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SmartTrack (Proposed)

Northern Light

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As much as criticism of the specific "Smart Track" plan is justified, I feel this throws out the baby with the bathwater. It should be abundantly clear that Toronto needs an integrated transit system where GO-RER becomes the normal mode for medium-to-long distance trips WITHIN the city, not just for suburban commuters going to Bay Street. I mean, has Steve Munro ever been to Berlin (S-Bahn) or Tokyo (JR)? Or has Gord Perks? They sure don't talk like it.
Moreover it seems a bad-faith argument to say that Smart Track stations "compete" with the Ontario Line when we see from near-weekly subway breakdowns how important it is to have redundancy and transfer opportunities in the system.
There is no argument against GO RER (or whatever we're calling it this week)

The argument is against the details in Smart Track (specific alignments and numbers of stations almost entirely disposed of by current plans); and the notion that the remaining City funds are simply not needed to achieve the do-able objectives within said plan.

What's left nominally is six stations; but 3 will almost certainly be cancelled; leaving 3 stations that are otherwise funded (don't need City money)
 

facepalming_brooklynite

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There is no argument against GO RER (or whatever we're calling it this week)

The argument is against the details in Smart Track (specific alignments and numbers of stations almost entirely disposed of by current plans); and the notion that the remaining City funds are simply not needed to achieve the do-able objectives within said plan.

What's left nominally is six stations; but 3 will almost certainly be cancelled; leaving 3 stations that are otherwise funded (don't need City money)
But the argument against the details in Smart Track is presented in a way that bad-mouthes GO RER as well (at least in the eyes of the casual reader). I wish someone among the transit advocates in this city instead made a forceful argument as to why we need better GO RER.

Which three stations will be cancelled?
 

Northern Light

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But the argument against the details in Smart Track is presented in a way that bad-mouthes GO RER as well (at least in the eyes of the casual reader). I wish someone among the transit advocates in this city instead made a forceful argument as to why we need better GO RER.

Which three stations will be cancelled?
Gerrard is gone for sure, according to what I hear.

I believe Lawrence will be chopped. The business case for it is shot, with the station on the SSE (according to ML's own assessments)

There are a couple of others on the edge.
 

salsa

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If there is one thing from this idea that could save face, it would better fare integration with GO.
What SmartTrack should have been: a campaign to implement free transfers between TTC and GO services within the 416. Imagine where we could have been today if all the political capital expended by Tory was directed towards simply changing the fare structure of GO Transit, instead of overpromising on a flawed infrastructure megaproject.
 

crs1026

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What SmartTrack should have been: a campaign to implement free transfers between TTC and GO services within the 416. Imagine where we could have been today if all the political capital expended by Tory was directed towards simply changing the fare structure of GO Transit, instead of overpromising on a flawed infrastructure megaproject.
This. And had the pitch for stations been restricted to what GO could deliver without prejudicing its own services.

Instead, there had to be a technical study to disprove the heavy rail proposal for Eglinton, and another technical study showing how few ST trains could be run interleaved with RER on the Stouffville line. Lots of money spent, and much delay while those pitches were walked back.

While I don't expect a politician's starting pitch to be the exact end result, this one was so off the wall and so detached from technical reality to be pure snake oil. I can't respect a politician who starts with such a flimsy proposal and then when it fails, declares victory. How about having the humility to admit they missed by a mile.

Garbage in, garbage out.

- Paul
 

WislaHD

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But the argument against the details in Smart Track is presented in a way that bad-mouthes GO RER as well (at least in the eyes of the casual reader). I wish someone among the transit advocates in this city instead made a forceful argument as to why we need better GO RER.

Which three stations will be cancelled?
Years ago, Olivia Chow campaigned against SmartTrack by knocking on doors in Scarborough near the Stouffville tracks and getting residents riled up about the planned and funded electrification and grade-separation of the corridor (aka GO-RER).

We don't do transit advocacy rationally in Toronto. See Leslieville and the Ontario / Relief Line for a contemporary example.
 

WislaHD

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This. And had the pitch for stations been restricted to what GO could deliver without prejudicing its own services.

Instead, there had to be a technical study to disprove the heavy rail proposal for Eglinton, and another technical study showing how few ST trains could be run interleaved with RER on the Stouffville line. Lots of money spent, and much delay while those pitches were walked back.

While I don't expect a politician's starting pitch to be the exact end result, this one was so off the wall and so detached from technical reality to be pure snake oil. I can't respect a politician who starts with such a flimsy proposal and then when it fails, declares victory. How about having the humility to admit they missed by a mile.

Garbage in, garbage out.

- Paul
We also had a ton of studies on Relief Line and Scarborough Subway ridership projections with and without SmartTrack at various different fare configurations, can't forget about that!

At least those showed that fare integration probably should be a significant interest for implementing GO-RER.
 

W. K. Lis

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We also had a ton of studies on Relief Line and Scarborough Subway ridership projections with and without SmartTrack at various different fare configurations, can't forget about that!

