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Eglinton East LRT | Metrolinx

ARG1

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4. The authors do not expect the LRT travel times to improve compared to the existing RedTO bus lanes (Table 5 on Page 27).

Moreover, the transit ridership impact from the LRT is stated as negative (-4,700, continuation of Table 5 on Page 28). This could be a modeling mistake: they only counted riders boarding in the LRT corridor for the LRT’s total count, while the Bus RedTO’s total count includes the boardings on Guildwood, Meadowvale, Morningside north of Sheppard, etc. The actual count for the LRT option might be better than their estimate.

But even then, if they do not forecast a growth in ridership, then how can they expect a positive "city building" impact of the LRT (Page 18)? If residents and businesses settle next to higher-order transit, they aren’t doing so because the rails are cool, or because they can shout "Bingo!" when an LRV is coming. If they settle next to higher-order transit, then they want to use that higher-order transit. And then, the forecast ridership counts have to go up. If they don't go up, then there is no "city building" impact.
I think the reason might be the SSE - and the change in travel patterns and demand that the project would create. Think of it this way, say you want to travel downtown and you want to reach downtown via Line 2, and you live on the Eglinton East corridor, say Kingston/Lawrence, or UTSC. Currently the best choice is for you to take the RapidTO bus down Eglinton. However let's say by the time they finish construction on the EELRT it's 2030, where if we re-ask that same question, the answer isn't going to be the same. If you live/commute at/to UTSC, there is now A) the DSBRT right on Ellesmere that B) takes you directly to the subway station at Scarborough Centre. Same principle applies to those who live in Lawrence. Because Line 3 is no longer an awkward intermediary people would choose to avoid, the necessity for Eglinton East to be a high capacity trunk route significantly diminishes to the point where it could seem that the LRT that would conveniently open at the same time would see a decrease in ridership. It simply has competition now with all of the other East-West routes north of it, and its value has diminished.
 

smallspy

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Thanks for the links!

Finally I got time to read the report. I wasn't impressed; it looks like the authors cannot make a strong case for LRT on Eglinton East:

1. They want smaller LRVs, to reduce the footprint and minimize the impact on the Highland Creek valley.

Fair enough. However, this negates one of the key advantages of LRT over buses: higher capacity. Will the capacity of those smaller LRVs be any bigger than the capacity of artic buses? If not, then they should consider “Option 3”: median BRT lanes.

I think that you're too focused on the "smaller LRVs" without the context involved in the whole operation.

The Crosstown is designed to eventually use 3-car Flexity trains at approximately 300 feet in length. And under Metrolinx's original plans, it was projected that those same trains would continue east to the Eglinton East line. That's a big part of the reason why they were looking at grade separating the stretch around Lawrence/Kingston/Morningside was the affect that these larger trains would have on the smaller blocks through there.

By operating smaller trains - be it 1- or 2-car Flexitys @ 100 feet/car or 1-car Citadis Spirits @ 140-ish feet/car - there isn't a requirement to grade separate through this area.

And yet these vehicles are also way, way bigger than the standard 40-foot transit bus that operates in that corridor today, so capacity will be increased by a very large amount.

2. The loss of the direct connection to ECLRT, due to the SSE tunnel being in the way. Again, fair enough. And, one can blame the SSE design team, that was certainly aware of the EE LRT plans and could accommodate the LRT tunnel from the east, but chose to neglect that element.

The benefits of ECLRT connection wouldn’t be limited to avoiding the transfer for those who want to continue along Eglinton. There would be operational benefits, too.

Currently, the MSF for ECLRT is placed on the west side, near Mt Dennis. In the morning there is more demand towards the centre than towards the suburbs. But the LRVs that serve the demand from Kennedy towards Yonge, will first have to travel from Mt Dennis all the way to Kennedy. If there was at least a non-revenue connection between ECLRT and EELRT, then some of the ECLRT vehicles could be stored in the EELRT’s MSF overnight, and they could get to Kennedy faster in the morning.

Plus, additional opportunities would exist to deal with planned repairs, as well as accidental blockages. If all those operational benefits are out, then one point is subtracted from the LRT option’s score.

I would argue that there were very few operational benefits to be had by through-routing the line.

The reality is that there are very, very few people riding from east of Kennedy to west of Kennedy and vice versa, in the grand scheme of people using the station.

Through-routing trains would require the use of larger trains, lower headways, and improved infrastructure that would be unnecessary if the the line was operated independently.

Yes, there would be some operational benefits to allowing trains to be stored at the extreme east end of the line, but those are not insurmountable within the current infrastructure.

3. They are dropping the tunnel at Kennedy for a good reason, but that doesn’t explain why they are dropping the underground station at Lawrence / Morningside as well. There are no constructability issues with that station. If they are doing that to cut the costs, they should say so. However, the cost reduction will not be that big, and won’t improve the chances of this project getting funded.

They do explain it, and it's quite clear. The smaller trains won't occupy the intersections as long, and so won't have as negative an influence on the traffic of the surrounding roads.

4. The authors do not expect the LRT travel times to improve compared to the existing RedTO bus lanes (Table 5 on Page 27).

