News   May 07, 2021
 1.5K     1 
News   May 07, 2021
 917     0 
News   May 07, 2021
 2.2K     3 

Toronto Regional Board of Trade Regional Rail Report

afransen

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
4,473
Reaction score
3,076
One day the province announces all highways are now tolled, deal with it. What are your options now? If money is tight, you can drive on side roads which are now even slower, or you can take transit which will increase your total commute time, both options significantly decrease worker productivity on a major scale which significantly effects the economy in a negative way. Let me ask you this, who does this benefit? Yes the highways are less congested, but that's because the only people who are using them are rich people who have no issue paying up, meanwhile those in more economically vulnerable positions are forced to take significantly worse commutes that decrease, and for what? Because you don't like people having free infrastructure, yes we subsidize people using cars, and maybe an argument could be made about whether or not that's the right things to do, but this has been the status quo for a long time and suddenly changing that could have serious consequences and put people in problematic positions. This is why I harp on the point of offering proper alternatives if we are to remove these options. When we deal with people's livelihoods, extra care has to be used when dealing with these issues. If you look at something small like RapidTO, look at how large the outrage was when the TTC removed some of the bus stops to make bus journeys faster on an extremely small scale, and how the TTC had to quickly reverse and reinstate a bunch of them a week after it was launched because people were negatively affected by the change.
Your assumption is that this individual's time is worth nothing, and they won't benefit from tolling by being able to use highways at a reasonable operating speed. Who benefits from tolling? Everyone who uses the highway! This should be obvious! I think you are maybe a little too stuck on the idea of the 407 as being what tolling would look like. Do you think 'poor' people in much of the US drive many miles out of their way to avoid their toll highways? The rates don't need to be set punitively high, they need to be set high enough to incent whichever people can switch to other modes, or other times. Even if it is only 5% of 10% of drivers, that would make a huge impact on congestion. And reflecting the cost of driving in $ instead of in time will help people make different decisions over time about where they live, where they work, and how they travel. Maybe a different way to think about this is that we already have tolls on highways. We toll people with time. 30-60 minutes every day for someone commuting across town. That is a huge waste, and benefits no one. If we tolled people with dollars instead of time, we could at least use the money to help provide alternatives.

You seem to think the status quo is not messing with people's livelihoods. Your proposal of leaving highways to ever worsening soul-crushing congestion hurts livelihoods. Everyone who needs to drive a service vehicle from jobsite to jobsite is able to get less done in a day and makes less money. All because you want to drive downtown for free!
 

ViveleCanada

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
108
Reaction score
174
Except that's not how Induced Demand works. Commuters aren't sims that magically appear out of nowhere to use highways if its available. Induced Demand is a result of people moving into a new location to use the new highway, or sprawl, its not this magic spell that makes new highways at capacity at day 1. Now let's say we go with your plan and make these highways tolled. Where do these commuters go? I'll tell you where they go, they clog up nearby streets. If you want proof of this, drive down the 407 during Rush hour, and look to the right (or left) and see what's happening on Highway 7. When people don't have access to a highway, they just use the next best thing. Now you might say "Transit", but... well... that's what this discussion is all about isn't it? If you want a more concrete example, imagine you live in Markham, and every day you have to drive to midtown Toronto to go to work. One day the province announces all highways are now tolled, deal with it. What are your options now? If money is tight, you can drive on side roads which are now even slower, or you can take transit which will increase your total commute time, both options significantly decrease worker productivity on a major scale which significantly effects the economy in a negative way. Let me ask you this, who does this benefit? Yes the highways are less congested, but that's because the only people who are using them are rich people who have no issue paying up, meanwhile those in more economically vulnerable positions are forced to take significantly worse commutes that decrease, and for what? Because you don't like people having free infrastructure, yes we subsidize people using cars, and maybe an argument could be made about whether or not that's the right things to do, but this has been the status quo for a long time and suddenly changing that could have serious consequences and put people in problematic positions. This is why I harp on the point of offering proper alternatives if we are to remove these options. When we deal with people's livelihoods, extra care has to be used when dealing with these issues. If you look at something small like RapidTO, look at how large the outrage was when the TTC removed some of the bus stops to make bus journeys faster on an extremely small scale, and how the TTC had to quickly reverse and reinstate a bunch of them a week after it was launched because people were negatively affected by the change.
This discussion actually came up in one of my economic lectures. I really liked my professors proposal in that the city should convert one lane each way on the Gardiner and DVP into HOT lanes whereby a lane is dedicated to high-occupancy vehicles while also offering single-occupancy vehicles the option to jump in for a fee. This is already done in Los Angeles and they get the added benefit of helping GO and Coach buses access the core. I agree that GO, for some car commuters, is not really an option just because of how isolated a lot of the GO stations are. However, I think something still needs to be done to slowly get people to look at other ways to get into the core; especially those who do have the ability to use current GO services. The sooner we get people to find the usefulness in GO, the sooner people will begin demanding services proposed in the report.
 

