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Ontario Line (was Relief Line South, in Design)

warrens

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I mean it's not a horrible station placement, definitely far more useful than the basket case that is Highway 407 station. However for those who live in the far back of your image, many would rather take the 100 Flemingdon Park bus rather than walk 400+ metres (especially in winter). The area is rather wind swept due to the high rises, I would presume most people would not want to walk any significant distance in the dead of winter, to or from the station. I am also sure that the 100 Flemingdon Park bus will terminate at the new bus terminal at "Science Centre" station with a routing something like this:
View attachment 275250

It's a bit odd but from what I've seen travelling across the city for years is that people are more likely to take a connecting bus than walk to a station in the more suburban parts of the city. This is very prominent in winter and on trips originating at any given station, there will be a larger cachement area with people walking to the station but far fewer people would walk from the station. Is there any possibility that the parking lot to the immediate west of the "Flemingdon Park" station has any chance of redevelopment? I know it's for the Science Centre but I generally don't see it used apart from school buses before the pandemic.

Good post and good points. I didn't give any thought to the existing 100 bus. I think you're right, this will completely change when the OL opens. Aruably there will be no need to go all the way down to Broadview anymore, so maybe the south end of the route could loop around Laird and Wicksteed instead. The current 56 Laird bus would then be completely obsolete.
 

W. K. Lis

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Minton Place ends at the hillside. The portal could appear on the hillside next to Don Valley Parkway below.

1602269417293.png

From link. A bicycle land and pedestrian walkway could join the bridge at this point, over the hillside.
 

warrens

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I'd say the OL is better than the RLS, but the OL is decidedly inferior to the RLN + RLS. The RLS + RLN remains the only proposal we've seen that can effectively relieve Line 1. Both the RLS and the OL fall well short of providing adequate Yonge Line relief (only the RLN would have the Yonge Line operating within capacity), and it's questionable whether or not the OL can ever be extended to provided Yonge Line relief without going overcapacity itself.

This is still a largely theoretical argument because we don't know what the OL rolling stock or configuration will be.

But, assuming fully-auto 100m x 3.0m trains with 90 second headway as proposed in the IBC, the difference is not really all that substantial, is it? Let's play with the math a bit.

Projected OL capacity is 30,000 passengers per hour per direction vs. 33,000 pphpd for Line 1 TR trainets with current headways. That's at "comfortable" levels, with "sardine can" levels getting closer to 33,000 for OL and well above 40,000.

That's a 10% difference based on today's Line 1 headways. Theoretically ATC will push Line 1 headways down sometime this decade... let's say comfortable Line 1 capacity increases by ~10% to 37,000 pphpd.

If RLS + RLN replicated that exactly, we could move 74,000 people towards downtown in one hour between the two routes. That's not significantly higher than the 67,000 (30k OL + 37k Line 1) that should be attainable with the current plans. 67,000 pphpd is not likely to happen before the 2050s regardless of technology selected today.

If still more capacity is needed 30 years from now, then build another line. It's not like this OL is the last transit line ever.
 

TheTigerMaster

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This is still a largely theoretical argument because we don't know what the OL rolling stock or configuration will be.

But, assuming fully-auto 100m x 3.0m trains with 90 second headway as proposed in the IBC, the difference is not really all that substantial, is it? Let's play with the math a bit.

Projected OL capacity is 30,000 passengers per hour per direction vs. 33,000 pphpd for Line 1 TR trainets with current headways. That's at "comfortable" levels, with "sardine can" levels getting closer to 33,000 for OL and well above 40,000.

That's a 10% difference based on today's Line 1 headways. Theoretically ATC will push Line 1 headways down sometime this decade... let's say comfortable Line 1 capacity increases by ~10% to 37,000 pphpd.

If RLS + RLN replicated that exactly, we could move 74,000 people towards downtown in one hour between the two routes. That's not significantly higher than the 67,000 (30k OL + 37k Line 1) that should be attainable with the current plans. 67,000 pphpd is not likely to happen before the 2050s regardless of technology selected today.

If still more capacity is needed 30 years from now, then build another line. It's not like this OL is the last transit line ever.

