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Ontario Line (was Relief Line South, in Design)

adys123

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The costs are being cut by having a good chunk of it be overground. The original DRL was entirely underground cut using deep-boring technology with large cavernous stations planned. By having key stations especially the LSE corridor above ground, you significantly reduce the cost since you no longer have to literally tunnel underneath the Don River.
It's true that above ground construction costs much less, but, there is significantly more complexity with the frequent grade changes. I'm not convinced that the whole line can be had for 10 B, which in reality is only 3-4 B more than RLS.
 

TheTigerMaster

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The Ontario Gov (seemingly at least) is not playing a zero-sum game with the 4 priority lines they are pushing. They are pushing all 4 forward at a reasonable pace (pandemic included). They have improved the SSE (more stations, longer, finally reaches Shepherd ), the EWLRT (complete grade separation, protection for the future capacity to the airport employment area), and the Ontario Line ( longer phase 1, more stations in phase 1, shallower stations, ability to be run close to GO Trains, ground level and elevated in some sections to save costs).

As a transit enthusiast, I can't complain about getting more grade-separated transit. Decreasing the capacity of one line by 15 percent but having it built sooner and faster is not a bad trade-off.

I agree that 15% (about 4500 PPDPH) is a significant amount. But starting an Ontario Line system in Toronto makes adding more lines easier in the future. As I keep repeating, look at Vancouver. They have built so much transit in such a short amount of time because they use smaller trains/stations. They even have stations fully funded by developers because they can build them so cheaply. ($40 million for elevated, under $100 million for underground) The Skytrain system is lower capacity than what Toronto needs, but there is a middle ground here. We don't need to build huge stations like the Spadina Extension when we can built more reasonably sized stations faster.
I'd be really curious to see an analysis of how train size would actually impact the project costs here. I'd expect longer trains to have a substantial impact, no doubt, as the station boxes themselves would have to be larger, but I wonder how much of a financial impact we'd see from wider trains. We know that tunnel boring costs aren't very sensitive to tunnel diameters, and I suspect that adding a few feet of width to the stations wouldn't have an outsized impact on cost either.

Also I largely agree with what you've written above, but I don't believe for a second that Toronto's relative lack of transit expansion had much to do with cost

Between 1954 and 2020, Toronto has built a grand total of two rapid transit lines of substantial length. For most of that period, transit expansion has been relatively dirt cheap. More than anything, the issue has been the tremendous degree of political meddling, and a lack of commitment. The Ontario Line, until proven otherwise, is a particularly egregious continuation of this long standing legacy.

We've seen this story play out over and over again: (1) new government comes in, (2) scraps all the old plans and (3) proposes shiny and ambitious new plans. A few years go by, (4) costs are higher than expected, (5) lines are truncated and delayed indefinitely, (6) until the next government comes in and scraps all the old plans. We are currently at step 3, and will likely be at step 4 by mid next year. Time will tell if we reach step 6.

I have absolutely no idea how the Ontario Line is going to progress from here. But depending on its fate, its either going to be looked at as:

A) A brilliant shakeup of the transit building process in the GTHA
or
B) Yet another underhanded cancellation of a well-developed transit plan

To date, this government has achieved nothing more than the cancelation of the Relief Line, when, after a century of planning, we were closer than ever to getting built. Until we see contracts signed and shovels in the ground, there is nothing celebratory about that. We've been through this same song and dance too many times.
 
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CaskoChan

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We've seen this story play out over and over again: (1) new government comes in, (2) scraps all the old plans and (3) proposes shiny and ambitious new plans. A few years go by, (4) costs are higher than expected, (5) lines are truncated and delayed indefinitely, (6) until the next government comes in and scraps all the old plans. We are currently at step 3, and will likely be at step 4 by mid next year. Time will tell if we reach step 6.
The cycle never ends.
32f.jpg
 

syn

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You are right. It is backward. The Ontario Line should have a high capacity and minimal capacity handicaps.

In an ideal world, I would elevate the whole SSE and EWLRT alignments and use the money saved towards expanding the Ontario Line infrastructure and having it go all the way to Shepperd.

For now, we all just need to wait to see what gets put into the 3P contract/proposal.

