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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
I don't know if anybody noticed this, but to keep elevateds from costing too much, the columns take lanes away from traffic. Almost certainly the supports for a station structure will eliminate turn lanes.

Just like LRT, except costs twice as much if not more.

The primary reason Vancouver went with elevated skytrain over subways is mostly because of the complicated geology underlying the city. The Canada line is elevated through Richmond because that city is built on what is essentially quicksand and the tunnel will float right out of the ground if there's even a moderate earthquake while an elevated structure is more stable in such circumstances.

REad in the globe that it would cost around 100 mil so around the ball park of on street LRT. I think the added cost will probably be worth it as we get rapid transit speeds and we can maintain using the LRT vehicles if we want thus less penalties. How I see is is that they can build the Eglinton LRT tunnel and convert the at grade sections to elevated using the cancelled Finch LRT money (which probably had no chance of surviving under Ford anyway). Then we can go ahead with the SRT LRT conversion anyway and Sheppard can have the 4 car subway line elevated the rest of the way to STC, if not the money can probably bring them to Kennedy right now anyway if we used elevated.

Also they should market the new lines as subway anyway since they all basically have underground segments. Probably would deflect some criticism.
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Which once again comes back to the "why the hell does LRT cost 100mil/km in Toronto anyways" question, considering St Clair was about 20 and Calgary's extensions (largely grade-separated!) are somewhere around 30.

Probably the same reason why subways cost triple here as well.
I kind of feel like the article AoD posted bears a closer look, because it is quite honestly a collection of some of the dumbest quotes Ford has made since he became mayor.

For Mayor Rob Ford, a Sheppard subway line is Toronto’s top transit priority. And if that means putting all other transit projects on hold to make that a reality, so be it.

“I’m just focusing on doing the Sheppard subway underground. And then we’ll cross the next bridge when we get to it," he said in an interview with The Globe Tuesday.

“Sheppard’s the first one I want to do. I’ve talked to the premier about it, talked to Metrolinx about it. They know where I stand and they’ve said it can be done."

Mr. Ford took office Dec. 1 with the unequivocal promise of ending the existing Transit City plan’s European-style light rail in favour of subways. And, he said, everything is going underground – even if the inflated price will mean the city’s other plans for rapid transit won’t materialize.

“Eventually, I’m sure we can build the subways. It’s more expensive, but that’s what the people want. People in North York and Scarborough, they want that line connected to the Scarborough Town Centre. If I heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times."

Even if that means cancelling or postponing indefinitely rapid transit in his own former ward of Etobicoke North?

“They have transit," he laughed. “It sounds like we’re – we have transit. People get to the slots, they get to Woodbine racetrack, people get to Humber College. There are buses that run up there.

“Eventually, I’d like to have subways running through the whole city. But what we can afford realistically, right now, is just Sheppard, right?"

Transit City was meant to be a provincially funded series of four light-rail projects running along Eglinton, Sheppard, Finch and replacing existing Scarborough rapid transit.

With Sheppard as a priority, Mr. Ford suggested, the other projects may just have to wait.

Mr. Ford has criticized light-rail transit as too similar to the streetcars he believes causes congestion in Toronto’s gridlocked roadways. He scoffed at the idea that monorails or a similar above-grade technology, which in theory would allow cars to continue unimpeded, could replace light rail. Similar projects have been tried in Vancouver’s Canada Line, which opened this year.

“There’s no more above ground," he said. “No, everything’s going underground. I want to do subways. Every poll you see, over 80 per cent of people in the city want subways compared to LRT or streetcars. So I’m going to do what I campaigned on."

And Mr. Ford said he’s confident that can be accomplished. The Toronto Transit Commission has put a hold on new hires and new consulting work while transit staff try to come up with alternatives by 2011.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has said he’s waiting to see what new options the city comes up with. Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, too, has said the province is open to reallocating the existing funds toward an alternative transit project, provided it has the approval of council. But both have said the $8.15-billion total the province has pledged is a final figure: The $130-million already spent on Transit City, and any fees resulting from cancelling the $1.3-billion in contracts already signed, will come out of that allocation.

