Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) | ?m | 1s | TTC | IBI Group

299 bloor call control.

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In the 1940s, when planning began in earnest for the current subway system, Metro didn’t even exist yet. But what was about to become Metro had a population not quite twice that of what Mississauga alone has today. I imagine there were people back then, too, who were wondering why anyone would want to build a subway along the edge of civilization at Bloor Street, particularly when there wasn’t much beyond the river at either end.

Actually, the east-west line was initially envisioned to run on Queen Street. However, planners saw that the Bloor Street streetcar was becoming increasingly congested, as well as the city expanding rapidly north, that they realized that a Bloor-Danforth subway would be a better option, let alone the burgeoning suburbs of Bloor West and along the Danforth. Bloor Street was hardly the "edge of civilization" by the late 1950s when the E-W line was being planned in its earnest.

And this is where utter ignorance of the suburbanite population comes in when it comes to subway construction. We're skipping steps. This is why staged implementation of rapid transit works and why Transit City makes so much sense.

This is NOT how rapid transit should progress:
Car based neighbourhood -> Local Bus Service -> Subway

There's far too much risk moving from a bus service to a subway and for the heavy investment to fail. There's no proof that high bus ridership will equal high subway ridership, especially when the capacities and characteristics of the two modes are so different.

This IS how rapid transit should progress

Local Bus -> Enhanced Bus -> Light Rail -> Subway

The same investment can be spread along many different corridors, and as intensification and ridership increases on all of them, you can build subways where you actually need them. This is why Yonge was built, this is why B-D was built. This is why these two lines are successful. The latter two lines, Spadina and Sheppard, are both that did not follow the logical progression of rapid transit expansion, and thus, are in most minds, failures... until 40 years later when development and ridership will finally catch up. During those 40 years, that same money could have been spread along a huge network of express bus, streetcar, and LRT routes to benefit so many more people.

Remember: The Spadina Subway is STILL significantly under capacity. This is 30 years after it opened. This is why there still is the St Clair West short turn in the morning rush hour. Even when the Spadina Extension opens, they will continue to short turn every other train in rush hour at Downsview.
 

junctionist

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I agree with LP here, it's not like they're planning extensions to take the subway into rural Milton. With so many firms locating outside of the 416, it makes sense to plan a location such as VCC around the subway, or MCC. I also think that Eglinton should have the subway to the airport, it could be built with an additional set of tracks as an "Express" line from the airport which would require a higher fare.
 

scarberiankhatru

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York Region might get two subways before Peel because it's closer and more integrated with the 416...this doesn't mean Peel won't/shouldn't get extensions, just that there's reasonable justification for the York projects.

If Square One was at Dixie Road, you better believe there'd already be a frustrating and overcrowded RT connecting it to Kipling :)

When the Yonge line was extended, Willowdale was almost nothing but bungalows. Running Spadina past York is partly about politics, but that's fine...remember, this line is not being built instead of a Queen line or an Eglinton line. Vaughan is currently quite wastelandish, but what will be there in 50 years? If it wasn't for Vaughan Mills and Wonderland, #7 would be a good place to forever terminate the line, just as MCC would be a good place to forever terminate the Bloor line. The "there's no density around Dixie and Cawthra" argument is absolute rubbish. Outside of downtown, all subway stations except North York Centre and Yorkdale are fed by buses. Warden and Wilson are both equally or less dense than Mississauga-extension Bloor stops would be, but both are well-used.

For most of the 905, GO improvements would do wonders far cheaper and quicker than subways or light rail, but there's almost 2 million suburbanites living in the 416 that will benefit from 'suburban' subway construction. There's some places in the suburbs where subways can and should be built, and some where they shouldn't. I agree very much that the Spadina extension is far down the list of 'best transit projects' and it'd be nice if the track length and funding of the Spadina extension was built, say, where the DRL should go instead, but it doesn't work like that.
 

scarberiankhatru

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This IS how rapid transit should progress

Local Bus -> Enhanced Bus -> Light Rail -> Subway

Remember: The Spadina Subway is STILL significantly under capacity. This is 30 years after it opened. This is why there still is the St Clair West short turn in the morning rush hour. Even when the Spadina Extension opens, they will continue to short turn every other train in rush hour at Downsview.
What if you know you already have the ridership, development, density, whatever, for heavy rail where there's currently buses? Should Yonge north of Finch get a busway and then streetcars just to fulfill the 'logical' progression? Why not save billions of dollars and just build the subway now?