As was discussed yesterday, 90 second headways are far from guaranteed. If the OL hits a still excellent, yet reasonably achievable headway of 110 seconds, it’s capacity drops to 23,400 pphpd (and keep in mind this frequently is still far better than anything that exists in Toronto currently). The projected peak demand of the RLN in 2041 was 20,000 pphpd, so the volume to capacity ratio of the OL would be in the danger zone.

If the headway, and capacity, and demand projections for the OL and RLN are spot on, everything with regards to an OL Northern extension will be fine. But this isn’t an exact science, and the headway and ridership projections will be off, as they almost always are. Transit operators will target 90 second headways, but only deliver 100 or 105 seconds. Projections might say 20,000 pphpd, but the realty will be 25,000 pphpd (just look at TYSSE, which is generating substantially more ridership than anticipated; these projections aren’t made using a crystal ball).

Anyone claiming with any degree of certainty that the OL will be able to handle the demand of a northern extension is deceiving you. There are way too many unknowns at this point to make that assertion. The probability is very high that the thing will be over capacity soon after the opening of a northern extension

The RLN @ 90 seconds would’ve been able to move about 44,000 pphpd, well above any conceivable demand on this corridor. But again, I’d never rely on those headways, so at more reliable headways of 110 seconds, it wouldve been able to serve 35,000 pphpd. Both figures would’ve been able to handle any conceivable demand on the corridor well, which is why we can count on the RLN to effectively relieve Yonge Line without going overcapacity itself. We absolutely cannot make the same assertion about the OL, regardless of what MX’s marketing material might say.
 
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slapped_chicken

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That's a pretty sick illustration, my initial expectations were of ford gifting us electrified cattle cars but that's way better :D

Speaking on the need of a second relief line, we'd probably debate on it till 2120 before it's built (unless Toronto experiences a drastic change in how it conducts transit expansion). Besides, assuming the alignment of a potential RL 2 veers further east than OL, is it reasonable to upgrade the Stoufville RER with more stations (*cough* smarttrack resurrected) or is that corridor too far east? I do feel kinda concerned now that once they extend this line beyond Eglinton, it's gonna be level 99 sardines at peak
 

warrens

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As was discussed yesterday, 90 second headways are far from guaranteed. If the OL hits a still excellent, yet reasonably achievable headway of 110 seconds, it’s capacity drops to 23,400 pphpd. The projected peak demand of the RLN in 2041 was 20,000 pphpd, so the volume to capacity ratio of the OL would be in the danger zone.

Strictly speaking that wouldn't be in the danger zone because it's still thousands below the low end of the "crowding level".

But whatever, that's a nickpick. Your post is built up around a belief that OL headways will be significantly worse than what is done elsewhere today, and that it'll never improve once the line opens. I know it feels like we're used to getting little more than gruel in Toronto, but that seems awfully pessimistic. Incremental headway improvements can and will happen, regardless of what the numbers are like in the first year.

And again, this isn't a difference between "problem" and "not a problem", it's solely a matter of "when". RLS + RLN would've become a sardine tin someday, too, if it didn't get good headway and if additional routes aren't built. Does it matter if it's 2045, 2055 or 2065? Not really.

The solution will always be the same: build more subways.
 

Steve X

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Interesting that the folks featured in the article at 158 Hopedale Ave are upset (the street number is visible in the image on the article) when it doesn't look like the OL and the portal will actually touch their property.

View attachment 275237
That said, I'm certainly not a construction expert/civil engineer so maybe a lot of land near the portal will be needed. Are the lines/portal on the Metrolinx map showing the OL route even to scale? cc @crs1026 @smallspy

Maybe this is why Metrolinx said in the letter that the property "may" be needed. So I'm a little surprised the neighbours at 156 Hopedale and 15 and 17 Minton Place weren't profiled. Although maybe they didn't move in so recently. I had to visualize this so my annotated maps below.

