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TTC: Streetcar Network

Would it even be feasible to add streetcar tracks back to streets like Dupont or Bay nowadays? It wouldn't be a terrible idea to keep a downtown streetcar network growing instead of adding buses, but there would be a lot of difficulty in convincing the public, and for finding more space to store streetcars.
 
I think a line that goes from Dupont Station west to Dufferin would be a good North-of-Bloor East-West connector, that lies equidistant between Bloor and St. Clair. Significant densification potential in the area as well and opportunities to intersect whatever transit line comes north in the future.

Same with Parliament; a line that connects the Distillery District, Regent Park and St. Jamestown up to Castle Frank would create a new North-South line that connects a lot of destinations - plus the tracks are mostly there already.

The other areas of focus would probably mostly be on the Waterfront and Portlands.
 
I think a line that goes from Dupont Station west to Dufferin would be a good North-of-Bloor East-West connector, that lies equidistant between Bloor and St. Clair. Significant densification potential in the area as well and opportunities to intersect whatever transit line comes north in the future.

Same with Parliament; a line that connects the Distillery District, Regent Park and St. Jamestown up to Castle Frank would create a new North-South line that connects a lot of destinations - plus the tracks are mostly there already.

The other areas of focus would probably mostly be on the Waterfront and Portlands.
TTC position is, "these tracks aren't in the official plan and we can think outside the box and ask that they be added to the "OFFICIAL PLAN""
 
Imagine if they did NOT remove the streetcar tracks on Yonge Street, Bloor Street, and Danforth Avenue. They would have the use of larger and longer vehicles to use as shuttles doing the subway shutdowns on weekends, and night streetcars as well.

From link. 1945 Streetcar System Map.

View attachment 220077

Notice the wye's at Scollard/Yonge and Price/Yonge.

From link.

800px-Turn_wye.svg.png


What I'm worried about is the slow disappearance of trackwork that could be used for detours or short turns. I would like to see the return of wye's to allow for short turns instead of loops.

Given today's traffic densities, I would think an on-street wye would be highly disruptive. If nothing else, manual or fixed traffic control would be required.
 
It wouldn't be a terrible idea to keep a downtown streetcar network growing instead of adding buses, but there would be a lot of difficulty in convincing the public, and for finding more space to store streetcars.

The storage isn' a huge problem; the existing tracks do connect to suburban areas where land parcels for additional car barns can be found.

The difficulty to convince the public, on the other hand .. can that be a sign that the actual riders don't see much value in converting mixed-traffic bus routes to mixed-traffic streetcar routes? The travel times will be same, or maybe slightly worse because it is harder for a streetcar to get around obstacles. The headways might increase if the route does not have very solid ridership already; higher capacity per vehicle = fewer vehicles per hour. The streetcar ride is more smooth, but does it matter that much for the majority of riders?

As I remember, the research on the riders' preferences, bus vs streetcars, produce results that vary from one city to another. While Toronto downtowners appear to prefer streetcars, perhaps for nostalgic reasons in part, that kind of preference isn't universal.

There may be benefits in adding some strategic bits to the mixed-traffic streetcar network, such as extending the 505 north along Dundas (that could relief the Dundas West streetcar loop and allow for more frequent 504 service), or extending 505 further east using Gerrard and then to Coxwell Stn (more service on the route that already has 506 streetcars, plus more room at the Broadview loop for added 504 cars). There is even greater benefit in extending the 512 west to Scarlett, if that line can remain entirely in dedicated lanes. However, trying to convert every bus route to streetcar just because there is a way to fit the streetcar on the street, may not be the path to actual transit improvement.
 
The storage isn' a huge problem; the existing tracks do connect to suburban areas where land parcels for additional car barns can be found.

The difficulty to convince the public, on the other hand .. can that be a sign that the actual riders don't see much value in converting mixed-traffic bus routes to mixed-traffic streetcar routes? The travel times will be same, or maybe slightly worse because it is harder for a streetcar to get around obstacles. The headways might increase if the route does not have very solid ridership already; higher capacity per vehicle = fewer vehicles per hour. The streetcar ride is more smooth, but does it matter that much for the majority of riders?

As I remember, the research on the riders' preferences, bus vs streetcars, produce results that vary from one city to another. While Toronto downtowners appear to prefer streetcars, perhaps for nostalgic reasons in part, that kind of preference isn't universal.

There may be benefits in adding some strategic bits to the mixed-traffic streetcar network, such as extending the 505 north along Dundas (that could relief the Dundas West streetcar loop and allow for more frequent 504 service), or extending 505 further east using Gerrard and then to Coxwell Stn (more service on the route that already has 506 streetcars, plus more room at the Broadview loop for added 504 cars). There is even greater benefit in extending the 512 west to Scarlett, if that line can remain entirely in dedicated lanes. However, trying to convert every bus route to streetcar just because there is a way to fit the streetcar on the street, may not be the path to actual transit improvement.

South Etobicoke is one area where additional streetcar storage space can be found at a reasonable price, though the TTC probably wouldn't want a location too isolated from the network, which Mimico/New Toronto would be. Leslie Barns has only one way in and out, but at least once they reach Queen Street, streetcars can go either east or west, and up Coxwell if for any reason Queen Street is blocked.

There's some room at Hillcrest that could be used to build a small storage facility just for 512 and/or 511 cars, serving a similar function to Wychwood in its last days as an active carhouse.
 
South Etobicoke is one area where additional streetcar storage space can be found at a reasonable price, though the TTC probably wouldn't want a location too isolated from the network, which Mimico/New Toronto would be. Leslie Barns has only one way in and out, but at least once they reach Queen Street, streetcars can go either east or west, and up Coxwell if for any reason Queen Street is blocked.

