News   Apr 12, 2024
 62     0 
News   Apr 11, 2024
 1.7K     1 
News   Apr 11, 2024
 946     0 

Finch West Line 6 LRT

As a former downtown resident I can assure you many people who live downtown rarely if ever take the subway and are more likely to use the streetcar and or walk. The subway is to help people from the suburbs get into downtown.
On line 2, you see a LOT of people get on, go for a few stops, and get off (with neither stop being a transfer station).
 
The bus on Finch West, between the end points of the LRT, currently takes 45 minutes or more.

In what world is 36 (or 38) minutes slower than 45?

Dan

No one disagrees that LRT in street median is better than bus in mixed traffic. LRT has more room, and street median lanes give some protection against the traffic jams.

The question is the benefit to cost ratio, given that the LRT construction turned out to be quite expensive. Less expensive options are available, for example a BRT in the same kind of street median. Costs a fraction of the LRT cost, and dependent on the service details, might run faster than LRT. For example, the median lanes reserved for the express branch that stops at major intersections only, while a sufficiently frequent local branch continues to operate in the general traffic lanes and serves all existing curbside stops. Similar to VIVA rapidways, except both the express and the local TTC branches would be much more frequent.

In my opinion, the speed the LRT can reach is a material factor in deciding whether LRT is worth the investment. We aren't talking about a small 5% or 10% variation here. 16 kph per the latest forecasts, vs 23 kph per the earlier design, is a big change.

LRT has a stronger case if it can run nearly as fast as the express bus, while making more frequent stops (because the dedicated lanes offset the time spent at the extra stops).

If the LRT can only run as fast as a regular bus, only shaving off the worst peak-period delays - sure, that's an improvement over the status quo. But, the case for LRT weakens compared to the improved bus service option.
 
I've mainly been following on the sidelines, but it seems like the argument on if an LRT project is worthwhile based on speed is a rather narrow approach. From what I recall in the early transit city proposal videos, the idea of putting up LRTs on suburban arterials such as Finch West and Jane is to make travel time more reliable during peak periods (no need to guess if it'll take you 45 minutes or 1.5 hours to go between Humber College and Finch West station, its just a 36/38 minute ride regardless of the time of day), as well as to increase the maximum capacity for the transit mode.

I've taken the 36 frequently pre-pandemic, especially during rush hour and my biggest pain points have been how crowded the buses were and having to set aside a lot more buffer time in case I either have to wait for a few buses to pass or traffic is worse than usual.

with the 36 having run at around 3.5 minute headways combined between the branches at some point, I believe there's very little gains to have dedicated bus lanes. Sure, trip times may be more reliable, but it doesn't help if you can't get on a bus due to overcrowding.
 
I've mainly been following on the sidelines, but it seems like the argument on if an LRT project is worthwhile based on speed is a rather narrow approach. From what I recall in the early transit city proposal videos, the idea of putting up LRTs on suburban arterials such as Finch West and Jane is to make travel time more reliable during peak periods (no need to guess if it'll take you 45 minutes or 1.5 hours to go between Humber College and Finch West station, its just a 36/38 minute ride regardless of the time of day), as well as to increase the maximum capacity for the transit mode.

I've taken the 36 frequently pre-pandemic, especially during rush hour and my biggest pain points have been how crowded the buses were and having to set aside a lot more buffer time in case I either have to wait for a few buses to pass or traffic is worse than usual.

with the 36 having run at around 3.5 minute headways combined between the branches at some point, I believe there's very little gains to have dedicated bus lanes. Sure, trip times may be more reliable, but it doesn't help if you can't get on a bus due to overcrowding.
this is correct... the biggest pain of ever being in the bus is when you are crawling in traffic. This LRT will not do that. no one wants to be in traffic but its borderline insanity being in traffic when you're shoved in like sardines. I guess the argument could be made you could be on a BRT in its own lane for less money. However operating expenses would be up because you would need more busses and no matter what a bus simply isn't as comfortable as rail to ride on. Fear mongers never mention those details. This will be a vast improvement and because of it places like Jane and Finch mall are being redeveloped.
 
