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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

TrickyRicky

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I’ve considered starting an entire thread dedicated to debating that subject but were cities really built for people or is this a contemporary idea? Maybe this is not the place to debate this subject.

I feel cities exist primarily or fundamental because they are logistic hubs. People congregate in these logistics hubs for proximity to economic gain. Cars dominate because cities are agnostic to transportation mode share and it’s just a more efficient system up to a critical mass.

Beyond a critical mass and where logistic niches (like information or capital flows versus goods and services) dominate other niche transportation mode shares can operate efficiently but these are rare special cases
 

drum118

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I’ve considered starting an entire thread dedicated to debating that subject but were cities really built for people or is this a contemporary idea? Maybe this is not the place to debate this subject.

I feel cities exist primarily or fundamental because they are logistic hubs. People congregate in these logistics hubs for proximity to economic gain. Cars dominate because cities are agnostic to transportation mode share and it’s just a more efficient system up to a critical mass.

Beyond a critical mass and where logistic niches (like information or capital flows versus goods and services) dominate other niche transportation mode shares can operate efficiently but these are rare special cases
Up to the 40's, people live in the cities in very tie quarters. Toronto was built on the back of transit, mainly the streetcar up to the 30's when suburbia started to be come main stream. After the war, suburbia took over to the point most city core became empty after 6 pm and started to decade. Up to the 80's, Queen St saw mu PCC streetcars every 3 minute to service the 60,000 riders on it. 80's saw the recession where transit fell for Queen. As business moved out to suburbia, buildings along King and near by were transform to residental.

Ridership started to increase on King to the point it replace the Queen Line as the busy streetcar and continue to do so today. Queen is seeing some development, but mostly in the east end in 6-10 story building and for people who can afford to buy a unit there.

Since 2000, the financial district has shifted south of where it been most of its life since most existing business don't exist there along with structures been torn down. The car is less than 150 years old while cities are 100's-1,000's year old.

The inter city is for people who have the $$ to pay the high rent or cost of buying X. Business existed in the core as that where people live who work in those business or bought from them. A lot moved out of the core to suburbia as land was cheap as well cost to operate. A fair number moved back to the core as they found workers weren't well to spend time on transit to get to/from them if there was any in their area or weren't will to work out there at all. The same apply to those who drove. Give it another 20 years, ridership on King well be about 130,000 + with all the development going up on it or near it.

To say 20,000 car riders are worth more than the current 80,000 transit riders, let alone what coming down the road, is putting one head in the sand. Times are changing where cars are going have a less impact on the core than they do today "IF" A Real Transit System Gets Built.
 

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I’ve considered starting an entire thread dedicated to debating that subject but were cities really built for people or is this a contemporary idea? Maybe this is not the place to debate this subject.

I feel cities exist primarily or fundamental because they are logistic hubs. People congregate in these logistics hubs for proximity to economic gain. Cars dominate because cities are agnostic to transportation mode share and it’s just a more efficient system up to a critical mass.

Beyond a critical mass and where logistic niches (like information or capital flows versus goods and services) dominate other niche transportation mode shares can operate efficiently but these are rare special cases
This is a HUGE topic that is certainly deserving of a new thread. MODS??
 

mdrejhon

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I feel cities exist primarily or fundamental because they are logistic hubs. People congregate in these logistics hubs for proximity to economic gain. Cars dominate because cities are agnostic to transportation mode share and it’s just a more efficient system up to a critical mass.
As far as we are hijacking this thread.

To a point. But Toronto is far beyond that point.

We reached a point where at Queens U, during good weather, we now have more bikes per hour on College during peak period, than cars per hour,. Some hours have counted well excess of 1000 bikes, while cars in peak period lanes are limited to approximately 800 cars per hour. Even freeway lanes are limited to 1700 to 2100 cars per hour per lane -- that's about 1 car every 2 seconds. But that's not possible in downtown traffic signalled streets, and congestion collapse occurs far below 1000 cars per hour per lane.

Now, a single subway track can exceed 60,000 ppphpd (Peak People Per Hour Per Direction) in some of the best systems worldwide.

TTC subway carries 40Kppphpd, which matches 20 lanes of 2000 single-driver cars, as seen in this classic 1950s/1960s era advertisement:

208025



(Side note: I encourage more transit, but understand why there's the feeling of "I'm keeping my car, over my dead body! Add more lanes, add more lanes...."...

