Metrolinx Puts Scarborough LRT on Hold

Metrolinx has advised Toronto’s City Manager that it is putting the Scarborough LRT project on hold pending resolution of various issues related to funding the proposed Scarborough subway.

In a letter from President & CEO Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx states:

The Scarborough LRT remains an approved part of the Master Agreement among Metrolinx, City Council and the TTC, consistent with The Big Move and sound transit planning for the region. We will not expend any more funds on the project because it no longer enjoys the essential support of our partner, City Council. It would be imprudent for us to spend more on a project Council has by majority vote repudiated, as further expenditures would increase the sunk costs already incurred for which the City is responsible. As you know, Metrolinx estimates that sunk costs amount to $85 million at this time. Putting the Scarborough LRT on hold is not due to any shortcomings inherent in the project. The project would serve Toronto and its communities well. In the event the City suspends pursuit of the subway extension, Metrolinx is prepared to return to implementing the current project.

Metrolinx will remove the SLRT from the procurement process for the Eglinton Crosstown line so that this project can proceed on its own.  Planned improvements at Kennedy Station will be redesigned to avoid delay of the Eglinton project, but obviously the changes cannot preclude future inclusion of the SLRT should that project be revived or unless it is truly cancelled.

Provincial funding available for the subway project remains at $1.48b (2010$).  However, this does not include the offset for sunk costs which will be charged to the City reducing the amount available for the subway project to about $1.4b.

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48 Responses to Metrolinx Puts Scarborough LRT on Hold

  1. Moaz Yusuf Ahmad says:

    Steve,

    Does this mean that the redesign of Kennedy is now “officially” an “Eglinton Crosstown” project or do you think it will end up being accounted for separately?

    Also, I’m assuming that if the SLRT is not built the redesign of Kennedy will be less complicated, which might “save” some money on that project. I’m wondering if that might somehow cover a portion of the 85 million in sunk costs.

    Overall we lose, but in the intricately confusing world of accounting this could be spun as the Eglinton Crosstown/Kennedy station projects) coming in under budget.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: I doubt that very much. Metrolinx has to get the Eglinton project rolling, so to speak, and I doubt that the question of federal funding and a city share of the subway project will be sorted out until after the municipal election in fall 2014.

  2. Gordon says:

    So angry at this. Our council is blind and wasteful.

    I am reminded of the Computer Leasing Inquiry.

  3. ben says:

    I’m surprised. I hoped Metrolinx would have ignored council given their unclear ruling. Huge setback. Why isn’t there more outrage at Ford’s ignorance on this?

  4. Phil Piltch says:

    “Ben:

    I’m surprised. I hoped Metrolinx would have ignored council given their unclear ruling. Huge setback. Why isn’t there more outrage at Ford’s ignorance on this?”

    I suspect there is little outrage due to the fact most still think subways are always the best option. Indeed this may be seen as a “victory” and the we in Scarborough will finally have our “own” subway, paid with pixie dust. What will be interesting is to see what becomes of the Sheppard LRT – does that project get cancelled to help fund a B-D extension to STC?

    As for Metrolinx ignoring council’s decision and going ahead with the SLRT, I don’t think that would go over well, and I’m not even sure it would be allowed by their provincial masters.

    Given that at one time that the ECLRT and SLRT were to be run as one line, could the modifications of Kennedy station for the Eglinton line include provision for the SLRT in the event that council goes for the LRT option (which appears to be a fall-back option if the necessary funding for a subway does not appear)?

    Phil

  5. George N from Don Mills says:

    Toronto’s official plan designates the STC area as a high density node. Therefore, rapid transit built in this node must have a two-fold purpose:

    1. Move people efficiently and rapidly from Scarborough to downtown.

    2. Attract high density, mixed use development in the STC area.

    A LRT can satisfy both requirements. However, only a subway can maximize the density, investment and economic activity needed in this under-developed area of the city. I believe that one extra BILLION dollars is money well spent in order to transform Scarborough into a destination.

    Scarborough does not exist in a vacuum. It must compete with the likes of the Markham Metropolitan Centre to attract investment and development. Markham will have an advantage over Scarborough because it will have the YUS at its doorstep. In order to level the playing field, Scarborough will need equivalent transit; otherwise it will remain as Toronto’s backwater.

    By building a modern, mixed use downtown in Scarborough, the priority neighborhoods will be benefit the most, since there is nothing better than local employment opportunities to elevate people out of poverty.

    Over the past 30 years, the SRT has failed to develop the STC region to its potential. Since the LRT will retrace most of the SRT route, I fear that it will not transform Scarborough into a destination, but will keep it as a far-flung suburb.

    Regarding decommissioning the SRT:

    I don’t think that a lot of money should be spent tearing down the SRT. Stations should be mothballed, leased out, or redeveloped as needed.

    Could some of the SRT track be modified into a pedestrian walkway / bike route? Rail lines throughout the world have been paved over for pedestrian use. I believe some sections of the at-grade and elevated track should be converted for this purpose.

    Regarding Kennedy Station:

    Does Metrolink expect us to believe that it will cost nothing to modify Kennedy station for the Eglinton Cross-town project? Why does the SRT replacement project have to pay all of the costs to modify Kennedy station?

    Steve: Your polemic would do better if it didn’t sound so much like the classic boosterism of the 50s. You begin by saying that the purpose of a rapid transit line is to move people downtown, but then launch into a defence of STC as a major centre within the 416. Markham, Mississauga and other centres will never have subway lines, and compete by a combination of land availability, road access and (at least for a time) lower taxes. The development at “downtown North York” is certainly nothing to celebrate even though it has three subway stations, and “downtown Etobicoke” has barely developed since the BD extension to Kipling opened in the late 60s. What does get built at both of them these days will be residential, not commercial, space.

    Your remark about the priority neighbourhoods reminds me of some of the “trickle down economics”. It is not clear that the employment opportunities, even assuming they develop, will mainly employ people from the priority neighbourhoods. Condos are not job centres.

    Indeed, a major problem with STC and environs today is that the bus service is all oriented to feed people into downtown-bound trips, and attempts to move about within Scarborough are frustrated by breaks in routes, the need to visit Kennedy or STC stations whether riders want to or not, and the fall-off of counterpeak headways before the AM peak is completed on some routes. The subway will not eliminate the need to use the bus network to get around Scarborough, and it will cause even more gerrymandering of routes and trips because there are so few stops.