At least those showed that fare integration probably should be a significant interest for implementing GO-RER.
We got until the end of March, 2020, to see if there will be a new form of "fare integration". At the moment...

Discount fare program for riders transferring between TTC, GO Transit and UP Express set to end

From link.

...a discount fare program for riders transferring between the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and GO Transit, or between the TTC and UP Express, will end at the end of March.

The Ontario transit agency said in a statement Tuesday evening that the so-called Discounted Double Fare program will end on March 31.

The program was created by the previous Liberal government in 2017 and offers riders using both systems, as well as the Union-Pearson Express to Toronto’s airport, a $1.50 discount for a single trip when using a Presto fare card.
The cancellation of Ontario government funding was initially announced in July.

In the statement, Metrolinx officials said $18.5 million was allocated by the provincial government for each year of the program. But staff said there have been budget overages every year, adding the most recent fiscal year is expected to have a $6.7-million shortfall.
 

micheal_can

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What SmartTrack should have been: a campaign to implement free transfers between TTC and GO services within the 416. Imagine where we could have been today if all the political capital expended by Tory was directed towards simply changing the fare structure of GO Transit, instead of overpromising on a flawed infrastructure megaproject.
This. And had the pitch for stations been restricted to what GO could deliver without prejudicing its own services.

Instead, there had to be a technical study to disprove the heavy rail proposal for Eglinton, and another technical study showing how few ST trains could be run interleaved with RER on the Stouffville line. Lots of money spent, and much delay while those pitches were walked back.

While I don't expect a politician's starting pitch to be the exact end result, this one was so off the wall and so detached from technical reality to be pure snake oil. I can't respect a politician who starts with such a flimsy proposal and then when it fails, declares victory. How about having the humility to admit they missed by a mile.

Garbage in, garbage out.

- Paul
We got until the end of March, 2020, to see if there will be a new form of "fare integration". At the moment...

Discount fare program for riders transferring between TTC, GO Transit and UP Express set to end

From link.
See, it went from "we will use rail lines better", to "lets remove all incentive for people to use anything".

I'll bet that if GO was free for anyone with a TTC pass within the city it would be heavily used.
 

sixrings

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The thing is GO is to get 905 people into Toronto. Some of the trains now are standing room only. It's absolutely crazy in comparison to the old days where everyone got a seat. So if you reduce the fare to incentives Torontonians to use it more where do the extra people go. I know there are answers but I'll be frank that I'm skeptical things are going to change for Torontonians especially when the PCs Cater to the 905s
 

micheal_can

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The thing is GO is to get 905 people into Toronto. Some of the trains now are standing room only. It's absolutely crazy in comparison to the old days where everyone got a seat. So if you reduce the fare to incentives Torontonians to use it more where do the extra people go. I know there are answers but I'll be frank that I'm skeptical things are going to change for Torontonians especially when the PCs Cater to the 905s
But should it just be for the 905ers? Just picture someone taking the subway out to one of the stations and then taking GO to downtown.

It almost sounds like they need more frequency.
 

sixrings

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But should it just be for the 905ers? Just picture someone taking the subway out to one of the stations and then taking GO to downtown.

It almost sounds like they need more frequency.
Doesn't matter what it should be for. That's what it's been for its entire existence. It's hard to change the past especially when votes could be at stake. Personally I don't see the problem of the Toronto fares. For years my father took the agincourt GO. Yes it was more expensive then the TTC but it was far faster. It's kind of like taking the 407 vs the 401. If you want the luxury of the speed I don't see the problem of the fares costing more. Then again I think the presto future is fare by distance combined with which mode of transit you are using. So essentially a subway ride would cost more if it's the same distance. But that's a whole other subject.
 

micheal_can

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Doesn't matter what it should be for. That's what it's been for its entire existence. It's hard to change the past especially when votes could be at stake. Personally I don't see the problem of the Toronto fares. For years my father took the agincourt GO. Yes it was more expensive then the TTC but it was far faster. It's kind of like taking the 407 vs the 401. If you want the luxury of the speed I don't see the problem of the fares costing more. Then again I think the presto future is fare by distance combined with which mode of transit you are using. So essentially a subway ride would cost more if it's the same distance. But that's a whole other subject.
In the real past, most of those lines had to wait for freight. That is not the case anymore. GO trainss could be the real relief for the subways.
 

W. K. Lis

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Doesn't matter what it should be for. That's what it's been for its entire existence. It's hard to change the past especially when votes could be at stake. Personally I don't see the problem of the Toronto fares. For years my father took the agincourt GO. Yes it was more expensive then the TTC but it was far faster. It's kind of like taking the 407 vs the 401. If you want the luxury of the speed I don't see the problem of the fares costing more. Then again I think the presto future is fare by distance combined with which mode of transit you are using. So essentially a subway ride would cost more if it's the same distance. But that's a whole other subject.
The plans are to increase the headways (more trains) on all GO train lines, along with hours of service. In 1965, we only had the Lakeshore line. Now we have and are getting more line. See link.
 

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