I'm pretty sure they won't short turn every other train at Downsview...there'll be over 100,000 people a day using that track. It actually will relieve Yonge a bit since many Finch and some Steeles riders will switch. There's potential for massive development and ridership growth up there and subways are built for the long term. The Sheppard line will need to run over to Downsview, too. But, yeah, anything not at capacity at the terminus station is a complete failure, right?
 

299 bloor call control.

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That's exactly what Yonge north of Finch is getting soon, BRT -- and by the time a subway extension is planned and constructed, the BRT would probably be at capacity and will justify a subway. I never meant it HAD to be that way, I meant there has to be a logical progression. This is why I said earlier that I can see the justification of a Yonge subway extension, but not any more.

Read the Spadina EA reports. There will still be a need for a short turn. By your logic, today's short turn at St Clair West shouldnt be needed because Lawrence West, Eglinton West, Wilson, and Downsview should all be diverting enough people from the Yonge Subway. They all carry just as many passengers as Finch and Steeles West does. The diversion will only be limited, because not everyone is travelling downtown, but to places like North York Centre, Eglinton and Yonge and other centres that can only be accessed by the Yonge Subway. There have been plenty of analyses of passengers being diverted off the Yonge Line and while it is a decent number, its not as big of a number as many people believe and use as an argument to continue pushing the Spadina Line north. That being said, I support an extension up to Steeles for the purposes of York University beign a major activity node. Any relief of the Yonge Subway would just be a side benefit.

FACT: A subway can carry upwards of 50,000 per hour. (approx 1200 per train every two minutes)

The Spadina Subway extension will indeed carry about 100,000 passengers a day. However, that is PER DAY. The likely AM Maximum Hour load will probably be in the range of 25,000 passengers, if not less. This can easily be handled by a train every 3 min 45 sec or so, which would be done by short turning at Downsview. If you consider Sheppard, where trains run every 5 min 30 s, a 4-car train hardly becomes overloaded, let alone the six-car trains that will be running on Spadina.

You also have to consider that the "rush loads" on the Spadina Extension will not be the same as on any other line, since York University is the main OD for the extension. Students do not follow the traditional rush hour characteristics, as they have varying class times and schedules that dont relate to the same ridership patterns as the rest of the system -- as a result, the loads will be more spread out and can be easily handled with existing frequencies...
 

Hypnotoad

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how many people coming from sheppard east go to york U? maybe it would be a good idea to extend the sheppard line to the spadina line if the numbers are there or will be there if it were built.

Big fan of this concept - we discussed it on a different thread. Personally, I don't think Downsview is a sufficent hub so, ideally, the Sheppard line would be curved north and end (or begin) at York. That is enough of a hub/trip-generating destination to support two lines.

As for Spadina's under-capacity, I believe that the eventual extension to York will do wonders to solve this problem. The reason is that it gives the subway two bookends Downtown and York that attract a signifacnt number of riders. I sincerely doubt that VCC will have the same effect and therefore BRT or LRT should be enough to serve that population. Better yet, use GO as a frequent, all-day, two-way service between VCC and downtown. GO could buy smaller trains to service the non-rush hour peak times similar to the trains used for Ottawa's O-Train:

 

299 bloor call control.

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I would think the Sheppard idea would work best by servicing the whole extension with LRT -- Sheppard-Yonge Station to Downsview, up to York U, up to VCC, all with Edmonton/Calgary style LRT at a much much lower cost.
 

scarberiankhatru

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Going from buses to subways can be logical...building superfluous modes in between is illogical. Yonge buses actually run better north of Finch now than they did 5-10 years ago. Some of the busway's 'merits' are rather dubious, anyway.

I suggested they may not continue short turning 50% of trains...maybe there will still be the same number of short turns, maybe there'll be less, maybe there'll be 200,000 more riders. No matter what happens it'll be a failure unless it's at capacity, right?

Sheppard trains do become overloaded, but that's beside the point. Sheppard's frequencies are too low.
 

299 bloor call control.

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I'm not saying it's a failure unless it's at capacity - I'm sayign it's a failure if so little of the capacity is being used, when the level of ridership can be easily handled by a different, more inexpensive mode.