I own a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring, baby blue color, car keys dangling, even though I use transit more often and mainly use cars for transit-inconvenient trips, one tankful of gas per month.... though NEVER drive here downtown; the critical pain point passed and now more and more people just want better transit downtown. At some point it becomes a majority in the region, and that filters to the electorate. (Look at the Climate-aware Millenials too)

It's the "New York" and "London UK" mentality: Economy depends on transit improvements more than cars in these ultradensified areas. There's a densification critical mass where car lane value starts devaluing relative to replacement with transit. In a situation where super-densification continues without ability to do any road capacity increases. Megacities are way more livable with transit than being dependant on cars, and you really truly notice that if you visit world cities.

In fact, there are currently enough proposed/approved condos/offices downtown to double the number of towers downtown over the next 15 years. And that's not going to end. We're next to a Great Lake, with lots of eastward/northward/southwards expansion room, in a favoured-country in today's geopolitics/climate, and the pressures of Toronto is going to still be continued superdensification (with only a few pauses for corrections). There is intense pressure in Toronto to keep densifying.

So now you're getting it -- you're seeing where the downtown economy mathematics are going.

As Toronto downtown continues to superdensify, the financial & economic profit pressure (businesses booming downtown) favours turning King into a 60-meter "low-floor mini equivalent of Calgary C-Train". More commerce, more economy, more business... Sure, a few single-occupant-car-dependent businesses might have difficulty, but the rest of the downtown economy succeeds way more. Even the King Pilot had big undocumented spinoff benefits and indirectly made it much easier for residents to move to places like Liberty Village (and continue densifying there, too). Onwards goes the outwards Toronto densification.

It's the Tokyo Factor, It's the New York Factor, it's the London UK Factor. All World Cities tends to starts converting SOME car lanes into transit because megacities start profiting more when it's impossible to cram any more cars on a lane. Transit in megacities/world cities tend to become the equivalent of the nuclear reactors of people throughput that powers a megacity economy. Toronto is entering the World City League. It is only a few car lanes sacrificed to increase people throughput to power a megacity economy.

The Toronto downtown economic pressures finally overcomes the "I want to keep car lane" mentality, so the pros finally starts outweighing the cons, and then -- eventually -- unable to widen roads further -- Toronto is willing to jettison all vehicles fully away from King streetcar tracks (except at intersections). The dominos are already slowly flipping, and it's already done elsewhere (successful metro-speed metro-frequency non-metro routes that pushes 6-figure-passenger-per-day). Electorate demand, voter demand, politicians start listening -- it's slowly happening. (P.S. How did Transit Pilot happen? Bingo. And Phase 2 will almost definitely domino later this century.)

This is why I am almost willing to bet my mortgage that within half a century, the King streetcar route is eventually becoming an (approx) ~60-meter level-boarding transit-priority LRT route.
 
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EastYorkTTCFan

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For all the people that are suggesting that the TTC should rebuild the entire streetcar network so that they can use double-ended multi-unit cars on it something to keep in mind they are only now converting the overhead network to pantographs which was originally planned to be done when we first started replacing the PCC's with the CLRVs and ALRVs and that was 40 years ago. I don't think the odds of them rebuilding the streetcar network with crossovers is going to happen any time soon and definitely not when the next order of streetcars is made.
 

mdrejhon

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This be true, the streetcar-to-LRT conversion has been going really slowly. But the pace is really picking up now.

Perhaps not the next fleet purchase, but almost certainly the one after that will begin considering truer LRT-league operations.

Observe I didn't say "streetcar network" -- but cherrypicked routes like King.

The streetcar network is actually splitting up into LRT-like routes (St. Clair, Spadina) and plain streetcar routes. Once the old streetcars are no longer used, the single-streetcar level boarding platforms can begin to be added. That's a low-lying apple in the next rebuild (e.g. when the roads start falling apart, or when needing to build permanent platforms on King).

Changes have already happened:
- The new streetcars are longer than the past vehicles.
- The new streetcars look nearly identical to LRTs
- The new streetcars are already bidirectional in 'ferry operations' -- there's an openable panel at the opposite end of the streetcar
- Spadina/St.Clair was built (albiet not very good LRTs yet, they will be tweaked/optimized eventually)
- Crossovers are not necessary elsewhere except on the route that gets double-consist operations.
- What I wrote is not "streetcar network" but conversion of a single streetcar route. It'd be backward compatible with all the streetcars obviously, but only the consists will run on that route. (and can split up to operate like existing new streetcars if going off-route).

