place. Can the TTC invest in 60 Ft buses between now and 2015 specifically for this shutdown?
Despite all these recommendations, my vote still goes to accepting TTC fare on the GO Train between Kennedy & Agincourt.
I think that GO Transit needs to step it up and skim some (with the emphasis on some) riders, to the point where uses articulated buses in dedicated bus lanes would be feasible. I like the idea of the 5 lane roads too.
In order for this to work, more of the northern Scarborough buses (those largely above the 401) will need to run along Sheppard to Agincourt. North of the 401 gets funnelled there, south of the 401 gets funnelled to either STC or Kennedy. Run arctics using semi-express routes that from STC to Kennedy that only stop at STC, Ellesmere, Lawrence, and Kennedy Stn. That way the speed is at least somewhat comparable to what the SRT was. If you have buses stopping at every side street, it's going to be unbearably slow.
The TTC is definitely going to need to take a lesson from OC Transpo on this one: How to get multiple express, rapid transit, and local transit routes to overlap effectively along a single transit corridor. It's pretty clear that if this is going to work somewhat smoothly, that Kennedy and/or Midland is going to have to look a lot like Woodroffe Ave in Ottawa.
A) Two Parallel major arterials on BOTH SIDES of the N-S SRT. Kennedy AND Midland, This is usually rare.
B) The same as above along the E-W SRT, Progress and Ellesmere. This one has the added benefit of having a 6-lane Ellesmere to work with.
C) Large ROW along all the arterials listed (maybe Progress is an exception) meaning modifications area EASY
D) An active GO Train Line that will soon be running all-day service straight to Union Station, hopefully by 2015
E) Sheppard Avenue can be easily expanded to a 4+2 Bus only lane Road from Kennedy to Victoria Park
Probably many others I can't think of. The point is...in a shutdown like this, the last thing the TTC should do is dump everyone onto an express bus...spread the ridership around and let multiple channels absorb it...Since this is metrolinx building it, integrate with GO.
I'd just make the outer lanes of either Midland or Brimley bus-only. There's only a real need for one intermediate stop, at Lawrence, in any event. The buses should be speedy, and have POP boarding if making any intermediate stops. Though I'd definitely order artics and use them on this route (as part of a bigger order). They'll find a use elsewhere once the LRT is opened.
Maybe they should just employ some common sense and put in the heating mechanisms, improve underpasses to allow for MK11 trains and save themselves a cool billion and 40 months of shut down?
I heard Ottawa was buying replacement O-train DMUs from Alstom. What are they planning to do with the Talents?
Last edited by Hipster Duck; 2011-Dec-08 at 11:20.
Getting back to the SRT situation, if the TTC were smart, they could put in a whole bunch of new bus lanes throughout Scarborough under the guise of "for the SRT downtime". Sheppard, McCowan, and Kennedy all come to mind. For Sheppard in specific, these bus lane widenings can be potentially used for the LRT down the road.
But doing this would require forethought...
Sheppard East facility as current.).
So we're down to $600 million. The new platforms at Kennedy must be a bundle. The second platform at Union is about $180 million. I'd think that $200 million is quite feasible for what they need to build at Kennedy.
So that's maybe $400 million left to actually do the rebuild and extend 4 stations (3 of them quite complex), replace all the track, put in the new overhead and build that new curve between Ellesmere and Midland.
I find it hard to believe they'll keep it to just $1 billion.
nfitz, I agree with you about the costs as you have broken them down, but I think that rethinking how the line is designed could save hundreds of millions of dollars. I don't see why any of this stuff, barring the LRVs, cannot be had for cheaper. If it costs so much to retrofit the "tunnel" (really more of an underpass) under the Stoufville line, then why not consider a viaduct (also see point 1, below)? Is there a need for an additional car house on the line, when there already is one at Mt Dennis? The Kennedy station could probably not be had for much cheaper than $200 M, but why not consider positioning the light rail station to the north of Eglinton (so you don't have to rebuild the existing Kennedy station box at all) and connecting it with the existing station via a series of footbridges? It's a bit of a walk, for sure, but certainly no more than the tunnel connecting the YUS to the BD at Spadina station, and it would save millions of dollars.
Two other things are worth mentioning:
(1) If we have to rebuild the tunnel under the Stoufville line due to a problem like the turning radius, then why didn't Metrolinx order LRVs that could have met that spec? If it's because of the clearance for overhead, why not scrape off a meter of trackbed? This was common practice all over tunnels in Switzerland when they unrolled a fleet of double decker cars.
(2) Ultimately, if it really costs us a $1B to convert the ICTS line to LRT - and we have no way of redesigning the line in a more simple fashion - why not just keep the ICTS system and buy new cars that are made to spec? Sure, it still means that Scarberians have to be forced to make a transfer - but is that inconvenience really worth $1.5 billion? I mean, most of us objected to the idea of converting the Sheppard subway to LRT, forcing people to make a transfer at Don Mills...yet here we are spending more than 50% more than the original Sheppard subway (which was an entirely new build subway line that was of equal length) to do just that on the SRT. I'm not averse to spending $1.5 billion on a new transit line in Toronto, but it must demonstrate a decisive improvement to existing transit. I begin to be skeptical when a marginal connectivity improvement to what already exists costs the same as the entire yearly operating budget of the TTC.
$ 300 million for 30 new articulated MK11 trains, redo the tunnel and put in the heating mechanism and you have yourself and extra $800 million to play with.
I still think the whole idea of transferring it to LRT is ridiculous.
Remember kids the ONLY reason why Toronto, the TTC, and Queen's Park were going to go ahead with LRT was due to the fact that most of the system would be at grade. Even one level crossing means LRT was a neccessity and that's fine. The issue now is that this entire line is grade separated and all extensions will be as well as Metrolinx as clearly stated that the line will be automated which makes sense as it offers lower operating costs. In other words they are scrapping a 6km rapid transit line to build a lower capacity LRT line. LRT due to it's thinner trains and slower acceleration than SkyTrain means it has the lowest capacity of standard subway, SkyTrain, or monorail.
This line is costing top dollar so why not get the best capacity possible and with vehicles that last longer than standard LRT to say nothing of not having to build a brand new garage, mainteneance, and control centre.