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Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study

Optimal solution should be...


  • Total voters
    253
Adding GO stations downtown would really be more useful for suburban commuters than local residents. The idea is that commuters can more easily access some major employment areas (like Liberty Village) without having to travel all the way to Union. Most importantly it keeps more people out of Union Station which has serious capacity restraints.

GO travel within the city is priced according to the cost to provide the service. It may seem intuitive that a trip from Union to Exhibition should cost less than a trip from Union to Burlington, but its not quite the case. Because the vast majority or riders travel to and from Union, the seat occupied by the passenger to Exhibition is the sole occupant of that seat for the entire trip, whether he is siting in it or not, because it will be unavailable for any other passengers leaving from Union. So if the trip to Burlington costs $10 000 and the train has $1000 seats, then each seat must generate $10 in revenue (those numbers are fictional). Since the local rider's seat will go almost always unused once he alights, it must still generate close to $10.
 
GO travel within the city is priced according to the cost to provide the service. It may seem intuitive that a trip from Union to Exhibition should cost less than a trip from Union to Burlington, but its not quite the case. Because the vast majority or riders travel to and from Union, the seat occupied by the passenger to Exhibition is the sole occupant of that seat for the entire trip, whether he is siting in it or not, because it will be unavailable for any other passengers leaving from Union. So if the trip to Burlington costs $10 000 and the train has $1000 seats, then each seat must generate $10 in revenue (those numbers are fictional). Since the local rider's seat will go almost always unused once he alights, it must still generate close to $10.
In my observations, most riders leaving Union station have seats ... a much higher percentage than on TTC services in rush hour. You could simply add service to Exhibition by having more people stand for the first few minutes. We expect people to stand for that long on subways, streetcars, and buses. Why should trains be treated differently? When they all get off at the first stop past Union, then there would likely be seats for everyone.
 
I think the same principle holds true. Each place (seat or standing space) must generate its percentage of the cost of operation, and without passenger turnover along the route it can't be priced according to distance alone.

Those people standing to Exhibition won't be replaced by people standing to Port Credit, etc. Compare this to the subway where somebody might go from Finch to Eglinton, then be replaced by someone from Eglinton to Bloor, then Bloor to College, etc. etc. so that each seat or standing space generates several fares along the route.
 
I think the Dufferin Bus should terminate at Exhibition GO station too, as well as Ossington.

Would be nice if GO and the TTC actually connect and provide transfer privileges. The lack of a good transfer at Dundas West subway station and GO's Bloor station is one example of such a lack.

Don't think too many transfer between the Exhibition GO station and the Bathurst/Harbourfront Exhibition streetcar loop for the same lack of privileges.
 
some branches of the 29 already serve Exhibition GO. There's no reason the TTC couldn't extend all trips there if they thought the demand warranted it. The dufferin night bus also terminates at Exhibition GO.
 
By the time that the DRL is built or any number of these is made, hopefully some sort of region-wide fare integration will be realized through Presto or something else. I'm my hope that GO can find it feasible to run express, regional, peak commuter and RER type service that will be easily transferable between systems. One can dream.
 
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?

I had actually thought of this as well when I was doing my fantasy map thing a while ago. I had the DRL Express (which could be run with electrified GO trains) running from Pearson to Main St station via the rail corridor, with a local DRL running from Eglinton to Eglinton.

My reasoning with the rail corridor in the east was to act as a further by-pass for the eastern leg of the B-D subway. A relatively inexpensive venture as far as subways go, as there would only be the need for a couple new stations (at most) between the CBD and Main St and Danforth.
 
The STATUS REPORT - DOWNTOWN RAPID TRANSIT EXPANSION STUDY is available in PDF to be downloaded from this link.

From the Status Report:

the purpose of the Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study (DRTES) is to:
  1. Assess the need for additional rapid transit capacity to serve the downtown core, given the capacity improvements already planned by TTC and GO, and recognizing forecast land-use and ridership scenarios;
  2. Assess alternative strategies to accommodate the forecast demand, including the costs and benefits associated with various scenarios composed of the following elements:
    • the construction of new rapid transit lines, such as, the previously-proposed Downtown Rapid Transit (DRT) line which is envisioned to operate from the Pape Station area on the Bloor-Danforth Subway, travelling south and west, into the downtown (between Queen Street and Front Street) and proceed westerly to Parkdale and, ultimately, to Dundas West Station;
    • expanded GO Rail capacity (including additional GO stations in the City of Toronto) to serve Toronto residents;
    • improvements in streetcar services to enhance shorter-distance transit accessibility in the downtown;
    • fare, service, and other policy initiatives to increase downtown transit ridership that may be appropriate; and
  3. If necessary, undertake the appropriate functional design and environmental assessment studies required to obtain approval for the construction of the recommended facilities.
The study is being undertaken in two phases. The first phase, which is being undertaken over a 12-month period, will provide an assessment of strategic alternatives and recommendations regarding the need for additional rapid transit facilities into the downtown area. Following public consultation and Commission approval of the conclusions of the first phase of the work, the second phase, if required, will be to undertake preliminary functional planning studies of the recommended transit facilities.
 
Fascinating that they could do the Transit City EAs in 6 months yet they're taking their sweet ass time with the DRL's EA.
 
Okay then, it's fascinating how it's taking so long to not even get started into the EA for the DRL, while TC planning, estimated at the time for $6 billion and with 7 times the lines, took under two.
 
March 2007 Transit City was announced and they only started construction this year (and even then they won't have laid a single rail) for the mayor's priority project. The DRL study started only 1 month and 10 days ago?? Knowing the ramp up time of the Spadina extension project the aggressive time line would have this EA done in a year and a half and the construction starting in 2015. Of course nothing will happen on this if the next mayor believes that balancing the budget after lowering taxes comes before all else (from transit (Transit City, DRL) to housing (Regent Park, Lawrence Heights, West Don Lands, Cityplace), to waterfront (QQ Revitalization, Lower Don Lands), to arts (Nuit Blanche)). These things seem to go from study tender, to study, to EA tender, to EA, to design tender, to design, to construction tender, to construction.
 
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If the study is also looking into
expanded GO Rail capacity (including additional GO stations in the City of Toronto) to serve Toronto residents;
, does that mean proper transfer agreements between the TTC and GO? It would be better if the transfer was made either seamless or at least more amiable than it is now. GO's Bloor and TTC's Dundas West, as well as GO's Danforth and TTC's Main Street, come to mind as where transfers should be made more cordial.
 
It should, but with TTC thinking of having a different payment system than GO - I am beginning to wonder. They should be moving to implementing an entry/exit system, which most of the rest of the world uses, and then there is no-need for "transfers" - you get charged based on zones/distance/method travelled and an accounting system would apportion the revenue. Maybe someone can update the costs of the relative services to run, but I believe GO costs more to operate than the subway system because of the trains that are used. Therefore taking GO should actually cost more to take (and be an express equivalent). Of course they could upgrade the GO lines, as an alternative to building new lines - which would mean no level crossings, electrification, changing trains etc.
 

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