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TTC: Sheppard Subway Extension (Proposed)

Adjei

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I guess we don't need to rehash this discussion. Street running LRT is not rapid transit. Toronto needs a crosstown/orbital line to connect the various radial lines (subway/GO) Line 5 is a failure in that regard. Sheppard is our next opportunity but it seems likely we will screw it up by building it as $1b/km underground TR. Converting to LRT and street running is a failure in the other direction. Maybe our next hope is the 407 orbital line. It's just a disaster for regional transit connectivity that we do not prioritize a fast orbital connection. It's not sustainable for downtown to be the only easily accessible location for employment.

Sheppard could work but they would need to shut it down to convert it to Ontario Line tech. I don’t know how politically feasible that would be. A GO midtown line could also work but I don’t see it working. A 407 line using Ontario line tech running from Burlington to Oshawa could work.
 

asher__jo

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I guess we don't need to rehash this discussion. Street running LRT is not rapid transit. Toronto needs a crosstown/orbital line to connect the various radial lines (subway/GO) Line 5 is a failure in that regard. Sheppard is our next opportunity but it seems likely we will screw it up by building it as $1b/km underground TR. Converting to LRT and street running is a failure in the other direction. Maybe our next hope is the 407 orbital line. It's just a disaster for regional transit connectivity that we do not prioritize a fast orbital connection. It's not sustainable for downtown to be the only easily accessible location for employment.
The hating for on-street LRT is exhausting. I think in many ways it's the superior for of higher capacity transit with it's ability to blend relatively seamlessly with the urban fabric. The main reasons this form of LRT on Finch and Eglinton has caveats has more to do with the Toronto transportation department refusing to allow signal priority.
BUT, I do think that grade separated generally has the best cost-benefit ratio when it comes to level of disruption construction brings.
 

44 North

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If Sheppard won't be extended past McCowan, why does it need to go to McCowan? Why not go to STC, and use this BRT/LRT for the eastern part of Sheppard?

Therein lies the issue with political parties "uploading" major transit planning. They're not showing their work. Is McCowan/Sheppard the prime terminus? What's the ridership and costing for different routings/termini? Why ignore Mobility Hubs, Urban Growth Centres and bypass a Scarb's downtown? Where's the cost estimate?

The likeliest answer for choosing McCowan/Sheppard for this fantasy election promise is it's a way to win the Scarborough North electoral district.

Change my mind.
 

afransen

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The hating for on-street LRT is exhausting. I think in many ways it's the superior for of higher capacity transit with it's ability to blend relatively seamlessly with the urban fabric.

It's fine in its place as a premium alternative to BRT. But I'd rather see an extensive network of BRT built out that is upgraded to grade separated high floor trains when volumes dictate. LRT makes sense on corridors that will never justify grade separated transit, but is very costly if it is going to be outgrown in a few decades.
 

dowlingm

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Interesting to read all the proposals to convert L4 - Transit City opted to create a single track terminus per mode at Don Mills rather than take that on. Perhaps a cautionary precedent as to the degree of difficulty to go further and convert?

As noted a few posts up, there has been a significant development surge since those days and replacing all service over a period of months (more likely years) would strain road capacity without a busway option as along SRT.

I also don’t think people take into account how existing riders might see being crammed into a shorter, narrower car might be perceived vs the wide, flat floor TR sets they have now. A new line like OL is one thing, conversion a different matter. Anyone who has transferred to SRT from subway at Kennedy knows what I mean - if the choice is low floor with even more chopped up floor space, more so.

Extending the subway across the 404, from studies during the TC days, likely won’t cost a lot more to tunnel. If you eliminate track and signal retrofit, platform and elevator reconstruction, power changes, bespoke vehicles (if dual 3rd rail/overhead is the choice) then by the time you have got to Consumers, or even Vic Park, plus significant reduction in service disruption to L4 riders and traffic congestion on street during the process, you are probably still net ahead by retaining subway. That was my view at the time - bring it across 404 to a purpose designed mode transfer station with no compromises in terminal capacity for light or heavy as in the Don Mills proposal.

The issue is how much it costs to go further, starting with Agincourt GO. Steve Munro thought that bringing subway to Vic Park would just invite “one more stop“, pushing subway further and further into low density and capital/operating burden in the system. I didn’t think it was as big an issue as he did because at the time the plan for Scarborough was LRT/SRT. Now that there will be a subway stop from Line 2 at Sheppard, the notion of “closing the loop” as in the budget map will be far more attractive to political operatives with eyes on competitive contests inside the 416 boundary, the sort of people who can promise without building, or provide a cheque to build with no mind to ongoing cost (and overruns)
 

afransen

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I could see it making sense if Line 2 merged with Line 4 at McCowan. Then we'd get a direct connection to STC at least without the dreaded linear transfer. Does anyone really think we should extend Line 2 any further north? And it is apparently already decided Line 4 won't go further east.
 

