Recently in the National Post, Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson was promoting the Downtown Relief Line and pairing it with the Georgetown GO project currently in an EA headed by Metrolinx. This will give Toronto lots more rapid transit for less money.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THERE ARE ONLY SEVEN (7) DAYS LEFT TO SEND COMMENTS TO METROLINX! We urgently need you to act on this message! Thank you in advance for reading through this!
I would encourage us all to mobilize to support what has been put forward by the Councillor. I have uploaded the map that the Councillor sent to Metrolinx of a conceptual network so that we can all visualize what is being promoted. The opportunities, I believe, are amazing.
The Georgetown GO corridor has the potential to be like a west end Downtown Relief Line, but this requires electrification. Following electrification, additional stops become possible, as do near-subway frequencies. These are engineering realities. Metrolinx is supposed to implement fare-integration in the future as well, so it shouldn't be as expensive as today for GO riders within Toronto. We need to stand up and stop believing that GO is exclusively for suburbia. GO is a regional service that includes several vast swaths of Toronto, not just Union Station.
The community in Liberty Village around Strachan Avenue got their wish regarding the proposed grade separation with 270 comments. This is a $100 million cost to the project, and they got it with enough public pressure. We are seeking a $450 million cost plus vehicles added to the project through electrification, although this cost can be recouped through operational savings, health care savings, increased land values, and higher ridership resulting from said higher land values. The cost can probably be recouped in less than 10 years after entering service.
There are two ways to speak up.
The first is through e-mail, and info regarding this can be found on the Clean Train Coalition website here:
E-mail is not public, even though it is submitted to a public agency, which has drawbacks. Clean Train Coalition is trying to increase accountability, please work with them by following the guide in the link.
The second option, a public forum, which in theory is better, is below.
Please bear with me, and all of us that want to see a great transit system in Toronto, in putting in the effort jump through the hoops that seem designed to discourage public participation (as that makes it easier to get their project approved if the public doesn't say anything). Your effort will open the door to an opportunity for transforming what is currently a terrible project into one that is FANTASTIC! Electrification makes all the difference, and we're the last developed country on earth that hasn't recognized this. The North-Eastern U.S. and California get it, as does Chicago, why don't we? Even Montreal gets it!!
Please go to the Clean Train Coalition website for details on commenting on Metrolinx' consultation site (it's a bit of a pain, trust me, please read the walk-through).
LINK TO CLEAN TRAIN COALTION WALK-THROUGH: http://cleantrain.ca/webportal.php
Here is the link to the consultation site for Metrolinx' Georgetown South Service Expansion site.
Please register if you are not yet registered.
Click on the "read and comment on this document" link near the bottom.
Note the "sections" column on the left, and follow the Clean Train Coalition walk-through. Electrification is near the bottom of the "sections" column.
IMPORTANT: COMMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN THE RIGHT SECTION!
Words of wisdom are to keep it to the point. Submit supporting arguments for why it should be electric, but don't get into spin-off benefits and other tangents. Rumour has it that comments that stray off topic get moved to a topic you probably don't want it to get moved to. We must be focused and crank up the pressure. Just insist on electrification of both the Georgetown and Union-Pearson services (don't forget the Union-Pearson service needs to be electrified, too!).
If you want to express support for Metrolinx to add additional stations to the line as per the image I uploaded, these can be expressed one by one on the appropriate panels in the "sections" column on the left. (These panels are corridor plan and profile display panels 10, 12, 20, and 22).
If we all speak up, we can make great transit in Toronto happen!
Thank you everyone for your support!