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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
City proposes Queen Street route for Toronto’s downtown relief line - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 29, 2016
DRL  transit  TTC  Toronto 
march 2016 by jerryking
New Scarborough transit plan ‘buys peace in the land’ | Toronto Star
By: Jennifer Pagliaro City Hall reporter, Tess Kalinowski Transportation reporter, Published on Wed Jan 20 2016
Toronto  transit  Scarborough  TTC 
january 2016 by jerryking
TTC’s lawyers to examine UberHop commuting service | Toronto Star
By: Vanessa Lu Business reporter, Betsy Powell City Hall Bureau, Published on Mon Dec 14 2015
Uber  UberHop  Toronto  TTC  transit  commuting 
december 2015 by jerryking
TTC chair looks to boost parking revenue - The Globe and Mail
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015
TTC  pricing  parking 
november 2015 by jerryking
Tory's aim to speed up SmartTrack plan approved by executive committee - The Globe and Mail
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 05 2014
SmartTrack  John_Tory  mayoral  GO  TTC  transit  priorities 
february 2015 by jerryking
Mayor Tory goes against campaign pledge and hikes TTC fares - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 19 2015
mayoral  John_Tory  political_campaigns  TTC 
january 2015 by jerryking
TTC to add new debit and credit fare-payment options - The Globe and Mail
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Dec. 16 2014
TTC  John_Tory 
december 2014 by jerryking
Subway evacuation: Video shows TTC riders leaving stalled train through tunnel | Metro
Subway evacuation: Video shows TTC riders leaving stalled train through tunnel
TTC  ride_sharing 
november 2014 by jerryking | Metro Morning | TTC delays
Thursday November 6, 2014
TTC delays
"Late for work, the subway's delayed." That's become a common refrain in this city. But yesterday was particularly bad, with signal problems causing delays on both major lines. Matt talked to transit advocate Steve Munro about what's behind those problems and whether they'll be fixed any time soon.
TTC  transit  traffic_congestion 
november 2014 by jerryking
Getting in Touch | Steve Munro
Getting in Touch
Posted on February 1, 2008 by Steve
As any of you who try to send email to me probably know, there is an extremely aggressive filter on the server hosting this site.

You will have much better luck sending to steve (dot) munro (at) ca (dot) inter (dot) net. You can reassemble the email address yourself.
transit  TTC  blogs 
october 2014 by jerryking
Toronto transit adding WiFi to more subway stations - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014,
Wi-Fi  TTC  transit 
august 2014 by jerryking
Toronto's summertime roadwork fest the start of a noisier – but sounder – future - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 18 2014

Bloor Street West is getting new sidewalks and asphalt. Dundas and Spadina is being dug up for track and water-main work. Construction fencing is going in and heavy equipment setting up on Eglinton Avenue for the Crosstown light-rail transit project. Then, of course, there is the Gardiner Expressway, now in the midst of a massive rehabilitation that often slows traffic to a crawl even more snail-like than usual. With contractors hurrying to finish projects for next year’s Pan American Games as well, it is feeling like the worst construction season in years.
Eglinton_Crosstown  summertime  Toronto  infrastructure  transit  TTC  congestion  transportation  Metrolinx  traffic_congestion 
july 2014 by jerryking
Toronto’s transit debate is just theatrics. Nothing will get done - The Globe and Mail

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jan. 14 2014

Toronto is not what it used to be. It was world class. It was once “like New York but run by the Swiss.” These clichés no longer work. The TTC was once called “The Better Way” then it morphed into “The Kinder Way” and now it is something that is only slightly better than walking.

Basic travel times within the city are now longer than ever – year round....The province, the federal government and the city have been in talks for decades. The City grows, ridership grows and the TTC remains the same. Imagine for just a second what the platform of either Eglinton or Bloor will look like in five years given the condo developments.
Toronto  transit  TTC  politics  leadership  Andy_Byford 
january 2014 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
The next stop: An interactive trip through Union Station's $1-billion transformation - The Globe and Mail
Oliver Moore, Alisa Mamak, Tonia Cowan and Stuart A. Thompson

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Aug. 12 2013
restorations  TTC  transit  renovations  Union_Station  terminals  railways 
august 2013 by jerryking
TTC to probe conversion of two GO train tracks - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

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
TTC moves toward automated subway trains - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Mar. 10 2013
TTC  transit  Toronto 
march 2013 by jerryking
Lessons from Toronto’s Sheppard subway line - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Nov. 16 2012
transit  TTC  Toronto 
february 2013 by jerryking
Meet the man who shaped 20th-century Toronto - The Globe and Mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 18, 2012

Rowland Caldwell Harris – who began a 33-year term as works commissioner a century ago this week – left his civic fingerprints all over Toronto, building hundreds of kilometres of sidewalks, sewers, paved roads, streetcar tracks, public baths and washrooms, landmark bridges and even the precursor plans to the GO commuter rail network.