ARG1

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I could see it making sense if Line 2 merged with Line 4 at McCowan. Then we'd get a direct connection to STC at least without the dreaded linear transfer. Does anyone really think we should extend Line 2 any further north? And it is apparently already decided Line 4 won't go further east.
There is no reason we should be limiting our self for future expansion 50-100 years from now. I'm still not on board with this whole idea of forcing Line 4 down to STC anyway. STC is simply just a massive mall, and based on the plans provided by the province, they want to recreate the density and development there at Sheppard-McCowan. The only real benefit I see is maybe directly connecting it to DSBRT? But even then its still a 2km long diversion just for that. At the same time there's a good chance that we build a McCowan BRT north to Markham, and it could be used to connect that to a Line 4 station at Sheppard and McCowan plus the future Sheppard East LRT. There's always tradeoffs to the plans, and my solution will always be just sticking to general grid lines when we're out in the sticks of Toronto.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I'm still not on board with this whole idea of forcing Line 4 down to STC anyway. STC is simply just a massive mall, and based on the plans provided by the province, they want to recreate the density and development there at Sheppard-McCowan. The only real benefit I see is maybe directly connecting it to DSBRT?
STC is not just a massive mall, it’s also a transport hub serving a lot of Scarborough’s most important bus routes.

And I’m unconvinced by any plans to recreate STC density at Sheppard and McCowan. There is a massive highway separating Sheppard/McCowan from STC, which would make travelling between the two areas burdensome, and thus reduce the attractiveness of Sheppard/McCowan.

Also, I don’t understand the need to build another urban mode at Sheppard/McCowan. What problem is this trying to solve? STC can trivially absorb whatever density might pop up at Sheppard/McCowan.

It makes more sense to route the subway where the density actually exists, than where it might exist if the government’s fantasy plans materialize.
 

Rainforest

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Interesting to read all the proposals to convert L4 - Transit City opted to create a single track terminus per mode at Don Mills rather than take that on. Perhaps a cautionary precedent as to the degree of difficulty to go further and convert?

Conversion to low-floor LRT (Transit City mode) would be expensive and would take a lot of time: need to lower the platforms or rise the tracks, that brings a host of other changes.

Conversion to another type of high-floor trains (such as OL) should be both cheaper and faster.

As noted a few posts up, there has been a significant development surge since those days and replacing all service over a period of months (more likely years) would strain road capacity without a busway option as along SRT.

It might be possible to continue using one track at a time, and run a shuttle train while the conversion is being done. Still not ideal and might not serve all the demand, but should reduce the amount of shuttle buses needed.

I also don’t think people take into account how existing riders might see being crammed into a shorter, narrower car might be perceived vs the wide, flat floor TR sets they have now. A new line like OL is one thing, conversion a different matter. Anyone who has transferred to SRT from subway at Kennedy knows what I mean - if the choice is low floor with even more chopped up floor space, more so.

The perception depends on both capacity and demand level. If OL is expected to handle 15,000 to 20,000 per hour per direction on the opening day, then the same kind of trains should be fine handling the Sheppard's 5,000, or even double of that if the demand increases when the line gets extended.

Extending the subway across the 404, from studies during the TC days, likely won’t cost a lot more to tunnel. If you eliminate track and signal retrofit, platform and elevator reconstruction, power changes, bespoke vehicles (if dual 3rd rail/overhead is the choice) then by the time you have got to Consumers, or even Vic Park, plus significant reduction in service disruption to L4 riders and traffic congestion on street during the process, you are probably still net ahead by retaining subway. That was my view at the time - bring it across 404 to a purpose designed mode transfer station with no compromises in terminal capacity for light or heavy as in the Don Mills proposal.

The issue is how much it costs to go further, starting with Agincourt GO. Steve Munro thought that bringing subway to Vic Park would just invite “one more stop“, pushing subway further and further into low density and capital/operating burden in the system. I didn’t think it was as big an issue as he did because at the time the plan for Scarborough was LRT/SRT. Now that there will be a subway stop from Line 2 at Sheppard, the notion of “closing the loop” as in the budget map will be far more attractive to political operatives with eyes on competitive contests inside the 416 boundary, the sort of people who can promise without building, or provide a cheque to build with no mind to ongoing cost (and overruns)

The benefits of conversion will only materialize if Line 4 becomes a crosstown route.

If we expect it to never go past McCowan in the East and past Dufferin in the west, then the conversion (fixed cost) may not be offset by the cheaper extension cost (proportional to the length of extension).

But if we hope that Line 4 will one day connect to Lakeshore East RER in the east, and reach Pearson or Malton or Rexdale in the west, then the chances of that happening will improve with more agile technology.
 