The next several low lying apples will definitely be things like 100% pantograph operation (more power for faster acceleration too, better in winter), as well as all-door level boarding which becomes easy for streetcar-stop rebuilds (e.g. on King Transit Pilot getting permanent single-vehicle "mini metro style" platforms).

The more politically difficult low-lying apple will be true transit priority of the ultra-efficient type that I described earlier.

But once that is done, and Ontario becomes more familiar with true cleansheet LRTs (Crosstown, Hurontario, etc) it becomes much easier to begin converting one route to double-vehicle consist (60 meter) or ~7-segment Flexity (45 meter). The most politically difficult is saying goodbye to cars permanently on King. Yes, a big hill. But the above are doable incrementals, and will ease Toronto towards this direction.

Future ironwork rebuilds at places like Spadina+King, Bathurst+King, etc, will affect this somewhat -- they will have to decelerate to really slow over those. But the rest is much simpler.

Over 40+ years ago we were still finishing up building car capacity to downtown, and still widening the 401 out of the wazoo, and the anti-streetcar lobby was really strong (streetcar networks were still being shut down North America just 50+ years ago). Only things like the streetcar protests and Steve Munro's great work of that era, amongst the Davis "cancel the Spadina Expressway" politics, halted the ripping out of Toronto's streetcar network. The last 40 years before the new streetcars were just status quo compared to the rapid pick up in pace that's about to happen. But that's now run out and multiple levels of governments are now willing to fund transit, the climate-agreements, the densifications, the economics math, ensure slightly more accelerate decisions on streetcar efficiencies even if a bit pokey. I think the tables have turned at this stage and some lobbying is going to occur in the 2020s or 2030s once the card deck is dealt (e.g. people riding many LRTs throughout Ontario). The transit pause / dark ages from 1995-2015 isn't necessarily the measuring stick of the next 20 years. Even Ford the dreaded cost-cutter is hugely pro-transit (relatively speaking) compared to Harris, not having cancelled GO expansion like Harris did, and the Transit Pilot successfully proceeded despite political duress.

At this stage, given the continued climate-pressure + superdensification economics -- I wouldn't be too concerned about my theoretical bet for a 50 year timescale of King eventually becoming a 60-meter(ish) level-boarding LRT. That upgrade path is actually more logstically minor than the trolleypole-to-pantograph conversion -- it's just only the keep-car-lane mentality that makes it feel impossible.
 
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W. K. Lis

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Meanwhile...


Buspocalypse Nah: Commerce Doing Just Fine On 14th Street As Busway Hits Day 4
Too many local reporters believe the lie that business owners tell about how many customers must arrive by car. It's a myth.

From link.

The 14th Street Busway is working exactly as expected — unless your expectations were formed by the New York Times and other pro-car media outlets.

On Tuesday, the fourth full day since the city mostly banned cars between Third and Ninth avenues, the M14 bus — once the city’s slowest — continues to move with impressive speeds. And 14th Street itself is no longer full of honking, gridlocked traffic. People are saying they now like to walk on the crosstown roadway. Posters on Twitter are reveling in the quiet. Activists are demanding the same treatment on other roadways where buses with 100 people in them are stuck behind single-occupancy cars.

In short, it’s a miracle.

But this isn’t how it was supposed to be. In fact, if you read the New York Times last week, you would think a car-free busway would be the end of business as we know it.

Before the busway was implemented, the owner of Namaste, a small bookstore between Fifth and Sixth avenues, told the Times that he’d lose customers due to a loss of parking. The manager of Joe’s Pizza said more or less the same thing.

It’s “horrible for me and my business because it [will] stop customers from coming,” Salvatore Vitale told the paper of record, which did not bother to ask customers where they came from or how they got there. On Tuesday at 2 p.m., there were seven customers inside Joe’s, all enjoying excellent slices. None drove there or was driven there.

The same was true on Monday, where we spotted Mike Richardson, sitting in a window seat polishing off a slice. He said he walks to Joe’s two to three times a week from his job on Park Avenue and 22nd Street.

“The busway doesn’t affect me,” Richardson shrugged when asked what he thought of the new street design, explaining that he walks, eats his pizza and walks back. “I’m just here for a block.”

Streetsblog did find someone at Joe’s who had been delivered there by a cab — whose pickups and drop-offs are not restricted by the busway rules.

Meanwhile, at Crossroads Wines and Liquors, there was plenty of foot traffic coming through the door.

“I felt like stopping in, I was seeing if maybe I would get a gift for someone,” Neyda Martinez said as she exited Namaste before she went to her job as an associate professor at The New School. Martinez is not a bus rider, but she raved about the new 14th Street as feeling much safer for pedestrians. Logically speaking, she added, “It doesn’t make sense to have all these great new buses if they move at a snail’s pace.”

