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FastLane: Gil Penalosa’s transit platform for Toronto

Northern Light

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I had the question around the Gardner East money though. I thought that project was under way?

The Gardiner reconstruction is underway; but the new hybrid relocation/dvp ramp is not.

I haven't looked at his documents to see whether any reallocation matches what may be available.

***

Presuming that cancelling the above would mean reintroducing the at-grade option, the savings in the near term aren't as large as some would imagine.

Gil's budget didn't include new buses and a maintenance garage/infrastructure

The TTC currently has a surplus of buses, and will soon have more when Crosstown and Finch West open. I don't think additional buses are required.

A new bus yard just opened (Mc Nicoll) and the City has purchased land for the next one already; though I don't believe development of it was funded in the most recent budget. I think its projected for build out in the 2030s.
 

innsertnamehere

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I had the question around the Gardner East money though. I thought that project was under way?

Gil's budget didn't include new buses and a maintenance garage/infrastructure
it is / isn't. The demolished part of the old highway, but the replacement isn't expected to start until 2026.

The rehabilitation part of the Gardiner project for the parts further west is happening starting next summer, but that happens regardless of what happens on the east end.

It's completely wrong on capital cost savings from the Gardiner East though - the total capital cost estimate for Gardiner East was $569 million in 2019, with the remainder of the billion dollar budget being lifetime operation and maintenance. IIRC the capital cost difference from demolish and keep is only to the tune of $100-$200m in upfront capital, with the gap widening once accounting for the lifetime maintenance and operations.
 

Fred.S

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I like the idea of a BRT-centric plan, considering all the already funded/under construction rail plans. I don't think we should cancel any plans already underway though (i.e. Gardiner). I think really every arterial street not in Central/downtown Toronto should have BRT. I'd love a plan that emphasises BRT on every major suburban street, using cheap construction techniques to get it done quicker (i.e simple curbs/paint/bollard separation, not massive stations like Viva), done in conjunction with the annual street resurfacing program.
 

TRONto

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The TTC currently has a surplus of buses, and will soon have more when Crosstown and Finch West open. I don't think additional buses are required.

A new bus yard just opened (Mc Nicoll) and the City has purchased land for the next one already; though I don't believe development of it was funded in the most recent budget. I think its projected for build out in the 2030s.
I looked up the article instead of relying on my memory.

Garages:
"However, the demand for storage space at existing overcrowded garages simply means that McNicoll will be full the day it opens and the TTC will be back in a situation where fleet expansion requires garages to have more buses than they were designed for. A ninth bus garage sits in the long term plans with a 2031 opening date, but there is no funding for it and the TTC has yet to identify a potential property. They will remain short of garage space for the coming decade"

Buses:
"A key point will be whether the TTC (and City Council) treat the replacement of buses by expanded rail operations as a chance to improve service elsewhere, or instead as a chance to cut the size of the fleet and save on operating costs. Opening Line 5 is projected to add substantially to the TTC’s net budget (the portion paid for through subsidy), and there will be a strong temptation to “save” money by retiring rather than redeploying buses no longer needed for the Eglinton corridor."

It looks like garage space will be negative even before considering Gil's the plan but with buses we could be ok.
 

Northern Light

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I looked up the article instead of relying on my memory.

Garages:
"However, the demand for storage space at existing overcrowded garages simply means that McNicoll will be full the day it opens and the TTC will be back in a situation where fleet expansion requires garages to have more buses than they were designed for. A ninth bus garage sits in the long term plans with a 2031 opening date, but there is no funding for it and the TTC has yet to identify a potential property. They will remain short of garage space for the coming decade"

The property is purchased. It was approved earlier this year. But it is correct there is no funding to construct the garage at this time.

Buses:
"A key point will be whether the TTC (and City Council) treat the replacement of buses by expanded rail operations as a chance to improve service elsewhere, or instead as a chance to cut the size of the fleet and save on operating costs. Opening Line 5 is projected to add substantially to the TTC’s net budget (the portion paid for through subsidy), and there will be a strong temptation to “save” money by retiring rather than redeploying buses no longer needed for the Eglinton corridor."

It looks like garage space will be negative even before considering Gil's the plan but with buses we could be ok.

So far as storage capacity is concerned, it really depends how many vehicles are in service at any given time. Vehicles in service don't need a storage space. Increased overnight service would buy considerable storage space.

***

There will absolutely be spare buses in the near-term, whether there will be spare buses in the 2030s is a different question.

* note that below is a chart showing TTC bus availability up to November of last year, obviously when less service was scheduled:

1664556780345.png


That comes via Steve Munro: https://swanboatsteve.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/202111_busscfleet.pdf

But if you look back, you'll see that the previous peak scheduled service still left a more than generous spare ratio. That's also before factoring in all the buses freed up by Line 5 and Line 6; though, in fairness, many of those spares will be eaten by the SRT shutdown.
 