Seriously 18.3km/h is very slow and a complete waste of money. If the LRVs streetcars are going to craw through every intersection, they should have just built bus lanes with transit priority.
 
It's such a joke that Metrolinx is actually referring to the Cross town and Finch West LRT's as subways and even numbering them lines 5 & 6. I'm sure it'll "feel" like a subway until your train comes to a complete stop at a red light at an intersection.
 
It's such a joke that Metrolinx is actually referring to the Cross town and Finch West LRT's as subways and even numbering them lines 5 & 6. I'm sure it'll "feel" like a subway until your train comes to a complete stop at a red light at an intersection.
It should be easier to change the lights to prioritize transit than it should be to find a few billion extra for every line you want to make a subway. I am not sure why we are being soooooo negative that the future of transit will always revolve around the car and that our politicians can't stand up to them.
 
It should be easier to change the lights to prioritize transit than it should be to find a few billion extra for every line you want to make a subway. I am not sure why we are being soooooo negative that the future of transit will always revolve around the car and that our politicians can't stand up to them.
I try not to be negative, it's just that LRT's are such a frustrating form of transit. They're like a stop gap between buses and subways. If people on this forum constantly argue that we should build LRT's instead of subways cause they're cheaper, than why not build BRTs instead of LRTs, cause they're cheaper.

People complain about the Sheppard line being overbuilt and having low ridership. But can those same people not see how the Sheppard line has essentially "future proofed" transit in North York? You can build tons of condos along that line and the subway will still not break a sweat for decades to come. These LRT lines will reach maximum capacity a lot quicker than a subway line would. We'll then be kicking ourselves for not having the foresight to spend the extra money and build a subway instead. It's easier to convert a BRT to a subway than it is to convert an LRT to a subway.
 
If people on this forum constantly argue that we should build LRT's instead of subways cause they're cheaper, than why not build BRTs instead of LRTs, cause they're cheaper.
These LRT lines will reach maximum capacity a lot quicker than a subway line would. We'll then be kicking ourselves for not having the foresight to build a subway.
LRTs are superior to BRT because multiple cars can be coupled together to increase capacity at a much lower cost than building a subway. You can't do that with buses.

Are there any projections at all to suggest that the lines are in genuine danger of maxing out their capacity? This seems like anti-LRT concern trolling. The Eglinton line was not even busy enough for the TTC to prioritize putting artic buses on there, but we're supposed to buy that the line will quickly max out its capacity?
 
This post really doesn't sit well with me. This "this is good enough for the people of Rexdale" has a hint of something... to it. We aren't making the downtown crowd along the Yonge corridor, or along Boor, wait these kind of times/spdees, but for the people of Rexdale, "yeah, let em wait." instead of wanting better for the area and riders.
Please re-read my post. All of the downtown snobbery you read in it is in your head, not mine! I said, "As someone who has taken the Finch bus from Humber to Yonge, 36 minutes will be a dream in comparison to what it is now." I speak as someone who uses Rexdale transit regularly and has done so for the last fifteen years.

As Ward8 noted, the Finch bus currently takes an hour to go to the subway. Same with the 996/96 to Wilson (Express means nothing in Rexdale!). Half an hour to get to the Yonge subway from Humber College? It is a magical dream!
 
LRTs are superior to BRT because multiple cars can be coupled together to increase capacity at a much lower cost than building a subway. You can't do that with buses.

Are there any projections at all to suggest that the lines are in genuine danger of maxing out their capacity? This seems like anti-LRT concern trolling. The Eglinton line was not even busy enough for the TTC to prioritize putting artic buses on there, but we're supposed to buy that the line will quickly max out its capacity?
Once all the development kicks off, such as the Jane & Finch mall redevelopment, I'm confident it won't take long for these lines to get fairly crowded. LRV's are not much bigger than articulated buses.
 
