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Transit City Plan

Which transit plan do you prefer?

  • Transit City

    Votes: 95 79.2%
  • Ford City

    Votes: 25 20.8%

  • Total voters
    120
Where do people get this idea that malls are huge transit trip generators? The number of trips to the mall pales in comparison to work and (a distant second) school. That's probably why basing transit expansion around getting to malls is doomed for failure.

How many workers do you think are at a large mall at any given time? 500? 1000 tops? How many people are milling around in malls during work or school hours? How hard do you think a few thousand people are going to be stressing a massive subway when people are going to the mall in evenings or weekend? Oh yeah, really needed there.

I always feel so embarrassed for you when I read your posts.

Duh, of course the trips to one mall are going to be less than all total trips to all workplaces in the entire city, or all total students going to all schools. Total shopping trips, though, are far higher than you think they are. How many students take transit on an August weekend? Oh, right, off-peak shopping trips don't count as transit trips.

Do you honestly think a Danforth extension to STC would be just for the mall and not for all the people living and working there or the dozen bus routes that pour into it? Do you think that there's 20 more malls somewhere that need subways running to them? A transit system that avoids malls is probably doomed to failure, which is why transit systems do not avoid malls.

It's not like there's 20 more regional malls in the city that need subways running to them, by the way. There already is a 'rapid transit' line going to STC that's falling apart and they're proposing to spend a few billion dollars revamping the SRT, so we're connecting the mall whether you like it or not. A "massive subway" extension could be cheaper and would help far more people then what is currently planned, though. A Bloor extension to East Mall should go one more stop to Sherway, which might be the regional mall in the GTA with the worst transit connections (or Vaughan Mills, though the difference is relative). So, there's an extension to STC that is happening in some form either way, and a single station extension to Sherway beyond what is the absolute minimum necessary. WOW, THAT'S SO MUCH EXPANSION TO MALLS! Also, the 905 transit systems revolve around malls or will be improving service on corridors that have malls on them. That's pretty much it as far as connecting malls goes, because they already are connected. Nothing is compromised, and there are no negatives...only substantial benefits.
 
But running BRT in-median from Agincourt to Morningside instead of running LRT in-median likely would not require a new EA. Future upgrade to LRT would require minimal costs if demand required it, and the subway extension to VP would not be a prerequisite to the BRT opening. If all you're doing is not laying down the tracks and laying down asphalt instead, I would imagine this would not be significant enough of a change to trigger a new EA.

I wasn't a fan of Miller and friends arbitrarily picking a technology and won't be too fond of whomever else for arbitrarily picking a different one. It doesn't fit my definition of open and transparent.

Business cases aren't hard to create, particularly when most of the components are from a model extracted from a common set of datapoints. The work for the second or 10th is significantly smaller than the first.

Implement the best case, then go back every few years to measure the results adjusting the model appropriately for projects that follow.

Is TransModeler still required for multi-modal traffic modelling or has the open sourced SUMO improved enough to be usable? Shove in and modify OpenStreetMap data overlaid with census information (density, etc.), a couple months of time, and armchair quotes could be made. Fine tune for a year, add a web interface to let people make modications, register ILiveInSim.com and voila. I don't have the time. Who's going to bite?
 
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I wasn't a fan of Miller and friends arbitrarily picking a technology and won't be too fond of whomever else for arbitrarily picking a different one. It doesn't fit my definition of open and transparent.

Business cases aren't hard to create, particularly when most of the components are from a model extracted from a common set of datapoints. The work for the second or 10th is significantly smaller than the first.

Implement the best case, then go back every few years to measure the results adjusting the model appropriately for projects that follow.

The projected ridership is under 5,000 pphpd. It doesn't take someone arbitrarily picking a technology to figure out that BRT is more than adequate to handle that volume. Implenting it as BRT allows you to make a more moderate investment, and if sufficient ridership demand arises that can support LRT and that is too much for BRT to handle, then spend the extra amount and lay down some tracks.
 
Implenting it as BRT allows you to make a more moderate investment, and if sufficient ridership demand arises that can support LRT and that is too much for BRT to handle, then spend the extra amount and lay down some tracks.

Just curious if your proposal accounts for the extra money required to purchase the buses to serve the line (or would they be existing routes re-allocated)?

When you decide to lay down some tracks, have you purchased the LRVs to run on them? Do you have a location available to build the carhouse?

While it may not be all that incrementally expensive to one day switch from a BRT in median to LRT in median, it's those other costs that need to be accounted for (and as we see with Ashbridges Bay, securing a reasonable carhouse location isn't the easiest thing - if Sheppard has one available now, would it still be available in X years when you want to upgrade from BRT?)
 
The projected ridership is under 5,000 pphpd. It doesn't take someone arbitrarily picking a technology to figure out that BRT is more than adequate to handle that volume.

Okay, and when they don't pick your BRT model but instead install a jump queue lane at Sheppard and Don Mills then label it as BRT?

How about when they opt to extend the subway, at 4x the cost, instead?


Implenting it as BRT allows you to make a more moderate investment, and if sufficient ridership demand arises that can support LRT and that is too much for BRT to handle, then spend the extra amount and lay down some tracks.

I still have a very hard time with this, primarily because they do stuff like have BRT transfers take place on the surface but demand a seamless transfer for LRT.

Bringing diesel buses down to the subway platform level, like Sheppard LRT is doing, so the user doesn't take any stairs, escalators, or elevators to go from one to the other would cost a small mint for air quality and to allow buses to loop. That item could add $100M to the cost all by itself.

What happens when we don't compare apples and ducks?


