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Metrolinx: Finch West LRT

JayBeeGooner

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The switches on all LRT lines will be double point switches. Heck, at the Leslie barns, I noticed a few switches were double point.
 
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TheTigerMaster

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Stops need to be considered within the overall envelope of "impediments" in the design - traffic lights, U turn lanes, etc. Adding one or two transit stops may not matter much on their own, but if overall trip time is already challenged it could be the proverbial final straw.

I can't imagine there will ever be much intermediate-stop demand on Eglinton West - even with the development going in, Richmond Gardens won't generate many trips. The ridership will consist of people transferring at major north-south arteries, and/or people making the long haul from the Airport area to York or beyoind. This argues for the "speedy" version. Maybe this is an opportunity to explore creative use of "jitney" local buses, which don't have to be full size.

On Finch, designing LRT with frequent stops may be attractive so long as the line is only a stub connected to Line 1.....but if there is any vision to extend it eastwards, fewer stops would be desirable so that the line appeals as an alternative to driving across the top of the city. Again, it depends on just how many other impediments get designed in.

- Paul

We already know that reducing the number of stops hardly increases tram speed though. The limiting factor here is probably the stoplight and signal priority.
 

W. K. Lis

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I'm pretty sure that grass on ROWs are legal here too.

Are you sure? The per-construction diagrams for the Queens Quay right-of-way showed "grass", however, the end result was concrete.

urbantoronto-6731-29317.jpg


Therefore, "grass" is illegal to use on right-of-ways.

(Being sarcastic, by the way. ;))
 

Amare

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We already know that reducing the number of stops hardly increases tram speed though. The limiting factor here is probably the stoplight and signal priority.
Which we all know that TTS (Toronto Transportation Services) will continue to screw around with when it comes to both the Eglinton and Finch lines.
 

Vaucluse

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Five points that I saw in the video.

1) The transit signals are actually different from the traffic signals. We should have them here in Ontario.
2) There are no verbage signage that tells us that these are "TRANSIT SIGNALS" ("signal de transit"?), like here in Toronto, resulting in less street clutter.
3) "Grass" is legal in France. "Grass" is still illegal in Canada. Which means that in France, they allow the use of "grass" on the right-of-ways. This has to change, man.
4) The word "STOP" is allowed in France. (Not allowed in Quebec, it seems.) Noticed it briefly at a pedestrian crossing.
5) They use double-point track switches. They should be using double-point track switches on Finch West and the other Transit City lines. However, they should use double-point track switches on the downtown streetcar track network, if they get the funding to do so, to stop the current stopping at each and every switch that they current have to do.

1- The different signals also give no excuse for motorists to proceed on the tram lights thinking they are for vehicles.
3- The grass was planted as part (small part) of France's efforts to offset their CO2 emissions. Our emergency services here think that they need to drive on the tramways, maybe someone should ask the French services how they get around without doing so.
4- I had asked about the "stop" signs when I was working near Marseille, my colleagues told me that it is from a long disused french verb "stopper", better take that with a grain of salt. Whatever the reason, the red octagonal stop sign has become the standard across Europe.

The big boxes at the stop stations are ticket dispensers. You can buy everything from single ride to monthly passes from them using cash, coins or cards - they do give change. They are also multilingual: French, English, Spanish and German, typically.
 

Johnny Au

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Even Astroturf is better than concrete for rights-of-way. After all, neither absorbs water, both can be driven on using emergency vehicles, and Astroturf is more aesthetically pleasing (and yes, Astroturf stays green no matter what, even in the middle of winter).

I still prefer grass rights-of-way, but Astroturf would have been a good compromise.
 

Rainforest

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The western section of Finch LRT (Keele to Humber College) has a sensible stop spacing; probably, close to optimal. Removing a stop saves about 40 s on average. Thus, removing say 5 stops would save only 3.5 min of travel time. It is impossible to remove many more stops on such a short route, as we would start losing major connections.

A saving of 3.5 min would not make any riders happier, while the locals who lose stops will be unhappy and the total ridership might go down as a result.

When we start considering an extended Finch LRT, hopefully all the way to the eastern edge of the city, then it will make sense to consider wider stop spacing on the new section.
 

Adjei

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The only stops that I can see being removed are Stevenson, and maybe Arrow Road and Driftwood...Where are all these stops which could be removed?
 

Steve X

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The western section of Finch LRT (Keele to Humber College) has a sensible stop spacing; probably, close to optimal. Removing a stop saves about 40 s on average. Thus, removing say 5 stops would save only 3.5 min of travel time. It is impossible to remove many more stops on such a short route, as we would start losing major connections.

A saving of 3.5 min would not make any riders happier, while the locals who lose stops will be unhappy and the total ridership might go down as a result.

When we start considering an extended Finch LRT, hopefully all the way to the eastern edge of the city, then it will make sense to consider wider stop spacing on the new section.
By removing those stops, some people would end up walking 5 extra minutes. Plus if the traffic signal is still there, I don't see how they'll save 40sec.
 

APTA-2048

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The only stops that I can see being removed are Stevenson, and maybe Arrow Road and Driftwood...Where are all these stops which could be removed?
I agree. Compared to the numerous stops the 36 already makes, what's planned seems rational.
Perhaps the rationale for Stevenson was to save people in Mt Olive a long walk to Albion or Kipling.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I agree. Compared to the numerous stops the 36 already makes, what's planned seems rational.
Perhaps the rationale for Stevenson was to save people in Mt Olive a long walk to Albion or Kipling.