Moreover, the transit ridership impact from the LRT is stated as negative (-4,700, continuation of Table 5 on Page 28). This could be a modeling mistake: they only counted riders boarding in the LRT corridor for the LRT’s total count, while the Bus RedTO’s total count includes the boardings on Guildwood, Meadowvale, Morningside north of Sheppard, etc. The actual count for the LRT option might be better than their estimate.

But even then, if they do not forecast a growth in ridership, then how can they expect a positive "city building" impact of the LRT (Page 18)? If residents and businesses settle next to higher-order transit, they aren’t doing so because the rails are cool, or because they can shout "Bingo!" when an LRV is coming. If they settle next to higher-order transit, then they want to use that higher-order transit. And then, the forecast ridership counts have to go up. If they don't go up, then there is no "city building" impact.

This shouldn't surprise anyone who understands how the lines work today, and how they will work in the future.

The RedTO lanes (and busways in general) work very well when you have a number of different routes from various locations all funneling into one corridor - which is exactly what you see on Eglinton East. People are coming from all of those different locations, and with a single vehicle are ending up at Kennedy Station. With the LRT, those buses will have to be routed to connect with the LRT.

So yes, many-to-most people's travel times are not going to improve drastically with the LRT, as they will now have another transfer. But what will happen is that their trips become more reliable as the bus routes may (should?) become shorter and thus more reliable, and will be transferring to a more reliable mode with the LRT.

Dan
 

TorontoBun

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Going by the logic of the SSE supporters of “build it and they will come”, the same could be said for the Eglinton East LRT, where there would be vast areas even further out that would provide even more opportunities to redevelop into more transit oriented developments where the people are close to a fast subway connection to downtown, and have access to a quality light rail line to adequately and reliably serve more local travel within Scarborough for decades to come.
 

H4F33Z

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My main problem is that this LRT will transform connections to GO Lines at 3 different stops, but the TTC isn't emphasizing these high-quality rail service connections. Riders right now just use Line 2 to get to downtown and they will continue to do so. If we're serious about getting people around quicker, we would be

A. Integrating the GO Train and TTC fares.

and B. Actually advertising and encouraging riders to use both.
 

KhalilHeron

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I think west hill has a tonne of redevelopment and upzoning potential. The combination of an older grid from when the neighbourhood was just a small village, and the convergence of 3 major roads makes me think it could make a great little transit and development node. I'm working on a redevelopment plan for the neighbourhood as a personal project for my portfolio so hopefully, I have something cool to show eventually, but I feel like if the city wants this line to spur new development putting Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside underground could still make a lot of sense (increased traffic and more space for sidewalk amenities). I think they should do another cost-benefit analysis of putting it underground as they did in 2018: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-114864.pdf to see if it still may be worthwhile given the recent changes to the project.
 

sixrings

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Going by the logic of the SSE supporters of “build it and they will come”, the same could be said for the Eglinton East LRT, where there would be vast areas even further out that would provide even more opportunities to redevelop into more transit oriented developments where the people are close to a fast subway connection to downtown, and have access to a quality light rail line to adequately and reliably serve more local travel within Scarborough for decades to come.
No one’s coming for a street car. Just look at how little development applications have popped up for eglinton east of don mills. It’s embarrassing. In the spirit of last nights sanity “subways, subways, subways!”
 

innsertnamehere

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No one’s coming for a street car. Just look at how little development applications have popped up for eglinton east of don mills. It’s embarrassing. In the spirit of last nights sanity “subways, subways, subways!”
Lol this better be a sarcastic comment, hard to tell some times
 

fanoftoronto

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Edit: Turns out I can't tell sarcasm if it hit me in the face! 😅😅

No one’s coming for a street car. Just look at how little development applications have popped up for eglinton east of don mills. It’s embarrassing. In the spirit of last nights sanity “subways, subways, subways!”

I'm sorry, but this comment is so far from the truth. Eglinton East of Don Mills has seen a massive increase in number of development applications. Here is UrbanToronto's own map with all the black pins being new applications for development.

1654272159016.png


@FutureModelTO also released a picture of the developments currently submitted for the Golden Mile:
1654272280761.png


LRTs do indeed spur development. Arguably to the same level as a subway would.
 
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Rainforest

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If they're really stretching to justify an LRT here, my thoughts are that it might be better to give Kingston Road rapid transit service from East Toronto to Morningside, and just have a terminal for transferring to Eglinton East and/or Markham Road. That would cover more ground, but also it might be easier than working multiple turns into a service that has to cross in front of traffic.

The city would be better served with throwing all of the LRT weight into the Waterfront projects and maybe Queensway or St Clair.

Waterfront East, for sure. That should be top priority. Density is being added there, and there is no adequate transit.

Queensway and St Clair, maybe. But I'd add it to a longer list of projects to choose from:
- Extending both Eglinton and Finch to Pearson
- Extending Finch from Keele to Yonge
- Jane
- Maybe, Vic Park. Don Mills LRT is off the table, it is the OL route now. Vic Park could probably take its place, and that route can be connected to Eglinton.
 