    The SRT failed in developing Scarborough for several reasons. First, it does not have the capacity and has become increasingly unreliable over the years. That is a testimonial to the lack of upgrading (or to the fact it wasn’t an LRT line as originally planned). Second, STC’s access is overwhelmingly by car, not by transit, as even a cursory look at the acres of parking and the lack of pedestrian activity will reveal. This is part of a general problem of building transit too little and too late with the result that developments and travel patterns are all car-centric. What development did occur took a long time because there were more attractive sites for office space elsewhere (either further out in the 905, or more recently downtown). New construction is now mainly residential, and this must compete with the downtown market which is much more walkable and has far more of interest for a new condo buyer than the area around STC.

    The SRT structure will have to come down because at some point it won’t be safe to leave it up. It isn’t the Gardiner, but it won’t last forever. Mind you, an argument could be made for some sort of linear park if it actually went somewhere. A walk by the paper recycling plant at Midland Station isn’t very appealing. Maybe it could be a pedestrian link for the folks in the condos on Brimley to reach the new STC station over at McCowan, although this will be a tad breezy in February.

    At Kennedy Station, the accounting for the conversion is a matter of convenience — which project the money is officially part of — not that it costs “nothing” for the Eglinton line. Queen’s Park “committed” a potload of money to a number of projects including the SLRT and ECLRT, and the project components were divided up as they were for whatever Metrolinx reasons are. Don’t forget that the SRT/SLRT would have been the most frequent of services (other than the subway) coming to this station with at least twice the demand of the ECLRT. Why shouldn’t the station mods be allocated to its budget? You are setting up a straw man with this argument, and it undermines your position generally.

  6. W. K. Lis says:

    Our auto-centric mayor and some councilors have had their deepest desire fulfilled. No rapid transit for the elitists. After all, we are all equal, just some are more equal than others.

  7. Roger Brook says:

    I hoped Metrolinx would have ignored council given their unclear ruling.

    Council first voted for this and another subway extension at a meeting where it also voted against all funding mechanism’s to pay for transit. The Province (Metrolinx) gave Toronto another chance to clarify what they wanted, and they voted for the extension again, hoping the Feds will be generous.

    Come September 30th when council notes that conditions haven’t been met, it could again vote to reverse course and little harm would have been done to the LRT project. If however Councillors continue to pursue the subway option, as is likely, Metrolinx says it’s worried that building an LRT against a city’s will is risky as they could slow down or sabotage LRT building plans.

    Outrage?

    Many of those paying attention are outraged while many others elect ‘subway defenders’. Being ignorant of the facts unfortunately does not appear to diminish the power of one’s vote.

    Steve: The problem here is that Queen’s Park enthusiastically embraced the subway in the recent by-election. They are, however, keeping their options open should money from the rich uncle in Ottawa fails to appear.

  8. L. Wall says:

    Didn’t the master agreement from last year spell out the terms for reversing course? I thought there was language in there that would have made it difficult for council to change their minds on the LRT conversion again.

    Steve: That presumed that Queen’s Park itself did not change course to win a by-election.

  9. Tom says:

    I am a Scarborough resident and I think that the Scarbrough LRT is okay as long as the line is directly connected (i.e. no transfer) to the Eglinton Crosstown line. Scarborough RT is also okay but the transfer time between the subway and SRT is a killer (going up and down 5 min when it’s crowded and sometimes as much as 15 min wait for the SRT so 20 min wasted just like that). Similarly, I don’t support the Sheppard LRT due to the transfer between the subway and the LRT (no matter how convenient they try to make it). If they want to build LRT on Sheppard, then downgrade the Sheppard subway to an LRT so that we can have a single line without unnecessary transfers. Fewer farther stations and elevated is the way to go and save money rather than on street LRTs which are really slow fancy streetcars.

    Steve, why don’t you advocate a system which minimizes the number of transfers as waiting time is a huge proportion for transit users? Also the LRT, why can’t they build with fewer stops and elevated to save money and improve speed?

    Steve: The entire transit system is built around the concept of transfers. Thousands of people do this every day at Bloor-Yonge and at St. George, not to mention at my home station, Broadview.

    No, I will not advocate getting rid of a transfer as a primary reason for the subway, and frankly, given the likely cost, that’s a poor excuse.

    Yes, I know that transfer to the SRT is a killer (I used to make it every day for eight years), but you can’t lumber the LRT line with that because the new station would have the LRT just north of the existing fare control area. As for the long wait for the SRT, that’s the fault of the crappy technology. You may have noticed that the subway breaks down now and then too.

    Downgrading the subway to an LRT is not easy, and may very well be impossible. The proposed connection at Don Mills places the LRT line on the same level as the subway at the east end of an extended platform. Do you really think that folks in eastern Scarborough should get nothing (i.e. be left with the bus services) while waiting for the faint hope of a Sheppard subway to UTSC? It’s not going to happen.

    LRT and streetcar vehicles are the same. It’s a question of how they are used. The proposed SRT replacement would be completely on its own right-of-way and is only “slower” than the subway because it has more stops. You want fewer stops for speed? I hope that you live close to one of the subway stations because a lot of people who would have been conveniently served by the LRT will have to walk or take a bus to the subway.

    As for a line like Sheppard, if it has its own lanes, priority with traffic signals, and better acceleration under load than the bus fleet, it will be able to handle the projected increase in demand in that corridor without having to resort to a subway.

    Elevated? Yes, cheaper than a tunnel. I invite you to speak on the subject to the happy folks living on McCowan or Sheppard when you plan an elevated subway line up the middle of their streets, not to mention the rather large station structures at major intersections.

  10. Brian says:

    Scarborough Town Centre is a failure – it is not and never will be a “Walkable” city core and frankly Scarborough should be rethought so that Eglinton and Kennedy becomes the urban core or Scarborough … part of the problem is that office space has leapfrogged to the 905 – even Lastman’s Yonge Street plans didn’t quite pan out and that is mostly condos and only one new office building has gone up.

    The Consilium and other office spaces at STC are difficult to rent out and command rents far below what would sustain any new development. Plans for extending the Bloor line west to Sherway Gardens (another big shopping centre with more condo development) are a low priority.

    In the long run, it makes far more sense to extend the Eglinton Subway to Markham Rd GO station then turn it north than running a Subway on the lower part of McCowan which will never be a major area of growth.