“The significance of Harris a hundred years later is that we’re still living fundamentally in the city he imagined,” observes Dalhousie architecture professor Steven Mannell, who studies his career and has advised city officials on an extensive rehabilitation of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, due to be finished next year.

Mr. Harris famously added a second deck to the Prince Edward Viaduct in anticipation of a subway line that wasn’t built for decades. What’s less well known is that Mr. Harris was a photo buff who, in 1930, presided over the city’s first planning exercise – a process that led to construction of congestion-easing arterials such as Dundas Street East and the parkway extension of Mount Pleasant through Rosedale and up towards St. Clair.
John_Lorinc  Toronto  trailblazers  R.C._Harris  architecture  wastewater-treatment  infrastructure  municipalities  urban  urban_planning  landmarks  bridges  foresight  imagination  TTC  '30s  city_builders 
may 2012 by jerryking
Subway dream achievable with tax plan to pay for it - The Globe and Mail
marcus gee
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 16, 2012

Mr. Ford has one last chance to snatch something – if not victory, then at least progress – from the jaws of defeat. He could propose a serious plan to build a network of new rapid transit in this city over the next quarter-century, complete with the new revenue tools – in other words, taxes – to pay for it. To back up his plan, he could recommend a citywide referendum to approve it. It would be a startling proposal from a tax-fighting mayor, but Mr. Ford needs to seize back the momentum if he is to have any chance of influencing the city’s transit future.

With provincial and federal governments fighting big deficits, and city hall still struggling to get its finances in shape, special levies for transit offer the only realistic hope of building it. An array of expert reports in the last couple of months have recommended looking at them.

Mr. Ford’s point man on the subways campaign, Gordon Chong, thinks the city needs to consider road tolls and other measures. The mayor’s subways advocate on council, Scarborough’s Norm Kelly, wants a 0.5-per-cent sales tax, raising $250-million a year. The mayor himself has toyed with the idea of a special levy on parking fees to pay for transit.
Marcus_Gee  transit  TTC  Rob_Ford 
march 2012 by jerryking
TTC appoints Byford as new chief - The Globe and Mail
marcus gee
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 12, 2012

Toronto has a new transit chief. Andy Byford confirmed on Monday night that he will succeed Gary Webster, who was fired as chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission after differing with Mayor Rob Ford in the subways-versus-LRT debate.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Mr. Byford, 46, a dynamic Englishman who has served with the London Underground and the Sydney commuter rail system.
ttc  CEOs  Marcus_Gee  leadership  appointments  transit 
march 2012 by jerryking
Ford’s treatment of TTC chief sends a terrible message - The Globe and Mail
Marcus Gee | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
TTC  Rob_Ford  Marcus_Gee  Toronto  transit  bureaucracies 
february 2012 by jerryking
Stintz bid for facts on Crosstown line derailed - The Globe and Mail
elizabeth church
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
TTC  Toronto  transit  Eglinton_Crosstown 
february 2012 by jerryking
Rob Ford’s entrenched position on Toronto transit hurts our pocketbooks - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 17, 2011 | G&M | Editorial.

critics are questioning whether the Eglinton line, known as The Crosstown, can even be built for the amount budgeted by Queen’s Park.

The reason? Under former mayor David Miller, the $4.6-billion Crosstown was to operate in a dedicated surface right-of-way for almost half the route while running in a tunnel through the city core. But Mr. Ford, who campaigned to end the so-called “war on the car,” insisted the entire 19-kilometre line be buried, at an additional cost of $2.2-billion, an almost 50-per-cent mark-up. While transit officials say that burying the LRT may attract a few more riders, $2.2-billion is a steep premium to pay for what is an essentially aesthetic decision, especially for a fiscal conservative.

There’s an elegant solution readily available to the mayor. He should ask Mr. McGuinty to revert to the original Eglinton plan, but on the proviso that the $2.2-billion be used as seed money for a public-private partnership deal for the Sheppard subway. The model is Vancouver’s Canada Line, built with $720-million in capital from a private consortium that operates the service through a 35-year franchise.
editorials  Rob_Ford  transit  Toronto  TTC  Eglinton_Crosstown  Queen’s_Park 
november 2011 by jerryking
TTC makes ‘dumbest decision ever,’ former head warns - The Globe and Mail
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 05, 2011
TTC  transit 
july 2011 by jerryking
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