Once all the development kicks off, such as the Jane & Finch mall redevelopment, I'm confident it won't take long for these lines to get fairly crowded. LRV's are not much bigger than articulated buses.
Eh? The cars the Finch line is getting are 48.4 metres (159 feet) - that is more than double the length of an articulated bus! (18 m, or 60 feet). Couple a few of those together, especially if they are running at tight frequencies, and you'll be set for a long time.
 
People complain about the Sheppard line being overbuilt and having low ridership. But can those same people not see how the Sheppard line has essentially "future proofed" transit in North York? You can build tons of condos along that line and the subway will still not break a sweat for decades to come. These LRT lines will reach maximum capacity a lot quicker than a subway line would. We'll then be kicking ourselves for not having the foresight to spend the extra money and build a subway instead. It's easier to convert a BRT to a subway than it is to convert an LRT to a subway.
They estimate that each rider on the Sheppard subway is subsidized by $10. It's a huge drain on the rest of the system. And it still doesn't have sufficient ridership to justify it being a subway!

I can't believe Mel Lastman's boondoggle is being held up as some sort of paragon of planning.
 
They estimate that each rider on the Sheppard subway is subsidized by $10. It's a huge drain on the rest of the system. And it still doesn't have sufficient ridership to justify it being a subway!

I can't believe Mel Lastman's boondoggle is being held up as some sort of paragon of planning.
But SUBWAYS SUBWAYS SUBWAYS!

To be more serious, the Sheppard line could have worked. IF they had A) built the connection to the University Line so to the line had a real purpose as a northern connector between the arms of line 1, B) went to Vic Park so it actually went to where jobs are, and C) Upzoned everything within a few hundred metres of Sheppard Avenue along it's entire length. You cannot run a successful subway through suburbia based on the assumption 5 condos at every station will justify it. But to make it work, it would have required massive urbanization of North York, and instead we did the dumb thing and built a subway while saying people 50m from a station can have a single detached home with a backyard and a swimming pool. And while I hope we don't do the same with Eglinton and Finch, I fully expect it to happen.
 
Last edited:
I've mainly been following on the sidelines, but it seems like the argument on if an LRT project is worthwhile based on speed is a rather narrow approach. From what I recall in the early transit city proposal videos, the idea of putting up LRTs on suburban arterials such as Finch West and Jane is to make travel time more reliable during peak periods (no need to guess if it'll take you 45 minutes or 1.5 hours to go between Humber College and Finch West station, its just a 36/38 minute ride regardless of the time of day), as well as to increase the maximum capacity for the transit mode.

I've taken the 36 frequently pre-pandemic, especially during rush hour and my biggest pain points have been how crowded the buses were and having to set aside a lot more buffer time in case I either have to wait for a few buses to pass or traffic is worse than usual.

with the 36 having run at around 3.5 minute headways combined between the branches at some point, I believe there's very little gains to have dedicated bus lanes. Sure, trip times may be more reliable, but it doesn't help if you can't get on a bus due to overcrowding.

Better capacity is a fair argument for LRT. However, it is fair to ask what kind of capacity can be achieved by a) using the articulated buses on the route, and b) using the express / local branch structure plus dedicated bus lanes. Say, express service in the dedicated street median lanes, and local service in mixed traffic.

I don't agree that "planning based on speed is a rather narrow approach". The day only has 24 hours. If a typical rider spends 8 h sleeping and 8 h working / studying, that leaves 8 h for everything else. It is reasonable to wish that one's daily commute takes no more than 1 h each way, or 2 h in total.

If 36 min is needed just to reach Humber College from the subway stop, that doesn't leave much for the other leg of the trip, if you don't live close to Finch & Keele. Conversely, if someone living at Finch and Kipling needs to spend 28 min on LRT to reach the closest subway station, that doesn't leave much time to travel to downtown or elsewhere in the city.

Everyone's situation is unique, some commuters might really need to travel for no more than 30 min each way, while others may be fine with 1.5 h each way. But, faster is better for everyone, and it is hardly acceptable not to take into account the travel speed when choosing the transit mode.
 

Back
Top