There's some room at Hillcrest that could be used to build a small storage facility just for 512 and/or 511 cars, serving a similar function to Wychwood in its last days as an active carhouse.

Would there be a desire for new streetcar lines in the west end of the city?
 
Would there be a desire for new streetcar lines in the west end of the city?

I live in the area. I would support seeing the 80 QUEENSWAY, 40B JUNCTION-DUNDAS WEST, and 512 ST. CLAIR extension (and 312 ST. CLAIR-JUNCTION blue night bus) being replaced with streetcars for examples.
 
The Queensway is wide enough that you could probably manage a dedicated ROW most of the way from Humber loop to Sherway, but it doesn't have nearly the ridership to justify that much investment. You could extend the 512 down Dundas to Kipling station and then convert Kipling South to streetcar operations, but it would have to operate in mixed traffic on Dundas and we're currently in the process of rebuilding both six points and the area around Kipling station without protecting for a future streetcar, so that would be a tough sell. And if you add the cost of that infrastructure, it would probably be cheaper to find land closer to the core of the network.
 
The Queensway is wide enough that you could probably manage a dedicated ROW most of the way from Humber loop to Sherway, but it doesn't have nearly the ridership to justify that much investment.

With all the mid rise development going in along the queensway from the humber to sherway future ridership will be there. especially with the developments existing and planned between Kipling and Islington. it is only a matter of time before the no name mall at the corner of Kipling and Queensways get majorly redeveloped akin to galleria or agincourt. add all the residential development planned for around sherway. it is a growth corridor.
 
I live in the area and would love to see the dundas west loop unloaded. That spot is really no place for Flexitys to be turning around, especially with the possible massive densification with 1540 Bloor and 2280 Dundas West. I would like either a mid-street crossover at Dundas and Dupot (close to 5 new building developments in proposal/pre-construction stage) or extended all the way out to Jane where a new interchange could be shared with an extended 512. Call me crazy....
 
I live in the area and would love to see the dundas west loop unloaded. That spot is really no place for Flexitys to be turning around, especially with the possible massive densification with 1540 Bloor and 2280 Dundas West. I would like either a mid-street crossover at Dundas and Dupot (close to 5 new building developments in proposal/pre-construction stage) or extended all the way out to Jane where a new interchange could be shared with an extended 512. Call me crazy....
OK. You're crazy! Expanding the streetcar network more than already 'planned' may be good in theory but the TTC cannot maintain what they now have and are scrabbling around to find $$$ to extend on streets that have already been approved (e.g. waterfront east and west)
 
With all the mid rise development going in along the queensway from the humber to sherway future ridership will be there. especially with the developments existing and planned between Kipling and Islington. it is only a matter of time before the no name mall at the corner of Kipling and Queensways get majorly redeveloped akin to galleria or agincourt. add all the residential development planned for around sherway. it is a growth corridor.

Precisely, but this being Toronto, we'll naturally wait until the area explodes and then argue why no transit expansion was planned a decade sooner.
 
With all the mid rise development going in along the queensway from the humber to sherway future ridership will be there. especially with the developments existing and planned between Kipling and Islington. it is only a matter of time before the no name mall at the corner of Kipling and Queensways get majorly redeveloped akin to galleria or agincourt. add all the residential development planned for around sherway. it is a growth corridor.

I don't disagree that the area is densifying rapidly, but you could (and should!) dramatically improve bus service in that corridor first. I think most people living in that area are taking the Gardiner, but even if they're taking transit downtown they'll likely have a better time heading up to Bloor and taking the subway. If the full connection between the Queensway and Exhibition is built, maybe you can make that service attractive enough to lure people away from the subway, but given that we don't have the money to even build that connection yet, let alone the desperately needed Waterfront East line, I think upgrading a 30-minute frequency bus to rail probably shouldn't be a priority.

I live in the area and would love to see the dundas west loop unloaded. That spot is really no place for Flexitys to be turning around, especially with the possible massive densification with 1540 Bloor and 2280 Dundas West. I would like either a mid-street crossover at Dundas and Dupot (close to 5 new building developments in proposal/pre-construction stage) or extended all the way out to Jane where a new interchange could be shared with an extended 512. Call me crazy....

Signalizing Edna Ave would largely solve that problem. There's also a Metrolinx designed plan which would have the streetcars enter and exit through a signalized Edna and relocate the streetcar loop within the station, but it's currently unfunded as far as I can tell.

But even if one or both streetcar lines were extended, the cars would still need to enter the subway station. On street transfers are less convenient and safe for riders, so downgrading the transfers is basically a non-starter to begin with. And even if they were willing to consider it, the street isn't wide enough for two island stops, and the only access point to the station is on the west side and far enough north of the light that people would definitely jaywalk. And thanks to the Crossways building, the wind really rips through that area in the winter. The loop probably does need to be expanded at some point (same with Broadview), but they could manage that pretty easily by taking over the parking lot immediately west of the existing bus/streetcar terminal.
 
With all the mid rise development going in along the queensway from the humber to sherway future ridership will be there. especially with the developments existing and planned between Kipling and Islington. it is only a matter of time before the no name mall at the corner of Kipling and Queensways get majorly redeveloped akin to galleria or agincourt. add all the residential development planned for around sherway. it is a growth corridor.

Below are daily ridership numbers (Mon-Fri) from 2014:
Finch West bus: 42,500
Queensway bus: 2,300

To me, the idea that a few midrise condo developments will somehow get us from half-hourly bus service to LRT-level demand similar to Finch, is wishful thinking of the highest order. It's true that there will be some degree of new travel demand generated by new development, but because this is in Etobicoke, a lot of that will really just end up on the Gardiner Expressway that runs next to it. The rest will be split between the Queensway, and the numerous north-south bus routes that provide more useful connections to the subway.
 

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