ARG1

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
840
Reaction score
2,114
Location
North Toronto
Your assumption is that this individual's time is worth nothing, and they won't benefit from tolling by being able to use highways at a reasonable operating speed. Who benefits from tolling? Everyone who uses the highway! This should be obvious! I think you are maybe a little too stuck on the idea of the 407 as being what tolling would look like. Do you think 'poor' people in much of the US drive many miles out of their way to avoid their toll highways? The rates don't need to be set punitively high, they need to be set high enough to incent whichever people can switch to other modes, or other times. Even if it is only 5% of 10% of drivers, that would make a huge impact on congestion. And reflecting the cost of driving in $ instead of in time will help people make different decisions over time about where they live, where they work, and how they travel. Maybe a different way to think about this is that we already have tolls on highways. We toll people with time. 30-60 minutes every day for someone commuting across town. That is a huge waste, and benefits no one. If we tolled people with dollars instead of time, we could at least use the money to help provide alternatives.

You seem to think the status quo is not messing with people's livelihoods. Your proposal of leaving highways to ever worsening soul-crushing congestion hurts livelihoods. Everyone who needs to drive a service vehicle from jobsite to jobsite is able to get less done in a day and makes less money. All because you want to drive downtown for free!
Only 1 of these 2 things can be true at once: Either toll highways don't affect how people commute to downtown, which means very few people will stop using the highway and the "benefit" of a free and open highway doesn't exist, or toll highways do push people off them, which include people that may not afford constantly using it. We have an example of a toll highway here in Toronto, its called the 407, and it causes chaos to our highway network. People who
can't afford to use it squeezed on to nearby local streets such as Highway 7 or the 401 (which makes the congestion on that highway even worse), and the only people who regularly use it are those who are in the upper middle class or rich people who have a ton of money, or have a decent enough salary where they're fine with paying the toll.

Now you might say that this is the case for the 407 because its far too expensive, but let me tell you something, if the 407 was any cheaper it would get really congested. If the 407 had a flat fare of like $2, it would reach nearly DVP during off peak hours levels of bad almost instantly, so these people won't have a "free and fast" highway, they would just be stuck paying extra to commute just because (well in the case of the 407 way less, but the subject is other highways).
This discussion actually came up in one of my economic lectures. I really liked my professors proposal in that the city should convert one lane each way on the Gardiner and DVP into HOT lanes whereby a lane is dedicated to high-occupancy vehicles while also offering single-occupancy vehicles the option to jump in for a fee. This is already done in Los Angeles and they get the added benefit of helping GO and Coach buses access the core. I agree that GO, for some car commuters, is not really an option just because of how isolated a lot of the GO stations are. However, I think something still needs to be done to slowly get people to look at other ways to get into the core; especially those who do have the ability to use current GO services. The sooner we get people to find the usefulness in GO, the sooner people will begin demanding services proposed in the report.
Tbh, I don't even think you need to be that stringent. I may have not may this explicitly clear, I think I may have been a bit too vague in some of my older posts, but I think I would be okay with general tolls on the central portions of DVP/Gardiner during rush hours explicitly which is when the GO Trains are running, and frequently. While the GO Train doesn't have great coverage from a pedestrian scale, on a car scale its actually pretty good and you could easily access a GO station within 10 minutes of driving from most places in the region (Exceptions exist for like Northern Durham and Northeastern York, but that's what East Gwillimbury and Bloomington GO are for), and when most of the region will have frequent all day GO service through RER, feel free to implement tolls at all times.
 

