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Miller will not be running for Mayor, How will this affect Public Transit?

nfitz

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Finch west and Eglinton maybe. But Don Mills, Jane and Sheppard East? Congested? Please. Sheppard East ia not even congested during rush hour past Markham.
I take Don Mills every day; it's congested. I haven't taken Sheppard east of Don Mills during rush-hour since the 1980s ... but it was congested between Don Mills and Victoria Park back then! (Don Mills actually runs better than when I took it back in the 1980s ... the bus lanes really help ... but there is still too much traffic for the buses, without bunching, packed buses, etc.).

I confess I'm not as familiar with Jane in peak, but given that the it has about the same number of passengers as Don Mills, is a shorter route (to Steeles), and is more frequent; I have a hard time believing that it doesn't have similiar issues, and is at capacity.
 

doady

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Then what we'd get is a downtown relief line, and a Yonge subway.

And we'd still have the congestion issues on Sheppard, Finch, Don Mills, Jane, and Eglinton.
If congestion is such a big deal, then build some bus lanes and signal priority. Articulated buses and all door boarding. Lots of options out there. Spending 10 billion dollars simply to relive congestion is just dumb, especially if that 10 billion is not even going to be spent on the most congested corridors.
 

scarberiankhatru

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If congestion is such a big deal, then build some bus lanes and signal priority. Articulated buses and all door boarding. Lots of options out there. Spending 10 billion dollars simply to relive congestion is just dumb, especially if that 10 billion is not even going to be spent on the most congested corridors.
Hell, even after the "Transit City Bus Plan," Finch East and Dufferin will be basically unchanged other than about two queue-jumps for Finch and a peak express branch for Dufferin, even though pouring more buses onto Dufferin may not exactly be the best way to solve problems and only a thousand or so new riders a day on Dufferin are expected. A lot more can be done with buses on Finch East, including diverting people to GO, but it makes absolutely no sense to keep failing with buses on routes like Dufferin.
 

GenerationW

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I'm pointing out that there are severe funding constraints on transit and that the provincial handout so far has been extremely generous, but that it's not realistic to expect even more considering the record deficits. I think that -- yes -- many posters here are working in the unlimited budget mode and that that doesn't make any sense.

50 km of subways is impossible in the economic climate we find ourselves in. Canceling the TC and using that money (by the way, that may not be doable) won't fund you anywhere close to that. Doing so would increase ridership in one sector of the city; yet the whole point of TC is that it improves transit for a wide swath of the city that currently has subpar (to say the least) service.
As far as funding goes, the Sheppard LRT was the first thing TC wanted funding for (insert theory here as to why), and Harper's feds (Harper!) came on board right away, so one can speculate that Ottawa (in addition to the Province) would have contributed significantly if Toronto had proposed a long-term, extensive subway expansion. Now, we'll never know.

And during this recession, our governments have been throwing around a lot of money in a time of supposedly severe funding constraints.

Last I checked, TC is not causing the cancellation of the YUS extension, either.
Spadina is a done deal but Yonge won't happen if Giambrone gets his way.
 

fiendishlibrarian

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With Miller gone, Giambrone should be back to dusting off ancient Egyptian shitters. Fuck him, we'll soon get real leadership at the TTC again. Or at least better than this ineffectual, timid little clown.
 

junctionist

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Miller's time in office has been paradoxical: he payed so much lip service to transit, but will leave office having not opened so much as a single new subway station. The St. Clair West LRT proved to be a negative experience, and the early suggestions of it being a "model for Transit City" proved untrue.

I can't see Miller not running for mayor again as potentially negative; it's not hard to improve on what he did. If a right winger or populist opened five kilometres of subway every five years we'd probably be better off. Everyone knew that public transit was very beneficial prior to Miller's election; he just keeps saying it while people packed onto the extremely limited rapid transit available to them.
 

salvius

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With potentially 5 bus routes continuing to run along Sheppard, that photo might be recreated next decade even with the LRT (which could easily be bunched, too).