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ssiguy2

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I have always been a big supporter of BRT because some of these LRT lines won't be any faster than a BRT but cost several times more and take much longer to build.
The difference between LRT and BRT in terms of operational costs have also greatly diminished with battery buses getting rid of the diesel costs and much higher maintenance of traditional ICE buses while offering quieter and smoother rides and much faster acceleration. If higher capacity LRT does eventually be needed on these corridors, then they will be much easier to transform from BRT. It will basically just require new track as catenary connections will not be needed in 20 years.

The Sheppard corridor is a bit of a mess but at least for the time being it would speed up the buses and make them more reliable. Finch LRT should be extended to Yonge {and the new Woodbine GO station for that matter} and then BRT. Most of the other routes make sense.

The only glaring omission seems to be Don Mills. The section north of Eglinton is going to become exponentially busier once the Ontario Line opens and yet no mention of it.
 

11th

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I have always been a big supporter of BRT because some of these LRT lines won't be any faster than a BRT but cost several times more and take much longer to build.
The difference between LRT and BRT in terms of operational costs have also greatly diminished with battery buses getting rid of the diesel costs and much higher maintenance of traditional ICE buses while offering quieter and smoother rides and much faster acceleration. If higher capacity LRT does eventually be needed on these corridors, then they will be much easier to transform from BRT. It will basically just require new track as catenary connections will not be needed in 20 years.

The Sheppard corridor is a bit of a mess but at least for the time being it would speed up the buses and make them more reliable. Finch LRT should be extended to Yonge {and the new Woodbine GO station for that matter} and then BRT. Most of the other routes make sense.

The only glaring omission seems to be Don Mills. The section north of Eglinton is going to become exponentially busier once the Ontario Line opens and yet no mention of it.
Does the current 925 work well? Don Mills does have the diamond lanes which are already semi-rapidTO lanes. They can probaby beef up the 925 and add late evening service.
 

toaster29

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There is an odd 'Everyone gets a subway' vibe to these.

Politicians are rightly drubbed for promising and then failing to deliver on fantasies.

But when one comes along who promises something do-able and affordable, there's derision because it doesn't involve a project for every single neighbourhood.

The object of this plan was to work largely within existing budgets but get more mileage out of the money. The object was not to pretend that there's a money tree and that we (the City) can carry out a dozen projects of scale simultaneously.
Not sure about all those listed, but the Humber Loop area and Park Lawn/Lake Shore in Etobicoke have higher densities than any of the communities along the lanes he is proposing. This is not a "subway for everybody" scenario. Queensway and Lakeshore should have dedicated bus and streetcar lanes. When people see this kinds of plans, and they see themselves left out, despite living in more urban/dense neighborhoods than the ones where transit lines are being proposed, that is a problem. Objectively speaking, this area based on density alone should be at the top of the priority list for rapid transit (No, a Go train that will only stop 1/hour - every second train, is not rapid local transit).

He's promising based on places he thinks he'll get votes (which is fine) - if it was purely based on objective truths based on densities and current access to rapid transit (like you seem to be implying), this neighbourhood would be #1 on his list.


On another note, I have noticed almost all of Mark Grimes signs in Ward 3 have an "Endorsed by John Tory" sticker/sign on/attached to them. We don't usually see these combined signs in Ontario municipal races. I understand is it perfectly legal, as long as both campaigns are paying for them jointly. Hope John Tory's team knows he will be on the hook for helping to pay for these signs that really are only working to help Grimes.
 

Northern Light

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Not sure about all those listed, but the Humber Loop area and Park Lawn/Lake Shore in Etobicoke have higher densities than any of the communities along the lanes he is proposing. This is not a "subway for everybody" scenario. Queensway and Lakeshore should have dedicated bus and streetcar lanes. When people see this kinds of plans, and they see themselves left out, despite living in more urban/dense neighborhoods than the ones where transit lines are being proposed, that is a problem. Objectively speaking, this area based on density alone should be at the top of the priority list for rapid transit (No, a Go train that will only stop 1/hour - every second train, is not rapid local transit).

He's promising based on places he thinks he'll get votes (which is fine) - if it was purely based on objective truths based on densities and current access to rapid transit (like you seem to be implying), this neighbourhood would be #1 on his list.

I don't find this analysis compelling.

His plan isn't based on areas that 'deserve' transit, but rather on diverting a set amount of money he believes is available to projects that can be afforded with that money, and with an eye to network value (how any new investment will work with what exists now/is under construction now/or one of the other investments he has proposed.)

Where would you put a BRT at Lakeshore and Park Lawn? There's no space for one, beyond the already planned upgrade of the tracks on Lakeshore from Humber Loop to Park Lawn to exclusive ROW, which he doesn't mention, presumably because its already planned.

Going west of Parklawn there would be a challenge to say the least. There won't be BRT or LRT on Park Lawn.

