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

WislaHD

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Many high rises on the west side of Yonge at Clark? there are fewer than at royal orchard
If I am not mistaken, half of trains will short-turn at Steeles.
There has been a lot of property movement happening along the Yonge corridor between Meadowview Ave and Centre Street over the past 24 months. Developers are aiming to pack the corridor with density, make no mistake about it.

But more relevant in my opinion is that the current low-rise residential neighbourhood of Thornhill essentially mirrors Summer Hill, Deer Park, Davisville, North Toronto in built-form and density, and all those places provide significant walk-in traffic to the system. Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense, and there is no reason to think that ridership wouldn't reflect that.

Actually it wouldn't surprise me if a significant share of the current Finch ridership originates from Thornhill.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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There has been a lot of property movement happening along the Yonge corridor between Meadowview Ave and Centre Street over the past 24 months. Developers are aiming to pack the corridor with density, make no mistake about it.

But more relevant in my opinion is that the current low-rise residential neighbourhood of Thornhill essentially mirrors Summer Hill, Deer Park, Davisville, North Toronto in built-form and density, and all those places provide significant walk-in traffic to the system. Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense, and there is no reason to think that ridership wouldn't reflect that.

Actually it wouldn't surprise me if a significant share of the current Finch ridership originates from Thornhill.

Yup. I've said this all along: the Day 1 effect of the YNSE opening will be that all the people from Thornhill who now drive to Finch will be able to get on further north, either by bus or walking to Clark or Steeles. That will be more efficient for them and the transit network, taking hundreds of cars and buses off the road. I'd argue there is no downside whatsoever to this. I think a lot of people in Toronto who are opposed to 905ers taking up seats fail to realize how many are already doing it, because they've never gone to Finch to see all the people getting on the TTC from their cars and the GO/YRT buses.

The downstream capacity issues arise from the growth that will occur as a result of the subway but they also won't be instantaneous though clearly some development is going to start happening before opening day. I'm curious - but not surprised, about the property movement. Certainly there are a few plazas there ripe for redevelopment and I don't know what their timeline is but it's gonna be a jackpot when the owners of the Roy Foss dealerships decide to cash in.

Clark will probably be that Summerhill kinda station, picking up the walk-ins and bus traffic between 7 and Steeles. It doesn't have to be packed, because the 2 north stations and Steeles will be doing all the heavy lifting in terms of generating density and ridership.
 

WislaHD

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Interesting, can you share more?
Actually looking closer the examples I was thinking about were closer to Steeles and Royal Orchard, rather than centering around Clark.

One site (7115 Yonge) already has a thread on UT: https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/7115-yonge-street-terrabona-developments-s-ibi-group.32468/

While the other (8051 Yonge) doesn't seem to have a thread but just traded hands to Greenpark Group: https://mbpd.ca/portfolio_page/8051-yonge-street-markham/
 

syn

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There has been a lot of property movement happening along the Yonge corridor between Meadowview Ave and Centre Street over the past 24 months. Developers are aiming to pack the corridor with density, make no mistake about it.

But more relevant in my opinion is that the current low-rise residential neighbourhood of Thornhill essentially mirrors Summer Hill, Deer Park, Davisville, North Toronto in built-form and density, and all those places provide significant walk-in traffic to the system. Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense, and there is no reason to think that ridership wouldn't reflect that.

Actually it wouldn't surprise me if a significant share of the current Finch ridership originates from Thornhill.

Does it?

Not only is the area surrounding Summerhill much more pedestrian friendly, I think it's higher density as well.

In what ways would you say Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense?
 

boilwater

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Does it?

Not only is the area surrounding Summerhill much more pedestrian friendly, I think it's higher density as well.

In what ways would you say Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense?
Definitely agree with the pedestrian friendliness but density is probably pretty close as most of the density in that area is closer to st clair.

I like the parallel between the two in terms of both being impacted by an east-west rail corridor that cuts through the neighbourhood

I expect a larger share of passengers transferring from buses at clark than summerhill
 

syn

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Definitely agree with the pedestrian friendliness but density is probably pretty close as most of the density in that area is closer to st clair.

I like the parallel between the two in terms of both being impacted by an east-west rail corridor that cuts through the neighbourhood

I expect a larger share of passengers transferring from buses at clark than summerhill

Perhaps, but the lot sizes lead me to think that the area surrounding Summerhill are generally higher density. In terms of built form it's certainly more suited to a subway.

The Summershill comparison is interesting. It has been used more than a few times as an example of a city station with low ridership, so I'm not sure it exactly makes a great case for justifying a suburban station, especially given the context.
 