Density doesn't matter...riders do. With all that density in central places like the old city of Toronto, how do you explain Museum or Old Mill or Chester or Summerhill compared to Warden or Wilson? Is North York Centre or Yorkdale not dense enough? This forum should have a feature where the words "dense" and "density" are automatically replaced by "kittens" or "boobies" due to rampant misuse.



If budgets were unlimited why wouldn't someone propose 5000 km of subways instead of an obviously reasonable ballpark figure like 50km that would obviously get built over a large number of years and not instantaneously? Oh, that's right, nothing's obvious when you launch into rants without even reading what you're responding to.

If Transfer City funds could be transferred (and they can't, but that doesn't prevent 'what if?' past or future scenarios), yes, you would get dozens of km of subways, possibly over 50km if construction/design was controlled better (we're talking about theoreticals here, meaning not always tunnelling under grass or building 25-bay bus terminals). Trenched segments, shallow cut'n'cover segments, even some elevated portions...grade separated transit does not need to be that expensive.

And where is this "one sector" of the city that 50km of subway can hide in? Don't you realize how long 50km is and how many priority neighbourhoods that can hit? That could be a whole DRL, a whole Eglinton subway, an extension to STC, and leave a few km left over. Or any other combination. It'd only benefit several million people per day...how horrible and IMPOSSIBLE! The city would probably never even need 50km of subway...it's hard to justify that quantity once you factor in GO improvements.

Newsflash: future budget problems affect lines on the books, too. If 50km of subways is impossible (and it isn't), that means the DRL is impossible, the Jane LRT is impossible, etc. An important project like the DRL could have been underway instead of in the books and far from a sure thing in the next decade or more, if Miller had focused on it instead of, say, three light rail lines to Malvern. So much money is being sunk into Eglinton's ballooning budget that even the rest of your precious Transit City is suffering and may never be built. Hopefully, the next mayor won't make these sorts of miserable mistakes. If it means cutting back on multiple redundant lines to Malvern or cutting unaffordable lines like Jane that an astounding less than two thousand people per hour will use, then so be it...the city will benefit. At least with Miller gone, there'll be one less person screaming "subways are impossible!" even as blank cheques come and go and more money is spent on other projects.
Well I certainly don't think you can build 50 km of subway for the price of TC (and neither does anyone else), so I'm talking about current funding commitments and what that could fund in terms of subways.

In any case, let's see a budget breakdown and a time line so we can keep talking about reasonable 50 km. Keep in mind the provincial deficit until at least 2014-2015, and an election in-between. If the budget is doable, let's see how.

Eglinton is ballooning precisely because it's being tunneled, and the tunneled part could turn to subway capacity if there is an eventual need.

You are right in that future TC lines have some levels of commitment, but they indeed could be gone too (say, with a change of government). TC is certainly not secure. I would not cheer too much if a large section of it doesn't get built, though. Money isn't going to be freed up for many more billions for extra subway lines. Cheques are far from 'blank' when it comes to government (TC certainly wasn't that) -- perceived economic excess in a time of scarcity can certainly sink this government, and they have other ridings than Toronto to worry about.
 

salvius

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As far as funding goes, the Sheppard LRT was the first thing TC wanted funding for (insert theory here as to why), and Harper's feds (Harper!) came on board right away, so one can speculate that Ottawa (in addition to the Province) would have contributed significantly if Toronto had proposed a long-term, extensive subway expansion. Now, we'll never know.
But this is nothing but speculation. TC is exactly what was politically palatable - large expansion without spending anywhere near the money for very extensive subway construction. Politically smart without costing an arm and a leg.


And during this recession, our governments have been throwing around a lot of money in a time of supposedly severe funding constraints.

Spadina is a done deal but Yonge won't happen if Giambrone gets his way.
I'd say they've far from thrown money away (addressing a small part of the current infrastructure deficit certainly doesn't qualify in my books), and we will doubtlessly see some cuts in the near future along with perhaps higher taxes.