  11. Timur Urakov says:

    Downgrading the Sheppard subway to LRT is a non-starter. It is amazing how often this hobby horse is being brought out, most likely by atechnical folks who have no idea what would be required in the process. The signalling system – which is brand new and has many new features, mostly invisible to the public (such as double break circuitry for the vital line circuits, stuck key-by lever detection on the interlocking signals, platform blind timing, tunnel barrier doors, vital field blocking within the interlocking control circuits, special signals for reverse track operation etc.) which involved a lot of spending, would have to be replaced in order to make everything compatible with ATC, presuming the LRT vehicles would have such a thing.

    Steve: The Metrolinx LRT vehicles will have ATC for tunnel operations, but I don’t know if they are using the same system as the TTC has installed on the subway.

    Platforms would have to be completely rebuilt to match the low-floor of the LRT. I have serious doubts the twin tunnels can be retrofitted for catenary current collection, because they are not wide enough. There is also the small matter of changing the track gauge to make it compatible to the rest of the LRT network. As a side effect, the huge grade-separated junction at Yonge-Sheppard (I doubt many people realize how large it is, the double box tunnel structure extends all the way to Welbeck Road, and there is a large underground ‘bridge’ on Sheppard west of Beecroft) – which in terms of cost – was the biggest ticket item of the entire Sheppard project would no longer be usable. Meaning a huge throwaway cost. This would definitely involve a long shutdown of the line, probably measured in months or even years, while everyone will be using buses in the meantime. Simply put, it is not going to happen.

    Steve: It would be amusing to see how many of the advocates of the Sheppard subway-to-LRT conversion would also object at length to the multi-year shutdown of the SRT for its LRT conversion.

    Operationally, the Sheppard line is a money waster. Everyone who disagrees is invited to ride it any day after say, 8 PM and then explain why we should continue to run trains on it every five-and-a-half minutes all day, every day, until 2:30 in the morning. Extending it would mean ending up with an equally white elephant, but a longer one.

    I find the whole discussion about the ‘inconvenience’ of transferring to be laughable, because there would be a transfer somewhere on Sheppard no matter what. If the extension happens piecewise (to Victoria Park, or Warden etc.), the transfer would still be on Sheppard, except we will now have a longer subway and a bigger money pit. If the subway does get to STC, the transfer from the Sheppard East buses would be at Kennedy. Even worse, this scenario would guarantee that the entire stretch east of Kennedy to Port Union would not get any improved transit over the current bus service. EVER. Anybody who spins the discussion by using the ‘Scarborough deserves a subway, too’ argument, should better remember that folks in eastern Scarbough pay taxes, too, and they would get shafted big time, if the Sheppard subway creeps eastward.

    I have also found the benefits case anaylses for the Sheppard East LRT and the Scarborough LRT on the Metrolinx website. It is fairly clear that the LRT scheme delivers better transit for Scarbough as a whole, no matter how Rob Ford and his ilk try to spin the matter.

  12. hamish wilson says:

    For some entertainment, I was skimming through the Metrolinx’s “Mobility Hub Guidelines” and on. p. 23 there’s some classification of modes. In the subway segment:

    “Land use targets should reflect the ridership levels needed to justify investment in subway infrastructure.”

    Given how we’ve tossed out planning principles again, maybe we should insist that all the zonings in the areas which the subway may pass through be changed upwards. I’m sure it’d be a “soar” point; but we don’t need another blighting suburban subway, and let’s hope we don’t lose too many years to revert to the better LRT, though yes, subways can be better deals in the long run sometimes etc.

  13. L. Wall says:

    Over the past 30 years, the SRT has failed to develop the STC region to its potential.

    30 years of subway service along a much busier line and much more prominent location didn’t stop North York Centre from becoming a failure. All we have to show for it are a small cluster of small office buildings with the rest of the land filled up or being filled up by residential condos.

    Companies either locate downtown or in the 905 office parks (for varied reasons) and having a subway to STC won’t change that just as it didn’t change for NYCC. STC will continue to fail and I am confident of that with or without spending billions on a subway.

    I am a Scarborough resident and I think that the Scarbrough LRT is okay as long as the line is directly connected (i.e. no transfer) to the Eglinton Crosstown line. Scarborough RT is also okay but the transfer time between the subway and SRT is a killer (going up and down 5 min when it’s crowded and sometimes as much as 15 min wait for the SRT so 20 min wasted just like that).

    You forgot to say that transfers make people in Scarborough second class! This princess syndrome makes me sick. Walking down a set of stairs when it’s crowded is too much of a burden?

    Take a look at the subway-to-surface/surface-to-subway transfers at the downtown subway stations on the Yonge and University lines. Depending on which direction you are transferring to and from, chances are you will have to go up AND down the stairs or use stairs and take a long hike just to make a transfer and the stations are way busier (and smaller) with way more foot traffic than Kennedy will EVER have yet I have never heard the same amount of bitching and moaning coming from this crowd to “make things right” for them or else.

  14. Tom says:

    Thank you for your reply Steve. Council would never have voted in favour of an extremely expensive subway replacement of the Scarbrough LRT if the SRT and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT were a single line as had been promised by McGuinty just before the 2011 provincial election who at the time had also promised burying it completely to Kennedy knowing full well the costs but changed his mind soon after winning the election. The single Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line was also supported by Mayor Ford as well as many councillors who just voted for the Scarborough subway and it would also reduce an unnecessary transfer for many people (two actually as most trips are two way).

  15. Kristian says:

    I was sorting through a collection of newspaper clippings today spanning 1995-98. It was an interesting period of time for Toronto transit and politics. One thing I had forgotten about was just how much of a saga the Sheppard Subway was not just before approval but just as much during construction. Costs were skyrocketing on the supposedly “bare-bones” line and it was at risk repeatedly of cancellation. There was even a proposal by Council to vote for enough money to complete the tunnels but not the track or stations in hopes that more funding would arrive later. Anyone who thinks another subway project is going to be a ‘smooth ride’ would do well to go back and learn from history. Everything ends up truncated and cheaped-out on and developers worm their way out of adequate development charges.

