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Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study

Optimal solution should be...


  • Total voters
    253
This isn't true. Sheppard being mothballed was used as an example of what might need to happen if city council didn't approve the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee. It was just used as an example of a potential cut.

If you say so...

Remember that surface routes 'lose' far more money than Sheppard, but making peripheral cuts to them doesn't jab Mel Lastman, doesn't jab subways, doesn't jab the North York/suburban planning model. You can't cut Sheppard without spending millions adding the bus service back, which is impossible since it would need to be probably more than twice as busy as Finch East. Millions more would be lost when some of the ridership is killed. Mothballing Sheppard would save no money.

***

The DRL has the potential to replace an enormous quantity of surface routes and vehicles if it's built long enough and with enough stations on certain alignments, but it's too soon to say if that efficiency feature will be touted as a reason for governments to back the project.
 
It wasn't a serious threat - it was a political ploy to win public support for the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee. Kind of a shitty move, really, but I don't think you can hold it up to mean anything.
 
It wasn't a serious threat - it was a political ploy to win public support for the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee. Kind of a shitty move, really, but I don't think you can hold it up to mean anything.

By saying it's a political ploy, you're agreeing with unimaginative2 and refuting your own point about it being a potentially necessary financial move.

It does mean something, and that's why Sheppard was used as an example cut and not transit in general. Some people know how useful it is, and others assume it's useless, and selecting it plays to both groups at once since both react to the "Sheppard is a failure" myth explicit in the mothball musings. But more the latter group, because we do get people in the media, like Steve Munro, bitching about the apparent cost of Sheppard, as if Mel Lastman ran over their puppy. Everyone knows it wasn't a serious threat because mothballing Sheppard saves no money at all, but the downtown/left crowd's gotta get those jabs in whenever they can.
 
With more and more development going on in the Portlands and on the Waterfront, it might even make sense to dip the DRL a bit further south into the Portlands--maybe around Commissioners--and then from there over to Pape. The added travel time would be negligible and it would bring rapid transit much closer to that rapidly-developing area. The East Bayfront plans we're seeing just shows what a gift the rail corridor through that area actually is. You could build the entire segment from the Don to Church for a couple hundred million--tops. You just have to lay the tracks and build simple surface stations. Best of all, it's right in the middle of where all the development is happening.

I think that's far too far south. East Bayfront will be served very well by the planned Queens Quay East streetcar. Putting a subway line there means that half the catchment area will be in the lake, wasting capacity.

In the meantime, there's a lot of existing development along the Carlton, Dundas, Queen, and King corridors. These corridors wouldn't be served very well by a frequent service line in the rail corridor. I personally prefer a Queen alignment, as that is roughly equidistant from the well-served Bloor corridor and the well-served Union station area. It would bring east-west transit service into the void in the middle of downtown.
 
With more and more development going on in the Portlands and on the Waterfront, it might even make sense to dip the DRL a bit further south into the Portlands--maybe around Commissioners--and then from there over to Pape. The added travel time would be negligible and it would bring rapid transit much closer to that rapidly-developing area. The East Bayfront plans we're seeing just shows what a gift the rail corridor through that area actually is. You could build the entire segment from the Don to Church for a couple hundred million--tops. You just have to lay the tracks and build simple surface stations. Best of all, it's right in the middle of where all the development is happening.
I'd prefer either a solid LRT network or a spur line off the DRL. I agree that some kind of RT is needed there, but I think it'd take a bit away from the core function of the DRL to have it wander so far.
 
I'd prefer either a solid LRT network or a spur line off the DRL. I agree that some kind of RT is needed there, but I think it'd take a bit away from the core function of the DRL to have it wander so far.

I agree with you. It's better to have commuters endure a short bus feeder (or 10-15 minute walk) to their nearest subway stop than to have the alignment meander wildly in a bid to connect every dot on the map. Queen/Wellington is my preferred alignment: Queen through Parkdale and Riverdale, Wellington (with exits affronting the King St corridor) for the central downtown core.
 
I'd prefer either a solid LRT network or a spur line off the DRL. I agree that some kind of RT is needed there, but I think it'd take a bit away from the core function of the DRL to have it wander so far.

I hate to mention Berlin again, but subway lines here meander far more than that and nobody thinks much of it. If it puts stations closer to development, why not? It'll be at most an extra minute or two out of the way, if that.
 