View attachment 275235

View attachment 275236
They need a space next to the portal to stage equipments and maybe install a crane. If they do need a crane, they can't have someone living right next to it as the risk is too high.
Since this will be the excavation shaft for the TBMs, like other excavation shafts, we can imagine how much space they'll need. Just having the property of the tunnel location isn't sufficient. The exact location hasn't been determined. Do hence these kinda letters saying maybe we'll need it.
 

aquateam

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This part of the UrbanToronto piece really struck me:

Maybe I'm missing something but this plan (the Ontario Line in general) seems pretty ill-considered compared to the Relief Line. I also wonder if the smaller, shorter trains are going to result in a Canada Line-type scenario where the Ontario Line will be running over capacity soon after opening. And all the added turns in the new alignment don't seem desirable from a speed/operational perspective.

The "Relief Line"/Ontario Line dichotomy doesn't 100% make sense since what Metrolinx/the media is calling the "Relief Line" is only the short downtown segment of the line. The rest of the alignment (north of Danforth) wasn't established yet and was in Metrolinx's domain (the "Relief Line North") anyway.

I think the Ontario Line is just getting worse publicity because it's coming from Ford. All the half-baked parts of the City's transit schemes don't get the same amount of negative publicity. I think it's phenomenal that, in a pandemic, with the world's largest subsovereign debt, we have a Conservative government that is spending tens of billions of dollars to expand our transit network. Just a few years ago the relief line was only showing up in long-range Metrolinx plans (25+years), now we are planning to get it in only 7 years.
1602268545412.png


The Relief Line South route had its own problems. Rapid transit planning involves tradeoffs between urban design and transportation engineering, and it can be problematic when it is too heavily weighted towards one aspect. The City handed off transit expansion planning from the TTC to City Planning a while ago, and it shows in their designs which tend to treat transportation objectives as secondary to "placemaking."

Downtown Segment

Both the RLS and OL follow the same artery (Queen) through the central section and have the same number of stops. IMO this is taking the worst part of the RLS work done and improving it slightly.

When the city was evaluating which east-west option to go with, they found that they would get 36% higher ridership with King, but went with Queen because it was cheaper to tunnel under the Don at Queen and because it served more priority neighbourhoods like Moss Park. The cost advantage went away when they decided to add a stop all the way south at east Harbour, but the Queen option remained preferred. Now we aren't even tunneling under the Don, and we are going to the rail corridor, but still veering up north to reach Queen.
1602270839092.png


The raison d'être of the Relief Line is to resolve dangerous overcrowding at the awkward interchange at Bloor-Yonge station, due to passenger flows from Line 2 on the north end of the Line 1 platform. The TTC is spending $1.1 billion to address this. And yet, the city seems to want to replicate the same style of interchange.

This would have been the interchange with Line 1 at Queen.
1602269179000.png


It would have been just as bad at Osgoode station. Both stations were in the inner part of the line 1 U, so that they could service Nathan Philips Square/Sheraton. It's a holdover from an earlier version of the RLS where a single station was planned at City Hall, in the "psychological heart" of Toronto (according to the RLS website.) To me this demonstrates how placemaking was prioritized over transportation.

1602271142752.png


The OL stations, in contrast, are both centered about the Line 1 stations. This means that there isn't the awkward spacing (800m from Yonge to Sherbourne RLS stations vs. 300 m Queen to Osgoode RLS stations.) and transferring will be a lot easier. Metrolinx says they want to directly put the trains in the lower concourse of Queen, which may not be possible given space constraints, but even if that is used as an intermediate concourse it's better than the 3-level directional transfer planned on the original RLS plan.

Moss Park station is basically the same; either way I'll get to take the OL to play hockey at Moss Park Arena.

Corktown station is a bit better located than Sumach. It's next to George Brown, closer to Distillery, and is surrounded by oceans of parking that will make juicy development sites. The parliament bus is also a more important connection. Sumach was located under a highway overpass and had an objective of "stitching the neighbourhood together."

1602272349559.png


It's unfortunate that OL doesn't have a station at Cherry, to connect with the future Waterfront East transit network as the Portlands is redeveloped. But that is a long-term concern, since the Don Mouth naturalisation needs to occur before the Portlands can be redeveloped, and it probably won't be built out for at least a few decades. The Cherry streetcar will just need to travel an extra 500m to Corktown station.

1602272416623.png


Alignment Winner:
Ontario Line for better spacing and transfers

Western Segment

This hadn't been officially planned yet by the City, so it's difficult to make a fair comparison.

