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SmartTrack (Proposed)

blacksquirrels

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But was it written on a napkin using crayons?
How hard could it be to dedicate a track pair to Toronto/GTA focused service? Seems realistic to implement if the political will existed. You're right though that Tory's ST is a napkin drawing, but aside from being a political ploy to get elected the idea itself of a dedicated service has a lot merit in my opinion. Unfortunately it was never an actual plan.
 

blacksquirrels

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The answer is - because there is only one right of way and both services won't fit.

There are places at the moment where there appears to be room for three tracks, but not throughout. A third track might not be enough, though - four tracks might be needed either in spots or altogether.

The expropriation cost to add enough width to the right of way to fit both in would be a very large number.

The other reason is that if the Line 2 extension proceeds, with intermediate stops, it would be likely to draw away enough ridership that the idea is no longer economically viable.

- Paul
A spur to STC could replace the Line 2 extension at a much cheaper price tag. Land expropriation is I'm sure a complex issue, but necessary to build proper infrastructure. Redistributing dedicated funds from the Line 2 extension could offset the cost, but at some point Tory pivoted.
 

micheal_can

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Sounds great. So many people would use both RER and this type of service if it existed. So the real question is why isn't it being built or planned?
The answer is - because there is only one right of way and both services won't fit.

There are places at the moment where there appears to be room for three tracks, but not throughout. A third track might not be enough, though - four tracks might be needed either in spots or altogether.

The expropriation cost to add enough width to the right of way to fit both in would be a very large number.

The other reason is that if the Line 2 extension proceeds, with intermediate stops, it would be likely to draw away enough ridership that the idea is no longer economically viable.

- Paul
There was a time where politicians would plow neighborhoods for highways or other things. In fact, right now, There are buildings that were landmarks that are being torn down to make way for ugly condos (Honest Ed's for example.) So, expropriate the land needed to add tracks that are needed to make it work.

Frankly, the only reason any transit is built or not, has everything to do with getting elected in the next election.
 

Rainforest

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Well, she tried to warn us.

View attachment 240275
True, but that's because John Tory dropped the ball.

Not because the original plan was fundamentally flawed. A lot more could have been done in the frame of SmartTrack, if only Tory took his own project more seriously.

The only unrealistic part was heavy rail on Eglinton West. That was a non-starter from the beginning, but that section wasn't anywhere close to vital to the whole plan.
 

tripwire

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It's sad to see politicians use transit as a political tool/gambit vs actually believing in it. At the same time, I have a feeling that Torontonians as a whole is more talk than walk (they want things but don't want to pay for them).
 

Allandale25

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Steve Munro has reviewed the latest IO report.

SmartTrack
In the Spring 2020 update, SmartTrack showed up as a project in the planning stage. A big challenge for Metrolinx and Toronto is that Ontario hopes to gain developer contributions to station costs, but is unclear how much or if such contributions might be. Also, we have not seen any definitive costs for ST stations. Whether Toronto can still afford John Tory’s signature plan remains to be seen.
 

rbt

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... I have a feeling that Torontonians as a whole is more talk than walk (they want things but don't want to pay for them).
That is the real issue. SmartTrack (5 minute frequencies on mainline GO track with TTC fares) could have largely been a reality with a ~6% 30-year special capital levy. That would have let the city contribute about $4B toward capital and $100M/year toward operations for that project in addition to likely matching capital provincial and federal contributions.

Ignore Eglinton West portion entirely (terminate at Eglinton on the west) and the rest could have been very useful.

Of course, Toronto could still do that kind of thing.
 
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robmausser

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That is the real issue. SmartTrack (5 minute frequencies on mainline GO track with TTC fares) could have largely been a reality with a ~6% 30-year special capital levy. That would have let the city contribute about $4B toward capital and $100M/year toward operations for that project in addition to likely matching capital provincial and federal contributions.

Ignore Eglinton West portion entirely (terminate at Eglinton on the west) and the rest could have been very useful.

Of course, Toronto could still do that kind of thing.
I think what needs to happen is that GO RER in some fashion needs to be built, even a small portion on one line. Don't build any new stations, just after double tracking is done, electrify say, Stouffville to Mount Joy. Get some EMU's running 8-15 minute service to the existing stations stat.

Once you do this, and people see it with their own eyes, they will understand the massive potential, and people will be clamoring for more stations, more frequent service, fare integration, and every GO line to be upgraded in such fashion.

But right now you talk more GO train service, stations and people think "those smelly hulking, slow, bi level diesels? yuck, no we need more subways"

Electrifying a line and putting EMU's on it will finally force people to understand. You can show them pics of Paris RER, the London Overground, but until its running here in Toronto, they won't connect the dots.
 

blacksquirrels

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She really did have the best transit plan. Too bad she lost due in part to her honesty.
Plan? What plan? Investing 15 million/year into improving bus services. That's not a plan.

Smart Track wasn't a plan either though. If it was a light metro/sky train type of service than that would've been a great idea. SmartSpur would've been the only good idea, unfortunately I never heard one politician even suggest it.

SmartSpur.png
 

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