I wonder if the Waterfront Transit Reset plans should have been better integrated with the Relief Line West planning. City Planning says that they'll begin planning on the Relief Line West as the Relief Line North planning is complete. Given their new extremely accelerated timeline for the Relief Line North, that point could be as little as two years away (that's when RLN EA will begin). Naturally, any waterfront transit lines will likely be interchanging with the Relief Line West.
When the Waterfront Transit Reset was commenced, I don't think City Planning expected to be advancing the Relief Line North as quickly as they have, hence the lack of integration between the waterfront and Relief Line West projects. I certainly never dreamed that the RLN EA would be completed as soon as 2020 (the current plan)
No question. I'd argue Waterfront Reset should've been better integrated with *itself*. And I think RL West should be a much larger priority than it is today. It was in the original Big Move and was a priority. Now it's fallen off the map. There's huge benefit for it, and obviously the core doesn't stop at University Ave. If Mlinx can go rogue and present a Sheppard West extn as a priority, which isn't a City plan, then why can't they show RL West (which is).
But for Waterfront I'm thinking we should've planned to use an LRV with bidirectionality, and maybe ability for two unit operations. I'm not certain if the Flexity Outlook can offer this, but if so we have a window to order some at lower cost with the Outlook exercise option. With this in consideration I think the Union Loop issue could've been improved at lower cost (maybe). And capacity could be bumped up with 2-car operation. But I think there's also benefit to deploying bidirectional legacy cars for other routes. Like Queen or King, particularly to coincide with any RL construction. No logistical nightmare of slow disjointed looping where we have loops, just reverse.