  16. Timur Urakov says:

    Tom, you are completely wrong when stating that Rob Ford supported a fully grade-separated Eglinton LRT all the way to Kennedy. After he was elected he initially wanted to CANCEL the project (or as much of it as possible) and redirect the funds to his vanity subways, namely the Bloor-Danforth and Sheppard extensions to STC. It took the best mediators both from Queen’s Park and within the TTC to keep the Eglinton project afloat back in early 2011, otherwise there was the real possibility of the line never making east of Yonge Street.

    Separating the Eglinton and Scarborough LRT line was essentially a TTC recommendation, due to the unbalanced demand on the two lines (a lot higher north of Kennedy on the SRT/LRT than on Eglinton itself). It was a completely sensible decision. With the short headways planned on both lines, the idea of being inconvenienced by the transfer is a red herring, with all due respect.

  17. Josh says:

    Forget about transfers in Scarborough! When I head northbound from Queen, I have to walk down a flight of stairs, make my way under the tracks, and then climb another flight of stairs or brave a crowded escalator just to reach the northbound platform. It adds countless seconds to my day and I demand a separate entrance be built ensuring this delay is eliminated. Then there’s the matter of transferring from the Spadina car to the northbound subway, requiring that I traverse a crowded claustrophobic tunnel!

    (Well, I actually do hate that Spadina transfer. But I wouldn’t demand the city spend a billion dollars to eliminate it either.)

  18. Jason says:

    Sad Really.

    As an example of the way things could be – Calgary started an 8.2km LRT extension in 2009 (2 yrs after Transit City was announced) and finished it in 2012.

    At the rate Toronto is going, the Scarborough situation will still be festering when Calgary opens the next leg of their very successful LRT system tentatively scheduled for 2039.

  19. Kevin Love says:

    Bruce McCuaig wrote:

    “It would be imprudent for us to spend more on a project Council has by majority vote repudiated…”

    Kevin’s comment:

    This is, of course, not true. Toronto Council did not repudiate their signed contract. The strongest statement that could be made about the whole muddled mess is that Council has said that they would prefer a subway if a whole bunch of highly unlikely financing conditions come to pass.

    I would prefer that my employer would double my salary, but that does not mean that I am repudiating my employment contract.

    Steve: Which is why Metrolinx leaves the door open to restarting the LRT project once the dust settles on financing the subway. Provincial actions in the by-election make it impossible for Metrolinx to bull ahead with LRT plans when the government clearly was supporting the subway option.

    The whole situation shows just how ludicrous discussions of “governance” and the creation of “independent” agencies to build and run transit really are. Politics always triumphs especially when a demagogue like Rob Ford is controlling the agenda unchallenged.

  20. Joshua Tossavainen says:

    I think it’s a fairly safe bet that the all LRTs will be cancelled if either Rob Ford or the conservatives win the next [election].

    I also think that nothing is going to be done with the SRT route until it’s truly broken beyond repair. At which point, we’ll have another drawn out subway vs LRT debate before we start building anything. And in the meantime, Scarborough will have to make do without any rapid transit at all.

    How long will it take before the SRT is truly beyond repair? Is it possible for the TTC to keep replacing parts piecemeal, up into and including the trains if need be? Is there a potential scenario where the TTC will be able to keep the SRT running decades from now? It would be incredibly stupid thing to do, and I hope the answer is no. The sooner the SRT fails for good the better as that will mean something will actually get built to replace it. But if it is possible for the TTC to keep it going piecemeal, I have the nagging suspicion that SRT will be around for quite awhile yet. Is that a possibility, or am I being completely off base here?

    Steve: Even if the cars have to be held together with $100 bills and scotch tape, they will keep the line running.

    TTC management must take some blame here. They keep saying the line is on its last legs and must be shut down, and then saying, well, give us some money and we will keep the service running. By 2023 it will be over a decade beyond its originally claimed drop-dead date. This allows the pols to dither forever rather than facing the fact that we cannot keep promising subways to make voters feel we care about them. The challenge for the TTC is to prove that it can offer good, credible service with a less expensive mode starting with its bus service.

  21. Brian says:

    Remember, Council’s vote was “Contingent” on the other levels of government putting up more cash.

    It is unlikely we will have a fall election – the provincial Liberals don’t want one and even Hudak is facing a revolt. So I expect that no new funding will appear other than what the Liberals feel is politically necessary. Expect council to have another vote on this October 8th where the pro-LRT councillors will say “told you so” and will win given the prospect of nothing being built at all!

    My solution is that Scarborough is promised a subway – extending the Sheppard line makes more sense, avoids the loss of $85 million on the Scarboro LRT. The Sheppard LRT has not had as much work done on it, and if it is cancelled, then in fact money spend on the previous Sheppard subway extension plans offsets it!

    Where will the money for a Sheppard extension come from if the other levels of government aren’t willing to pay $1 Billion for the line up McCowan? simple – make the Sheppard Subway shorter – only run it to Kennedy Road (5km) for the same $1 billion being spent on the LRT to Morningside… why the hell do we need an expensive transit line going out to Morningside is beyond me, except that doing so connects to the Scarboro LRT. Without the Sheppard LRT, the Scarborough LRT sould be shortened to only go to the community college, or McCowan, and the money used on the Sheppard subway.

    I think that that is the only solution here that lets the Mayor and the Liberals save face… keep the Scarboro LRT (and cut corners by shortening it) and build as much subway on Sheppard as is possible with the same total money now allocated for 2 LRT lines, or with slightly more funding to make it look like the province has sweetened the deal to keep its by-election promise.

    Steve: But the poor denizens of eastern Scarboro will have to transfer at your proposed Kennedy/Sheppard terminal, and this will induce huge stress in their downtrodden psyches!

    Your proposal is a good example of the attitude that someone else’s part of the network doesn’t matter (in this case the LRT to UTSC via Morningside) as long as you get a piece of subway. You ignore the benefit of linking the SLRT north to Sheppard so that people going to Centennial College can access it from the north and east, not just from the south.

    Finally, there is the tiny problem that from Don Mills to Kennedy is 5km, and there is no way you can build that subway extension for only $1-billion.

  22. Joe says:

    We are once again seeing how Scarborough’s development has become what it is today. We have too many people from outside the City who think they know what “Scarborough deserves”

    Lines are drawn and a paper and torn up year after year. And people wonder why the good developers stay away these days & why the developers who gambled in previous years have left building where they don’t belong.

    Transit City is a band-aid solution to try to appease the area of Toronto that has been held hostage by politics for too long.