I'd be really curious to see an analysis of how train size would actually impact the project costs here. I'd expect longer trains to have a substantial impact, no doubt, as the station boxes themselves would have to be larger, but I wonder how much of a financial impact we'd see from wider trains. We know that tunnel boring costs aren't very sensitive to tunnel diameters, and I suspect that adding a few feet of width to the stations wouldn't have an outsized impact on cost either.

Also I largely agree with what you've written above, but I don't believe for a second that Toronto's relative lack of transit expansion had much to do with cost

Between 1954 and 2020, Toronto has built a grand total of two rapid transit lines of substantial length. For most of that period, transit expansion has been relatively dirt cheap. More than anything, the issue has been the tremendous degree of political meddling, and a lack of commitment. The Ontario Line, until proven otherwise, is a particularly egregious continuation of this long standing legacy.

We've seen this story play out over and over again: (1) new government comes in, (2) scraps all the old plans and (3) proposes shiny and ambitious new plans. A few years go by, (4) costs are higher than expected, (5) lines are truncated and delayed indefinitely, (6) until the next government comes in and scraps all the old plans. We are currently at step 3, and will likely be at step 4 by mid next year. Time will tell if we reach step 6.

I have absolutely no idea how the Ontario Line is going to progress from here. But depending on its fate, its either going to be looked at as:

A) A brilliant shakeup of the transit building process in the GTHA
or
B) Yet another underhanded cancellation of a well-developed transit plan

To date, this government has achieved nothing more than the cancelation of the Relief Line, when, after a century of planning, we were closer than ever to getting built. Until we see contracts signed and shovels in the ground, there is nothing celebratory about that. We've been through this same song and dance too many times.
That's what's disappointing to me about all of this. Ford, who has the suburban vote, is in a position to build a full length, full capacity DRL and sell it to his constituents. They're probably the people who will benefit from it most.

Instead, he's fast tracking the Eglinton West LRT extension (in his neighbourhood) and the OL has already slipped.

There's no problem with fast tracking the Eglinton West LRT, but why isn't that being done for the most important project?

Can't help but feel so far things are following the usual pattern.
 

Coolstar

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What bugs is that the EWLRT doesn't even have an airport connection.
It all depends on the progress of Union Station West at Pearson because Metrolinx is depending on that transit hub to bring the EWLRT line there. It's supposed to open in the early 2030s which is right around the time the extension is supposed to finish.

I wonder if they have a backup plan of bringing the extension to Terminals 1 and 3 directly instead, in case the transit hub doesn't work out or extend and upgrade the LINK train both directions as a cheaper alternative.
 
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Johnny Au

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122 years for the DRL so far, with 2 cancellation for construction in building it so far. Maybe come 2040 we will see it built
What will come first?

The Ontario Line opening or the Leafs winning their first Stanley Cup since 1967 (especially with expansion teams after the Seattle Kraken that would mathematically lower the Leafs' chance of winning the Stanley Cup)?
 

anb

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If this line gets cancelled, then i’m officially giving up on the provincial government. By now there should’ve already been lines everywhere

Anyways i hope this isn’t the city’s only way to relief the yonge line. There’s so many other
ways it can work. Build a line along dufferin or bathurst or jarvis/mount pleasant and have it curve east to bayview or don mills all from downtown to the eglinton or sheppard line. Extend the spadina streetcar to the crosstown, so it can be a true lrt like line. Go rer is already doing well, but it helps less people in toronto
 

Bureaucromancer

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I wish they kept the Jane LRT on the books, but it seems they dropped it for a BRT.
Honestly, with the amount of tunneling that was required for this to be more than a glorified streetcar, BRT-lite seems a lot more reasonable in the short to medium term. At the same time, I feel like there is more to gain from a streetcar on Dufferin than Jane, and rapid transit near the 427 is more important strategically than either an only quasi rapid line on Dufferin or Jane, let alone a Jane subway.
 

CaskoChan

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Honestly, with the amount of tunneling that was required for this to be more than a glorified streetcar, BRT-lite seems a lot more reasonable in the short to medium term. At the same time, I feel like there is more to gain from a streetcar on Dufferin than Jane, and rapid transit near the 427 is more important strategically than either an only quasi rapid line on Dufferin or Jane, let alone a Jane subway.
Was the Jane LRT going to be tunneled?
 

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