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SmartTrack (Proposed)

Rainforest

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I thought one of the key advantages of ST over RER was that ST was going to be a TTC fare. For the RER section that was part of ST, is that still the case? Will someone still be able to, for example, take RER from Weston or Oriole to downtown with a TTC fare like they were going to be able to do under ST?
IMO, the key advantage of ST would be additional frequency, enabling the mainline trains serve the intra-416 market and make a difference. Naturally, that would require serious capital investments.
 

micheal_can

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Name me a project that was done as planned.

Something I notice is that the politicians have grand ideas, but no idea how to pay for it. Then reality hits, and they have no idea how to pay for it and keep their promise. So, the project gets scaled back.

Want to be able to pay for things like this, and slow down the skyrocketing housing prices? Have a higher property tax. That will make your million dollar house cost too much and cause a drop in housing prices. Take the new revenue and put it to projects like this. I know, I know, the "T" world is like a swear word, but it actually could solve many problems of today's society.
 

sixrings

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If we are speaking of Scarborough "Civic" Centre, then the present location is better than Kennedy/Eglinton.
Kennedy/Eglinton may have more commercial activity, but it is a farther reach for north Scarborough (and especially Malvern).
Yes because that's how centres work. They are magically centrally located evenly to everyone. For example Jane and finch is in North York yet no where near Yonge and Sheppards North York Centre. Or Mississauga road and Lakeshore is in Mississauga yet no where close to MCC at Hurontario and burnamthorpe. A Centre should be located where it's accessible to transit but for some reason we've been more concerned around making sure Scarboroughs located close enough to Malvern. The reality is the centre and the mall are together because Scarborough seems to think it's hub and spoke way of transit is the only thing that would work out there. I could get over it if the hub was in a better location.
 

robmausser

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Hm, looking at the map wonder if Richmond Hill can ask Milton what she's doing Friday night. Cue Spice Girls' 2 Becomes 1.

Seriously do a SmartTrack thing and morph the two into one line.
As much as id love a Milton-Richmond "Smarttracking" its simply not possible right now due to many difficulties regarding freight mainline usage, flooding issues on the Richmond Hill line, and NIMBYISM that would result if we turned the Leaside Spur trail back into a transit corridor to solve many of the problems with RH line.

Until Missing Link and some softening of Transport Canada laws regarding Tram-Trains (I can only see a tram-train being allowed on Leaside) happens, it wont be likely.
 

MisterF

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I think it's more of a decrease of 22 stations down to approximately ~18 or ~19(ish) stations when you consider the SmartTrack helped encourage GO to proceed with some elements to their GO Expansion Plan:

View attachment 211338
Source: Page 19 of Metrolinx PDF GO Expansion Business Case

While the SmartTrack conversation was a bit of a political circus, it did get the conversation started for things like subway-style level boarding for future electric GO trains.

In addition to subway-style boarding for GO trains....
....The GO Expansion frequencies are upgraded at some stations (up to 12 trains per hour), with various stations getting 5 minute, 10 minute service (better than 15 minutes)

View attachment 211351

I am not defending Tory but the SmartTrack exercise was useful to force a discussion on starting metro-league frequencies on the GO network.

These don't yet include the SmartTrack stations, but the upgraded GO frequencies were partially inspired by the SmartTrack conversations.

There is debate how much the SmartTrack exercise influenced this, but having metro frequency service & level boarding.... sounds a hell lot like SmartTrack in ways.

So there's either plausible deniability or some inspirational influence in GO Business Case (choose your favourite term).
I've never seen that graphic before, that's really informative. I've always thought that Smarttrack would just get rolled into the larger GO expansion/RER plan since it was basically the same thing. It never made any sense to add yet another brand and fare system to the city, especially on the same tracks as a whole other line.

Metrolinx, the province and the city really are doing a terrible job marketing GO expansion though. I'd wager that most people in the GTA have no idea how transformative it will be. I was reading an article about the redevelopment of Agincourt Mall. At one point in the story the author asked something like, other than more GO trains, what transit is there? They completely missed the fact that Agincourt Station will be just as good as a subway station in a handful of years. Trains every 7.5 minutes, a ~25 minute trip to Union, and multiple transfer points to other lines. It will be every bit as useful to the area as the Sheppard LRT/subway.

SCC isn't a city centre. It's a shopping mall and bus terminal. Utterly ignorable if you're not using one of the bus routes that converges at that terminal.

Move SCC to Kennedy Eglinton. Far more accessible by transit with Line 2 + GO RER + ECRLT + EELRT there. It's also the densest region of Scarbrough. Eglinton East could very easily become the gateway to Downtown Scarborough.

SCC remains a failure that will never be as dense as even Humber Bay Shores. Eglinton and Kennedy could very well be the next NYCC.

Imagine having an area with three covering rapid transit lines, and deciding not to locate your downtown there. Crazy.
Yeah, STC is pretty weak as a city centre. But making somewhere else the official centre is silly. Toronto is a much bigger, more complex city than it was when the centres plan was first conceived. Each part of the city has multiple high density areas where transit lines converge. An area like Kennedy station doesn't need to be officially downtown Scarborough to be as intensely developed as SCC. Just look at the Agincourt Mall redevelopment. Toronto is getting to be more like an Asian city than a typical North American one in that sense.
 

Neutrino

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@MisterF Without fare integration, I doubt GO RER/Expansion will be as effective as you think.
 

sixrings

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The billions of dollars being poured into GO Transit make no sense without fare integration. It's going to happen.
Personally I don't think it's a given. Toronto's in gridlock and people are going to pay whatever if it gets them to work cheaper than a car.
 