    The fight over Subway & LRT’s is just more political gamesmanship and we are forced to play along. If LRT’s are going to be built they better got to the ZOO, get to Malvern City Center, Get to Kingston Galloway & UTC In Phase 1.

    Otherwise the the Government is just going to continue to play games with Scarborough transit for another 50 years and make a joke out of it.

    It goes further than public transit in Scarborough.. Highways projects have been torn up… Outdoor skating rinks and pools seem to be only “useful” in Etobicoke, North York and Metro.

    It’s time we let those who live in Scarborough dictate what service the rest of Toronto should get & see how others enjoy it.

    I’m not a Rob Ford advocate. But he has his job because the people of Scarborough have grown tired of the the City starting projects in the core and running short on funds as they head East for years.

    This neglect has to stop! It’s created a second class area of the GTA where there is no justified excuse for.

    Steve: It’s odd that you call Transit City a band-aid solution and then proceed to talk about Malvern and Kingston-Galloway, both of which were to be served by the original Transit City plan. As for how Scarborough developed, remember that it was an independent city until 1998, and decisions such as downgrading the importance of Kennedy/Eglinton in favour of STC were made by the old Scarborough Council. Much of what Scarborough is today is a result of decisions by Scarborough politicians, even post-amalgamation, and you cannot simply blame the folks downtown for everything any more than the people in North York can claim that downtowners, not Mel Lastman and his crew, created what we now know as “North York”.

  23. Michael Forest says:

    Metrolinx should use the SLRT delay to accelerate the Finch and Sheppard LRT projects. I would go with Finch first, as Sheppard needs some clarity on whether the interchange will be at Progress or at McCowan. Shifting Finch to SLRT payments schedule can get it open 2-3 years early. After that, they can built Sheppard on Finch payments schedule and get it running 1-2 years early.

    Perhaps Metrolinx should wait till the Oct 8 City Council meeting. If the Council does not re-confirm SLRT with a majority vote by that time, Metrolinx should go ahead with Finch instead.

    I doubt that Scarborough Subway will die now. It is no longer just a Rob Ford line. Both the City Council centrists and the provincial Liberals are on the hook after they stirred the matter and displayed a lot of enthusiasm for the subway. Many ordinary voters do not pay attention to the details of Council vote and the funding conditions attached to it. All they will see is that the said politicians promised the subway. If they do not deliver, they will face a huge backlash at the next elections. Therefore, they will work hard to make that subway happen.

    Furthermore, it will be very difficult for the provincial Liberals to implement the transit revenue tools, aka Metrolinx taxes, if they change their position on Scarborough subway. Opponents of the said taxes will use it to undermine their credibility. For the public, Ms. Hunter’s position is seen as the official position of the Liberal government. Perhaps Liberals would be better off not reopening the issue at all; but they did, and now it will be very hard for them to back down.

    Steve: The subway is not just Mitzie Hunter’s position. She appeared together with Transportation Minister Glen Murray in front of a sea of “Subway Champion” signs. However, the provincial position on additional funding — not — is clear and the city is on the hook to figure out how to pay for their decision. October’s council meeting will be interesting.

    Meanwhile, both Stintz and Murray can reread my “memo” to them about how to maintain momentum on the transit file while the Scarborough line is hostage to the funding debate.

  24. Brian says:

    Steve:

    Your proposal is a good example of the attitude that someone else’s part of the network doesn’t matter (in this case the LRT to UTSC via Morningside) as long as you get a piece of subway. You ignore the benefit of linking the SLRT north to Sheppard so that people going to Centennial College can access it from the north and east, not just from the south.

    Finally, there is the tiny problem that from Don Mills to Kennedy is 5km, and there is no way you can build that subway extension for only $1-billion.

    Me: I don’t think that the provincial Liberals can go back to the original SRT/Sheppard LRT lines and not face criticism for pandering and flip flopping… given the gas plants etc. – unless somehow all of the blame can be shifted to Ford or the Feds – unlikely.

    Nor are they going to come up with $1 Billion on their own. What I propose is a compromise.

    Sheppard and Morningside (the last stop on the current Sheppard LRT proposal) is still not walking distance from UTSC – the SRT only goes to Centennial College and my proposal continues this.

    Steve: If you took the trouble to read my proposal of what should be done with Sheppard, it includes the north end of the “Malvern” line down to UTSC. Metrolinx was on the verge of announcing this when Ford was elected.

    $1 Billion isn’t enough for 5km? The last number I saw for going to STC is $2.3 Billion – I make up some of the difference by shortening the SRT (no tunnel under the 401 or station at Sheppard) and likely the province will have to kick in something, but the shortfall is much less than with a subway up McCowan.

    Steve: The $2.3b cost is in 2010$. The inflated cost is more like $3.3b, and that’s a City/TTC estimate, not mine. Costs on the Spadina extension are running at about $300m/km in current dollars. Also, the TTC says they may be off by as much as 30% as this is a preliminary number.

    It also means that the SRT can go ahead now, and the city doesn’t have to find $85 million wasted.

    It is also possible to connect the SRT to Sheppard by running a “branch” line north along the Go tracks, starting just west of the Midland station – meaning that there would be 2 LRT routes using the same line from Midland east to Centennial College, one going to the Danforth subway, the other going to the Sheppard subway.

  25. Madeleine G says:

    respectfully… Kipling opened in ’81

    “since the BD extension to Kipling opened in the late 60s.”

    Steve: Sorry, was thinking of Islington which is where the development mainly took place anyhow. Kipling has sat in the middle of a field for three decades.

  26. Isaac Morland says:

    “Downgrading the Sheppard subway to LRT is a non-starter.”

    Please note that I am not arguing [for] converting the Sheppard subway to LRT. I think conceptually it “would be convenient” but feasibility is a separate question.

    However, I am interested that a significant part of your argument against such a conversion consists of the “wastage” of existing resources, in particular the signal system and the complex structure at Yonge St. (presumably including the connection tracks to the Yonge line). The money spent on those structures has already been wasted (arguably; but definitely it has been spent), and cannot be recovered. Accordingly, in the event that a conversion to LRT was found to have benefits exceeding the costs of implementing the conversion itself, it would make sense to convert. The cost years ago of the signal system and extra tunnels are sunk and do not form part of the cost of any conversion.

