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While other regions look to the future of transit, Toronto is lagging behind - The Globe and Mail
R. MICHAEL WARREN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

What’s the future of public transit?

A 2017 MIT study found that all 13,000 New York taxi cabs could be replaced with 3,000 ridesharing cars used exclusively for carpooling. The average wait would be 2.7 minutes. The whole ridesharing system would be 20 per cent faster.

Already transport network companies like Uber and Lyft are driving the taxi industry off the road around the globe. They are doing it with a series of clever algorithms and without owning any cars.

Private ride-sourcing is growing. Ridesharing is coming. Driverless cars and trucks are less than a decade away......The impact on traditional mass transit is not clear. The lines between public and private transportation are being blurred.....Uber and Lyft say they want to complement public transit. But that’s not happening so far. .......TTC ridership has stalled at about 535 million rides annually since 2014. They acknowledge existing travel alternatives like Uber and Lyft have been siphoning away ridership at an increasing rate (responsible for a 6 per cent transit decline in some U.S. cities). Driverless, ridesharing vehicles are poised to steal even more of the TTC’s future market share........the Metrolinx board approved the final draft of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan. It sets out the regional vision, goals and strategies for the next 25 years.

Only six pages of the 200-page plan are devoted to “preparing for an uncertain future.” Metrolinx concedes that “autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically change how people and goods are moved.” But the plan lacks a sense of urgency.

The plan says all the right things about embracing the new mobility opportunities: establish partnerships with providers like Uber; develop regulatory tools; test and evaluate new services and technologies; develop a regional big-data strategy.

However, this is all in the future. Other transit systems are already implementing these ideas. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has incorporated private ridesharing into its mobile ticketing app. Passengers checking train schedules can click through to Uber, Lyft or Zipcar to get to their station.....Preparing for this future means learning from other jurisdictions, integrating current private ride-hailing services into the public system and experimenting with driverless vehicles.
public_transit  transit  Toronto  GTA  Metrolinx  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  laggards  Uber  Lyft  future 
may 2018 by jerryking
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
Toronto’s Pearson airport plans massive transit hub - The Globe and Mail
BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 14, 2017

The airport authority has been gradually building support for the idea of establishing Pearson as a second major transit hub – after Union Station – in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Regional mayors and the Ontario government announced their support for the idea at a news conference in April. In May, Pearson and 10 other airports announced the Southern Ontario Airport Network, which is based in part on shifting smaller regional air traffic away from Pearson as it focuses on larger international flights. Improved transit connections to Pearson are a key part of that plan.

The GTAA has estimated in January that the total cost of the project is at least $11.2-billion. The plan has six transit components, five of which involve extending existing or planned transit lines – such as the Eglinton LRT and Finch LRT – so that they connect to the airport. The most expensive aspect is a contribution to a high-speed rail line that would run from Union Station to the airport and on to Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and possibly as far as Windsor.
airports  GTAA  transit  hubs  GTA  infrastructure  high-speed_rail  Pearson_International  YYZ  transportation  terminals  accessibility  Mississauga  Metrolinx  HSR 
july 2017 by jerryking
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues - The Globe and Mail
CAMPBELL CLARK
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 27 2015
transit  GTA  transportation  Milton  traffic_congestion  infrastructure  GO  public_transit  rush-hour  commuting 
april 2015 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
Rouge Park stuck in political battle over environmental protections - The Globe and Mail
DAKSHANA BASCARAMURTY AND ANN HUI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 13 2015
GTA  parks  Rouge_Park  ravines  politics  environment 
march 2015 by jerryking
Why the Ontario election campaign is a mystery, even to those involved - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014

reports from candidates and their teams who are out knocking on doors indicate that even fewer voters than usual are aware there is an election on, let alone have strong impressions of how it’s playing out.

That’s especially the case in the suburban ridings of the Greater Toronto Area, generally considered Ontario’s most important electoral battleground, where the commuter-heavy population is particularly difficult to make contact with. ...Then there are the uncertainties about what campaign Ontarians will see the rest of the way. Just as the pollsters are trying to adjust to the difficulty of reaching people the way they used to, so too are the parties. Amid experimentation with online and other less traditional forms of advertising, nobody is quite sure what will break through; neither is it obvious whose efforts to use data to micro-target voters in ground campaigns will work.
Ontario  elections  data  political_campaigns  GTA  microtargeting  open_data 
may 2014 by jerryking
Tory MPs opt for safer GTA ridings amid heated nomination races
Mar. 15 2014 | The Globe and Mail | JOSH WINGROVE.

The new electoral map will add 15 seats to Ontario, many of them in the GTA, where boundaries were extensively redrawn.
GTA  Conservative_Party  elections 
march 2014 by jerryking
The rise and fall of the ethnic mall - The Globe and Mail
DAKSHANA BASCARAMURTY

The Globe and Mail

Last updated Friday, Jun. 15 2012
Toronto  ethnic_communities  retailers  shopping_malls  GTA 
june 2012 by jerryking
The dreams and realities of public transit in the GTA - The Globe and Mail
adrian morrow
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
transit  GTA  public_transit 
february 2012 by jerryking

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