Rainforest

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I could see it making sense if Line 2 merged with Line 4 at McCowan. Then we'd get a direct connection to STC at least without the dreaded linear transfer. Does anyone really think we should extend Line 2 any further north? And it is apparently already decided Line 4 won't go further east.

I'm not going to say this is a bad idea. But please note that the connection will be challenging. The Line 2 tracks are going to point north; in order to turn west, they would need to make a giant curve north of Sheppard, and it will be hard not to get under any houses if the 300-m turning radius is desired.
 

Rainforest

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And re. sending Line 4 to STC vs staying on Sheppard: both options have their pros and cons from the network perspective.

For all the connecting routes serving places north of 401 (McCowan, Malvern, the Zoo and the rest of Sheppard East), it is best if both Line 2 and Line 4 terminate at Sheppard & McCowan. Then the riders can transfer to either of them. If Line 4 veers from Sheppard to STC, then the riders who arrive to Sheppard & McCowan and wish to use Line 4 will have to take Line 2 and transfer at STC.

Conversely, for the routes serving places south of 401 (Centennial, UTSC, Ellesmere, Durham Pulse BRT), Line 4 going to STC is preferred. Otherwise, they might have to take Line 2 and transfer at Sheppard & McCowan to reach Line 4.

Overall, my gut is in favor of Line 4 staying on Sheppard, but the STC option isn't terrible. Maybe, TTC or Metrolinx should just make the ridership forecasts, and select the option with a greater count.
 

TheTigerMaster

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And re. sending Line 4 to STC vs staying on Sheppard: both options have their pros and cons from the network perspective.

For all the connecting routes serving places north of 401 (McCowan, Malvern, the Zoo and the rest of Sheppard East), it is best if both Line 2 and Line 4 terminate at Sheppard & McCowan. Then the riders can transfer to either of them. If Line 4 veers from Sheppard to STC, then the riders who arrive to Sheppard & McCowan and wish to use Line 4 will have to take Line 2 and transfer at STC.

Conversely, for the routes serving places south of 401 (Centennial, UTSC, Ellesmere, Durham Pulse BRT), Line 4 going to STC is preferred. Otherwise, they might have to take Line 2 and transfer at Sheppard & McCowan to reach Line 4.

Overall, my gut is in favor of Line 4 staying on Sheppard, but the STC option isn't terrible. Maybe, TTC or Metrolinx should just make the ridership forecasts, and select the option with a greater count.

Or we could have the best of both worlds: one branch terminating at Malvern Town Centre, and another at UTSC.
 

anb

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STC is not just a massive mall, it’s also a transport hub serving a lot of Scarborough’s most important bus routes.

And I’m unconvinced by any plans to recreate STC density at Sheppard and McCowan. There is a massive highway separating Sheppard/McCowan from STC, which would make travelling between the two areas burdensome, and thus reduce the attractiveness of Sheppard/McCowan.

Also, I don’t understand the need to build another urban mode at Sheppard/McCowan. What problem is this trying to solve? STC can trivially absorb whatever density might pop up at Sheppard/McCowan.

It makes more sense to route the subway where the density actually exists, than where it might exist if the government’s fantasy plans materialize.

I'm surprised that some intercity buses heading to eastern Ontario stop at the station as well. This is easily the most important and significant transit hub in the east end of Toronto.

And re. sending Line 4 to STC vs staying on Sheppard: both options have their pros and cons from the network perspective.

For all the connecting routes serving places north of 401 (McCowan, Malvern, the Zoo and the rest of Sheppard East), it is best if both Line 2 and Line 4 terminate at Sheppard & McCowan. Then the riders can transfer to either of them. If Line 4 veers from Sheppard to STC, then the riders who arrive to Sheppard & McCowan and wish to use Line 4 will have to take Line 2 and transfer at STC.

Conversely, for the routes serving places south of 401 (Centennial, UTSC, Ellesmere, Durham Pulse BRT), Line 4 going to STC is preferred. Otherwise, they might have to take Line 2 and transfer at Sheppard & McCowan to reach Line 4.

Overall, my gut is in favor of Line 4 staying on Sheppard, but the STC option isn't terrible. Maybe, TTC or Metrolinx should just make the ridership forecasts, and select the option with a greater count.

If there is no possible extension for Line 2 heading more north or Line 4 heading more east beyond McCowan/Sheppard in the future then having them both end at STC instead is more preferred. I would personally rather if they interlined the tracks for both lines so we don't force an unnecessary transfer at the planned terminus and we could create a sort of beltway with the subway. If either line ends up having an extension, then the McCowan/Sheppard station would be alright because there are 2 options to choose from when transferring.
 

kEiThZ

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Terminating at McCowan is not that crazy. It lets Sheppard subway stay on Sheppard. It services the Northeast. And allows for eventual extension in to some far distant future.

Also, the current ridership to STC is driven by the current network design, including a major bus terminal at STC. A good chunk of those routes will terminate at Sheppard/McCowan in the future.
 

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