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Thread: GO Georgetown South Corridor/ Union Pearson Express (Metrolinx, U/C)

  1. #751
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    Well, if a supr line was to be built to the ariport, why is a private company operating it?? It has been demonstrated time and time again that private transit is simply not, for lack of a better word, good. Just have a new express GO line that would go from Union to the Airport, and maybe a VIA service to other cities, but not Union. There we have it, no tedious mucking about with SNC Lavalin et al.
    Last edited by jks; 2009-Feb-04 at 18:59. Reason: insert of word "express"
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  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jks View Post
    Well, if a supr line was to be built to the ariport, why is a private company operating it?? It has been demonstrated time and time again that private transit is simply not, for lack of a better word, good. Just have a new express GO line that would go from Union to the Airport, and maybe a VIA service to other cities, but not Union. There we have it, no tedious mucking about with SNC Lavalin et al.
    Where has it been demonstrated that the private sector can't deliver transit services? It all depends on how those services are structured and who's delivering it. Can you imagine VIVA achieving what it has if it were run by a government agency? And there are examples of private entities running airport rail links...Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect are good examples and they provide a great service.

    The issue here, however, is the way the contract is written. We should not be handing over the track rights carte blanche to the Blue 22 consortium. They should get the right to operate and charge what they like. Perhaps the crown should consider charging them for using the tracks or maybe not (depending on the circumstance). But given them the right to the tracks for 99 years is a 407 ETR kind of scam. It's exactly the reason that Canadians don't trust the participation of the private sector in delivering public services...because our governments (unlike those elsewhere) seem to lack the ability to contract properly with the private sector. They write up sweetheart deals and then don't enforce the shoddy contracts they do sign....all to the chagrin of the public.

  3. #753
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOareaFan View Post
    Great.....I just wonder, though, how it would compare to similar corridors in Canada/Ontario (assuming there are any).....that would probably be a better indicator of how much traffic we would deem it could handle!
    What?!? A rail line with similar technology should be able to handle the same amount of traffic regardless of "which country" it is located in. Why would it differ? Because you want it to to make an argument?

  4. #754
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    if blue 22 was a failure and because the company running it was given exclusive rights to the tracks for 99 years, wouldn't anyone who wanted to use those tracks for anything else have to fork over a load of cash to buy those rights from them?


    i can see the government spending a ridiculous amount of money buying back the rights to tracks it paid to construct.
    member since april 23 1847. over 250 539 posts in morse on ticker tape, 368 067 by mail and 40 033 over the internet. 75 posts sent by pigeon & 25 by dog but only 12 arrived.

  5. #755
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    Private transit agencies don't provide good service because a private company is for-profit. This means that only the most reliable routes will remain open. As this is only one route, there isn't much choice. The line will either make money or not. However, for it to make money the prices have to be high, because the only funding is coming from the fare-box. In a public transit system/whatever, the price is set reasonably low, and reliable service can be provided because the agency is never at a shortage of money. Of course, Ontario transit systems are always short of cash, but that's a completely different story. I am generalizing here. The Heathrow Express and Connect are good counter-examples, granted, but imagine how much less it would cost, were it government owned.

    I don't even know where the 99-year lease thing came from, but I certainly hope it doesn't happen. I mean, Blue 22 will only be using some of the tracks, some of the time, while GO and VIA have just as much service, if not more, and they need something to drive on too.

    Forgive me, I am generally anti-PPP, because the taxpayers can really get screwed, and the workmanship can be shoddy. Let's take the Canada Line for example, everyone claims how it is a huge success of PPP, but the reality is, that the final price tag was so low because of some major points:

    -The trains only have two cars, shorter platforms, less rolling stock needed
    -Through downtown, the tunnels are one on top of the other.
    -You only need one tunnel, for both trains, common throughout the world, but the two-tunnel Toronto system is much less cost-effective.
    -Back to the rolling stock, there are hardly any seats, because it is an airport line, a minor concession, but it can add up

    In the end, the Canada line isn't all that great, and it isn't even compatible with the rest of the Skytrain lines. VIVA went rather well, granted as well, but keep in mind that the fares and routes and design were all set by the YRT, so it isn't exactly a viable comparison.
    Last edited by jks; 2009-Feb-04 at 20:31.
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  6. #756

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOareaFan View Post
    ... there are a lot of trains running both ways in off-peak times that are very, very, sparsely used...
    ??? I use the Lakeshore line off-peak - normally on weekends or evenings. It's always quite well used when I'm on it. Quite a few people in every car - people wandering through the cars trying to find seats, etc. Very impressive given they run excessively long 10-double-decker-car trains off-peak!

    Surely that they are planning to increase the off-peak frequency from 1-train per hour to 1-train per 30 minutes later this year suggests that it isn't very, very, sparsely used!

    It's a regional service now - and will only become more so, as all existing lines are planned to go to all-day 1-hour service in the next few years.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jks View Post
    Private transit agencies don't provide good service because a private company is for-profit. This means that only the most reliable routes will remain open. As this is only one route, there isn't much choice. The line will either make money or not. However, for it to make money the prices have to be high, because the only funding is coming from the fare-box. In a public transit system/whatever, the price is set reasonably low, and reliable service can be provided because the agency is never at a shortage of money. Of course, Ontario transit systems are always short of cash, but that's a completely different story. I am generalizing here. The Heathrow Express and Connect are good counter-examples, granted, but imagine how much less it would cost, were it government owned.

    ...

    Forgive me, I am generally anti-PPP, because the taxpayers can really get screwed, and the workmanship can be shoddy. ....

