TTC: Sheppard Subway Extension (Proposed)

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by denfromoakvillemilton, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. denfromoakvillemilton

    denfromoakvillemilton Senior Member

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    Hear me on this:


    About 2 years ago, the city council decided that the Sheppard East corridor would get LRT and not subway. Then the province said they would not start until 2017. Now, it's after the election. But what if the new city council reopens the sheppard debate, and the decides on the Subway. I think Tory would cave, but what about Chow or Soknancki? A very tiny part of me thinks that after the election city council will want to go back to the Sheppard subway, especially those Councillors out east. It will go from now we have one subway, to why don't we have two like North York? Another issue is if this happens, what does Hudak, or Wynne do then? How do we pay for it?


    Discuss.
     
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  2. ehlow

    ehlow Senior Member

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    Well... Steve Munro said that the Liberal Scarborough MPPs are delaying construction of the Sheppard East LRT.

    We're probably doomed to keep debating the same thing over and over for decades lol. I'm glad at least Eglinton is happening.

    I hope that at least Finch West LRT and Eg LRT west extension gets built.

    When I see all the apartment buildings along Sheppard, I'd hope they would get improved transit, and hopefully sooner rather than later. I'm worried that if we abandon the current LRT plan they won't get anything for 10-15, even 20 years. If they were to get a really good bus service, I would be OK with that.
     
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  3. MrsNesbitt

    MrsNesbitt Active Member

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    Well there's our nightly terrifying thought :p

    I think that it's possible, although unlikely. Whether or not Sheppard gets LRT or subway could really depend on the outcome of the next municipal and provincial elections (assuming that we do have a provincial one soon).

    If a new city council opens up the Sheppard debate and the mood swings towards subway, I don't think that I could see Chow or Soknacki caving in to the pressure. Chow would, hopefully, know better than that, and Soknacki has established himself already as the "LRT now, for less cost and sooner opening" guy through the Scarborough RT replacement debate and his support of LRT there. Then again, if council votes in a majority for a subway anyway, the Mayor can't exactly stop them.

    That's where the province's point of view comes in. If Wynne is still in power, it's up in the air as to whether or not the Liberals would support the modification of the plans - again - from LRT to subway on Sheppard. They might rightly put their foot down on the Sheppard Subway as a waste of money; then again, if the experience this past year with the debate over the RT replacement has taught us anything, if it'll win the Liberals votes from otherwise PC Scarborough ridings, they might just support it anyways.

    Then there's the "nightmare scenario": council supports a subway extension, the next mayor is Tory (who I could absolutely see caving) or Stintz (who I could see flip-flopping again, in spite of having led the Sheppard East LRT charge in the first place) or worst of all Ford again (who would find the subway proposition a dream come true), and Hudak comes to power provincially. Then absolutely we would get a Sheppard Subway extension, with the associated low ridership and high costs, and transit building in Toronto could get knocked back significantly by a drying-up of funds for other projects (like Finch West, which would of course get cancelled again).
     
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  4. ehlow

    ehlow Senior Member

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    The provincial government seems to have a set a precedent that when the city council wants to change the plans, even if there is a contract signed, they will change the plans. They set this precedent when they switched from LRT to subway for the STC to Kennedy route (aka Scarborough LRT/Subway).

    So, if Olivia Chow wins and her whole transit platform is about switching the Scarborough route to LRT, and if council votes for that, it seems like the province would have to switch again to be consistent. Same situation for any LRT to subway or subway to LRT switch right?

    Having said that, who the hell knows what will happen? If you look at Rob Ford's transit plan in 2010, very little of it came true (and if it did it wasn't because of him). He wanted to cancel Eglinton and leave nothing there for example, yet Eglinton is being built.

    I'm hoping people are sick of the flip flopping of technologies and the constant delays & cancellations of plans, and actually want to see something built.
     