Mr. Ford also defended council’s decision last week to declare the TTC an essential service, curbing workers’ right to strike.

But many people, including TTC general manager Gary Webster and even deputy mayor Doug Holyday, who ended up voting with the mayor, have warned that essential-service designation may cost the city more than it’s worth.

“I think that’s what people want. For them to go on strike costs the city $50-million dollars a day," he said. “We can’t afford that. So I think it’s essential that we make it an essential service."

Mr. Ford added that despite threats from ATU local president Bob Kinnear, he doesn’t see there being a strike over the proposal, which the province would have to sign off on.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. But I expect people to show up for work every day, and if they don’t show up for work, well, I’ve got to do what I have to do."

So Sheppard is the priority even beyond Eglinton. North Etobicoke is already well-served by transit because people still manage to get around to the slots. Elevated transit is not an option.
Metrolinx was fighting the TTC under Miller for more grade-separation, and now Ford is asking for complete grade separation. If Metrolinx was smart, they could use this as an opportunity to implement the type of plan that they wanted to implement anyway (ie the plan they wanted if the TTC hadn't been so stuck on in-median LRT). Hopefully Metrolinx will show that they have some balls, and simply tell Ford "This is what we want to do. We gave you some of what you asked for. We're the ones footing the bill, so you can STFU now."

Something in me tells me that Metrolinx is not going to roll over and give in to everything Ford wants. They may throw him a few bones (I'm personally hoping for B-D to STC, and replacing the SELRT with a subway + BRT combo), but I don't see them canning everything for a subway on Sheppard. If they do, I've lost all faith in Regional Planning agencies...
I kind of feel like the article AoD posted bears a closer look, because it is quite honestly a collection of some of the dumbest quotes Ford has made since he became mayor.

Don't forget "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it" as the new mantra of the Ford regime - as in "let's make rash and hasty decisions now and worry about the consequences later!" This is no way to plan a decent transit network, and is certainly no way to govern a city.
lol! i read in the star that ford would support building a sheppard east LRT if it was completely underground. wtf is the point of that? some sort of twisted show of willingness to compromise?
Looks to me that the provincial government is really trying to hold on to their seats in Toronto.

The architect of Ontario’s successful strategy to build public infrastructure with private money has a subway solution for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Liberal MPP David Caplan, the former provincial public infrastructure renewal minister, said Ford’s dream of new subway lines to replace the Transit City LRTs can be financed using the innovative means developed by Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government.

“Subways are the way to go,” said Caplan, whose “alternative financing procurement” plan has led to the construction of 53 hospitals, courthouses and other public buildings using private capital since 2003.

“There’s no reason why we couldn’t build two or three kilometres of new tunnels per year then we’d truly build a subway system in the city of Toronto,” he said, noting he is hoping to meet with Ford’s officials in the New Year to discuss his proposal.

“The mayor and council could decide where the key nodes would be — like Don Mills or Eglinton or in the west end, downtown, it doesn’t really matter — and then how you would connect it,” said the Don Valley East MPP.

Caplan, who attended the World Infrastructure Summit in Barcelona last month, said there are tens of billions of dollars in private capital waiting to be invested in major public projects.

To bankroll the kind of subway expansion Ford has envisioned, he said the city would need to create two separate entities, “Tunnel Company,” to bore the tunnels, and “Station Company” to market the stations.

“The station itself . . . would be attractive to the private sector if they operated the concessions — retail, restaurants, that stuff underneath — but then also on top with air rights,” said Caplan.

“So the city could see additional value created and captured. But tunnelling there’s no profit. That’s where you would want to have the government build the tunnels.”

Suggesting the city work with Infrastructure Ontario, the provincial agency overseeing public-private partnership (P3) projects, Caplan said the tunnels could be paid for with gas tax revenues or some of $8.15 billion earmarked for Transit City light rail on Sheppard, Finch and Eglinton Aves. and the Scarborough RT.

