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407 Transitway

Here is the website with all of the information including EAs (which have design plates if you're interested in rough alignments and station designs): https://407transitway.com/

As for what's happening with the project, allegedly Metrolinx is working on it in the background, and whilst the original EA lapsed, the ford government has apparently passed a bill that lets Metrolinx use older EAs for longer.
Beyond that, the only thing really new would be the 2051 regional transportation plan which showcased both an orbital rail line, and an "Ontario Loop" that extended the Ontario Line to (presumably) run along the 407. This suggests that Metrolinx is looking at possibly building it as a rail line off the get go rather than as a busway.
I appreciate the information, thank you... so basically it's really far out from now
 
I appreciate the information, thank you... so basically it's really far out from now
Yes, but my interpretation is that it isn’t any further out than any projects that also have EAs complete, or simply anything not being actively pursued by Metrolinx yet (so, a lot of RTP stuff). I think an important question is if the EAs need to be adjusted for rail, seeing as it has lots of loops and approaches that might only work for buses- not really for a train.

They could choose to prioritize it today and it might have a semi-reasonable time frame for a first phase to reach completion given simple construction, but we’re talking at least 15 years from now. This is definitely an underrated project given its potential, but it’s one of the many cases now where X is great, but Y is borderline crucial to build first. Can’t justify it without YNSE, GO EXP, etc. to connect with.

I am going to be working on a “phasing diagram” soon to illustrate how we might best approach this 407 transitway as a rail service. suggestions are welcome.
 
The EA has explicit provision for rail, including alternate platform positions that don’t involve a lot of the loops, however it’s also very much a configuration optimized for low floor light rail still mixing with buses. The RTP appears to be contemplating a move to light metro that would need more revision.
 
Yes, but my interpretation is that it isn’t any further out than any projects that also have EAs complete, or simply anything not being actively pursued by Metrolinx yet (so, a lot of RTP stuff). I think an important question is if the EAs need to be adjusted for rail, seeing as it has lots of loops and approaches that might only work for buses- not really for a train.

They could choose to prioritize it today and it might have a semi-reasonable time frame for a first phase to reach completion given simple construction, but we’re talking at least 15 years from now. This is definitely an underrated project given its potential, but it’s one of the many cases now where X is great, but Y is borderline crucial to build first. Can’t justify it without YNSE, GO EXP, etc. to connect with.

I am going to be working on a “phasing diagram” soon to illustrate how we might best approach this 407 transitway as a rail service. suggestions are welcome.
The first section proposed to be built, shown on the 407 Transitway website, is HWY 400 to Kennedy Road, which covers and intersects a fair amount of locations - including VMC/Line 1, Barrie GO Line, Richmond Hill Centre/Richmond Hill GO Line, and Markham Centre/Stouffville GO Line. Given the amount of existing and proposed development in VMC, Richmond Hill Centre, and Markham Centre, I think it would be reasonable to suggest that these locations could support full rail instead of BRT. Justification will be even stronger with the Line 1 Richmond Hill Extension.

The only other section I think that would make sense as rail at this point in time is from Hurontario to HWY 400. The case is weaker than the first section as there aren’t as many higher-density nodes along the 407 at this point in time, but there will still be connections with Kitchener GO and Hurontario LRT, as well as multiple adjacent employment areas that can help feed demand too.

Anything outside of these areas unfortunately don’t have as much of a case at this point in time until more area around the 407 gets developed.
 
The EA has explicit provision for rail, including alternate platform positions that don’t involve a lot of the loops, however it’s also very much a configuration optimized for low floor light rail still mixing with buses. The RTP appears to be contemplating a move to light metro that would need more revision.
I think I would actually actively protest an LRT proposal for the transitway.
 
The first section proposed to be built, shown on the 407 Transitway website, is HWY 400 to Kennedy Road, which covers and intersects a fair amount of locations - including VMC/Line 1, Barrie GO Line, Richmond Hill Centre/Richmond Hill GO Line, and Markham Centre/Stouffville GO Line. Given the amount of existing and proposed development in VMC, Richmond Hill Centre, and Markham Centre, I think it would be reasonable to suggest that these locations could support full rail instead of BRT. Justification will be even stronger with the Line 1 Richmond Hill Extension.

The only other section I think that would make sense as rail at this point in time is from Hurontario to HWY 400. The case is weaker than the first section as there aren’t as many higher-density nodes along the 407 at this point in time, but there will still be connections with Kitchener GO and Hurontario LRT, as well as multiple adjacent employment areas that can help feed demand too.

Anything outside of these areas unfortunately don’t have as much of a case at this point in time until more area around the 407 gets developed.
I think the new idea is to go south along the 427 to Pearson, and then to Hurontario via the 403/Busway. This alignment has much better prospects imo- actually continuing along the 407 seems fairly overbuilt. It would be underutilizing the potential for rail service that lies south, which likely factored into the decision here- especially given the Queen/Hwy 7 BRT will exist, too.

The implication from the RTP is that this can all coincide with the Ontario Line now… so extending to Pearson from the south via 427 likely helped influence the decision to continue this way with the rest of the project. I see this as more of a GO line than anything, so the dispersed trips in Brampton weren’t ideal compared to the concentrations on the new alignment anyway.
 
I think I would actually actively protest an LRT proposal for the transitway.
I thought about this a little bit as it seemed just as ludicrous to me as your saying. But as devils advocate, you could make the case that by going with LRT, it can interface with the/a complete LRT network at some point in the future as a trunk, similar to existing GO service. I imagine it (was) a way to achieve a few goals at once, for example being a defacto rail upgrade for the Hwy 7 BRT.

Of course, this would impact the “regional” aspect of the plan, as LRTs are local and can never mirror regional bus services like those we already have on the 407/403. So those would have to stay if we chose to build a local LRT “trunk”.