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  5. TFC

    TFC Active Member

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    The best way to find out what Tory, Soknacki, Chow and Stintz think about the Sheppard LRT is to ask them (on twitter/facebook).

    I think it's best that we raise our voices now and at least get the media asking them questions about the Sheppard LRT. I think Tory is smart enough not to support a subway extension on Sheppard, as those numbers clearly don't add up.
     
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  6. picard102

    picard102 Senior Member

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    I'm not surprised that there was little resistance to the Eglinton LRT, a full new line, and so much resistance to LRT's as extensions of existing subway lines.
     
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  7. ehlow

    ehlow Senior Member

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    In that case the Finch West LRT should start eh? :)

    North Etobicoke has many people who depend on transit and can't afford to own cars. Hopefully the Finch West subway station on the Spadina extension makes life easier for them. The Finch West bus has really good ridership so the LRT would be a really useful upgrade for those riders.
     
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  8. MrsNesbitt

    MrsNesbitt Active Member

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    Seconded. Northern Etobicoke is probably the hardest place in the city to reach by transit right now.
     
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  9. gweed123

    gweed123 Moderator Staff Member

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    At this point, I'm honestly inclined to believe that Eglinton will be the only LRT built in Toronto this decade. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if, after the next municipal and provincial election, the bulk of the funds from the Sheppard and Finch LRTs are transferred to the DRL and/or the Yonge extension inside of Toronto, save a little bit to implement improved bus service on both those corridors.

    That ~$2 billion from those two projects could go a fair way in funding either of those subway projects, and with far less resistance than either of them will face. As long as Scarborough is still getting the Bloor-Danforth extension, I think completing the Sheppard line drops down the priority list, even for subway advocates, because "Scarborough would have its subway".

    I think that after the Eglinton LRT (and for that matter the Hurontario LRT) opens, and the sky doesn't fall, then Toronto can have a more rational debate about LRT. Until then, I think it's Eglinton and that's it.
     
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  10. GenerationW

    GenerationW Senior Member

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    No chance.
     
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  11. Coruscanti Cognoscente

    Coruscanti Cognoscente Senior Member

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    But that's just it--LRT in place of a subway extension makes little sense, whereas an LRT on a brand new corridor makes a lot of sense. I'm all for the Eglinton line because it makes sense to have it tunneled in the central portion and above ground for the rest (although we'll see how well it will run in the at-grade portion).

    But building a Sheppard East LRT or the SRT conversion instead of the Danforth extension just run counter to every fibre in my being, and I cannot support them.

    Hurontario and Finch as LRT I think are perfectly adequate, same with the LRTs in Hamilton and KW.
     
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  12. TFC

    TFC Active Member

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    Even if the ridership numbers and density figures suggest a subway doesn't make sense? (hypothetically speaking)
     
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  13. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    except for the fact that, you know, the ridership numbers point to the subway making sense.
     
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  14. Coruscanti Cognoscente

    Coruscanti Cognoscente Senior Member

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    Replacing the SRT with a subway extension to STC definitely makes sense, ridership-wise.

    Extending the Sheppard line is a little more difficult to argue, so I'd just leave it as is for now, or extend it west for now. Zone the section from the eastern terminus to STC for high density commercial and residential to encourage more usage of the line. And then finish it.
     
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  15. Northern Magus

    Northern Magus Active Member

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    A very good question.

    A westbound subway extension to Downsview appears likelier to me than an eastbound one in any event -- and imo that would only be a sop to a re-elected Ford (should that ever happen) to make the DRL more palatable.

    An eastbound LRT still seems to be settled -- a radically reconstituted council would revisit the issue. But the next provincial election will be determinitive.

    The election of a Hudak government is virtually certain to kill it -- iirc he's already on the record stating he would only fund subways, presumably after various rounds of tax and service cuts were given first priority.

    Wynne will simply respect the wishes of council provided it isn't radically inconsistent with Metrolinx's plans.

    But the Eglinton line sure looks like a done deal regardless of the next election cycles.
     
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