2018 Provincial Election Transit Promises

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by innsertnamehere, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    Given the release of the PC's platform, I figured it was time to make a thread regarding the election do discuss what the various parties promise when it comes to transit in this province.

    The PC's platform is posted here. Warning, it is a large PDF:

    https://flipbook.brandbits.com/d800699430/inc/pdf/flipbook.pdf

    A quick summary of the platform:

    - Free Wi-Fi on GO transit

    - Subways to be uploaded to the province. The province would assume ownership an maintenance, with the TTC being the operator. They specifically quote the Eglinton Crosstown LRT as the model as to how this would be achieved. It would allow for the leveraging of the asset to further fund more transit, allowing P3 contracts more easily.

    - 5 Billion for new subway construction. They mention the DRL, Yonge Line extension, and Sheppard Subway. They state that they will demand a 50/50 match from the feds. Even with a 50/50 match, all of those projects couldn't be funded. Pick two.

    - Promise to de-regulate planning and approvals processes for transit projects. It states that the 5+ year design process for a subway project before it can begin construction is unacceptable.

    - A key promise to leave existing projects untouched. they explain that too often governments change plans, and it results in nothing getting built. So the Liberals plans will remain, with the PCs adding on top. The specific qoute is:
    "Patrick Brown and the Ontario PCs will fulfill the existing commitments to two-way, all day GO train service and complete major transit projects already under construction, including those in Ottawa, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo."
    And
    "Toronto Mayor John Tory recently said: “I want to lead an administration with my colleagues that actually gets on with building this instead of endless debates. People are tired of endless debates. They’ve seen endless debates go on and the bottom line of that has been no transit.” Patrick Brown and the Ontario PCs could not agree more."
    This is rather confusing as not all of those commitments are under construction already. Actually, by the time the election occurs, only GO RER will be. Ottawa phase 1 and Kitchener phase 1 will both be done.. I presume this is error and that they mean any existing committed projects, given that Hamilton is still several years from construction and it is listed as under construction, especially given the second qoute as their reasoning for this commitment.

    - take over the municipal commitment for the Scarborough subway, under the promise that the City then redirect the money to Eglinton East. This is an actual PC promise to build an LRT. Possibly the part that I am most surprised by. Also interesting in that the province would assume 100% control of the SSE project from the city, including construction risk. I'm unsure if this billion in extra funding would come from the $5 billion pot discussed above, or if it is independent.

    -Fare harmonization between transit systems, and online purchasing of GO tickets. No details exactly what this means.

    - A commitment to make SmartTrack fares a reality, the biggest barrier to Tory's current plan.

    - Surprisingly, support for High Speed Rail. They say that the environmental assessment should proceed to move the project forward. No specific capital funding commitment, but they will at least not be cutting the head off the project.



    A few thoughts on the platform.

    There is a surprising focus on the GTA, the only non GTA project really mentioned is High Speed Rail. I understand that by honouring existing Liberal commitments they cover the rest of the province fairly well (Ottawa & Kitchener phase 2, etc.), but there is still a surprising focus on Toronto.

    The sheppard subway weighted equally in potential subway projects scares me. Given it is far behind the Yonge North and DRL projects in design means it likely would not get the limited funding promised, but still. That money would be far better spent on the DRL North.

    This is however a far, far better platform than the PCs put forward in 2014. There are a few issues, but not the gaping holes in the 2014 platform.

    Anyone else have thoughts?
     
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  2. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    Also, one other one located in a different part of the document:

    - "Patrick Brown and the Ontario PCs will bring back the Ontario Northlander by the end of their mandate."
     
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  3. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Well - in regards to relief line and relief line north, I would assume it comes down to the interpretation of "all projects under construction will remain". If that is actually anything already having / in the midst of being planned, then the relief line north would have to be in that bucket as there is money advancing planning (and I assume meetings should be announced any time soon as Metrolinx stated public consultations start late 2017 / early 2018).
     
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  4. jys

    jys Active Member

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    So far so good.
     
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  5. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Superstar

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    Why did they specify two-way, all-day GO service and not RER?
     
