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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
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
Ontario airports must accommodate traffic growth, study says - The Globe and Mail
REG KEENAN - AIRLINE INDUSTRY REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Ontario  airports  GTAA  congestion  user_growth 
may 2017 by jerryking
Pearson airport hub a fitting project for Canada Infrastructure Bank: Metrolinx CEO - The Globe and Mail
BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Apr. 09, 2017

In recent months, Pearson airport officials have been promoting a plan to raise billions for regional transit connections, including the possibility of a high-speed rail link through southwestern Ontario. A report that has not yet been released to the public estimates that private capital could help fund more than $12-billion worth of new transit, including a $6-billion high-speed rail line connecting Toronto and Windsor. One option to fund the projects would be to partially privatize the airport.

“What Pearson airport is proposing is a really important way to start to think about how do we build out the connectivity between Pearson, the rest of the transit and transportation network and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area,”
airports  Toronto  infrastructure  hubs  high-speed_rail  transit  transportation  Mississauga  Metrolinx  Pearson_International  GTAA  YYZ  travel  terminals  accessibility  southwestern_Ontario  HSR 
april 2017 by jerryking
Toronto's Pearson airport unveils early concept for transit hub - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE - URBAN TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2017

The proposal, which would be funded by the GTAA and has been estimated by them at $500-million, would involve a new and larger passenger processing terminal where travellers would be able to check in for flights and clear security. The plan also calls for new mixed-use commercial space, with room for retail, office space or hotels.

But the biggest change would be making Pearson more accessible to transit. Advocates call for it to become a sort of Union Station for the western side of city – albeit one that would serve far fewer people than the station downtown.....As envisioned, a transit hub would involve changing the Finch LRT, which is in its very early stages, from its current terminus at Humber College and extending it instead to the airport. It also requires that the proposed Eglinton West LRT be built to run to the airport. This has been proposed by Toronto but the project would need a substantial contribution by the city of Mississauga, which reacted unhappily to the idea.
airports  Pearson_International  GTAA  YYZ  travel  Toronto  transit  hubs  railways  terminals  accessibility  Mississauga 
february 2017 by jerryking

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