Rainforest

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I think the reason might be the SSE - and the change in travel patterns and demand that the project would create. Think of it this way, say you want to travel downtown and you want to reach downtown via Line 2, and you live on the Eglinton East corridor, say Kingston/Lawrence, or UTSC. Currently the best choice is for you to take the RapidTO bus down Eglinton. However let's say by the time they finish construction on the EELRT it's 2030, where if we re-ask that same question, the answer isn't going to be the same. If you live/commute at/to UTSC, there is now A) the DSBRT right on Ellesmere that B) takes you directly to the subway station at Scarborough Centre. Same principle applies to those who live in Lawrence. Because Line 3 is no longer an awkward intermediary people would choose to avoid, the necessity for Eglinton East to be a high capacity trunk route significantly diminishes to the point where it could seem that the LRT that would conveniently open at the same time would see a decrease in ridership. It simply has competition now with all of the other East-West routes north of it, and its value has diminished.

That's possible. But if so, then they mis-modeled the case. A valid comparison between their Base Case and the LRT Option should have all other transit lines being the same.

I.e., RapidTO buses with the SSE extension in place and diverting some trips, versus EE LRT with the SSE extension in place and diverting some trips.
 

Undead

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r/whoosh ;)

Lol this better be a sarcastic comment, hard to tell some times

I'm sorry, but this comment is so far from the truth. Eglinton East of Don Mills has seen a massive increase in number of development applications. Here is UrbanToronto's own map with all the black pins being new applications for development.

View attachment 404525

@FutureModelTO also released a picture of the developments currently submitted for the Golden Mile:
View attachment 404526

LRTs do indeed spur development. Arguably to the same level as a subway would.
 

Rainforest

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I think that you're too focused on the "smaller LRVs" without the context involved in the whole operation.

The Crosstown is designed to eventually use 3-car Flexity trains at approximately 300 feet in length. And under Metrolinx's original plans, it was projected that those same trains would continue east to the Eglinton East line. That's a big part of the reason why they were looking at grade separating the stretch around Lawrence/Kingston/Morningside was the affect that these larger trains would have on the smaller blocks through there.

By operating smaller trains - be it 1- or 2-car Flexitys @ 100 feet/car or 1-car Citadis Spirits @ 140-ish feet/car - there isn't a requirement to grade separate through this area.

And yet these vehicles are also way, way bigger than the standard 40-foot transit bus that operates in that corridor today, so capacity will be increased by a very large amount.

Very good points, I did not realize this. If their idea of "nimble" LRVs means 2-car Flexity trains but not 3-car trains, then indeed, it is still substantially more capacity than an artic bus.

Still would prefer a connection to ECLRT. Then they could, say, run 1/2 of ECLRT 3-car trains to the Guildwood station, serving the busiest route section along Eglinton and never venturing north of Eglinton, while the shorter trains would run between the Kennedy station and the northern terminus. But, the physical constraints at Kennedy must be taken into account.

This shouldn't surprise anyone who understands how the lines work today, and how they will work in the future.

The RedTO lanes (and busways in general) work very well when you have a number of different routes from various locations all funneling into one corridor - which is exactly what you see on Eglinton East. People are coming from all of those different locations, and with a single vehicle are ending up at Kennedy Station. With the LRT, those buses will have to be routed to connect with the LRT.

So yes, many-to-most people's travel times are not going to improve drastically with the LRT, as they will now have another transfer. But what will happen is that their trips become more reliable as the bus routes may (should?) become shorter and thus more reliable, and will be transferring to a more reliable mode with the LRT.

Dan

I would question the idea that an extra transfer is convenient for the riders who have a one-seat bus ride to Kennedy Stn today, but will not be served by the LRT directly and will have to take a bus to LRT. RapidTO lanes should provide about same level of reliability as LRT lanes. Even if LRT is slightly more reliable, that wouldn't compensate the extra transfer.

I'd rather send those buses directly to the subway, taking a new route if TTC doesn't want any buses in the EELRT corridor:
- The #116 Morningside north of Sheppard could be replaced by a branch of the #85.
- The #905 Canmore, by a branch of the #38.
- The #86ABC Meadowvale and a section of Kingston, by a branch of #54
- Not sure about the Coronation Drive and the Guildwood Parkway services, maybe a new route to Warden Stn via Kingston and St Clair.

More importantly, the report should estimate the growth in total ridership due to the construction of LRT. Riders transferring from the local buses to LRT, or taking the new local bus branches to a subway, should be added to the LRT Option count, if they have been added to the Base Case (RapidTO lanes) count due to their bus running in the corridor.

If the estimated growth in total ridership is substantial, then the case for LRT exists. Otherwise, if no major growth can be forecast even with the above corrections to the model, then one has to question the utility of this LRT.
 

turini2

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The other thing to remember - is the transformative effect of having a project reorientate the entire street. New trees, new sidewalks, narrower/less car lanes, hopefully green track!
At some points Eglinton is 7 lanes across - very car centric!

It's challenging to quantify that in a business case - annoyingly we haven't seen a completed streetscape light rail project in the GTHA yet!
 

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