Northern Light

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
11,718
Reaction score
18,638
Location
Toronto/EY
This discussion actually came up in one of my economic lectures. I really liked my professors proposal in that the city should convert one lane each way on the Gardiner and DVP into HOT lanes whereby a lane is dedicated to high-occupancy vehicles while also offering single-occupancy vehicles the option to jump in for a fee. This is already done in Los Angeles and they get the added benefit of helping GO and Coach buses access the core. I agree that GO, for some car commuters, is not really an option just because of how isolated a lot of the GO stations are. However, I think something still needs to be done to slowly get people to look at other ways to get into the core; especially those who do have the ability to use current GO services. The sooner we get people to find the usefulness in GO, the sooner people will begin demanding services proposed in the report.

That strikes me as very cumbersome to enforce.

Do we have any evidence on well that is working out in L.A.?
 

jelbana

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
421

Northern Light

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
11,718
Reaction score
18,638
Location
Toronto/EY
They have this in the SF Bay Area as well. Enforcement is similar to the 407, via transponder and cameras aimed at the lane, placed at some interval between each other.


Thanks for the link.

This is the key part for me; and it sounds cumbersome/costly.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) enforces occupancy requirements in express lanes. When a FasTrak Flex or FasTrak CAV toll tag is set in position 2 or position 3+, CHP is alerted that a vehicle is using the express lane toll free. CHP will visually confirm that this vehicle qualifies for toll-free status; if not, CHP may pull the vehicle over. CHP may issue the driver a carpool citation in excess of $400.

I'm curious as to what the compliance rate is; and what the enforcement program costs; and whether that has resulted in improved 'flow'.

I shall have to investigate.
 

sixrings

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
4,627
Reaction score
1,798
This discussion actually came up in one of my economic lectures. I really liked my professors proposal in that the city should convert one lane each way on the Gardiner and DVP into HOT lanes whereby a lane is dedicated to high-occupancy vehicles while also offering single-occupancy vehicles the option to jump in for a fee. This is already done in Los Angeles and they get the added benefit of helping GO and Coach buses access the core. I agree that GO, for some car commuters, is not really an option just because of how isolated a lot of the GO stations are. However, I think something still needs to be done to slowly get people to look at other ways to get into the core; especially those who do have the ability to use current GO services. The sooner we get people to find the usefulness in GO, the sooner people will begin demanding services proposed in the report.
So now you expect the working poor to drive in gridlock to their factory jobs while the urban elite get to cruise to their desk jobs. Another slap in the face.
 

ssiguy2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
3,286
Reaction score
1,075
I don't seem to recall the BoT RER proposal mentioning anything about tolls or shutting down traffic lanes...............IOW, let's get back on topic.
 

44 North

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
3,526
Reaction score
1,923
Location
Ward 28
1) When I say LRT, I'm specifically referring to at grade median LRT, and I do so because the context of LRT in this city is Transit City which for the most part was at grade median LRT. When I say "LRT", I don't refer to stuff like the C-Train and Edmonton LRT which are in their own dedicated ROW with boom gate priority, or the O-Train which is fully grade separated (although I classify that more as a light metro with a horrible vehicle choice), I'm specifically talking about stuff like Eglinton East and Finch West. Sorry if that raised any confusion.

I'm well aware of what you're referring to when you're whining about "LRT". And I still will call you out for how ridiculous it is to claim in-median isn't effective or useful, or that it's some political ploy from non-suburb ppl (really?). Seems like EWLRT will have less riders by being underground vs in median so that kinda rejects your assertion about no one using it bc it's not grade separate.

1) When I say LRT, I'm specifically referring to at grade median LRT, and I do so because the context of LRT in this city is Transit City which for the most part was at grade median LRT. When I say "LRT", I don't refer to stuff like the C-Train and Edmonton LRT which are in their own dedicated ROW with boom gate priority, or the O-Train which is fully grade separated (although I classify that more as a light metro with a horrible vehicle choice), I'm specifically talking about stuff like Eglinton East and Finch West. Sorry if that raised any confusion.

Then you clearly haven't read enough of my posts.

