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Globe editorial: A little transit miracle grows on King Street - The Globe and Mail
'Make no little plans," goes architect Daniel Burnman's oft quoted line. "They have no magic to stir men's blood."

A three-kilometre stretch of King Street, which runs through the heart of downtown and is home to the busiest streetcar route in the city, has been redesigned to give public transit priority. For decades, streetcars have been slowed to a walking pace at rush hour, held up by a crush of cars. As of a week ago, however, cars are being severely restricted on King, and must turn right off of the newly transit-centric street at every intersection. Under the one-year pilot project, only streetcars can use the downtown stretch of King as a thoroughfare.

The aim is to greatly speed up the King streetcar, which carries 65,000 passengers a day. That's more people than any above-ground transit route in the city, roughly as many as the 500 buses of the provincial GO Transit's entire suburban bus system, and more than the Toronto Transit Commission's Sheppard subway. (The Sheppard line was one of those Big Plans that never made sense based on ridership or economics, but which got built anyhow because it had the magic to stir the blood of well-connected politicians.)

The cost of this big change on one of the busiest transit routes in the city? Small. Instead of being measured in billions of dollars and decades of construction, it involved the exorbitant expense of trucking in a few concrete barriers, changing a handful of road signs and buying some yellow paint. Construction period? Counted in days. This in a city used to endlessly debating big, transformative transit solutions that, if they could get funded, would arrive around the time one of Jagmeet Singh's grandchildren is elected prime minister.

For example, look at the so-called Downtown Relief Line. It's a badly needed subway expansion that has been under consideration for more than half a century. Politicians, who have repeatedly shelved the DRL because it will do a better job of serving passengers than voters, have recently rediscovered it, and feasibility studies are once again moving forward. But even under the most optimistic timetable – and assuming Toronto, Queen's Park and Ottawa find the money to pay for it – it's still at least a decade and a half away from completion.

Meanwhile, between a Friday night and a Monday morning, King Street was transformed from a run-of-the-mill road into the country's newest public transit thru-way.

But beyond King Street, politicians and promoters continue searching for the biggest of big transit ideas for the GTA. For example, the provincial Liberals continue to push ahead with planning a $21-billion (before cost overruns) high-speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor. And the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the quango that runs Pearson International Airport, is pushing the idea of making itself the region's second public-transit hub, a move it estimates will cost $11.2-billion. The concept, however questionable its value to most GTA commuters, aims to excite the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, while pleasing 905-region voters and the politicians who woo them.

The challenge is that much of the GTA is too low density to support high-intensity public transit. The two big exceptions are routes running from the periphery to the compact employment area of downtown Toronto, and transit within the central parts of Toronto, which are dense enough to allow many people to live car-free.
Toronto  commuting  traffic_congestion  pilot_programs  TTC  transit  editorials  DRL  GTA  density  HSR  GTAA  hubs  Pearson_International  YYZ  King_Street  Queen’s_Park 
november 2017 by jerryking
Leaside Bridge | UrbanToronto
Most direct would be up Pape and continuing under Minton Place
Leaside  Toronto  DRL  transit  bridges  parks  Don_River  ravines 
october 2016 by jerryking
A downtown relief line subway, but where? | Toronto Star
By: Jennifer Pagliaro City Hall reporter, William Davis Data Analyst, Published on Mon Mar 28 2016
DRL  transit  Toronto 
march 2016 by jerryking
City proposes Queen Street route for Toronto’s downtown relief line - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE - URBAN TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 29, 2016
DRL  transit  TTC  Toronto 
march 2016 by jerryking
Wynne reveals details of massive Toronto-region rail expansion plan - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE - URBAN TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
Barrie — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015

The Ontario government has rolled out details on a huge expansion of GO rail service, a $13.5-billion investment that leaves little money for other transit projects around the region and falls short of earlier promises.

More frequent service with electricity-powered trains across much of the Toronto-area rail network was a Liberal campaign pledge last year, and will be funded in part by the sale of a stake in the utility Hydro One.