Off the top of my head, it was explained in the EA that Stevenson had a cluster of high density apartment buildings and a shopping mall. So building a stop at Stevenson brought a lot more people within walking distance of Finch Line, although there was another stop at a major intersection not very far away. The reasoning seems sound to be, though I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to removing the stop.
 

Tuck

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I'm conflicted on the topic of stop spacing. Not just on this line, but Sheppard East and Eglinton East too. They're just so damn close together. How far apart are other cities setting their stops? I haven't taken a close look, I'll admit, but at a glance it looks like they are much further apart.

These Toronto LRTs seem to not be aiming for a very high bar (i.e true rapid transit), but rather as just a higher capacity, somewhat more reliable bus. And considering much of the anti-LRT rhetoric has been "They're just fancy streetcars," Toronto really isn't doing themselves any favours by basically proving them right. Its not that bad on Finch, but in particular, the spacing on the planned Sheppard East is ridiculous. That isn't rapid transit.

Its fine to say "We did the math and the extra stop spacing doesn't really add much more time when you account for the time it takes more people to board at each stop." (Assuming those TTC numbers aren't just a BS way to justify not having to run busses along the same corridor). But it sure does make the experience of riding the LRT more painful - especially if they screw up the traffic priority, which in all likelihood, they will. Like on the waterfront, like on St. Clair, like on Spadina. And the experience of the service matters. Rapid Transit shouldn't just appeal to people who have no other choice, but to everyone as a viable means of transportation.

Selling these LRT lines as rapid transit and then treating them as a high end bus service is wrong. I honestly don't give a damn if they need to run busses along the same route to make up for it - they do it on the other rapid transit routes, they can do it on this one too.

The stop spacing might be fine if they really go in on transit priority. But you're damning these lines long term after any expansions across the city, as getting across the city in them will be a mind numbing endeavour. I'd say the spacing should be now smaller than what is done on the BD line.

EDIT: To be clear, I am aware of the drawbacks of all this, of course. It would cost more money to run additional busses, and less stops = less immediate access. But again, this is supposed to be a rapid transit line. That's what it boils down to. And those just happen to be drawbacks of all rapid transit. I don't think a jack-of-all-trades, master of none approach is right here. They need to decide, is this a rapid transit route, or is it a local route.
 
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superman

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Tuck, I did a quick analysis of numbers earlier!

=====
LA Gold Line 1.8 km per stop with parts elevated
Calgary C train 1.3 km per stop
LA Expo Line 1.3 km per stop with parts elevated
Waterloo LRT 1.2 km per stop
Ottawa LRT 1.0 km per stop with parts underground
Mississauga LRT 1.0 km per stop
-----
Finch LRT 0.6 km per stop with no grade separation
Sheppard LRT 0.5 km per stop with no grade separation
=====

But agreed. If this is just a local service bus replacement tram (nothing wrong with that if busses are overflowing and BRT won't help), then we shouldn't be misleading saying its a good replacement for the Sheppard Subway, which is much more of a rapid service.

But if it is meant to be a crosstown connector (seems to be sold as such), then spacing/signal priority/operations really needs to be looked at.

If Finch and Eglinton East doesn't live up to the hype, there's no way the other LRT lines will get built.


I'm conflicted on the topic of stop spacing. Not just on this line, but Sheppard East and Eglinton East too. They're just so damn close together. How far apart are other cities setting their stops? I haven't taken a close look, I'll admit, but at a glance it looks like they are much further apart.

These Toronto LRTs seem to not be aiming for a very high bar (i.e true rapid transit), but rather as just a higher capacity, somewhat more reliable bus. And considering much of the anti-LRT rhetoric has been "They're just fancy streetcars," Toronto really isn't doing themselves any favours by basically proving them right. Its not that bad on Finch, but in particular, the spacing on the planned Sheppard East is ridiculous. That isn't rapid transit.

Its fine to say "We did the math and the extra stop spacing doesn't really add much more time when you account for the time it takes more people to board at each stop." (Assuming those TTC numbers aren't just a BS way to justify not having to run busses along the same corridor). But it sure does make the experience of riding the LRT more painful - especially if they screw up the traffic priority, which in all likelihood, they will. Like on the waterfront, like on St. Clair, like on Spadina. And the experience of the service matters. Rapid Transit shouldn't just appeal to people who have no other choice, but to everyone as a viable means of transportation.

Selling these LRT lines as rapid transit and then treating them as a high end bus service is wrong. I honestly don't give a damn if they need to run busses along the same route to make up for it - they do it on the other rapid transit routes, they can do it on this one too.

The stop spacing might be fine if they really go in on transit priority. But you're damning these lines long term after any expansions across the city, as getting across the city in them will be a mind numbing endeavour. I'd say the spacing should be now smaller than what is done on the BD line.

EDIT: To be clear, I am aware of the drawbacks of all this, of course. It would cost more money to run additional busses, and less stops = less immediate access. But again, this is supposed to be a rapid transit line. That's what it boils down to. And those just happen to be drawbacks of all rapid transit. I don't think a jack-of-all-trades, master of none approach is right here. They need to decide, is this a rapid transit route, or is it a local route.
 

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