For Eglinton West, I have stated numerous times that my ideal project for the line is Elevated on the side of Eglinton Road, and that the subway is overpriced. The only reason why I support the tunneled option is because I prefer it over the old at-grade LRT option, a lesser of 2 evils you might say. If a politician came out and had a plan for an elevated alignment that could be quickly, instant vote (unless he turns out to be a horrible person or something, I'm not that shallow). For SSE, I also have stated numerous times that my "Ideal" Project would've been a refurbishment of the RT to Mark 2/Mark 3 trains, and the Eglinton Crosstown would instead be a western extension of the Scarborough RT, with the section between Science Center and Kennedy running on an elevated viaduct. If we aren't talking about ideals, and we're talking about what's on the table right now, I support SSE simply because I think it makes more sense than the Scarborough LRT for several reasons, and while I want to say that I support an elevated SSE, I'm not a civil engineer, so I'm less confident on the feasibility of that route, whether there is enough room for a portal, and what sacrifices would have to be made to run it elevated. However I'm almost certain that if that option was presented, I'd be an instant supporter. Yonge North is the same story as SSE, but even then, we have a new cost cutting route that runs on the rail corridor to save on station construction costs, and I 100% support it (even though the single bore option would have stacked tunnels with stacked stations which would be really cool).

P.S. Scarborough LRT isn't a "beefed up" Line 3, its a technological downgrade. Its Line 3 but with worse vehicle capacity, with worse internal vehicle circulation, and would require rebuilding every station to have low floor platforms (which are objectively worse than high floor ones in this context).

So you support elevated but only if the gov't does, but since they don't really then you don't. tl; dr, you don't actually support elevated (except for a section in Leslieville for some reason).

And over 100% increase in capacity + modernized stations for Line 3 sounds "beefed up" to me. Not exactly different infrastructure for what's proposed on Eg West. And the way you're going on about SLRT seems contradictory to your support for tunneling Eg West, or even elevating it. Trains built and chosen for being on the street, put underground when there's ample room not to, with seemingly less ridership, with stations that would require significant work in the future to upgrade into a high-floor subway, with massive tunnels for a panto (a feature for street use), when the east half if already on the street... You're about 10yrs too late for having Eglinton be a light metro. What you're supporting is more like a dolled up frankenstein's monster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: syn

ARG1

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
840
Reaction score
2,114
Location
North Toronto
I'm well aware of what you're referring to when you're whining about "LRT". And I still will call you out for how ridiculous it is to claim in-median isn't effective or useful, or that it's some political ploy from non-suburb ppl (really?). Seems like EWLRT will have less riders by being underground vs in median so that kinda rejects your assertion about no one using it bc it's not grade separate.
If you think my take on at grade LRTs in suburbs is wrong, then why don't you explain why I'm wrong rather than just exclaiming that I'm wrong. I've explained why I dislike median LRTs, why I think they're ineffective, and backed it up with real world examples and comparisons. If you think my interpretation of the data is wrong, or you can come up with an alternative explanation, I'm all ears.
So you support elevated but only if the gov't does, but since they don't really then you don't. tl; dr, you don't actually support elevated (except for a section in Leslieville for some reason).
What kind of mental gymnastics does one need to twist someone's words this much...

I support an elevated alignment, end of story. You're not me, and you're nobody to dictate to me what I do and do not support. Sometimes however you have to come to a compromise and choose the lesser of two evils, welcome to modern day politics. If I start fighting the underground alignment, and if my fighting succeeds, we're getting a median alignment, which would be even worse. The government proposed an at grade alignment in Leslieville (its not elevated, its at grade, its running on a preexisting rail corridor/ROW, not on an elevated viaduct), and its a good proposal so I support it. If a politician came in with a plan for an elevated Eglinton West, I would support that politician, however nobody is proposing that so I have to support the next best thing. That's how politics works, welcome to reality.

And over 100% increase in capacity + modernized stations for Line 3 sounds "beefed up" to me. Not exactly different infrastructure for what's proposed on Eg West.
Yes, the capacity will be higher with the SLRT but, you know what would have more capacity, while costing even less? Modernizing the line with newer ICTS Rolling Stock and extending the platforms (like you would with the SLRT) without pointlessly modifying the stations to be Low Floor which by definition have worse capacity and worse internal circulation than a High Floor train, while costing more in terms of upkeep.