The province and the feds had a chance to help with the streetcar contract, but certainly neither level stepped up to the plate. A streetcar contract didn't get a cent from the Feds (and it's far from just Miller's fault) and the province wasn't interested in funding a larger amount for it (though they may still give some more money).
 

Fresh Start

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Just to set the record straight, 50 kms of new subways is not an outrageous request by any means. With stimulus spending being thrown willy-nilly at munipalities, in addition to an already pledged $17.5 billion dollars for the GTA under MoveOntario 2020, we more than have the economic means with which to think big and plan to build something that will still outpace ridership growth even 50 years from now. Streetcars in suburbia will not meet projected demand levels for very long, which ultimately will lead constituents to desire the service be replaced by a subway anyhow. Only by then the cost to build will further inflate, meaning less kms overall would come to fruition.

A 50 kilometre subway initiative, or roughly $200 million/km would only amount to $10 billion. Transit City is estimated to cost anywhere from $9-$13 billion. With apologies to Finch West, a corridor which just as well could survive with improved bus schedules and perhaps introduction of short-turn "tripper" routes or BRT along the Finch Hydro Corridor, every other TC corridor in part would directly benefit from a fair distribution of subways across the city.

Hypothetically speaking:
  • Eglinton subway- Pearson to OSC = 20 kms
  • DRL subway- Dundas West to OSC = 17 kms
  • Bloor-Danforth subway- Kennedy to Scarborough Centre = 6 kms
  • Sheppard subway- Fairview to Agincourt = 5 kms
  • Yonge subway- Finch to Steeles = 2 kms

An abridged Eglinton East bus could more than handle the lower-density areas east of the DVP. And in lieu of a Malvern LRT, the Kingston BRT could commence straight past Eglinton, following the alignments of the 86 and 38 buses to the Scarborough Centre instead, a destination more riders would want a connection to. Jane would be dissected by several major subway/LRT/express bus lines such that residents simply need feed into whichever interchange's closest to them. Ditto for Don Mills. East of Agincourt ridership tapers off on the 85 bus, so even prioritizing higher-order for this area is subject. Hence a balancing act between implermented new express bus, light-rail and subway right across the city would best benefit the transit needs of most communities and high-demand urban centres.

So you see, just restructuring how the City/TTC's going about improving public transit would make available more money for subways. Not to mention use of P3s and tax revenues is also a funding possibility. It's really not at a loss to prioritize this one mode over the other, as I'd gladly wait the few extra construction years if the end-result is a better quality service overall.
 

nfitz

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Spending 10 billion dollars simply to relive congestion is just dumb, especially if that 10 billion is not even going to be spent on the most congested corridors.
10-billion? What does the roadwork portion of the Sheppard cost, without the underground link from Consumers to Don Mills? About 600-million isn't it?
 

Fresh Start

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Well I certainly don't think you can build 50 km of subway for the price of TC (and neither does anyone else), so I'm talking about current funding commitments and what that could fund in terms of subways.

Eglinton is ballooning precisely because it's being tunneled, and the tunneled part could turn to subway capacity if there is an eventual need.
The tunneled section's already affixed at $2.2 billion. It's the new costs being tacked on for the airport alignment segment that's causing the price hike. And subway demand level's already there~ some 150,000 riders use Eglinton everyday (routes 32, 34, 54, 86, 100, 116 plus several others including transfers). Given the proximity of Davisville Yard to the corridor and demand for one-fare direct rapid transit airport service; it should be a no brainer to make the Eglinton Line compatible with the City's other subways.