“You can’t tell me that there wouldn’t be private sector developers and other companies who would be interested in that kind of an opportunity to buy a concession for 25 or 30 years and you would ask them perhaps to design, build, maintain, and finance it.”

Asked why such a simple concept has not been used before, Caplan said in the past city hall “has waited for federal or provincial governments to get in the game as opposed to looking for ways to get this done.”

Caplan has emerged as a Ford ally at Queen’s Park on transit issues. His private member’s bill now before the House would designate the TTC as an essential service because strikes and lockouts cost the city’s economy $50 million a day.

The veteran MPP said he shares the new mayor’s concern about LRT lines.

“Come to Sheppard Ave. (and) see what’s happening between Yonge St. and Don Mills (Rd.),” said Caplan, referring to new development since the Sheppard subway was built a decade ago.
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I don't agree with Ford that transit has to be underground at all costs. I see no problem with the ends of Eglinton being above-ground or trenched or just in the Richview corridor.

I don't agree that Sheppard is Prio 1 either. The blame for that rests squarely with Miller & Giambrone & Co.

In terms of Eglinton, Sheppard and the SRT, Prio 1 is replacing the SRT with subway. Then Eglinton. Then Sheppard.

But Miller had to mess it up and make the SELRT first priority. Thanks for nothing Miller.
Ford's 'must be underground' mantra is as infuriating as the 'must be streetcar ROW' mantra he's trying to shove aside...but Ford should know that the TTC's recent obsession with tunnels is one of the things holding back subway construction. Yes, we know people prefer subways, but when was the last time public opinion got a transit project built? Public opinion is irrelevant when consultation consists of displaying to people what's already been decided and then taking the words of the ten people who showed up at the event as the Gospel of Everyone. The point here is that putting anything 10 metres under the street will cost a lot of money, as we're seeing with Eglinton and Spadina. Got a valley? Elevate through the valley. Got a strip of grass or vast swath of parking lots? Trench it or maybe even look at some surface running. Yes, these options are good enough, and doing this on a system-wide scale will let us actually build all the lines people are drawing on napkins, and save billions of dollars along the way. The public would prefer a subway line that went outside sometimes.

Lines should be elevated in some places, typically to help ensure that lines are always as close as possible to the surface (the ideal). This saves a fortune and is best for riders. Some of Eglinton could be elevated east of Leaside. Same with parts of Sheppard, should have been with parts of Spadina, etc.

We're going to be subjected to months, if not years, of repetitive Sheppard vs Eglinton arguments and "Cancel this to pay for that" and so on. Here's some food for thought. There's reasons Eglinton was only cited to move 8% larger peak crowds than Sheppard east of Don Mills (5400 vs 5000). One reason, of course, is that these projections change daily according to whether or not assumptions A, C, and E were used instead of B, D, and F.

But the more important reason is simply the reality that one corridor is not overwhelmingly more important than the other. Eglinton is not the lifeblood of this city. Ooo, blasphemy! People in Peel are not going to transfer to the Eglinton line in any quantity. A downtown-airport rail link would eat up the to-airport crowds. The busiest point on Eglinton is east of Kennedy and that may never get built. Of course Eglinton would likely move more total people than Sheppard, but only because it's so long - much longer than Sheppard. But Sheppard could be made longer by running from Downsview along Finch West and even along, say, Ellesmere. Those corridors see no less current bus ridership than Eglinton and they'd connect more things than Eglinton would. Either way, we need to recognize that no, one is not sooo necessary and the other sooo not necessary. They're a lot closer than most are willing to admit (because then what else would people have to fight about on the internet?). Kill Eglinton for Sheppard or Sheppard for Eglinton? Meh, whatever.

