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High Speed Rail: London - Kitchener-Waterloo - Pearson Airport - Toronto

Streety McCarface

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Has any HSR advocate looked at the ridership numbers for the Kitchener GO Station? That should give you an indication of what kind of numbers HSR would attract (hint: it is not a large number).
600 passengers per day on 8 trains is pretty good, especially since most of those trains leave at insanely inconvenient times.

The Kitchener-Toronto commuter market is about 10K roundtrips per day, which equates to about 6 million rides per year from Kitchener alone, that doesn't even include student ridership, reverse commuting, and anticipated growth.

By way of comparison, the Keystone corridor sees 1.5M passengers annually, the Acela Express sees 3.5M rides annually, and the Northeast Regional sees 9M rides annually. These are all profitable, high speed/higher-speed rail corridors in the US.

GO buses to Square One see 70 double-decker buses on Fridays, which are usually overcapacity. That equates to about 3,500 students making the commute every weekend. If they're willing to spend 20$ on uber regularly, I wouldn't be surprised if they're willing to spend 30$ to use a high-speed train to Toronto or the Airport.
^There’s no question that current ridership is way below what it could be if the service were faster and more frequent. The right question is, what is the upper end of that demand and what kind of envelope does that justify? I have trouble believing that the “most positive scenario” would justify full HSR. And, if one did offer HSR, what price point does that imply and what is the upper limit of price? An example is student travel - with improved GO, it’s quite possible for students to find daily commuting to be cost effective as compared to living in residence. But suppose an air-competitive HSR were built, and the price point was shifted to charge what the air travel market might bear. That student market might vanish. Students may appreciate a one hour commute, but would not pay a premium to go Kitchener to Union in 40 minutes.
My gut says that merely equalling or beating road travel is the optimum service model, even if it leaves some business travellers flying at higher fares.
- Paul
Doubt it, Co-Op exists, so many students have a fair sum of money in their pockets. If this stingy attitude was the case, there would be more than 7 fedbus trips and fewer than 70 GO bus trips.
 

kEiThZ

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Has any HSR advocate looked at the ridership numbers for the Kitchener GO Station? That should give you an indication of what kind of numbers HSR would attract (hint: it is not a large number).
This is not at all representative of the market for the KWC HSR. There's the commuter market which Streety mentioned. There's some corporate shuttles running now. There's folks paying for air taxis to the island. There's the regular demand on VIA. And there's all the traffic between KWC and Pearson airport. KWC is not just a regular suburb/exurb of Toronto. It's generates trips disproportionately. And generates a lot of traffic that wouldn't mind paying a few more dollars to get a faster ride. Put in a faster service that is hourly and priced reasonably and I see a massive capture from other modes. I foresee several thousand per day at launch alone. Heck, I could see a thousand per day just between KWC and Pearson.
 

W. K. Lis

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Meanwhile...

The original bullet train line opened in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics with a top speed of 210 km/h. For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a new train will be introduced that reached 360 km/h during testing on that same line.
 

holographic plastic

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I was driving through rural south-west Ontario the other day to see family (Perth County, Oxford County), and I saw several signs saying "Say No To High-Speed Rail" in peoples front yards. I knew peoples general feelings towards this project in that region, but I guess that was eye-opening to see it first hand.
 

kEiThZ

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This is why it's best to simply build out to Kitchener. Let London struggle until they can convince folks in their area that this is necessary....
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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I was driving through rural south-west Ontario the other day to see family (Perth County, Oxford County), and I saw several signs saying "Say No To High-Speed Rail" in peoples front yards. I knew peoples general feelings towards this project in that region, but I guess that was eye-opening to see it first hand.
People are being brainwashed into thinking that HSR is the big bad wolf.
 

crs1026

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^ I would like to know what the acreage that would be lost to this new line amounts to, in comparison to sprawl being created and planned around the communities of London, Woodstock, and other local communities, as a result of prevailing (outdated) urban planning models.

I suspect that London is about to waste more farmland in the pursuit of developer profit and leafy suburbs than HSR would ever consume in Oxford County.

Having said that, it's preferable (for now) to upgrade the existing line through Stratford. It could offer enough speed and capacity for a couple of decades while HFR proves itself and appetite grows for HSR.

- Paul
 

Northern Light

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I'm not sure why additional land that may be needed for a new or realigned ROW can't simply be 'protected' for now by provincial zoning orders, which would also contain any increase in land value.

Actual purchases can be done later.

If a farmer wants to sell their land and the 'easement/option' is creating a problem, then the province could consider a willing buyer/willing seller scenario there.

For larger farms and/or those abutting existing conservation lands or a major river, there is the practical use of surplus lands for reforestation.

South Western Ontario is the least 'natural' portion of the province with less provincial/national park space than anywhere else.

So there's a win/win scenario where that can be addressed while securing the corridor over time; leaving any forced expropriation to a decade or more from now when something may actually get built.
 

crs1026

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^As I understood it, the community’s concern is not just inconvenience for existing landowners - it’s the loss of actual and fairly fertile farming acreage. I support that concern, but on a SW Ontario wide basis. The amount of farmland that existing urban plans allow to be set aside for future urban uses is the iceberg, this rail corridor is just a small tip.

- Paul
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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^As I understood it, the community’s concern is not just inconvenience for existing landowners - it’s the loss of actual and fairly fertile farming acreage. I support that concern, but on a SW Ontario wide basis. The amount of farmland that existing urban plans allow to be set aside for future urban uses is the iceberg, this rail corridor is just a small tip.

- Paul
I guess it would have better luck if it was a pipeline :p

AoD
 

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