Neutrino

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The billions of dollars being poured into GO Transit make no sense without fare integration. It's going to happen.
I hope so. Another reason I'm skeptical of claims that GO RER will be a game changer is GO's tiny market share. If I understood correctly the business case PDF posted above, GO has 40% market share for GTHA to downtown commutes. These comprise 4% of all AM peak demand. That means GO rail serves just 1.6% of all AM peak travel demand in the GTHA. The largest peak markets are 905 to 905 and 416 to 416 commutes. Sure, the trains are packed and I welcome better service; but it won't make any difference for most people.
 
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TheTigerMaster

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Yeah, STC is pretty weak as a city centre. But making somewhere else the official centre is silly. Toronto is a much bigger, more complex city than it was when the centres plan was first conceived. Each part of the city has multiple high density areas where transit lines converge. An area like Kennedy station doesn't need to be officially downtown Scarborough to be as intensely developed as SCC. Just look at the Agincourt Mall redevelopment. Toronto is getting to be more like an Asian city than a typical North American one in that sense.
I really don't care what we call the official centre. It's the empasis on SCC, at the expense of other nodes in Scabeough that is silly. If we relaxed development rules at Kennedy Eglinton five years ago, we could be well on our way to having some nice density there. Eglinton Crosstown should be the gateway to Downtown Scarborough
 

rbt

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I admire your faith in the Government of Ontario. If fare integration ever happens, I totally expect the next PC government to roll it back
Interesting, I've always expected the PC government to be the one doing the fare integration.

Of course, I'm also not expect expecting GO fares to change very much..
 

sixrings

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I really don't care what we call the official centre. It's the empasis on SCC, at the expense of other nodes in Scabeough that is silly. If we relaxed development rules at Kennedy Eglinton five years ago, we could be well on our way to having some nice density there. Eglinton Crosstown should be the gateway to Downtown Scarborough
Well based on all the other development on Eglinton I guess our dreams will ultimately be met. Maybe it's for the best as what is likely to happen is developers will see the obvious. Market it as a transit utopia and will have the rest of Eglinton to use as a precedent to build even bigger here.
 

mdrejhon

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I thought one of the key advantages of ST over RER was that ST was going to be a TTC fare. For the RER section that was part of ST, is that still the case? Will someone still be able to, for example, take RER from Weston or Oriole to downtown with a TTC fare like they were going to be able to do under ST?
We're rapidly hurtling towards GO = TTC fare on the 416 section of GO already:
(1) Price of GO within 416 has fallen to $3.70
(2) Transfers between GO and TTC has a $1.50 discount
(3) That discounted transfer works for the new TTC 2 hour timed transfer

You can combine TTC+GO combined with an unlimited 2 hour TTC timed transfer for grand total price of less than 2 TTC fares grand totalled (GO+TTC). So apparently, it's only a small leap away to free transfers and GO=TTC fare in 416. Even inflation through 2020-2029 would easily raise TTC to $3.70, and one more fare integration adjustment to increase the $1.50 discount to a full discount (eventually). It would be a very small government promise sometime in the mid 2020s, comparatively speaking.

I'm well affected by this. I have to use GO to enter Toronto, and immediately transfer to TTC to do my errands. I used to pay $6.50 extra (two TTC fares) but now pay only $1.75 extra (half a TTC fare) because of the combination of (2) and (3) -- such as hopping off GO, transferring to TTC, visiting a Toronto doctor, and then hopping back onto the TTC to visit a different destination in the reverse direction after. I appreciate the convenience of fare integration and the simplification of knowing I have unlimited TTC rides (in any haphazard hopscotch direction) for one flat fee for 2 hours between first TTC tap thru last TTC tap. Even if that TTC tap is discounted by having ridden GO right beforehand, or right afterwards!

Obviously, in addition to this, this is clearly another element of plausible deniability or some inspirational influence (choose your preferred term) from the SmartTrack TTC Fare initiative.

The PC government, threatened to roll parts of this back, but they have not so far, and at this juncture, probably won’t. Given their (now postponed) threat to upload the subway, making TTC subways a part of Metrolinx for chrissakes, gives evidence to their defacto tolerance of GO+TTC fare integration. The horse is out of the barn, too late to close the barn door of TTC+GO fare integration — we are already almost 75% of the way according to fares charged to my Presto Card.

Prediction #1: Within the 416 fare zone, GO+TTC will be equal fare and free timed transfers between GO+TTC by ~2029
Prediction #2: Due to metro frequencies & complete 416 fare integration, 416 section of GO train network will be overlaid on all TTC subway maps at all TTC subway trains and stations by ~2029

(all sections, not just the SmartTrack section)

Definition: 2029 = my guesstimate of the completion of baseline GO electrification.
 
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mdrejhon

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I've never seen that graphic before, that's really informative. I've always thought that Smarttrack would just get rolled into the larger GO expansion/RER plan since it was basically the same thing. It never made any sense to add yet another brand and fare system to the city, especially on the same tracks as a whole other line.
Graphic comes from page 44 of Metrolinx GO Expansion Business Plan, if you want to look-see.

I've also always predicted SmartTrack and GO RER/Expansion was essentially the same thing. It looks this way....

Alas, for better or for worse, Tory has done a better job branding GO RER by slapping the "SmartTrack" label on it. It's a bit controversial point of view but it kinds of puts the concept of a GO train that's upgraded to subway-convenience, with metro frequencies, level boarding, and TTC fare. Exactly what electrified GO Expansion (formerly "GO RER") is all about.

Feels unfair how things are politicized with credit-seeking publicity, but the bottom line: A GO train network that feels as convenient as a subway.

That's the most important thing, semantics, schemantics, "SmartTrack" peel-off sticker or not: Toronto needs this upgraded GO train network, whatever its branding will be.
 
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