So that would leave, presumably, connecting the Lakeshore streetcar, before or after Queensway to the Western Waterfront LRT.

Again, that proposal already exists, and is delayed, expressly for the Ontario Line, by Mx. (The City was ready to proceed, subject to funding). As it stands, work cannot begin on the WWLRT before the late 2020s due to the preceding, unless Mx has a change of heart.

Put another way, there is nothing to deliver in the near-term for this community, beyond those works already committed to....
 

Jonny5

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But if you look back, you'll see that the previous peak scheduled service still left a more than generous spare ratio. That's also before factoring in all the buses freed up by Line 5 and Line 6; though, in fairness, many of those spares will be eaten by the SRT shutdown.
Ya, I believe that SRT replacement service will require 60 buses, which isn't too many, though I have heard Steve Munro say a few times he believes there is a swath of older buses, specifically the original hybrids that are quite unreliable now, and they rarely leave the garage unless absolutely necessary. I imagine there's always around 100 (or 5%) old lemons in the fleet that are near-permanently parked at the garage.
 

allengeorge

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Again, that proposal already exists, and is delayed, expressly for the Ontario Line, by Mx. (The City was ready to proceed, subject to funding). As it stands, work cannot begin on the WWLRT before the late 2020s due to the preceding, unless Mx has a change of heart.
Could you clarify: what was the city ready to proceed with, subject to funding?
 

Northern Light

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Could you clarify: what was the city ready to proceed with, subject to funding?

(to my understanding)

WWLRT (, the Western Waterfront LRT) extension of Habourfront to Dufferin, was supposed to have reached 30% design a couple of years back, and was pencilled in to get to 60% after which new funding would have been required.

**

From this City of Toronto Page:


The TTC completed the Preliminary Design and Engineering for the Exhibition Loop-Dufferin Gate Loop Streetcar Extension in early 2020. The project is currently on hold until further details about the Ontario Line station, and other initiatives in the Exhibition Place and Ontario Place areas, are available.

It is my understanding that the 'hold' delayed work which was supposed to be underway to advance this project to the 60% design stage.

The drawings to the 30% stage were actually nearing completion in 2019:

 
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Rainforest

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One big problem with this plan is that west of Yonge, most of the proposed bus lanes cannot be built (no space).

Sheppard West is narrow, it has 4 lanes but no room for any extra lanes.

The busiest section of Dufferin is narrow, all the way from the Exhibition to the former Belt line bridge (just north of Eglinton). The corridor opens up north of the Belt line, but the ridership is a lot lower there, and the BRT would compete for ridership with the nearby Spadina subway line.

Bathurst is even worse, the corridor only opens up north of Wilson.

Jane is very narow from Bloor to Davenport. From Davenport to Wilson, it is wider but hard to say if 2 additional lanes will fit everywhere. Opens up north of Wilson.

Finch West (Keele to Yonge) is the only one that can be constructed as stated. My preference is to extend the LRT at least to Yonge, but the BRT option can be considered if it is the extension of Finch East BRT.

East of Yonge: the Eglinton - Kingston - Morningside BRT is doable. So is Sheppard East (but why does it end at McCowan?). Finch East would be tight from Yonge to at least Leslie, and it might be necessary to use the Hydro Corridor routing there, but could switch to the Finch proper further east.

Overall: probably a good idea to build BRTs on the busiest avenues, where higher order options aren't in the cards yet. But the choice of routes rises many questions.
 
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Northern Light

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One big problem with this plan is that west of Yonge, most of the proposed bus lanes cannot be built (no space).

Sheppard West is narrow, it has 4 lanes but no room for any extra lanes.

The busiest section of Dufferin is narrow, all the way from the Exhibition to the former Belt line bridge (just north of Eglinton). The corridor opens up north of the Belt line, but the ridership is a lot lower there, and the BRT would compete for ridership with the nearby Spadina subway line.

Bathurst is even worse, the corridor only opens up north of Wilson.

Jane is very narow from Bloor to Davenport. From Davenport to Wilson, it is wider but hard to say if 2 additional lanes will fit everywhere. Opens up north of Wilson.

Finch West (Keele to Yonge) is the only one that can be constructed as stated. My preference is to extend the LRT at least to Yonge, but the BRT option can be considered if it is the extension of Finch East BRT.

East of Yonge: the Eglinton - Kingston - Morningside BRT is doable. So is Sheppard East (but why does it end at McCowan?). Finch East would be tight from Yonge to at least Leslie, and it might be necessary to use the Hydro Corridor routing there, but could switch to the Finch proper further east.

Overall: probably a good idea to build BRTs on the busiest avenues, where higher order options aren't in the cards yet. But the choice of routes rises many questions.

None of these projects were contemplating additional lanes so far as I know; they were contemplating repurposing within the existing curb to curb portion of the row.

If anyone knows different, I will duly stand corrected.

* to further clarify, level boarding platforms would still involve widening into the boulevards where they are built.
 

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