ARG1

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Perhaps, but the lot sizes lead me to think that the area surrounding Summerhill are generally higher density. In terms of built form it's certainly more suited to a subway.

The Summershill comparison is interesting. It has been used more than a few times as an example of a city station with low ridership, so I'm not sure it exactly makes a great case for justifying a suburban station, especially given the context.
As @boilwater mentioned however, its a station that currently has the density of Summerhill, but is also located along a major street and is served by several major busroutes including a future branch of Viva Orange, plus there are a ton of high density development planned for the area. In its current state, it will already see a lot more passengers than Summerhill through just though bus connections, and long term it could be a pretty major station when it comes to walk in traffic, easily more than Summerhill.
 

Rainforest

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There has been a lot of property movement happening along the Yonge corridor between Meadowview Ave and Centre Street over the past 24 months. Developers are aiming to pack the corridor with density, make no mistake about it.

But more relevant in my opinion is that the current low-rise residential neighbourhood of Thornhill essentially mirrors Summer Hill, Deer Park, Davisville, North Toronto in built-form and density, and all those places provide significant walk-in traffic to the system. Thornhill isn't a suburb in the conventional sense, and there is no reason to think that ridership wouldn't reflect that.

Actually it wouldn't surprise me if a significant share of the current Finch ridership originates from Thornhill.

My response will be kind of mixed:

Yes that low-rise residential doesn't automatically mean low transit ridership; there are some examples to the contrary. One is Drewry avenue, west of Yonge and running half-way between Finch and Steeles. All low-rise residential, but the TTC #125 bus leaves Finch Stn full in the pm rush, and gets 2/3 empty by the time it reaches Drewry & Bathurst. Other examples are the #29 Dufferin - extremely busy, and #63 Oakwood / Ossington - fairly busy, both operating through mostly low-rise areas.

But I don't believe current transit ridership in Thornhill is very high, except along the Yonge VIVA corridor. YRT buses like # 2, 5, 77 were normally less than half full, and often less than 1/4 full, even pre-covid. Some people drive to Finch Stn and park there, but that number can't be too high, because the number of parking spots is limited and that number needs to be divided by the duration of 3 morning rush hours to get the hourly count.

Finch Stn counts are driven mainly by 5 super-feeders: VIVA Blue, #39 Finch E, #36 Finch W, #60 Steeles W, #53 Steeles E, with some help from #42 Cummer and #125 Drewry, and of course some walk-ins. That doesn't leave much room for the Thornhill share; VIVA and the TTC Steeles buses touch Thornhill just for a portion of their routes, and Finch / Cummer / Drewry don't touch it at all.

Future developments in Thornhill: they are very impressive and will surely add to the count, but not to the point of taking up more than half of Yonge line's capacity for the demand coming from north of Steeles. Therefore, nothing wrong if TTC turns back every 2-nd Yonge train at Steeles during the rush hours.
 

ARG1

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My response will be kind of mixed:

Yes that low-rise residential doesn't automatically mean low transit ridership; there are some examples to the contrary. One is Drewry avenue, west of Yonge and running half-way between Finch and Steeles. All low-rise residential, but the TTC #125 bus leaves Finch Stn full in the pm rush, and gets 2/3 empty by the time it reaches Drewry & Bathurst. Other examples are the #29 Dufferin - extremely busy, and #63 Oakwood / Ossington - fairly busy, both operating through mostly low-rise areas.

But I don't believe current transit ridership in Thornhill is very high, except along the Yonge VIVA corridor. YRT buses like # 2, 5, 77 were normally less than half full, and often less than 1/4 full, even pre-covid. Some people drive to Finch Stn and park there, but that number can't be too high, because the number of parking spots is limited and that number needs to be divided by the duration of 3 morning rush hours to get the hourly count.

Finch Stn counts are driven mainly by 5 super-feeders: VIVA Blue, #39 Finch E, #36 Finch W, #60 Steeles W, #53 Steeles E, with some help from #42 Cummer and #125 Drewry, and of course some walk-ins. That doesn't leave much room for the Thornhill share; VIVA and the TTC Steeles buses touch Thornhill just for a portion of their routes, and Finch / Cummer / Drewry don't touch it at all.

Future developments in Thornhill: they are very impressive and will surely add to the count, but not to the point of taking up more than half of Yonge line's capacity for the demand coming from north of Steeles. Therefore, nothing wrong if TTC turns back every 2-nd Yonge train at Steeles during the rush hours.
Its really a question of service. Is lack of transit ridership a given with the area, or is it a combination of A) Poor Frequencies alongside B) Having to pay a double fare despite living so close to the Toronto border. Brampton has shown how much increasing frequencies on major bus routes can dramatically increase the ridership of your bus routes, and if the frequency upgrades proposed to happen by the time the YNSE opens do occur, its not hard to imagine Transit Ridership getting significantly higher by the time this extension opens.
 