And the way you're going on about SLRT seems contradictory to your support for tunneling Eg West, or even elevating it. Trains built and chosen for being on the street, put underground when there's ample room not to, with seemingly less ridership, with stations that would require significant work in the future to upgrade into a high-floor subway, with massive tunnels for a panto (a feature for street use), when the east half if already on the street... You're about 10yrs too late for having Eglinton be a light metro. What you're supporting is more like a dolled up frankenstein's monster.
First, when have I ever supported modifying the Eglinton Line to High Floor? Yes High Floor is objectively better than low floor, have more capacity, have better internal circulation, and are less expensive to maintain (The maintanance cost of these low floor LRVs within 30 years will be higher than the Toronto Subway rolling stock over the same time period). Despite this I do not believe that it makes sense to spend millions if not billions of dollars remodeling the stations to be high floor despite these improvements. We chose the wrong rolling stock and the wrong technology, now we have to deal with it and make the best use of what we have, which means more grade separations and less median running segments. Ottawa made the same mistake making their LRT low floor despite being completely grade separated which will definitely be a long term capacity constraint, however these Low Floor LRVs do support ATC and can theoretically run at 90s headways (if we remove the at grade street running segments) so it will be a while for both Toronto and Ottawa before the idea of converting to High Floor becomes an actual option or concern. The fact that the line will become a Frankenstein's monster of a line should not be a concern for anyone unless you have OCD. Yes it will be a very weird line, however it will still be more reliable and more effective at what its supposed to do compared to an at grade alignment. This extension will A) extend the line to Pearson Airport, one of the largest and fastest growing employment centers in the region, and the Mississauga Transitway, a fully grade separated busway that would allow for an easy to transfer to the Mississauga City Centre, a busway that was designed to be easily convertible to rail at any point, so its possible in the future we might see the line, or at least a branch travel from midtown Toronto all the way to MCC, and if we built this extension at grade, we would have this 8km pinch point where you can't have ATC to counteract the low vehicle capacity, and you'd be stuck in trains that make frequent stops with a huge risk of delays due to unruly pedestrians or drivers. This is a crosstown line that is currently planned to span from the Airport to UTSC, literally from the western border of the city to the eastern border, and reliability is a massive issue. Imagine Malvern or UTSC having to wait for their trains because some hot headed driver in Etobicoke ran into an LRV. It would be the reliability problem that Line 1 has but worse tenfold.
 

superelevation

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
188
Reaction score
376
I'm well aware of what you're referring to when you're whining about "LRT". And I still will call you out for how ridiculous it is to claim in-median isn't effective or useful, or that it's some political ploy from non-suburb ppl (really?). Seems like EWLRT will have less riders by being underground vs in median so that kinda rejects your assertion about no one using it bc it's not grade separate.



So you support elevated but only if the gov't does, but since they don't really then you don't. tl; dr, you don't actually support elevated (except for a section in Leslieville for some reason).

And over 100% increase in capacity + modernized stations for Line 3 sounds "beefed up" to me. Not exactly different infrastructure for what's proposed on Eg West. And the way you're going on about SLRT seems contradictory to your support for tunneling Eg West, or even elevating it. Trains built and chosen for being on the street, put underground when there's ample room not to, with seemingly less ridership, with stations that would require significant work in the future to upgrade into a high-floor subway, with massive tunnels for a panto (a feature for street use), when the east half if already on the street... You're about 10yrs too late for having Eglinton be a light metro. What you're supporting is more like a dolled up frankenstein's monster.
In Median isn't effective at improving travel time compared to a prioritized bus ala Viva, which we could implement for the TTC for far less than an LRT.

So if it isn't happening you can't support it? I guess nobody could support Milton Line RER since it's currently "not" happening.

1) Plenty of modern subways use pantos, they are hardly "meant for street use"

2) Anyone suggesting the underground option has lower ridership needs to reckon with how people get to the TTC subway . . . by bus. Having a few more stations for walk up access isn't helping you when most are getting there via a bus, and a much slower trip *is* hurting you.
 

rbt

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
6,772
Reaction score
2,475
1) Plenty of modern subways use pantos, they are hardly "meant for street use"

Most modern metros with no legacy concerns use pantos as they're much safer than 3rd rail. Fewer fires, easier rail maintenance/inspections, less concern during emergencies, etc.

Below are most of the cities with wholly new metro systems launched in 2019/2020/2021.

Overhead fixed-rail (or catenary): Luoyang, Taiyuan, Guadalajara, Sydney, Xuzhou, Wenzhou, Jinan, Nagpur, Noida, Changzhou, Hohhot, Jakarta

3rd Rail: Lahore, Ahmedabad, Doha
 
Last edited:

afransen

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
4,473
Reaction score
3,076
I thought panto subways required larger tunnels. Maybe not a big deal with cut and cover, but larger bore for TBM.
 

Top