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Toronto’s tech boom is transforming the city
July 26, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MARCUS GEE.

the tech industry that is transforming Toronto. The city is in the midst of a spectacular tech boom. Big firms such as Microsoft, Twitter, Uber, Google and Netflix are setting up shop or expanding here. Thousands of workers are coming to live and work in the city. Thousands of startup companies are revving their engines.

The pell-mell growth of the city comes in part from the rise of tech. Patrick Fejér of B+H Architects says 10 million square feet of new office space is due to open by 2024, more than was built from 1992 to the present. Toronto, he says, has more than 120 construction cranes in the air, compared with 65 in Seattle and 35 in New York.

CBRE, a real estate consultancy, says that Toronto is the fastest-growing market for tech talent in North America, “adding an eye-popping 80,100 tech jobs in the past five years, a 54-per-cent increase.” It now ranks third, just behind San Francisco’s Bay Area and Seattle.
Big_Tech  creative_class  downtown_core  housing  King-Spadina  Kitchener-Waterloo  livability  Marcus_Gee  millennials  neighbourhoods  Port_Lands  property_development  Sidewalk_Labs  talent  Toronto  transformational  transit  walkability  technology 
july 2019 by jerryking
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
GO Transit calls time on free parking
APRIL 6, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | OLIVER MOORE.

It costs up to $40,000 to build one parking spot at a GO train station, and most often, commuters pay nothing to use it. The agency that runs the transit service says this can’t go on......The simplest way to encourage people not to drive to GO stations is to have more of the passengers living nearby. Some of the new stations proposed under the RER plan are in urban areas, with ready-made clientele close at hand. And the area around other stations can densify, making GO more convenient for more people.

“Let’s turn them into active mobility hubs,” said Cherise Burda, the director of the City Building Institute at Ryerson University. “Looking at utilizing the station lands as communities and not just as parking lots, that’s where you’re going to get a lot more ridership.”

Proximity goes only so far, though. Metrolinx stats show that a lot of their passengers are quite close to their station already. Some 13 per cent of them travel less than one kilometre to a GO rail station, and another 19 per cent come between one and two kilometres. But only 18 per cent of passengers arrive by foot, transit or bicycle, meaning that a large number of people are making short drives to the station.

After expanding parking at a breakneck pace for years, Metrolinx is hoping to slash the number of rail passengers who drive alone to the station by 40 per cent. Parking will be discouraged through price, while access to stations for those coming by foot, transit and bike will be improved. Also, more residential density around stations will be encouraged.
GO  terminals  transit  free  parking  Metrolinx  commuting  RER  property_development 
april 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
Wider Dufferin Overpass Opens, Ready for Rail Path & GO RER | Urban Toronto
July 21, 2017 4:49 pm | by Craig White.

The newly widened bridge facilitates future transportation upgrades for Torontonians, specifically for those who ride the rails or their bikes, or those who simply walk.

For those who ride GO Trains on the Kitchener, Milton, or Barrie corridors, the widened bridge means that another track can now be laid over the bridge. Eventually this part of the corridor will have two tracks for each of the three corridors, and another two tracks for the UP Express. The increase in tracks means that all corridors will eventually be able to support the frequent 2-Way All-Day trains which RER-type service requires. The provincial government, through Metrolinx, is changing GO from a commuter service to a Regional Express Rail service over the next decade.
Toronto  GO  Metrolinx  RER  transit  infrastructure  Queen’s_Park 
july 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
Rise Above Your Awful Commute - WSJ
By Sue Shellenbarger
June 20, 2017

MANAGING A STRESSFUL COMMUTE

***To Stay Productive***:

Download work onto your mobile device in advance, in case you lose connectivity.
Charge your devices and carry a backup battery if needed.
Use the commute time to plan your day and set goals.
Schedule a one-hour buffer before your first meeting, in case you’re delayed.

***To Lower Tensions in Crowds***

Consider how other commuters must be feeling and treat them with empathy.
Cooperate with others in finding ways to ease the strain.
Wear light, comfortable clothes and shoes and carry water.
Practice deep breathing, muscle relaxation or visualization to calm yourself.
Download and listen to calming music.