Rainforest

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Its really a question of service. Is lack of transit ridership a given with the area, or is it a combination of A) Poor Frequencies alongside B) Having to pay a double fare despite living so close to the Toronto border. Brampton has shown how much increasing frequencies on major bus routes can dramatically increase the ridership of your bus routes, and if the frequency upgrades proposed to happen by the time the YNSE opens do occur, its not hard to imagine Transit Ridership getting significantly higher by the time this extension opens.

Chicken and egg problem. Low ridership means low farebox revenue, and YRT can't afford to run more frequent service. Low frequencies means many residents don't want to rely on the bus.

Once the subway extension opens, YRT technically can (and should) enhance the feeder routes leading to the subway stations. But then they need to stomack the increase in service disparity. Buses #2, 3, 5, 77, 86, 87, that feed into the new stations, get much more frequent service. The rest of the local routes stay at today's hardly-usable level. No way YRT can afford a frequency increase across the whole system.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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But I don't believe current transit ridership in Thornhill is very high, except along the Yonge VIVA corridor. YRT buses like # 2, 5, 77 were normally less than half full, and often less than 1/4 full, even pre-covid. Some people drive to Finch Stn and park there, but that number can't be too high, because the number of parking spots is limited and that number needs to be divided by the duration of 3 morning rush hours to get the hourly count.... VIVA and the TTC Steeles buses touch Thornhill just for a portion of their routes, and Finch / Cummer / Drewry don't touch it at all.

I haven't looked at in a while but there is data in the Transportation Tomorrow Survey that would quantify some of this. But (and I'm sure I've made this point before), I think you're missing something by not not correlating the points you made above. Namely: the 53 and 60 buses might just barely touch Thornhill but the fare wall distorts travel patterns. Someone who lives relatively close to Steeles (which could be anywhere south of 7, depending on the person and their situation) would avoid YRT (driving its ridership down) and take TTC (driving its ridership up), in order to avoid the double fare. One might bike to Steeles and get on the 53 or 60 or one might even drive to Finch but either way, it's definitely taking some people off YRT buses and the Steeles buses (obviously not Drewry and Finch) definitely pick up would-be YRT riders. I can't quantify it, but it's definitely there.

Future developments in Thornhill: they are very impressive and will surely add to the count, but not to the point of taking up more than half of Yonge line's capacity for the demand coming from north of Steeles. Therefore, nothing wrong if TTC turns back every 2-nd Yonge train at Steeles during the rush hours.

This may be true but I wouldn't concede the point 10 years out. Who knows what commuting will look like, what kind of development will be going on etc. There was talking of doing this in Vaughan, where it likely makes more sense than on Yonge, and I don't think it ever happened. I'd be open to kicking around the idea but I doubt it'll happen.
 

Rainforest

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I haven't looked at in a while but there is data in the Transportation Tomorrow Survey that would quantify some of this. But (and I'm sure I've made this point before), I think you're missing something by not not correlating the points you made above. Namely: the 53 and 60 buses might just barely touch Thornhill but the fare wall distorts travel patterns. Someone who lives relatively close to Steeles (which could be anywhere south of 7, depending on the person and their situation) would avoid YRT (driving its ridership down) and take TTC (driving its ridership up), in order to avoid the double fare. One might bike to Steeles and get on the 53 or 60 or one might even drive to Finch but either way, it's definitely taking some people off YRT buses and the Steeles buses (obviously not Drewry and Finch) definitely pick up would-be YRT riders. I can't quantify it, but it's definitely there.

That pattern definitely occurs. Say, Clark Ave may be the closest bus route for someone living just north of the rail line, but they can get both a more frequent service and the elimination of double fare if they walk extra 5 min to Steeles.

Should be noted that the double fare thing won't go away just because of the subway extension. If Metrolinx transforms the whole fare system to some kind of zone model, then the large difference in fares might disappear.

This may be true but I wouldn't concede the point 10 years out. Who knows what commuting will look like, what kind of development will be going on etc. There was talking of doing this in Vaughan, where it likely makes more sense than on Yonge, and I don't think it ever happened. I'd be open to kicking around the idea but I doubt it'll happen.

I'm surprised they don't short-turn trains on the Vaughan branch. Maybe, they short-turn further south? Glencairn, or Sheppard West?
 

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