Oh and again, Transit City is reaching into eight figures territory now, with what's promising to only be slightly faster than a local bus: 17 kph vs. 23 kph vs. over 35 kph for subways. If we're looking solely at total new kms of track, then yes Transit City is better. But not when the streetcars-in-suburbia plan misses key nodes, isn't in a private ROW and still lacks signal priority at lights. It'd appear we're paying a whole lot for little improvement over the status quo.
 

nfitz

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Oh and again, Transit City is reaching into eight figures territory now, with what's promising to only be slightly faster than a local bus: 17 kph vs. 23 kph vs. over 35 kph for subways.
Our subway doesn't do 35 km/hr ... not on average (which is where the 23 km/hr comes from). It generally averages 30 km/hr. Only the SRT averages 35 km/hr.
 

scarberiankhatru

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Well I certainly don't think you can build 50 km of subway for the price of TC (and neither does anyone else), so I'm talking about current funding commitments and what that could fund in terms of subways.

In any case, let's see a budget breakdown and a time line so we can keep talking about reasonable 50 km. Keep in mind the provincial deficit until at least 2014-2015, and an election in-between. If the budget is doable, let's see how.

Eglinton is ballooning precisely because it's being tunneled, and the tunneled part could turn to subway capacity if there is an eventual need.

You are right in that future TC lines have some levels of commitment, but they indeed could be gone too (say, with a change of government). TC is certainly not secure. I would not cheer too much if a large section of it doesn't get built, though. Money isn't going to be freed up for many more billions for extra subway lines. Cheques are far from 'blank' when it comes to government (TC certainly wasn't that) -- perceived economic excess in a time of scarcity can certainly sink this government, and they have other ridings than Toronto to worry about.
A budget breakdown where the line is 100% tunnelled and every station has a massive bus terminal and enormous mezzanine or a budget breakdown where lines are not massively overbuilt, not 100% tunnelled, and not designed to inflate as necessary to eat up available dollars and contingency? Will stations be built like Leslie and have 3 or 4 exits on the same street corner and no exits on the other 3 corners? Someone could propose a gold-plated subway under Queen Street that costs half a billion per km, or someone could propose using the Richview Corridor or all that space along Don Mills and it'd cost under half that. Cut and cover, trench, elevate...you'll save a fortune in station costs and perhaps even get a few stations only a short gentle ramp from the sidewalk. Economies of scale could start to kick in if permitted - the Spadina and Yonge extensions are being carried out by such compartmentalized groups that they'll have few architects or contractors or anything else in common.

You've already decided to limit this theoretical subway project to existing funded parts of Transit City but no one has made this distinction until you needed a constraint to make the task "impossible." With over $8B in funding at least another $4-5B will end up being necessary to finish lines like Jane and Don Mills and Morningside. $13B buys a lot of subway even if padded figures like $300M/km are used and over 50km if $250M/km is used. Getting it even lower could be done but not without some management/philosophy shakeups. Even $8B buys a lot if the line is designed with the slightest care for containing costs, such as even minimal effort containing the almost $60M/km of contingency added to the Spadina extension. A full $12M/km of that is inflation added to the contingency, which exists partially to guard against inflation and translates to $600M over 50km. Money well spent!

Eglinton was only ever going to be tunnelled...that was known before they released ridiculously and intentionally low estimates.

If going from virtually no funding to many billions in fully funded projects in the blink of an eye is not a blank cheque, nothing is...projects couldn't be rubber stamped fast enough. Everyone knows that an additional one or two billion dollars stretched out over a decade or more is indeed relatively trivial.

But this is nothing but speculation. TC is exactly what was politically palatable - large expansion without spending anywhere near the money for very extensive subway construction. Politically smart without costing an arm and a leg.
Transit City is so bloated only part of it has been funded...it's vastly more expensive than what would have been spent on subways. It's so expensive we're only building the arm...the leg will have to wait for another funding windfall. Of course, less money could be spent on a 'torso' of subway projects like the DRL and Danforth to STC, but the vision of cafes and galleries and smiling youths that don't join gangs won out over evil subways and their high density developments and speedy travel.
 