“We’re going to make massive improvements across the GO system,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Friday at a Barrie rail station, where she and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca started to spell out what this will mean.

GO Transit service will start ramping up this year. At the end of five years, nearly 700 more trains will be running each week, an increase of about 40 per cent in capacity on weekdays, most at off-peak times. Weekend service will jump by more than 140 per cent.

Among the other details revealed on Friday was that it will take seven or eight years to electrify the GO corridors Toronto Mayor John Tory needs for his SmartTrack transit plan. ....The province has been promising regional express rail (RER) – the shorthand for changing GO from a largely commuter service into frequent, two-way electrified service – for more than a year. Ms. Wynne promised in a speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade last April to “phase in electric train service every 15 minutes on all GO lines that we own.”
transportation  DRL  Kathleen_Wynne  GTA  GO  transit  growth  public_transit  expansions  RER  Hydro_One 
april 2015 by jerryking
Use GO trains instead of building downtown relief line, report suggests
Dec 11 2013 | Toronto Star |By Laura Kane News reporter, Published on Wed .
DRL  transit  GO 
december 2013 by jerryking
Downtown relief line name alternatives sought
Dec 04 2013 | Toronto Star |By: Tess Kalinowski Transportation reporter, Published on Wed .
DRL  transit  Toronto 
december 2013 by jerryking
A Don Mills Subway for Toronto
October 30, 2013 | Torontoist| By Steve Munro.

A proposal for improving transit in a city that desperately needs it.
The Don Mills Subway
What would this line provide?

A connection to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT
A connection with the Danforth Subway Line
A connection with the streetcar on Cherry that will, eventually, link to the eastern waterfront
Connections with the Yonge-University subway at King and St. Andrew stations
A connection with a proposed satellite GO terminal at Spadina and Front
And what parts of the city would it serve?

Potential development sites at Don Mills and Eglinton
Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park
The East York residential district
Riverdale and Leslieville at Gerrard and at Queen
Planned redevelopment of the Lever Brothers (Great Gulf) site at Broadview and Eastern (East Harbour)
The Distillery and Canary Districts
The St. Lawrence neighbourhood
This is not a trivial list, and these locations already have population density or can easily be served with short surface feeder trips.
Don_Mills  DRL  East_Harbour  Eglinton_Crosstown  redevelopments  Toronto  transit 
november 2013 by jerryking
Buying votes with empty subway seats
Sep. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by KONRAD YAKABUSKI.

Andy Byford, the highly competent head of the Toronto Transit Commission, has been pleading for a so-called “downtown relief line” to take the pressure off existing stations in the core. But politicians only have eyes for voters in suburban Scarborough, announcing billions for a new subway that promises to be one of the most underused undergrounds in North America.
Konrad_Yakabuski  TTC  transit  DRL 
september 2013 by jerryking
TTC to probe conversion of two GO train tracks - The Globe and Mail
KALEIGH ROGERS

The Globe and Mail

Published
Wednesday, Jul. 24 2013

The feasibility study will look at the impacts of including more vehicles on the busy lines, but TTC CEO Andy Byford said its worth considering as the corridors are not at capacity yet.

“It does seem to me there is some spare capacity. At the end of the day, we should be looking to sweat the assets and maximize use of all rail corridors in this city,” Mr. Byford said, adding a more substantial relief line to the east end would still be needed.

“That takes time to construct, and it’s $8-billion that we don’t currently have. Certainly as a stop gap, I think we should be talking to GO to say, ‘Is there anything that we can do in a much shorter time frame?’”
transit  TTC  DRL  Toronto  urban_intensification  urban_planning  sweating_the_assets 
august 2013 by jerryking
City may fast-track relief line
Jan. 29, 2009 National Post article by Allison Hanes on the
prospect of adding a "downtown relief line" to the current TTC
footprint.
TTC  mapping  transportation  transit  public_transit  DRL 
january 2009 by jerryking

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