I agree with you. It's better to have commuters endure a short bus feeder (or 10-15 minute walk) to their nearest subway stop than to have the alignment meander wildly in a bid to connect every dot on the map. Queen/Wellington is my preferred alignment: Queen through Parkdale and Riverdale, Wellington (with exits affronting the King St corridor) for the central downtown core.

Wow...are you kidding me?! You were the one with the fantasy maps that had subway lines zigzagging all over downtown!

Oh and...uh...how exactly will the exits be offending the King St corridor? Perhaps King's so offended because east and west of downtown, it doesn't want to be redeveloped and it knows that the best route is through the massive regeneration area in the East Bayfront and West Donlands.
 
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I hate to mention Berlin again, but subway lines here meander far more than that and nobody thinks much of it. If it puts stations closer to development, why not? It'll be at most an extra minute or two out of the way, if that.
Well, your routing would take the line about 1.5 k off route, which translates into 3-5 minutes, depending on how many stops you want. Not to mention it's 1.5 k more expensive, which might be mitigated by either a spur line going down Cherry, which I would support, or LRTs going down Comissioner's and Unwin, feeding into a Cherry LRT that hooks up with the rest of the Waterfront LRT system. I'd lean in more favour of a subway spur down Cherry myself.
 
You could do an above ground subway through the portlands pretty well, I'd think. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the design's pretty much completely up in the air right now, so development could probably be adjusted accordingly.

Either that, or just a totally separated LRT. I'm not sure if Cherry St. is envisioned to be some grand avenue or just the backbone of the portlands development, but again, development could probably be built around a more metro-style LRT which would be the backbone for Comissioner's and Unwin LRTs, if those are to make sense as LRT routes. If not, I'd go for the subway spur.
 
This is basically what I would like to see:


Here's a rundown of what's new:

SUBWAYS
-Downtown Relief Line

LRT LINES (Dark Red)
-Waterfront East (New)
-Waterfront West (Better signal Priority, Extended to Roncesvalles)
-Spadina (Easily upgraded to include signal priority)
-Queen (Upgraded to include signal priority and better enforcement of rush hour lane priority)

STREETCARS (Light Red)
(As shown; would make a nice addition to the network, but not required in all cases)
-Parliament
-Bathurst North
-Dufferin
-Portlands (possible LRT?)

GO TRANSIT LINES
-Midtown (CP North Toronto Sub)
-Don Mills Service on Belleville Sub for transfer at Leaside

GO TRANSIT STATIONS
Lakeshore Line
-Roncesvalles
-Cherry

Georgetown Line
-St. Clair
-Liberty Village

Midtown Line
-Keele
-Dufferin (maybe)
-Spadina
-Summerhill
 
I didn't see any Miller or Giambrone trashing... And I think when we're talking about the early 2000s, comparing talk of the DRL with respect to Sheppard is essential, as it was the dominant transit infrastructure project at the time.


Of course you don't see any Miller, Gimabrone trashing. Just a member accusing them of perpetrating some great conspiracy to mothball the Sheppard Subway, right?
 
How about another option.

Do we Tri or Quad track the DRL so that it can provide both local and express service.

Personally I believe that we need to build a subway DRL to relieve the Bloor and Yonge lines (specifically Yonge-Bloor station) in the near term (read now). If the DRL is built as a purely express line with few stops, than eventually a local Queen line will be needed (it may be needed even if the DRL were local/express). The Waterfront would be well served by the Queens Quay (E and W), and Cherry LRT lines particularly if they are feeding into Go and or subway routes.

With all due respect but anyone who talks about trying to handle the needs of the downtown core with a purely LRT solution is dreaming. The Queen and King cars already carry what? nearly 90 000 riders a day, add to that the riders that will be drawn off the Bloor-Danforth line and you are already pushing the limits of the TC LRT system capacity are you not?
 
You make some good points, Woodbridge Heights. I'd say that integrating the GO corridors into the TTC system would be a better (and cheaper) way to provide express service than a dedicated four track subway. A Queen subway might be useful at some point down the line, but I'm not convinced that Queen is a particularly good subway corridor even if it was in the plans fifty years ago. It's not the centre of gravity downtown, and to the east and west of the core, it runs through stable low-density neighbourhoods. They're the last place we would want to see subway-related redevelopment.

While the original DRT plans were for a very express line with few stops, the redevelopment along the route in the intervening decades makes additional stops much more attractive and useful. That's why I think the extension north of the Danforth is so important to get people off the Yonge line.
 

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