It certainly didn’t make sense to the writers and editors at the Times, which had earlier quoted Crossroads manager Ray Raddy saying that the busway would kill his business because customers would realize they couldn’t drive to the store and would say, “I’m not comfortable coming here, I’ll go somewhere else.”

The comment was so objectively absurd — do people really drive to a tiny neighborhood liquor store on a perpetually congested thoroughfare? Did the reporter even ask that question?— that the Times ended up cutting it from the end-of-day story on the busway’s success (though Reddy’s remark lives on thanks to the Wayback Machine).

A customer named Stephen provided a more accurate picture of Raddy’s customer base. He said he stopped to browse at the store while his phone was being repaired nearby, a scenario that is far more likely to happen by foot than by car. Stephen added another helpful factor for businesses: car traffic on 14th Street was so dramatically reduced that he felt safe to cross the road to shop.

“I noticed I could cross … and didn’t have to look out for cars,” he said, adding that the street is now “much friendlier.”

He hopes the car ban remains in effect after the 18-month test period is completed.

He also pushed back on opponents of the busway, who claimed in their lawsuit that the car ban would “cause horrific traffic jams on 12th Street, 13th Street, 15th Street, 16th Street, 17th Street, 18th Street, … 19th Street, and 20th Street.”

“I’ve seen nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.

Business owners aren’t the only beneficiaries of the increasingly pleasant byway/busway.

Members of the West 13th Street Alliance — not to be confused with busway litigants such as the Upper West 13th Street Block Association and the West 13th Street 100 Block Association — tweeted their excitement at the quiet roads and calm streets reclaimed from the automobile.

Fear of car restrictions is, of course, nothing new, even in a city with extremely low car ownership rates. And the charge that transit improvements will destroy local commerce is the most-common refrain, as it allows the pro-car contingent to hide behind the specter of shuttered businesses, the bane of the local politician. Some residents of Ridgewood, Queens, for example, sued to stop a bus lane on Fresh Pond Road because it required the removal of some on-street parking along a commercial strip. And a flower shop owner in Sunnyside recently came out against a Citi Bike expansion that would also reclaim some of the curb. His reasoning? People on bikes or on foot don’t buy flowers.

“This will impact my business in a bad way,” Giorgie Calle, owner of Flowers by Giorgie, told the Queens Eagle. “People who want to ride bikes should go to the parks. There are buses and trains to commute to stores.”

Such comments — and the shamelessly pro-car coverage in the Times — simply don’t ring true to anyone who understands the city.

“Especially in Manhattan, where very few people are driving, foot traffic should be the most important metric for anyone,” said Joe Cutrufo, the spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, which strongly backs the busway. “And, if anything, the Busway improves foot traffic because it brings more bus riders.”
Cutrufo added that so few neighborhood residents drive in Manhattan, and congestion from out-of-town commuters and booming construction is so bad, that any business that caters to drivers is setting itself up to fail.

“It’s strange to imagine that your customers are driving to your store when in the immediate area, practically nobody drives,” Cutrufo said. “In Manhattan, less than a quarter of households own a car, and if you wanted to be dropped off somewhere on 14th Street that can still happen. The notion that we shouldn’t allow buses to go faster on a street is ridiculous, especially in Manhattan.”

And he wasn’t the only one calling BS on the fantasy of the Business Busting Busway. Julia Delaney, who said she finds herself in the area between 14th Street and Houston Street often and is a semi-frequent Joe’s Pizza customer, scoffed when asked if Vitale had a legitimate concern with the Busway.

“The street looks better, it’s nice,” Delaney said. “It’s ridiculous, I don’t know any New Yorker who would take a cab just to get a slice of pizza.”
 

mdrejhon

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At long last, the defunct shelter at King & Bay has been removed from the old stop location. Aside from eliminating the confusion for waiting passengers, it also adds a significant amount of sidewalk space to this cramped corner.
Another Union 5pm peak period pedestrian bottleneck removed.

Now if they would only remove the construction hoarding at the Toronto Stock Exchange (another bottleneck) and cut down that RBC totem pole (another peak period bottleneck), and get rid of those Jersey barriers off the Union plaza (bollards instead please).

Then there might be almost enough pedestian throughput to fill the newly revitalized Union in 2020. ;)
 
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MetroMan

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Ghost transit shelters have now been removed, including that dreaded shelter at King and John that created a bottleneck at the busiest pedestrian intersection in the neighbourhood.