    As you have pointed out there are both good and bad examples of PPPs. And as I pointed out above it all depends on how the contracting government agency manages it. Unfortunately, we in Canada seem to have a poor track record with these things. That does not mean we can't learn a thing or two. Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect are great services. I haven't heard anyone complain about them. You might consider services worse from private industry but I would beg to differ. It is exactly that profit motive that keeps private industry in business. I am willing to bet that they will move from Budd cars to something better as soon as the service picks up. Heck, look at the effect private industry is having already. Do you think this project would have advanced this far without the Blue 22 consortium pushing it?

    As for the price, I will disagree on this. An airport rail link is not meant to be public transit in the traditional sense of the term. It's meant to provide a quick connection between downtown and the airport. People should have to pay for that convenience. If we believe in highway tolls, zoned fares, etc. then is it not a reasonable proposition that somebody should pay more for a faster trip? In any case, even if this does fall under a government agency (ie GO) I do not want my tax dollars subsidizing that service (any further than it already is). The anticipated $20 price is entirely reasonable. Those who are complaining have obviously never traveled to other major cities. That's a reasonable fare by any measure. For comparison, Heathrow Connect is GBP 6.9 and Heathrow Express is GBP 16. Given that I would place Blue 22 closer in speed and service to the latter, a fare of CAD 20 is a bargain.

  8. #758

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    I think $20 is reasonable since even the airport express bus costs that amount.

    http://torontoairportexpress.hudsonltd.net/res

    One Way Fare = $19.95
    Round Trip Fare = $32.95

  9. #759

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    Any airport rail service is not competing against the express bus. There's already a lot of competition in this market.

    192 bus and subway: $2.75
    shuttle bus to GO Malton, and then via GO train (assuming service is improved on the Georgetown line): less than $10

    Airport express: $20.

    You can see where this goes. Either ridership will become so low (Canadians are cheap at heart) that the concessionaire quickly goes bust and demands a bailout, or there are backroom dealings which result in the reduction of TTC/GO service, or surcharges are imposed on TTC/GO service to the airport under some excuse.

    Don't laugh.

    This was exactly what happened in Sydney: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport...ney#Criticisms

    If we're going to run an airport rail link, it should be set up as a non-profit body (perhaps owned by GTAA, which it subsidizes to compete against the Island airport), and charge fares just to break even.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post

    If we're going to run an airport rail link, it should be set up as a non-profit body (perhaps owned by GTAA, which it subsidizes to compete against the Island airport), and charge fares just to break even.
    There's no logic in that. Why would the GTAA subsidize a service it does not own just to divert passengers from one facility to another? That would essentially result in passengers who don't use the service subsidizing those who do. That's not necessary. Nor does it guarantee a diversion of passengers from the Island. I for one, use Porter for their service and the convenience (since I travel to/from Scarborough by subway). How would a Blue 22 service help me?

    However, Most business travelers use services like this because they can claim it back. Their employers don't expect them to take the subway in a foreign city (at least for mine anyway). But they do expect them to minimize taxi fares and the like. And that's usually why many of them take airport shuttles and the like. As long as the Blue 22 fare is substantially cheaper than a taxi it will be quite successful. The fare set at 20 bucks will attract sufficient riders to make Blue 22 a handsome profit. And a private service is likely to start upgrading quickly. I expect in short order we'll have things like wifi on the train. It's likely that the Airport Express will ending up dropping fares and become the alternative for the non-business customer. So there will be something for the rest of us. As it stands it's ridiculous to pay 20 bucks for a bus ride to the airport.

  11. #761

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    Keithz, do you think the line would make a handsome profit if there were a parallel TTC or GO line serving the airport for a lower price?

  12. #762

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    I'm not Keithz, but yes I do. They go after completely different markets. A frequent-stop GO or TTC service will attract the same people who are riding the Airport Rocket today. An airport express service will attract people who are now taking cabs.

  13. #763
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterF View Post
    Keithz, do you think the line would make a handsome profit if there were a parallel TTC or GO line serving the airport for a lower price?
    TTC, yes, GO no - it would take away passengers with a subsidized service.

  14. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cacruden View Post
    What?!? A rail line with similar technology should be able to handle the same amount of traffic regardless of "which country" it is located in. Why would it differ? Because you want it to to make an argument?
    No but it would indicate how our rail companies/governing bodies would operate it. I would imagine (but don't know ) that there are different standards for how much traffic any one line can handle....it was an honest question based on the observation that we don't seem to have similar service/traffic on any of our lines to those around the world...so I am not as comfortable as you are that it would be run/handled like similar lines around the world....so I was asking if there are examples closer to home that might be more indicative.....I had already said that if there were the ability to add Blue 22, Express GO to the Airport and full everyday GO commuter service then I did not have an issue/argument with GO going into the terminal....if, however, Blue 22 and GO to the Airport meant that the commuter further up the line did not get the full benefit of the infrastrucutre investment then I would revert to my original position....Blue 22 and VIA into the terminal and full GO service connected via people mover.

    Sometimes a question is just that

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nfitz View Post
    ??? I use the Lakeshore line off-peak - normally on weekends or evenings. It's always quite well used when I'm on it. Quite a few people in every car - people wandering through the cars trying to find seats, etc. Very impressive given they run excessively long 10-double-decker-car trains off-peak!

    Surely that they are planning to increase the off-peak frequency from 1-train per hour to 1-train per 30 minutes later this year suggests that it isn't very, very, sparsely used!

    It's a regional service now - and will only become more so, as all existing lines are planned to go to all-day 1-hour service in the next few years.
    Shortly after that post last night (probably around 7 pm) I found myself crawling along the Gardiner westbound and a GO Train passed me........because of the post it was fresh in my mind so I made a point of guessing how well used that train was.....honest....maybe (generously) 15% occupied....that is a Wednesday night just after rush.....we probably all have our own definitions of "well used"...fair enough.

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