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  6. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Superstar

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    I worry that this is just a roundabout ways to sell our subways to a private corporation, 407 style.

    Couldn't the same be achieved by providing 100% operational subsidy on the condition that maintenance be done with a P3?
     
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  7. Sandpit

    Sandpit Active Member

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    Because the average voter doesn't know what RER is. This would also explain why the cover, table of contents, and first 30 pages are magazine-style.
     
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  8. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Superstar

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    The average voter doesn’t read policy papers in the first place.
     
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  9. Sandpit

    Sandpit Active Member

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    I think that's what they're hoping to change with the first 30 pages of the platform. It's actually pretty clever, although there are no guarantees it would work.
     
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  10. Young Stats

    Young Stats New Member

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    My issue is that if the province did assume ownership of the subway, are they going to keep TTC fares or are they going to charge fares by distance and let the City subsidized the buses and streetcars? I think if they did that there's going to be a transit crisis in the City of Toronto
     
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  11. TransitBart

    TransitBart Senior Member

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    1. The PCs desire for self-immolation appears to have passed. Anything as bone-headed as terminating 100,000 people with no thought as to why or which was DOA. It was hard at the time to figure out how they got a spokes-idiot to stand up and say some of the things that were said.
    2. GTA emphasis. How can you win an election in Ontario without winning the GTA?
    3. In spite of the general opinion here that the PCs would rip up all that was in progress, I could never see how making voters’ commutes harder and longer was a great vote getter. I also agree 100% with the sentiment that ripping up plans in favour of more talking is getting to be very thin gruel. Any one who does that is likely to be turfed at the first opportunity.
    4. Much of the good infrastructure we have was built in the Davis years, which were largely moderate and scandal free. Before the reactionary, uneducated and narrow-mindedness of Mike Harris, the PCs ran an un-exceptional but largely productive show.
    5. Again, although it is the perception here that the PC base is in smaller towns, with aging and less educated populations, I am not certain how pandering to that world view could possibly win an election in 2017 with the world having evolved to where it has. That view also does not give many rural voters as much credit as it should. I think the world has moved on from the twentieth century. We are two years from the third decade of the twenty-first.
    6. The reactionary feeling by some on the right (take careful note Doug Ford) that all government spending is always wasteful and bad may have passed. If that is the case, then good. Without well run government, there is only anarchy. We will need a well run government to accomplish all that must be done without breaking the bank.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  12. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    This is actually far more than I expected from the Tories. Now, how much of this is trustworth or wordsmithing is another question.

    Did the include the Hurontario-Main LRT in there? I didn't see it.

    Provincial takeover of subway? I'm down. They can finally do fare-by-distance and stop underinvesting in subways to subsidize buses. The subways will hopefully finally get some much needed attention and platform screen doors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  13. Rainforest

    Rainforest Senior Member

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    Overall, a much more sound platform than what could be expected from PCs.

    One concern is the idea to upload subways. The termini for surface routes are so tightly integrated with the subway system that it's hard to see how the two systems can be separately owned when they actually operate together.
     
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  14. TransitBart

    TransitBart Senior Member

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    The platform says upload the capital cost. Not divide the TTC into two operating entities.
     
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  15. crs1026

    crs1026 Senior Member

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    It is really encouraging to see the Tories saying these things, even if we remain a bit skeptical of some of the fine details. I would much rather challenge the fine points and remain hopeful that the answers firm up, than naysay this platform.

    The two quesions I would have are
    - the subway/surface TTC severing needs a good financial analysis and plan. Is Brown taking the most lucrative piece and leaving TTC with an unsustainable surface network? Will the TTC remain able to fund bus and streetcar replacement and additions from its share of the fare revenue? Will this mean less provincial support for future BRT or streetcar expansion? Is this net uploading, or net downloading? Again I'm not naysaying the idea, I'm saying let's see the fine points and hard numbers on what this will mean for TTC and for the Province
    - what is Brown's take on Metrolinx? Is he committing to more transparency and accountability? How will he staff its Board? Does he see it as effective now? vs a monolith that needs trimming and streamlining?
    - (three. three questions) As noted, just which GO/RER projects is he saying should proceed? Electrification?

    - Paul
     
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