209544
 

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Ghost transit shelters have now been removed, including that dreaded shelter at King and John that created a bottleneck at the busiest pedestrian intersection in the neighbourhood.
Yes, the City said all would be gone by October 20th and they seem well on their way to achieving that. The one at the King subway went late last week though the one at Church was still there at noon today.
 

MetroMan

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There were an unusual amount of cars on King as I walked home just now. Streetcars were stuck behind backed up traffic. I had to check my watch to make sure I didn't go back in time. It almost felt like pre-pilot. Was there something going on on Richmond/Adelaide that forced traffic back on to King?

This reminded me that the gains we've made should not be taken for granted. The street needs to be physically redesigned for it to be considered more permanent. A change of leadership at City Hall or the Province imposing its pro-car ideology on the city, could remove the signs overnight and we'd back to square one. Just like that.

If you haven't already, call or email or tweet Joe Cressy and Kristyn Wong Tam's office and ask for interim changes before the expected 2023 King St. rebuild. These changes should include widened sidewalks, street corner bump-outs, streetcar platforms, relocated light poles, trees planted where they're expected to go in a rebuilt King St, and permanent curb lane parkettes.

These kinds of hard changes would make it difficult to change the street back.
 

mdrejhon

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Shameful.

I can't wait for the 2023 rebuild. I hope sufficient LRT-prep is done (raised level boarding platforms flush against side of new streetcars). Even if cars are allowed initially, the introduction of LRT elements will open the door to complete removal of cars from King streetcar tracks eventually.

Also, King streetcar should be fully upgraded to LRT specifications by the 2030s-2040s. (Better than today's Spadina / St.Clair).
The Ontario Line intersects at King-Bathurst and at King(Corktown). That is going to dramatically increase pressure to LRT-ify King.

The next fleet purchase can include longer trains (7-segment Flexity or 9-segment Flexity, or coupled 60-meter 2LRV with new couplers), to allow 150,000 passengers per day on King LRT.


1571515030504.png
 

dahusbandofbath

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As far as we are hijacking this thread.

To a point. But Toronto is far beyond that point.

We reached a point where at Queens U, during good weather, we now have more bikes per hour on College during peak period, than cars per hour,. Some hours have counted well excess of 1000 bikes, while cars in peak period lanes are limited to approximately 800 cars per hour. Even freeway lanes are limited to 1700 to 2100 cars per hour per lane -- that's about 1 car every 2 seconds. But that's not possible in downtown traffic signalled streets, and congestion collapse occurs far below 1000 cars per hour per lane.

Now, a single subway track can exceed 60,000 ppphpd (Peak People Per Hour Per Direction) in some of the best systems worldwide.

TTC subway carries 40Kppphpd, which matches 20 lanes of 2000 single-driver cars, as seen in this classic 1950s/1960s era advertisement:

View attachment 208025


(Side note: I encourage more transit, but understand why there's the feeling of "I'm keeping my car, over my dead body! Add more lanes, add more lanes...."...

I own a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring, baby blue color, car keys dangling, even though I use transit more often and mainly use cars for transit-inconvenient trips, one tankful of gas per month.... though NEVER drive here downtown; the critical pain point passed and now more and more people just want better transit downtown. At some point it becomes a majority in the region, and that filters to the electorate. (Look at the Climate-aware Millenials too)

It's the "New York" and "London UK" mentality: Economy depends on transit improvements more than cars in these ultradensified areas. There's a densification critical mass where car lane value starts devaluing relative to replacement with transit. In a situation where super-densification continues without ability to do any road capacity increases. Megacities are way more livable with transit than being dependant on cars, and you really truly notice that if you visit world cities.

In fact, there are currently enough proposed/approved condos/offices downtown to double the number of towers downtown over the next 15 years. And that's not going to end. We're next to a Great Lake, with lots of eastward/northward/southwards expansion room, in a favoured-country in today's geopolitics/climate, and the pressures of Toronto is going to still be continued superdensification (with only a few pauses for corrections). There is intense pressure in Toronto to keep densifying.

So now you're getting it -- you're seeing where the downtown economy mathematics are going.

As Toronto downtown continues to superdensify, the financial & economic profit pressure (businesses booming downtown) favours turning King into a 60-meter "low-floor mini equivalent of Calgary C-Train". More commerce, more economy, more business... Sure, a few single-occupant-car-dependent businesses might have difficulty, but the rest of the downtown economy succeeds way more. Even the King Pilot had big undocumented spinoff benefits and indirectly made it much easier for residents to move to places like Liberty Village (and continue densifying there, too). Onwards goes the outwards Toronto densification.