    I would also suggest that if a conversion were to be done, it would be more likely to change the track elevation within stations rather than the platform height. Of course this introduces even more questions about tunnel height near the station ends.

    I do wonder whether a restricted version of this could be done just at Don Mills for the LRT interchange. Essentially, close the south subway track (the terminal at Yonge functions with just one track so it seems the terminal at Don Mills should be able to do the same), raise the floor, and install LRT track coming in from the East. The last time I was there I thought the roof inside the station was pretty high, but I can’t say for sure if it is really high enough for the power supply wire.

    Steve: The planned connection at Don Mills already has the LRT and subway on the same level.

  27. Joe says:

    Steve:

    It’s odd that you call Transit City a band-aid solution and then proceed to talk about Malvern and Kingston-Galloway, both of which were to be served by the original Transit City plan. As for how Scarborough developed, remember that it was an independent city until 1998, and decisions such as downgrading the importance of Kennedy/Eglinton in favour of STC were made by the old Scarborough Council. Much of what Scarborough is today is a result of decisions by Scarborough politicians, even post-amalgamation, and you cannot simply blame the folks downtown for everything any more than the people in North York can claim that downtowners, not Mel Lastman and his crew, created what we now know as “North York”.

    Thank you again for your response though there are many misinterpretations:

    1. I said if we are going to continue with the band-aid Transit City. Lets go back to the original plan instead of continuing to cut lines short & holding Scarborough hostage any further.

    Also I do agree its the best overall plan that’s on paper and somewhat funded. If the whole project was already approved and guaranteed now I would support it.

    Steve: I misread you, and thought that you dismissed Transit City itself, not the bits that survived, sort of.

    2. I acknowledge Scarborough made the decision to develop STC & still see nothing wrong with that decision. Location has never been the issue unless we discuss transit funding.

    Steve: My comment was in the context that the built form of Scarborough was done by and to itself, and you have to acknowledge that history. Scarborough developed itself as a car-oriented suburb, and left some areas devoid of redevelopment.

    3. Somehow I think you read “downtowners” somewhere in my post?? First of all I don’t care to play that narrative. I do blame politicians from Metro as well as Etobicoke, & North York who all could care less about Scarborough needs.

    Money clearly flows from inside out when it comes to any projects in the City. Scarborough needs more guarantees. Otherwise like phase 2 of Transit City its just another pipe dream that was only meant to benefit the local Politician and spit in the face of those who actually have a need for it.

    Steve: Point taken. You did not play the downtown-vs-Scarborough card. All the same, the idea that Scarborough gets the short end of everything is really hard to swallow.

  28. RP says:

    3. Somehow I think you read “downtowners” somewhere in my post?? First of all I don’t care to play that narrative. I do blame politicians from Metro as well as Etobicoke, & North York who all could care less about Scarborough needs.

    As a westender I do hope that Scarborough gets served properly by transit.

    In the same breath, I would be ecstatic if a network of LRTs were proposed for my area similar to what is being shunned in Scarborough.

  29. Joe says:

    Whatever the plan is. Its needs to be fully funded without stripping the originally planned tracks down piece by piece until it becomes another partially delivered project & another half truth. Which is the case with Transit City.

    Only the people in Scarborough complain when funding erodes. The rest of Toronto & GTA as well could care less. So Politicians get away with it.

    If this is again the case, just build the subway to STC & at least we can boast about our one line that connects the heart of Scarborough us to the City. And maybe one day re-open LRT talks to web from STC.

    And yes I believe we should be taxed to build either a full Transit City or Subway extension. It’s needed and will be and investment for any property owner.

    Steve: People in Scarborough complain about lost funding because so much of Transit City was going to serve that part of the 416. If you wanted to hear demands about “fair and equal” treatment elsewhere, and squealing like pigs whenever “their line” was threatened, you should have been around for the Spadina extension debates.

    Meanwhile, nobody asks me whether I object to “my subway” downtown being overloaded with riders from the suburbs to the point where I cannot board it. All I do hear is grousing from folks who think the “downtown relief” line does nothing for the suburbs when in fact it makes suburban expansion possible.

    Enough of the “poor me” from Scarborough, thank you.

  30. Richard L says:

    The dream of subways is sweeter than the pragmatism of LRT. Thus, decisions to extend the dream by shunning pragmatism are visionary in nature as they prepare us for the future, a future that seems more distant now.

    Sweet dreams!

  31. Walter says:

    Unless all sides can come up with some type of compromise in the next few months, I think this whole thing will stay in limbo until after the next Provincial and Municipal elections. After the Councillors and MPP’s are safely re-elected, they can promptly break their election promises and throw their support behind the original LRT plan.

  32. R. Moses says:

    If the Scarborough subway is built with a station at Eglinton and Brimley, then going from Markham and Eglinton to Warden and Eglinton will involve 3 modes of transit and 2 transfers along Eglinton: bus to Brimley, subway to Kennedy, LRT to Warden. Terrible waste of time. Will Eglinton east buses feed into Kennedy or the new Brimley station? And what about the proposed Eglinton east lrt?

  33. Walter says:

    I am not sure exactly where the people from UTSC are going (or coming from), but I would think the best way to join them to the rest of the network would be by BRT along Ellesmere to STC – something that is already in the next phase of projects. If the B-D is extended to STC, they could use it to get to the (Yonge) spine of Toronto. If the SRT is connected with the ECLRT, they could use that to get to Yonge.

    Both of these would provide a much better integration than having them travel northwards to an area that is only getting LRT because the Yard is there, and transferring to the top of the SRT that will again require yet another transfer at Kennedy before reaching (old) Toronto.

    Steve: The yard is there because the LRT is there, not the other way around. Some UTSC students (and those at other institutions in the same area) don’t actually want to go to “old Toronto”. The common complaint is that we don’t build east-west north of the 401, and yet the Sheppard LRT line would provide this connection. Oh, it’s only an LRT line on the surface, you say? And what is Eglinton until it reaches Leaside?

  34. Moaz Yusuf Ahmad says:

    Walter said:

    Unless all sides can come up with some type of compromise in the next few months, I think this whole thing will stay in limbo until after the next Provincial and Municipal elections. After the Councillors and MPP’s are safely re-elected, they can promptly break their election promises and throw their support behind the original LRT plan.

