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TTC: Yonge North Subway Extension (Finch-Richmond Hill) (Funded/Planned)

TJ O'Pootertoot

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Without those things the ridership at this terminus station will never be as great as it could have been and the people flowing through the buildings in the area will never be as high as it could have been. It was going to be a Union Station or Shinjuku station of Richmond Hill, but will now be a North York Centre station for Richmond Hill.

I think Arg1 has already done a fine job here: you're simply wrong about a few things. But'll simply concur:
-RH Centre was never above ground;
-Station costs are a HUGE factor and were a driving factor in the new alignment.
-One other thing to bear in mind is topography. Langstaff Gateway is designed to ramp up over the rail corridor to what is today ground level, will be below ground when the subway is built and, yes, there will be underground connections to buildings.

Since I've also seen the Toronto urbanist folk get all hot and bothered, over and over again, I will say that Steve Munro has actually been (relatively speaking) a supporter of the line. He has taken issue with many of the specifics and said the downstream impacts need to be addressed but unlike most of that crowd, he grasps that a subway to Richmond Hill makes sense on a broad level.

It's true that the terminus of the line was pitched as "Union Station North" but there was never a coherent plan for actually having the GO, subway, transitway and local bus service in a single facility. That was always going to be a challenge and, as discussed, particularly from Markham's perpsective, where they had a big "concourse" to get people the distance to that station. What we have now is basically achieving that at Bridge and, yes, it's in the middle of the highway but for the Munros of the world, it's a far more sensible way to handle all the transit service. And for the Mes of the world, it's a better way to achieve density in Langstaff Gateway (and ridership, obviously).

You know, it would probably be funny for me to go back to all the posts I was making back in 2010ish, when a lot of people here had little to no grasp of the RHC and LG plans or the fundamental logic underpinning each. Oh, how we loved to argue the subway shouldn't (and wouldn't!) go north of Steeles, certainly not at first. Oh, how some people loved to argue there was just no reason to go all the way up to Richmond Hill.

Over the next year or two you're going to see those plans become reality. Richmond Hill, for example, is finally putting together their Secondary Plan for RHC, Do you think it will envision less density than they imagined in the 2010 Official Plan or a heck of a lot more? Look around the GTA at what's going on with highrise development. Look at all the 50-storey towers at VMC and the 60-storey proposals coming down the pipe for Yonge and Steeles. Yeah, I suspect the latter.

And I can think of one dude here, in particular, who really just did not care to get it. Oh, he liked to argue and to mock me and call me names, especially about the sci fi "pods" that the Langstaff Gateway plan envisioned as a means for shuttling people from the neighbourhood to the distant subway station. But now it's 2021. That station has moved to the centre of the development and the TTC and Metrolinx are piloting the use of autonomous vehicles at the Rouge Hill GO station. And we're still 8-9 years from the subway actually opening.
The joke ain't on me.

Now the subway is real and soon, as these decade-old, blue-sky plans start turning into actual planning applications, the detailed plans and the scale of what was envisioned will become clearer to everyone. It should be an exciting ride!
 

syn

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Remind me why we're penny pinching with the Ontario Line again? We must be flush with cash if we can build this and other under-utilized subway stations on the YNSE and EWLRT.

In reality, we are flush with cash. No reason we couldn't build to maximize capacity on the OL.

Suburban transit projects are more politically advantageous for them so they'll spend whatever necessary to ensure people in those areas are happy. Returns on these investments are measured in terms of political return, not the effectiveness of the infrastructure.

We even see it in these threads - any opposition to the OL is met with derision (even when the complaints are valid), while it's felt that it makes sense to bury suburban expansions for the benefit of local residents.

The 'we need save money' narrative only applies to the OL, and it certainly appeals to the base of the current government.
 

EnviroTO

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The original plans always had the line surfacing in the rail corridor north of Richmond Hill station. Every dotted line of potential extension north was shown in the rail corridor.