I have no serious issues with ditching Eglinton to finish Sheppard, but I know other people disagree. That's fine. Ditching Sheppard to build Eglinton would be fine, too. Eglinton doesn't have an unfinished subway and it's just a feeder route. Scorning Eglinton a second time, though, would be kind of rude and congestion is a genuine transit problem, especially around the Allen. However, the real shame is that we're not going forward with the more pressing projects like the DRL, Danforth to STC, or Yonge, all of which would move bigger crowds and would fill key gaps in the rapid transit network in growing places where people are going. We need those and GO expansion and basic bus improvements before we need Sheppard or Eglinton. Still, even if Sheppard was 5th on your list of priorities, getting it first doesn't make it bad. Same thing happened with Spadina. It all has less to do with the merits or details of Sheppard or Eglinton or any other project and more to do with seething feudal jealousy and intense hatred of...what, Mike Harris? Not that one project can begin only after the other has finished.

Danforth to STC makes sense in that it's in the grey zone between LRT and HRT. Don't be under any illusions though. STC is not the destination for the overwhelming majority of people using any hypothetical Danforth extension. Just like Sheppard users, most want to head to the core. The only difference is that there are about 3-4 times the number of people that would use it compared to a complete Sheppard.

I was talking more about the gungho attitude that you and many other Sheppard crazies hold that Sheppard subway to STC only makes sense while ignoring any reality that it would be a black hole in the city budget for generations to come.

Even ignoring that demand along Sheppard is nowhere remotely close to subway requirements, "peak" periods at malls occur at times where 'transit that doesn't have the mega capacity or expense of subways' could easily handle it.

There's also the question of the types of jobs at suburban malls like this. How many M-F 9-5 jobs are there? How many are shift jobs that have smaller numbers of employees moving in and out at several points during the day throughout the entire week?

The former type in large concentrations is efficient to serve via high capacity mass transit. The latter type doesn't place nearly the same amount of peak stress on the transit system even if the absolute number of jobs were the same compared to downtown.

You're still embarrassing yourself. Where did I say the Danforth extension would be just for the mall? STC is the only place that makes the slightest bit of sense as a transfer point in Scarborough, and not just because the mall is the biggest trip generator in the borough. Ignore the mall: many bus routes pour into the SRT corridor, and most of these people see no benefit from spending billions of dollars revamping the SRT. Midland, Brimley, McCowan, Middlefield, Ellesmere, Highland Creek, Lawrence East...even many of the people on routes like Neilson or Milner. It's especially annoying on Lawrence East, where people have to transfer 3 minutes after getting on the RT.

I wasn't talking about a Sheppard extension in that post or I would have mentioned it. Extending it is not a priority when there's things like the DRL to build. The Danforth extension will not move 3-4 times what a completed Sheppard would, unless you think the Danforth extension will be moving like 300,000 or 400,000 people a day when it opens. Ridership will obviously go up in the SRT corridor, but not eightfold. That makes no sense.

The current 6.5km section sees around 4,000 passengers in its busiest hour and loses $10 million a year.

$50 million from the city budget each year maybe? For the next three generations? Possibly longer?

You have no idea what the current or future loss might be. Things aren't true just because you've Googled them. Realistic numbers make a big difference when you're bitching about operating losses. $50 million would cover the whole operating cost of the line before revenues are even counted - with millions to spare if we do things like change the fare scheme to get rid of collectors or not build the whole line underground. How much does the 85/190 currently lose? How much will the Sheppard LRT lose? And it will lose lots of money.
Wow. I just read the article. I guess that is it then. The happening place in Toronto where more and more people are living and more and more jobs are being located more than anywhere else is Scarborough along Sheppard between Don Mills and Kennedy. Who knew?

Say good-bye stubway and say hello money pit.
Why is he so hellbent to extend Sheppard before everything else?

Both the Kennedy - STC corridor and the Eglinton line are obviously higher priorities.
For some reason I am reminded of those incidents, the ones where you make a wrong turn somewhere and instead of stopping and asking for help, you just keep driving and hope that it'll work out.
For some reason I am reminded of those incidents, the ones where you make a wrong turn somewhere and instead of stopping and asking for help, you just keep driving and hope that it'll work out.

This whole thing kinda reminds me of the cliff scene from Thelma and Louise...