What are the cost savings for BRT? I know the ROW needs to be wider and loops are now required; that increases land acquisition costs. Vehicles are roughly the same price over a 30 year span. Bus storage yards are lower but maintenance seems to be higher as there are more moving parts (especially in hybrid). The 100 year road-base installed on Yonge when it was rebuilt was about 10% cheaper than the equivalent on Queen with tracks in it.


BRT is vastly cheaper when you can use a pre-existing road and paint lines on it or use highway shoulders; but that is not the case for Sheppard. Any installation will involve a road widening.

Semi-BRT is also pretty cheap (jump-queue) lanes. That's not going to get the 5000pphpd you target though.
 
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Just curious if your proposal accounts for the extra money required to purchase the buses to serve the line (or would they be existing routes re-allocated)?

Pretty sure the reduction in buses on the central portion of Eglinton would cover the modest increase of buses needed along Sheppard. It isn't so much about adding additional buses, it's allowing the existing buses to run more efficiently. Obviously the exact numbers would be subject to much more detailed analysis than what I can provide as an outsider, but there's a pretty rough estimate.

When you decide to lay down some tracks, have you purchased the LRVs to run on them? Do you have a location available to build the carhouse?

Well no, that would be part of the LRT upgrade. Why would you buy LRVs and build a carhouse when you have no tracks to run them on?

While it may not be all that incrementally expensive to one day switch from a BRT in median to LRT in median, it's those other costs that need to be accounted for (and as we see with Ashbridges Bay, securing a reasonable carhouse location isn't the easiest thing - if Sheppard has one available now, would it still be available in X years when you want to upgrade from BRT?)

If it's city-owned land now, yeah theoretically it should be. Unless the city decides to be stupid and sell the land.
 
Okay, and when they don't pick your BRT model but instead install a jump queue lane at Sheppard and Don Mills then label it as BRT?

How about when they opt to extend the subway, at 4x the cost, instead?

Well that wouldn't really be BRT then, would it? I can't really help it if the TTC builds 1 queue jump lane and then calls it BRT. I proposed the queue jump lanes between Vic Park and Agincourt instead of the full BRT because then when the subway is extended underneath, you wouldn't have substantial overlapping services.


I still have a very hard time with this, primarily because they do stuff like have BRT transfers take place on the surface but demand a seamless transfer for LRT.

Bringing diesel buses down to the subway platform level, like Sheppard LRT is doing, so the user doesn't take any stairs, escalators, or elevators to go from one to the other would cost a small mint for air quality and to allow buses to loop. That item could add $100M to the cost all by itself.

What happens when we don't compare apples and ducks?

A valid concern. However, there are several stations on the TTC system that have "underground" transfer points from bus to subway (St. Clair West, York Mills, etc). Vic Park wouldn't be a permanent transfer from BRT to subway, but rather whenever the Agincourt station is built, it would become part of an BRT/LRT, subway, and GO train complex. For that station, I would imagine the buses and GO on the same level, with the subway underneath. If it's 1 level of difference, it's not that big of a deal.


What are the cost savings for BRT? I know the ROW needs to be wider and loops are now required; that increases land acquisition costs. Vehicles are roughly the same price over a 30 year span. Bus storage yards are lower but maintenance seems to be higher as there are more moving parts (especially in hybrid). The 100 year road-base installed on Yonge when it was rebuilt was about 10% cheaper than the equivalent on Queen with tracks in it.


BRT is vastly cheaper when you can use a pre-existing road and paint lines on it or use highway shoulders; but that is not the case for Sheppard. Any installation will involve a road widening.

It's true that BRT does require slightly larger lanes, but not by much. It's certainly not enough to be a deal-breaker. The main advantage to BRT is that multiple routes can use the ROW, even if it's just for part of the route. This is much more difficult to do with LRT, especially when in-street track switches are involved. All buses need to do is do a left or right turn. For example, my proposal has curbside bus lanes on McCowan between Sheppard and STC. Not only would the dedicated BRT buses be able to use this, but so can all the buses that run into STC using McCowan (the Nugget bus for example). The other advantage, less so with in-median, is the ability to run express buses on the same corridor.
 
Not sure if anyone else wrote to Ford and got a stock reply, but for those that haven't see one:

It is my hope that the Transit City brand will be replaced with a brand that takes a broader transportation perspective. The plan isn't being killed, but much of the work will be refocused underground.

The first transit priority is to build a subway on Sheppard Avenue and replace the Scarborough RT. These routes were first priority in the Transit City plan, I would like them open before the Pan-Am Games in 2015. The second transit priority is the Eglinton line. This route was second priority in Transit City plan. I would like this line open, as currently scheduled, by 2020.

I have asked the TTC to investigate and present options for a new plan to achieve these goals. Once this plan is established, I will be able to answer more specific questions with regards to cost and changes.

The previous Transit City plan was not approved as one plan by Council, individual lines were voted on. As your Mayor, I look forward to bringing the new plans forward to my council colleagues.
 
The first transit priority is to build a subway on Sheppard Avenue and replace the Scarborough RT. These routes were first priority in the Transit City plan, I would like them open before the Pan-Am Games in 2015.
He thinks two lines, >10 km of subway can be designed and completed in 4.5 years? In North America?
 
Hehehe he thinks we're Madrid.

Laugh out fucking loud.

I think it's sad that we have such a "can't do" attitude that we think it's impossible.

If anything, we should be happy that Ford wants to get this done FAST and will push for it to get done quickly. Things in this country take way too long to build. Or is it just in Ontario? Either way, it's a problem.
 
Who needs environmental assessments? Just enact the ol' eminent domain and let'er rip. Just like those Usenet Libertrollians advocate
 
Surely the bigger issue is the actual design. Which is based on soil borings. Which take time to do over such a long extent.
 

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