Even with 200,000 more riders (highly implausible), the peak rush would still probably be in the 40,000 range -- a well designed LRT system can still handle that level of ridership with multiple car consists and high frequencies -- look at Calgary -- they handle about those loads.

And basically what you just said is that it's impossible to predict ridership patterns... so wouldn't it be most logical to invest in LRT and BRT over the greatest geographical area and see where there is the least risk in the prediction of ridership to justify the construction of subways?
 

299 bloor call control.

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Maybe a C-Train can handle similar loads...we, however, already have a subway system.
.............. ... .... ..... .... so we should continue wasting money? Earth to scarberiankhatru, money doesn't grow on trees.

SIMPLY PUT:

C-Train/Edmonton LRT construction cost (pre-Alberta construction costs skyrocketing due to labour shortages -- don't start talking about how their extensions right now cost more than these numbers because labour shortages to that extent are not a problem here in Ontario):
$30-million per kilometre at grade
$100-million per kilometre underground

Spadina Subway Construction cost:
~$2-billion
= ~$233-million per kilometre, partially at grade

So in an environment where there is so little money to go around for such a large geographic area that has so many transit dollar demands, we should spend over double what we should on something that is far more than what is required? It's utter stupidity what is going on. We could build the whole Spadina Subway extension as an underground LRT line and still have more than $1-billion to spare.

Furthermore, to those who feel we are wasting money building BRT and LRT first and should just suck it up and build a subway, although it was just a big publicity stunt, the Sheppard Subway is bleeding money. Subways costs far more than BRT and LRT to operate as well. For the 30 years or so the VCC extension will take to reach subway ridership levels, that's 30 years of operating cost savings that would likely pay off a significant chunk of the LRT and BRT investment anyway.

AGHHHH.... :confused: Toronto is far too obsessed with subways. WE DON'T NEED 'EM EVERYWHERE!
 

doady

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Extending a line with a different techology an causing an uneccasry and inconvenient transfer is what I would call a waste of money. We don't need another Kenndy or Don Mills.
 

Lone Primate

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And this is where utter ignorance of the suburbanite population comes in when it comes to subway construction.
Ignorance? Pardon me; how long have you ridden the GO Trains from 905 downtown? Pray tell; I'd love to hear of the experience that lifted YOU from "ignorance".

I've lived in 905 and worked in 416. I've lived in 416 and worked in 905. I've lived and worked in disparate parts of 905 and I know how neglected the means of getting between them are, though we're talking about municipalities whose populations number nearly a million between the two -- something like Metro was when subway construction began. You want to get people out of their cars, you're going to have to stop telling people like me why we're wrong, our opinions don't count, our time is less important than yours, how and where we ought to work and live and get around and start listening to what we're telling you about OUR needs. Otherwise there's just going to be more and more 407s, and less and less interest in the province spending money on 416-only solutions that don't serve the interests of the other 10,000,000 of us.

Light rail would have been a nice start... in 1970. But this is 2007. These are cities now, seamlessly fused with Toronto-proper. Major leagues. Time to step up the plate, I'm afraid.
 

299 bloor call control.

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I have ridden on GO Trains often. I have worked as a transit planner. Don't think I don't have the experience.

I'm not saying suburbanites time is not important. In fact, I am saying it is. The root of my argument is that LRT is a better option because it is less expensive and will build a more expansive network that will serve more people and provide the same level of comfort and time saved at the same cost of the ill-conceived Spadina Subway extension.

I find GO Transit to be very efficient, minus some of their growing pains that they have had. It is when I get out to the 905 that is the problem. This is why building corridors of medium-high order transit is necessary.

Just because there is a certain population number, it does not mean that it justifies subway construction. Subways demand people, yes, but a particular urban form and density that simply DOES NOT EXIST, nor will it exist for a long while, in the 905.

This is why you don't see New York City building more subway lines into the suburbs. This is why you don't see London building more tube lines into the suburbs. In both situations, they are using high quality commuter rail and local high quality LRT to expand their transit networks into the far reaches of their metropolitan areas.

If money were not the issue, I would love to see subway lines built everywhere in the GTA. Trust me, I would. But you have to be realistic and use resources that are being shared by everyone wisely.
 

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