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acetradamus

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Keithz... I take the 85 sheppard bus everyday during rush hours, and off-peak from Meadowvale to Don Mills and back. It's incorrect for you to say the whole of Sheppard East is not congested, simply because traffic east of Markham Rd isn't. Thats pretty much self explanatory once you consider Rouge Park and Malvern with its relatively high proportion of green space begin to eliminate much of the useable land once you pass Markham Rd. Also there is still a ton of undeveloped land between Sheppard Ave and the 401 between Morningside and Meadowvale.

I probably got the most experience travelling the Sheppard corridor than anybody else on this forum. I've been taking the 85/Sheppard Subway/196B route to York for the past 5 years. I average about 25-35 trips per week along Sheppard of various distances, mostly the entire route (Meadowvale to Don Mills) and at all times throughout the day.

I can tell you that in the winter (normal conditions) traffic westbound is stop and go at Meadowvale from about 730/745am - 845am.

During the school year every westbound bus between 715am - 830am is at capacity either just before or after Neilson Rd. If the bus is coming from Rouge Hill, it is completely filled by Morningside. I board at Dean Park and there are easily lines of 15+ people building up every few minutes at peak times. The stops between Meadowvale and Conlins Rd average close to 10 people per stop, and this is with frequent service. It may look like a low density area from Google Maps but that doesn't tell you anything about the people living there... 97% visible minorities and tons of youth... minorities who can afford new houses in the 416 are definetly working people (a lot of them are going downtown) and certainly don't shy from transit (if you take the bus regularly in northeast Scarborough, you will understand that passengers are atleast 90% visible minority). There is no high school in walking distance east of Morningside Ave, you got kids trying to get to about 5 high schools and young people going Seneca@Don Mills, Centennial, and YorkU.

The buses leave people at the stops. There is no relief until McCowan, when a good 30-40% of the passengers get off. If you live between Markham Rd and McCowan, you are watching multiple buses leave you at the your stop. Congestion is very real along the majority of Sheppard Ave during the morning rush and renders travel times by transit extremely unreasonable for such a major corridor.

The transit plan that makes the most sense for Sheppard is extend the subway along Sheppard to Agincourt GO and then south to STC. LRT or some form of upgraded bus system (express buses, brt lanes, signal priority) would be good enough for the remainder of Sheppard.

Still... I respect Miller and I am satisfied with the Sheppard LRT as currently planned because at the bare minimum, transit will no longer be enslaved by road congestion during peak hours. I recognize the need for faster trips along some kind of northern 416 east-west corridor, but I feel the majority of long distance trips in the future will still be downtown oriented. Sheppard corridor trips will be well served by the LRT, although it could have been done cheaper with true BRT.
 

acetradamus

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scaberian needs to chill with his sarcasm regarding cafes and youth improvement.

Regardless of whats being touted as the possible planning policies and benefits of the Sheppard LRT by politicians, intelligent level-headed transit advocates will look beyond the gamesmanship of selling a transit project to the public and partners in funding.

Transit City isn't the first mega transit plan Toronto has seen. There is a good likelihood the entire scheme won't be built out completely. If all we do get from it is Sheppard LRT, some kind of Bloor-Danforth rapid transit extension to Sheppard (subway, SRT, LRT), and Eglinton LRT... then this would be acceptable additions to the TTC network for the time being.

This is considering the massive levels of debt all forms of government are projecting over the next several years. This is considering the massive level of infrastructure work backlog across the entire country. Money is needed everywhere and for everything right now... we can't expect logic (Sheppard should be completed, DRL should be built, Eglinton should be subway) to magically be married to funds. Yes, the dollar figures for the entire Transit City plan sounds expensive, but its unlikely all of that money will be spent. And its even more unlikely that the entire Sheppard subway from Downsview-STC, the DRL, Spadina ext, Yonge ext, Eglinton subway would all be built in within the next 30 years or more given the funding dynamics of convincing federal and provincial politicians who clearly have more items of importance on their agenda than transit funding in Toronto.

Its not as easy as just asking for the same dollars for subways instead of Transit City LRT... the current political climate outside of Quebec is not favorable to subway funding.
 

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