Building stations deep under empty or underutilized land using cavern excavations or other expensive techniques doesn't make sense. The area is going to see high rise development, to build a high-rise you need to dig deep, building the subway station in the open pit that exists to build a high-rise is not significantly more expensive than building it at the surface.
 

EnviroTO

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However you're also stating that because these stations will be built in shallow underground lots that the costs of the subway stations don't apply? Your statements seem to be heavily contradicting each other.
I'm saying that the high costs of underground stations doesn't apply when you have a shallow tunnel under empty lands that are ready for partnership with development... correct. What was the contradicting statement? I missed it.
 

ARG1

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The original plans always had the line surfacing in the rail corridor north of Richmond Hill station. Every dotted line of potential extension north was shown in the rail corridor.

Building stations deep under empty or underutilized land using cavern excavations or other expensive techniques doesn't make sense. The area is going to see high rise development, to build a high-rise you need to dig deep, building the subway station in the open pit that exists to build a high-rise is not significantly more expensive than building it at the surface.
It went near the corridor yes, but at no point did it actually surface at the corridor, it was always going to be underground.
I'm saying that the high costs of underground stations doesn't apply when you have a shallow tunnel under empty lands that are ready for partnership with development... correct. What was the contradicting statement? I missed it.
My point was that if what you're saying is true, then Metrolinx's engineers would've long realized this, and this would've been the preferred plan hands down. Doug Ford wants to pander to Southern York Region because its a major swing voting block, and he also wants to heavily pander to developers to push his Transit Oriented Communities idea. The contradictory part of your statement is that if what you said is true, given the motivations of the PC leadership, I would've expected them to be completely on board Option 1, no questions asked, yet this seems to not be the case. My question to you is if what you're saying is true, why do you think Metrolinx and Doug Ford are seemingly pushing for Option 3? My only answer at the moment is that one of your assertions about Option 1 is completely wrong, whether its related to cost or connectability to nearby developments and other transit modes. In fact I'd wager that the major reason they want Option 3 is because Bridge Center would allow them to relocate RHC Terminal to Highway 7 and Highway 7-Connector Road which is a much more accessible and useful Bus Terminal than the existing RHC Terminal, and would theoretically allow for a 407 Transitway/REM to more directly connect with the subway.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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It went near the corridor yes, but at no point did it actually surface at the corridor, it was always going to be underground.

Yeah, there are plans for a rail yard to to the north; I think that's perhaps what's being referenced here? So, sure, the subway was going to surface, but only after the stations. The dotted line to the north was for a future, hypothetical extension but there's no sense that if such an extension happened, it would be at grade.

I'm saying that the high costs of underground stations doesn't apply when you have a shallow tunnel under empty lands that are ready for partnership with development... correct.

I don't think this is really makes any difference. If the deal with the developer nets you, let's say $100million. And if an underground station costs $500M and an above-ground station costs $150M, it's still always going to be a better deal to build above ground. The way you're imagining the deal isn't really how it works. It's not doing the construction or diggint the pits at the same time it's more, as I understand it, coordinating planning and ultimately construction, to ensure the development and station work together. The developer benefits from the Province's leverage and the Province benefits by getting some money back.

So far we only have the Ontario Line examples as as sense of how this will all work, but Yonge is only a few months behind so we may have a sense what this will look like for Bridge and High Tech before the year is out.
 

ARG1

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Yeah, there are plans for a rail yard to to the north; I think that's perhaps what's being referenced here? So, sure, the subway was going to surface, but only after the stations. The dotted line to the north was for a future, hypothetical extension but there's no sense that if such an extension happened, it would be at grade.
As mentioned earlier, as far as I'm aware the plan for the MSF was fully underground. I remember how it was being marketed as the "first fully underground MSF on the Subway Network".
 

