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Toronto/Chicago comparisons

TheKingEast

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Those types of maps need some modifier to show actual usefulness (service frequencies or seats per hour at various times of day). Metro running trains evening trains every 20 minutes (pink line) and every 5 minutes (Red Line) are very different experiences for the rider despite being presented the same on most maps. We find the same with commuter service where peak-only lines like Milton often have the same presentation as UPX with all-day 15 minute frequencies.

Anyone making such maps can find the shape files for North America here (see "Download Data" link) https://www.thetransportpolitic.com/transitexplorer/#11/43.6251/-79.4239
Yea there are many factors at play here. One of the most important factors is how far does the system reach. Frequency isn’t as big of a deal if we are talking about a much bigger system. For example, I’m sure many would be ok with a 15 min frequency time if they could hop a train in Mississauga that brought them to Union.

So I took a look at the system lengths.

Toronto 76.9KM

Chicago 165 KM (overnight service)

So we have to look at the numbers with context which seems to be what you’re doing but not others.
 

W. K. Lis

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When Chicago's rapid transit was built, there were few if any regulations or standards in place to follow. Any "new" rapid transit anywhere tends to have to be "better" for looks and function. (Except for the newer suburban transit palaces, which tend to be enormous and expensive.)
 

ShonTron

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As far as Chicago comparisons, the central Metra electric station rebuilt as part of Millennium park and their Union Station (Amtrak portion) are both rather unpleasant experiences at track level. I think Penn Station with super-low ceilings, over crowding, and minimal light beats them both.

GO transit can do a lot better but it's not going to learn much looking at Chicago commuter rail despite Chicago's remarkably high corridor coverage. GO is far better off looking outside North America for railway inspiration; even Grand Central is a pretty terrible track-level experience.

That said, the South Shore lines integration with the South Bend airport has always interested me. South Bend airport has roughly the same number of commercial flights as Hamilton airport (both less than 20 departures).
I don't know why the South Shore Line runs to South Bend airport, which is on the far west side of the city, instead of downtown, where it used to run to. It look like by the 1970s, though, both the South Shore Line and Amtrak were moved to a more suburban location west of downtown, so I guess it was decided that was a good idea to move it to a more useful location, though I suspect that the transfer between train and plane is very low. At least there is some local bus service to the airport, there's probably some food service there, and it's easier to get a taxi (with a shorter ride to Notre Dame too).
 
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Torontovibe

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Most of the subway stops in Chicago and New York are just above-ground, open platforms which I imagine are very cheap to build. They look pretty bad and are open to the elements. I would not want those horrible elevated subways in Toronto! They totally destroy the area around them, for me anyway! Can you imagine the noise and dust/dirt that people living near them have to put up with 24/7? I think it would be pretty bad!
 

King of Kensington

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King of Kensington

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Anyone who seems deluded into thinking Toronto somehow 'trumps' Chicago.

Toronto does better than Chicago on quite a few metrics - but aesthetics, culture, grandeur and architecture we are nowhere close. Nowhere even vaguely close.
For culture at least, this is debatable. Toronto is known for its excellent theatre scene (and I think this reputation is deserved), but Chicago is known for it as well. If you look at opera, Chicago probably looks better for the "furs and philanthropy" crowd but Toronto's scene (both COC and smaller companies) is much more interesting IMO.
 

Admiral Beez

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If we must compare Toronto to a US city on the Great Lakes, I'm not sure Chicago is the closest match. Sure post-amalgamation Toronto has a similar population to Chicago, but what about Milwaukee, Cleveland or even Buffalo?
 

WislaHD

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If we must compare Toronto to a US city on the Great Lakes, I'm not sure Chicago is the closest match. Sure post-amalgamation Toronto has a similar population to Chicago, but what about Milwaukee, Cleveland or even Buffalo?
Why not Hamilton while we are at it?
 

gabe

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Most of the subway stops in Chicago and New York are just above-ground, open platforms which I imagine are very cheap to build. They look pretty bad and are open to the elements. I would not want those horrible elevated subways in Toronto! They totally destroy the area around them, for me anyway! Can you imagine the noise and dust/dirt that people living near them have to put up with 24/7? I think it would be pretty bad!
Yes the elevated subways are ugly, noisy and horrible to use during bad weather, but they sure are fun to ride! Being elevated high above the street gives you some pretty amazing views of Chicago's architecture and skyline. I wouldn't want elevated tacks in Toronto but i hope places like NY and Chicago never tear them down.
 

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