It was a little ridiculous how the RLS plans stopped east of University. Downtown officially extends to Bathurst, and even west of Bathurst is the most densely populated part of Toronto outside of St. James Town. So it's surprising that they didn't at least go to Spadina in the RLS.

1602272680162.png


The OL alignment is good that it goes further, but it doesn't exactly hit Liberty Village. It's also a little perplexing that it doesn't connect with the Weston corridor (UPX, Barrie GO, etc.) or the Liberty Village ST station. The OL's antecedents with the Union Station capacity relief study involved transfers with this corridor.

1602272506756.png

(Note, the above image is from a dumb idea they have to stop trains short of Union and force a linear transfer)

Maybe a north-western extension would connect at Dundas West or Mount Dennis, but you'd lose the Barrie line connection.

Alignment Winner:
Ontario Line for going the extra mile

(Post 1/2)
 

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aquateam

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Eastern Segment

East Harbour is an essential station because it catalyzes redevelopment of the Unilever site, connects to a southward extension of the Broadview streetcar, and is a general focal point for redevelopment of the area.

The Ontario Line has been optimized for transfers with GO at this station, with the goal of offloading people from Union Station.
1602276326007.png


The RLS would have been underground at this point, since it needs to go under the Don. As a result, transferring would not be as easy but it would connect better to new development.

1602276338881.png


The path in blue shows the final approved plan of the RLS through Leslieville:

1602276350472.png


Whereas this is the Ontario Line route:

1602276361050.png


The Leslieville stop in RLS is located in a commercial corridor on Carlaw, whereas in the OL it's located in a residential area further west on Queen.
The Gerard Square stop in RLS is located directly under Riverdale Shopping Centre, whereas in the OL it's south west, kitty-corner from that site.

This shows the RLS Gerard station. Note the 5 levels (?!) of escalators required to get from the platform to the surface.

1602276369686.png


The RLS stations are better matched with population density and with commercial uses (for redevelopment), but make for awkward transfers with surface routes (like GO, SmartTrack, streetcars) because they are very deep to avoid a sanitary sewer.

By staying with the GO corridor, the OL saves a lot of money and transfer time.

Alignment Winner:
Tie - Relief Line works better with planned land uses but Ontario Line saves time and cost by using RoW and staying above ground.

Northern Segment

The RLS had an okay connection to Pape station. Pape station on Line 2 is actually east of Pape avenue, but the RLS runs along Pape. So we would have another T-junction. The OL fixes that by veering east instead of running directly under Pape. RLS was also very deep since it was coming up from Carlaw, so the OL will likely have a shallower/shorter connection (veering off of Pape also means it doesn't need to go under utilities). Given that this is the prime connection and reason for the OL/RL, it's good that this was improved.

By using a stand-alone technology instead of TTC gauge trains, the OL gets to avoid constructing a wye north of Danforth, which would have been expensive and disruptive.

North of Danforth, though, the alignment doesn't seem to be as much of an improvement. Instead of following Overlea, the line passes through the Maintenance and Storage Facility. The reason for this seems to have been feedback about disruption from property owners like this church over having an elevated line so close. So there will only be one stop at Thorncliffe Park Drive, with the one at Overlea and Beth Nealson removed. This alignment is a bit curvier, too, which might negate the travel times savings of the deleted stop.

1602276386952.png


The connection at Science Centre station is now over the north-east corner, although it's not 100% clear to me why they chose to move it from the south west main entrance. @TheTigerMaster has a great post explaining why this interchange could be problematic.

Alignment Winner:
"Relief Line" - Since the Ontario Line makes some sharp curves to avoid community blowback and makes for an awkward multilevel transfer with Line 5.

(Post 2/2)
 
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syn

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I'd say the OL is better than the RLS, but the OL is decidedly inferior to the RLN + RLS. The RLS + RLN remains the only proposal we've seen that can effectively relieve Line 1. Both the RLS and the OL fall well short of providing adequate Yonge Line relief (only the RLN would have the Yonge Line operating within capacity), and it's questionable whether or not the OL can ever be extended to provided Yonge Line relief without going overcapacity itself.

Of course these deficiencies with the OL could be solved with bigger trains, but alas Metrolinx works in mysterious ways.