    The irony there is that if Queen’s Park & Metrolinx hadn’t been so parsimonious with the funds (allowing time & opportunity for councillors to revisit the existing plans in order to push for their own pet projects) between 2008-now, the Liberals would be able to trumpet concrete (pun intended) and real examples of subway/public transit building during the next election (2015) with 2 surface LRT lines (Finch & Sheppard East), 1 partially underground LRT line (Eglinton) and a “real honest to goodness subway” (TYSSE) nearing completion.

    Indeed, if they could have found a way to open TYSSE in stages (so the Downsview-York segment opened up in mid 2014) they could have the perfect campaign set piece … the newly-opened subway … as a campaign backdrop … better than any garbage truck.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: Dalton McGuinty and his on again, off again, “commitment” to transit bears a huge responsibility for this situation. As for the TYSSE, it would have been nice if the TTC had designed it to open in stages, but as things worked out, the last part to be completed will be the south end of the line thanks to construction delays (including the fatality at York U Station).

  35. Zach says:

    @R. Moses

    This is why the Scarborough subway alignment should follow the SRT alignment. The Eglinton crosstown and the Eglinton Kingston LRT need to intersect at Kennedy. Ideally, the Eglinton Kingston LRT should be a continuous extension of the Eglinton crosstown.

  36. Bob Patrick says:

    Steve,

    Can we assume this: The EA for subway begins for 2 years. Then let’s say the Liberals can maintain a seat in Scarborough and win a minority government. I think we will see Scarborough get an LRT after October 2015 instead of subway since it is said that it will be completed by 2020.

    Steve: I suspect the timeline may be a bit shorter. The TTC has to do a bunch of preliminary engineering work before the EA starts, by which time they will know better what the line will actually cost. I assume you mean “2014″ when the elections occur.

  37. Michael Forest says:

    Zach said:

    “This is why the Scarborough subway alignment should follow the SRT alignment. The Eglinton crosstown and the Eglinton Kingston LRT need to intersect at Kennedy. Ideally, the Eglinton Kingston LRT should be a continuous extension of the Eglinton crosstown.”

    I agree that it is good to combine Eglinton crosstown with Eglinton Kingston LRT, provided that TTC can operate such a long line.

    Regarding the use of SRT alignment for Scarborough subway, the curve from the N-S to E-W section could be a challenge, as well as the width and structural strength of the elevated E-W section.

    Maybe they can reuse the N-S section only to run the subway at grade, then go into a tunnel just south of Ellesmere and continue underground to STC and Sheppard. That would save about 3.5 km of tunneling, compared to the Danforth Rd – McCowan subway route. But, then they will have to build a new Kennedy station, rebuild the Lawrence East station, and abandon the notion of keeping SRT running for the whole length of subway construction.

  38. Nick L says:

    But, then they will have to build a new Kennedy station.

    You know, I’ve seen this suggestion made enough times that I’ve become curious about something. Assuming a best case scenario with regards to soil conditions, underground utilities and building foundations; just where would the new subway platforms end up being built to allow the TTC to use the RT right of way for a subway line to STC?

    Steve: The subway approaches Kennedy on a northeast bearing in the old rail/hydro corridor and turns east as it crosses Kennedy. To use the RT right-of-way, the new alignment would change to stay on the northeast route across Kennedy and under Eglinton emerging onto the RT corridor at the north end of the north parking lot.

  39. Nick L says:

    Steve said:

    The subway approaches Kennedy on a northeast bearing in the old rail/hydro corridor and turns east as it crosses Kennedy. To use the RT right-of-way, the new alignment would change to stay on the northeast route across Kennedy and under Eglinton emerging onto the RT corridor at the north end of the north parking lot.

    In other words, not a very good location for the “the transfer at Kennedy is so hard” crowd considering the location of the bus terminal.

    Steve: But nobody would be on the buses any more! They would all have transferred to the subway somewhere else! Problem solved! Magic!

  40. Brian says:

    “You know, I’ve seen this suggestion made enough times that I’ve become curious about something. Assuming a best case scenario with regards to soil conditions, underground utilities and building foundations; just where would the new subway platforms end up being built to allow the TTC to use the RT right of way for a subway line to STC?”

    Just to make it clearer for Nick – the subway would not use the existing right of way but would be built under McCowan. The existing narrow right of way runs beside the GO Trains and it would be difficult to do an at-grade subway as the stations are not designed for it (too short, etc.)

    There is another option – run an LRT up the middle of Kennedy, or a subway underneath Kennedy – but this is longer and more expensive than the 2 ideas be argued about now!

    Steve: Yes, I think Nick knows that the plans are to go up McCowan. He was asking about the option, oft mentioned here, of using the same corridor as the SRT.

  41. Nick L says:

    Brian said:

    There is another option – run an LRT up the middle of Kennedy, or a subway underneath Kennedy

    The only time I’ve seen proposals for any rail based transit along Kennedy is when someone is suggesting ideas about expanding a post LRT conversion SRT. Basically, build a branch north to Progress and then it would somehow swing over to Kennedy somewhere between Progress and Sheppard before continuing northwards.

    And yes, I am aware of the actual proposed subway route to the point that I believe it is a mistake for Scarborough and should be pushed further east along Eglinton before turning north to STC. I was just curious as to how using the RT right of way for a subway would eliminate the “Kennedy transfer death march” since I doubt there would be funds available to construct a new bus terminal closer to the new subway platform needed for such a route.

  42. Robert Wightman says:

    Nick L says;

    “And yes, I am aware of the actual proposed subway route to the point that I believe it is a mistake for Scarborough and should be pushed further east along Eglinton before turning north to STC. I was just curious as to how using the RT right of way for a subway would eliminate the “Kennedy transfer death march” since I doubt there would be funds available to construct a new bus terminal closer to the new subway platform needed for such a route.”

    Funds to construct a new bus terminal! Where would you get the funds to tear out the existing Kennedy station plus some of the tunnel, then build a new tunnel and station?

    Plus you would force the subway to terminate at Warden for about 2 – 4 years and close down the SRT when construction started.

    Building a line up the SRT right of way is not the problem you make it out to be. You tear it out and put the new subway in a cut and cover tunnel, heaven forbid we do open cut. All existing structures on the SRT would be removed; none are usable by a subway. The SRT right of way could be followed and would give the better route to STC. To bad the subway points the wrong way at Kennedy and that the SRT would be out service for a few years while the subway was cutback to Warden. A few minor inconveniences, plus a lot of extra costs.