I think these factors likely made the MTO realize that it’s easier and cheaper to simply build one dedicated line than try to accommodate local and regional patterns. An LRT could never truly be regional, but BRT isn’t enough especially given the timeframe we will be building it.
 
Yeah, the only sense LRT ever made was in being compatible with buses in the same corridor, and while I don’t buy that it would be totally unworkable I end up having to agree that this corridor really should be optimized for either buses or rail, and rail optimization absolutely screams for light metro.

I do hope we don’t get excessively tied to the Ontario Line though, given that smaller trains and stations really are the right approach here in every meaningful operational sense.

my current thinking is that the optimal arrangement probably is extension of the OL to Unionville and Renforth with stage one 407 running between the two with similar but downsized equipment. ‘Conversion‘ of the Mississauga Transitway could then look to an elevated extension of the 407 route that need not be wholly tied to the same alignment and stations which would be far less disruptive than direct addition of light rail track.

Where I get more undecided is on how far east to push along the 407 in future, and what to do about an eastern north/south link, and this factor along with the existence of the Transitway is where I start to admit that a busway based option is still rather attractive in its own right, especially if we stage it as build out of stations and bus only ramps, adding actual dedicated transit rights of way only as the 407 actually becomes either congested or so expensive as to make the capital costs comparable to the tolls (realistically how dramatically different would passenger experience be on a full buildout versus a 427 only busway with dedicated bus ramps to the highway at Transitway Station, Yonge, Unionville and maybe for the Barrie line if the Concord station ever gets moving).
 
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Yeah, the only sense LRT ever made was in being compatible with buses in the same corridor, and while I don’t buy that it would be totally unworkable I end up having to agree that this corridor really should be optimized for either buses or rail, and rail optimization absolutely screams for light metro.

I do hope we don’t get excessively tied to the Ontario Line though, given that smaller trains and stations really are the right approach here in every meaningful operational sense.

my current thinking is that the optimal arrangement probably is extension of the OL to Unionville and Renforth with stage one 407 running between the two with similar but downsized equipment. ‘Conversion‘ of the Mississauga Transitway could then look to an elevated extension of the 407 route that need not be wholly tied to the same alignment and stations which would be far less disruptive than direct addition of light rail track.

Where I get more undecided is on how far east to push along the 407 in future, and what to do about an eastern north/south link, and this factor along with the existence of the Transitway is where I start to admit that a busway based option is still rather attractive in its own right, especially if we stage it as build out of stations and bus only ramps, adding actual dedicated transit rights of way only as the 407 actually becomes either congested or so expensive as to make the capital costs comparable to the tolls (realistically how dramatically different would passenger experience be on a full buildout versus a 427 only busway with dedicated bus ramps to the highway at Transitway Station, Yonge, Unionville and maybe for the Barrie line if the Concord station ever gets moving).
With a metro service along the 407, I'm not sure you need a busway as well. The 407 is very rarely congested, and buses would likely have a higher average speed in the general traffic lanes of the 407 than they would on a busway (the 403 transitway has a lower speed limit than the highway, particularly through stations). The light metro line would have stations along the transitway, and regional buses using the 407 would be travelling to nodes that are off the highway (I think this is the main benefit of continuing to have buses on the 407).

I am also skeptical about integrating this with the Ontario Line, as we would be much better off having small frequent trains. Using 100m OL trains would probably entail most of them short turning before the 407 so we don't have empty trains trundling along the 407 and thus 15 minute headways, which would not be ideal.

I can see Unionville to Renforth making sense. If going to Renforth, I imagine you would just end up going to Pearson (perhaps the new Pearson transit hub).
 
When people speak LRT,I am trying to understand what is meant. Would the REM in Montreal be considered LRT? Could this line be part of GO's RER?
 
When people speak LRT,I am trying to understand what is meant. Would the REM in Montreal be considered LRT? Could this line be part of GO's RER?
To me, it is low floor, low speed ground related transit, compatible with street running. I think in the Montreal/francophone context, REM is being described as light rail, but it is actually closer to the definition most are using for light metro. Alstom Metropolis (REM rolling stock) is being used for Sydney's very high capacity new subway line. It is basically equivalent to what we'll be using for Ontario Line.
 
To me, it is low floor, low speed ground related transit, compatible with street running. I think in the Montreal/francophone context, REM is being described as light rail, but it is actually closer to the definition most are using for light metro. Alstom Metropolis (REM rolling stock) is being used for Sydney's very high capacity new subway line. It is basically equivalent to what we'll be using for Ontario Line.

So, would this be more like LRT or REM?
 
So, would this be more like LRT or REM?
I know not what 'this' you are referring to. The 407 rail line mooted by the province? We don't know, but to me, something like REM would be very logical. They suggested some degree of integration with Ontario Line by calling it the Ontario Line Loop, which I'm not sure is a good idea--the capacity needed downtown is way higher than we would need along the 407.
 
I know not what 'this' you are referring to. The 407 rail line mooted by the province? We don't know, but to me, something like REM would be very logical. They suggested some degree of integration with Ontario Line by calling it the Ontario Line Loop, which I'm not sure is a good idea--the capacity needed downtown is way higher than we would need along the 407.
Could they use the same cars, but not as much frequency? For instance, the southern sections would have all the trains, but for the rest, every second train serves it.
 
Could they use the same cars, but not as much frequency? For instance, the southern sections would have all the trains, but for the rest, every second train serves it.
Given the demand difference, it might be like every 4th or 5th continues on, with most turning back. It might make sense to go with shorter stations and trains, and run higher frequency, to keep costs down. It is going to be a very long line, though maybe not that many stations.
 

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