***To Shake Off a Bad Commute***

Take a walk around the block before settling in at your desk.
Engage in a calming ritual such as stopping for a latte at a friendly coffee shop.
Think or write about an inspiring personal value, such as caring for family or being kind to strangers.
Immerse yourself in a setting with plants or natural scenes, such as a park, atrium or room with a nature mural or photos.
commuting  deep_breathing  rituals  transit  mindfulness  complaints 
june 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
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
Blame the politicians, not Metrolinx, for UPX fiasco - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE AND ADRIAN MORROW
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 12, 2016
UPX  Metrolinx  politics  Toronto  transit  white_elephants  politicians 
february 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
It’s time for a ‘ministry of cities’ - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD FLORIDA
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 09, 2015

“What is required is much more strategic investment in denser, transit-served, more connected cities and suburbs.”
Richard_Florida  cities  Justin_Trudeau  transit 
november 2015 by jerryking
Canadian cities caught between crumbling infrastructure and growing calls for transit - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE, OLIVER SACHGAU LES PERREAUX AND GARY MASON
TORONTO and MONTREAL and VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2015
Toronto  Montreal  Vancouver  infrastructure  Gardiner_Expressway  transit  cities 
june 2015 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
Governments need to deliver big infrastructure projects honestly - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 09 2015

Why do big projects like these so often go over time and over budget? Ryerson University professor Murtaza Haider says that delays and overruns on megaprojects are common all over the world. Proponents of big projects consistently low-ball the cost for fear that the sticker shock might prevent them from ever getting built. “It is a very serious issue that goes to the heart of the credibility of all those who are building the infrastructure,” he says.

The hitches with the Spadina line are especially serious for a city such as Toronto that must spend billions to renew and build out its infrastructure. “If this is the norm, we have a problem,” says Prof. Haider.

Yes, we do. The dynamic at work here is universal and troubling. A government that announces a big, expensive project is loath to admit that things have gone wrong and that it is spending more public money than it said it would.

Instead, it grabs any opportunity to boast about how great the project is and how well it is going. Rather than being a monitor, it turns into a cheerleader.
Marcus_Gee  transit  infrastructure  cost_overruns  Toronto  truth-telling  honesty  megaprojects  normalization 
march 2015 by jerryking
Tory's aim to speed up SmartTrack plan approved by executive committee - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE AND ELIZABETH CHURCH - URBAN TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 05 2014
SmartTrack  John_Tory  mayoral  GO  TTC  transit  priorities 
february 2015 by jerryking
Toronto to take over struggling Bixi bike-share program - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 04 2013

Toronto is taking over the struggling local Bixi bike-share program and looking for a private-sector company to run it and assume the risk.

"Bike sharing will be part of the better Toronto we all want to build," Public Works Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong said Wednesday. "Public bike-sharing is public transit."...The company currently costs about $1.5-million to operate annually, with users and sponsors covering most of that. The shortfall of between $100,000 and $200,000 is expected to be bridged by new and richer sponsorship deals and by private-sector efficiencies....Bixi appeared in Toronto in 2011....Bike-share operations have proliferated globally, often with greater success than in Toronto. In New York, where CitiBike was launched in the spring, there are around 500,000 members and riders have used the service 5 million times, according to figures released last month.
Bixi  bike_sharing  sharing_economy  Toronto  public_transit  transit 
november 2014 by jerryking
CBC.ca | 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
CHRISTINE DOBBY - TELECOM REPORTER
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
MARCUS GEE
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
Ontario PCs offer a bit of doable, a lot of dreamland - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 30 2014

Conversely, there are two very doable and sensible ideas in the Conservative arsenal. Private clinics of the kind that operate in other public health systems, authorized, regulated and reimbursed by the state, should be allowed to do routine, repetitive surgeries. And arbitrators, when settling public-sector disputes, must take into account the “ability to pay,” instead of just ratcheting up settlements based on comparisons with other groups of workers.
Jeffrey_Simpson  elections  myths  Ontario  Tim_Hudak  transit  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
june 2014 by jerryking
Ontario's Hudak promises more subways, while NDP takes aim at hydro bills - The Globe and Mail
ADRIAN MORROW AND KALEIGH ROGERS
Toronto and Sarnia — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 16 2014
Tim_Hudak  Toronto  transit  elections  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
may 2014 by jerryking
Immobile like me: The inaccessible truth about public transit
DENISE BALKISSOON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Apr. 15 2014
mobility  transit  accessibility  privilege 
april 2014 by jerryking
Toronto’s transit debate is just theatrics. Nothing will get done - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT AUSTIN

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
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