I'd say RLS + RLN is better for long term futureproofing (I have no doubt that RLS+RLN would effectively serve Toronto well for decades to come), but if you just want something built now, without worrying about phasing and the associated political ramifications, the OL is probably better, despite it not solving the Yonge Line crowding issue.

We've become experts on spending billions of dollars to construct transit that doesn't solve the problem it's supposed to, while spending billions elsewhere to solve problems that don't exist.

I really wish these discussions would stop framing the DRL South as the end all and be all. I think it's clear that it was meant to be the 1st phase of a larger plan.

I don't care that a Ford government is behind this line. If it properly dealt with current capacity issues and was designed for expanded capacity down the road, I'd be thrilled.

Liberal, Conservative, NDP, whatever. It doesn't matter who came up with this plan. What matters is that it's not adequate, when it needs to be far beyond adequate.
 
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officedweller

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Cheapest is probably prismatic beams with constant spans of maybe 35m. Probably concrete I-griders would be cheapest as well (look at ECLRT @ Black Creek or UPE @ YYZ.
  • If the valley is deep enough, possibly increasing spans to 45m might be worthwhile, but since there are several kilometers of elevated at normal height, it is likely cheaper to use 35m spans and build a few extra tall piers at Don Valley, rather than having to worry about changing the depth of the superstructure in the one portion.
Look at Canada line - when possible they use constant depth superstructure.
If you are crossing a major river of 150m+ navigation channel and of considerable water depth, then you need an alternate form, and above about 130 to 150m main span, the extradosed starts to take over from the haunched pre-stressed box girders.

Canada Line's Middle Arm Bridge was built using segmental girders in a "balanced cantilever" method from each pier.
With the width and depth of the valley here (and DVP below), raising beams from the valley floor may be a problem,
and with multiple piers, I don't think a balanced cantilever method would be possible.







So they may have close spacing of piers and just do segmental girders with a launching truss.

They may also use a "push" or "launch" method if it's a steel structure, where spans are added to one end and the entire structure is pushed from one side onto the piers. That was done for the famous Millau Viaduct and in Canada, in Port Coquitlam, BC for the Coast Meridian Overpass spanning an active railyard (six spans of 102.5 m (336 ft), 125 m (410 ft), 110 m (360 ft), 125 m (410 ft), 71.4 m (234 ft), and 46.5 m (152 ft)).
If that's the case, then you might see cable stayed towers along the viaduct. That would also make some sense, as the bridge could be pushed from the north side towards the tunnel portal in the cliff.




Push launch was also recently used for an REM bridge in Montreal:


 
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warrens

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Speaking on the need of a second relief line, we'd probably debate on it till 2120 before it's built (unless Toronto experiences a drastic change in how it conducts transit expansion).

That drastic change is already happening right in front of us.

Last 30 years:
  1. Downsview -- 1996.
  2. Sheppard -- 4 new stops in 2002.
  3. York University GO -- 2002.
  4. TYSSE -- 5 new stops in 2017.
  5. UPX -- 2 new stops in 2015. (The airport is technically not in Toronto)
  6. Renforth Mississauga BRT station -- 2017. (Man, I'm being really generous here)
Next 15 years:
  1. Crosstown LRT -- 23 new stops in 2022.
  2. Finch West LRT -- 17 new stops in 2023.
  3. Caledonia GO -- a brand new station on Eglinton, 2023.
  4. Ontario Line -- 10 new stops around 2030.
  5. Crosstown West -- 6 new stops around 2031.
  6. Scarborough Extension -- 1 new stop (Sheppard/McCowan) presumably around 2028.... I only say one because the only "extension" is the part north of the STC. The rest replaces the Scarborough RT...
  7. Yonge Subway Extension -- 1 new stop (Steeles) presumably around 2029.
Plus there's the big new bus terminal coming together at Kipling, and the near-total rebuild of Agincourt GO that is almost finished.

Put all of those pieces together and most of Transit City will actually be done. The main missing items are the Sheppard subway extension (which everyone seems committed to doing, just not before the mid-2030s) and a north/south LRT corridor on Jane.

The total: ~15 rapid transit stops built since 1990, ~40 are being delivered in the next few years, and ~20 more planned after that.
 

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