It's the Tokyo Factor, It's the New York Factor, it's the London UK Factor. All World Cities tends to starts converting SOME car lanes into transit because megacities start profiting more when it's impossible to cram any more cars on a lane. Transit in megacities/world cities tend to become the equivalent of the nuclear reactors of people throughput that powers a megacity economy. Toronto is entering the World City League. It is only a few car lanes sacrificed to increase people throughput to power a megacity economy.

The Toronto downtown economic pressures finally overcomes the "I want to keep car lane" mentality, so the pros finally starts outweighing the cons, and then -- eventually -- unable to widen roads further -- Toronto is willing to jettison all vehicles fully away from King streetcar tracks (except at intersections). The dominos are already slowly flipping, and it's already done elsewhere (successful metro-speed metro-frequency non-metro routes that pushes 6-figure-passenger-per-day). Electorate demand, voter demand, politicians start listening -- it's slowly happening. (P.S. How did Transit Pilot happen? Bingo. And Phase 2 will almost definitely domino later this century.)

This is why I am almost willing to bet my mortgage that within half a century, the King streetcar route is eventually becoming an (approx) ~60-meter level-boarding transit-priority LRT route.
I was really struck by the most recent population projections published by the province: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/table4.html
Ontario’s midline population estimate for the City of Toronto is 4,270,000 by 2046. That would make Toronto’s population density higher than Greater London’s today. The reality that Toronto is a BIG city that requires serious public transit will become increasingly “in-your-face”. And yet, we can’t be entirely surprised by the resistance we will continue to encounter towards dedicating more road space to transit. When my father was born in 1941, Toronto’s census metropolitan area was still shy of a million people. That’s the city he grew up in and HE STILL votes (he’s a pretty progressive guy, but many voters his age are not!) I have the impression that big-city thinking receives less resistance in cities like London and New York, but, of course, they were already very big cities 100 years ago. Their voters grew up with big-city attitudes.
 

mdrejhon

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I was really struck by the most recent population projections published by the province: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/table4.html
Ontario’s midline population estimate for the City of Toronto is 4,270,000 by 2046. That would make Toronto’s population density higher than Greater London’s today. The reality that Toronto is a BIG city that requires serious public transit will become increasingly “in-your-face”.
In some respects, Toronto is more ready to install transit than many North American cities.

Toronto is so fortunate to have saved our streetcar network (callout to Steve Munro), and there is potential cheap rapid transit hiding in plain sight unbeknownst to many, with the right optimizations. The LRT-ification of the Toronto streetcar network has already been going halfheartedly for decades (Spadina, St. Clair) but finally picked up pace with the new streetcars (which now really look like LRTs) which are nearly identical to the LRTs under construction elsewhere. With each progress, it becomes a shorter and shorter stone throw to achieve true high-capacity rapid transit.

By 2030s, if the Ontario Line is built, there is an incredible number of interchanges for King 504 TTC streetcar:
  • TTC Dundas West
  • GO King-Liberty
  • OntarioLine King-Bathurst
  • TTC St. Andrew
  • TTC King
  • OntarioLine Corktown
  • OntarioLine East Harbour
  • TTC Broadview
Five subway stations and one GO train station, on a single "streetcar" route!

No other streetcar routes will be this blessed, not even the full length Queen route. It's pretty much "in-your-face" eventual impetus (over a couple decades) to gradually turn King into a dedicated LRT. The "better-than-today's-Spadina" type, with raised yellow edge flush against the doors -- level boarding just like a subway train -- with longer 45 meter or 60 meter LRVs or consists -- easily capable of "capital costs cheaply" moving 150,000 people per day.

Even if TTC has no plans yet -- it's going to be increasingly obvious that they will have to upgrade 504 -- as a cheaper upgrade than building a new downtown subway.. Even the area footprints of the "onstreet platforms" on King are already bigger than the Spadina/St.Clair platforms, simply by virtue of taking over former parking spots on King.
Without needing sidewalk space, they can potentially "Hulk" them up into mini station-looking stops similar to ION LRT in the 2023 rebuild. Provide a taste of the metro experience with flush boarding to today's new streetcars long before fleet-addons.

Car driving can still be allowed on King for now (kick the "car-ban" can down the road to 2030s) but at least the new 2023 King platforms will at least be ready for continued LRT-ification.
 
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