44 North

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And I can think of one dude here, in particular, who really just did not care to get it. Oh, he liked to argue and to mock me and call me names, especially about the sci fi "pods" that the Langstaff Gateway plan envisioned as a means for shuttling people from the neighbourhood to the distant subway station. But now it's 2021. That station has moved to the centre of the development and the TTC and Metrolinx are piloting the use of autonomous vehicles at the Rouge Hill GO station. And we're still 8-9 years from the subway actually opening.
The joke ain't on me.

Why you're always deflecting on this? The visionary who crafted the Langstaff plan quite literally said there should be a PRT system - a pod system on a track. Not in the street.
 

GenerationW

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In reality, we are flush with cash. No reason we couldn't build to maximize capacity on the OL.

Suburban transit projects are more politically advantageous for them so they'll spend whatever necessary to ensure people in those areas are happy. Returns on these investments are measured in terms of political return, not the effectiveness of the infrastructure.

We even see it in these threads - any opposition to the OL is met with derision (even when the complaints are valid), while it's felt that it makes sense to bury suburban expansions for the benefit of local residents.

The 'we need save money' narrative only applies to the OL, and it certainly appeals to the base of the current government.
Sure, blame Doug Ford for the city's stupidity. We should have a proper DRL up and running right now, and with all the federal funding now available, we could now be planning extensions to Steeles and maybe the airport. Instead the Einsteins from downtown said no for decades, and now Doug Ford is actually planning their transit.
 

syn

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Sure, blame Doug Ford for the city's stupidity. We should have a proper DRL up and running right now, and with all the federal funding now available, we could now be planning extensions to Steeles and maybe the airport. Instead the Einsteins from downtown said no for decades, and now Doug Ford is actually planning their transit.

I agree.

Remind me though, who cancelled the DRL that was near ready for construction?

Who cancelled an excellent, above grade LRT line in Scarborough a decade ago (their 'Ontario Line') that would already be running in favour of a costly subway that still hasn't broke ground?

Interesting how you went directly to defending Ford, without actually addressing my post.

If we have money for expensive suburban projects that will be underused, then certainly we could find the money to build a higher capacity Ontario Line, couldn't we?
 
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innsertnamehere

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All of those things could have easily been included in the old plan without sacrificing capacity.
But sacrificing huge amounts of money for a marginal capacity that won't be utilized, at best, for a generation. That additional cost has real impacts on the amount of transit that can get delivered today.
 

ARG1

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All of those things could have easily been included in the old plan without sacrificing capacity.
I mean it depends. Even with ATC, can the TRs actually operate at 90s headways or is it closer to 108secs? Also the Ontario Line is leaning I believe to a private operator instead of the TTC because the TTC unions would never let the TTC operate fully automated trains.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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I mean it depends. Even with ATC, can the TRs actually operate at 90s headways or is it closer to 108secs? Also the Ontario Line is leaning I believe to a private operator instead of the TTC because the TTC unions would never let the TTC operate fully automated trains.
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MisterF

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But sacrificing huge amounts of money for a marginal capacity that won't be utilized, at best, for a generation. That additional cost has real impacts on the amount of transit that can get delivered today.
The capacity is needed today, not a generation from now. Besides, infrastructure should be built for the needs of future generations, not only the current one. Ridership models showed that the DRL would have been the second busiest subway line in the city.

I mean it depends. Even with ATC, can the TRs actually operate at 90s headways or is it closer to 108secs?
I suggest that you get answers to these questions before coming to a conclusion about an issue based on those answers. Either way, 90s headways are a distraction. They're a means to an end, not the end itself. The end is capacity, and the new plan has lower capacity than the old plan, so whether or not the old plan could have delivered 90s frequencies is irrelevant.

Also the Ontario Line is leaning I believe to a private operator instead of the TTC because the TTC unions would never let the TTC operate fully automated trains.
Pure speculation. Unions aren't all powerful. The reality is that governments can and do overrule unions when they need to. Scapegoating unions isn't a valid reason for the DRL being replaced by the OL. The operator isn't either. The province or a private operator could have run the DRL just the same as they can run the OL.
 

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