  43. Nick L says:

    Robert Wightman said:

    Funds to construct a new bus terminal! Where would you get the funds to tear out the existing Kennedy station plus some of the tunnel, then build a new tunnel and station?

    Plus you would force the subway to terminate at Warden for about 2 – 4 years and close down the SRT when construction started.

    Building a line up the SRT right of way is not the problem you make it out to be. You tear it out and put the new subway in a cut and cover tunnel, heaven forbid we do open cut. All existing structures on the SRT would be removed; none are usable by a subway. The SRT right of way could be followed and would give the better route to STC. To bad the subway points the wrong way at Kennedy and that the SRT would be out service for a few years while the subway was cutback to Warden. A few minor inconveniences, plus a lot of extra costs.

    Did you just go from condemning a plan I don’t support to fully supporting and vastly expanding the costs of it in one post?

    Steve: Robert is providing the “we can do anything” viewpoint so prevalent among some members of the engineering fraternity, but with deep irony.

  44. Robert Wightman says:

    Nick L says:

    “Did you just go from condemning a plan I don’t support to fully supporting and vastly expanding the costs of it in one post?”

    As Steve says it was an attempt to show the problems with many plans presented here. For the record I support the LRT on the old SRT right of way and not the subway. Subway is not needed in Scarborough, nor is it needed on the extension to York. Yonge needs to be extended to Steeles to get all the buses off of Yonge Street. York can build any thing they want north of there. The Downtown relief line should be built, preferably with the UPX as the western side.

    Subways cannot be extended forever as the construction cost are out of line with the benefits generated. I am sorry people have to make an extra transfer but when I went to U of T I had to make 3 or 4 transfers. (Yes and I had to walk uphill both ways at the end into a raging blizzard also.) The ability to make free transfer connection is what makes a GRID system so useful.

  45. Nick L says:

    Robert Wightman said:

    Subway is not needed in Scarborough

    I might not go so far as to say it’s not needed. However, Scarborough needs a lot more transit infrastructure to support a subway extension before it should be even considered being built. Simply put, when the best way to reach the subway is to drive there, most people will skip the subway and drive to their destination.

  46. John D says:

    I think we all agree that Scarborough deserves first-class transit that effectively serves the needs of its citizens.

    And now, with the exciting news out of California, I think we can also all agree that if we want to be first-class then BRT, LRT, heavy surface rail, monorail, TGV, swanboats and even subways just won’t cut it. I am, of course, referring to Elon Musk’s proposal. I very much hope our Premier, local MPPs, Mayor and councillors are briefed on this fabulous new technology very soon so we can get another EA started.

    Taking information from the proposal entirely out of context, the Hyperloop would be driverless and travel at 1,220 kph. For comparison, subway riders downtown this weekend experienced speeds approaching 0 kph, while LRT riders on Spadina experienced similar low speeds while passing through the King/Spadina intersection, and people living along Queens Quay East had to make do with slow shuttle buses.

    We’d need to take out all the stations in the middle (who uses those anyways?), but people could be getting from Scarborough Town Centre to Kennedy in under 20 seconds! The winner is obvious–anything less than a Hyperloop would be a slap in the face.

    Finance-wise the Hyperloop would have a per-vehicle cost of $1.35 million (vs. > $6 million for an LRT vehicle) and a track/tube/pylon cost of under $10 million/km (vs. hundreds of millions for subway or LRT).

    But that’s for new installations–most excitingly, it uses linear induction motors for propulsion and has small cars (1.35m wide x 1.1m tall) that could easily fit through the existing SRT tunnels. Bombardier could use their SRT/Skytrain expertise to build the vehicles in Thunder Bay! We could also obviously reuse the existing SRT track with only the most minimal renovations–the length of shutdown would be measured in hours, not years! Sure there’d be a few delays getting the EA done and designing/building/testing the vehicles and working out liability issues, but with a little maintenance we can keep the SRT going until 2035.

    With all the obvious benefits and financial savings of such a scheme, extension of the network could also easily be justified. Forget connecting to Malvern or UTSC; let’s think big and connect to Huntsville and Peterborough and bring the Feds on-side too!

    What do you think, Steve?

    Steve: The really sad part about this is that I can easily see the Ontario government sucked into spending billions developing crap like this in the 70s. Even now, Infrastructure Ontario might just see it as their big chance.

    Forty years of watching transit makes one very, very cynical.

  47. Brian says:

    They were making fun of this guy in California because he is in no position to do anything about it – it is just an idea that someohow got a lot of press and he wants somebody else to do it… they still have those Pneumatic tubes for sending things in at least one Home Depot – the guy was likely just standing in line thinking” why don’t we do a jumbo sized one big enough for a person! Futurama has something similar. In effect, they could just do a pipeline with people.

    Anyway, my issue is that we have GO trains – which are expensive and require high numbers of riders and stations can’t be less than about 3-5 miles apart, and we have so called LRTs (St. Clair) which are just streetcars with curbs, and they are only faster because of omitting a few stops and hardly “rapid” – and not adding capacity as we are just replacing buses with fewer bigger vehicles.

    But there is no real plan for something where we can run streetcar type LRTs completely separate from roads – really except for the planned SRT. Running SRTs through Hydro corridors was an idea that was mentioned numerous times over the years – how expensive would it be to run train tracks and overhead wires through a hydro corridor with stations at grade at each arterial road?

    K.I.S.S.

    Steve: It would be comparatively cheap to build an LRT line through a Hydro corridor assuming that Hydro would agree — they are not as enthusiastic about this sort of proposal today as they were decades ago. Another problem is that the corridors do not necessarily cross arterials at places of innately high demand. The one parallel to Finch, for example, which was considered for an LRT line over 40 years ago when much of the surrounding area was undeveloped, is somewhat distant from the development on Finch itself. There would certainly be a debate about whether stations should be simple grade crossings with traffic signals, or whether they should be grade separated. If the latter, then the cost goes up.

  48. Robert Wightman says:

    I posted this to another topic but it seems to have dropped off the bottom of the current discussion so I am re-posting it here.

    There has been some talk about service levels on subways in Toronto. Here are the service levels in Baltimore and Cleveland. Baltimore runs 6 car trains in rush hour and 2 car trains in late evenings. I think they run 4 cars at other times. Cleveland is always 2car trains. Both cars are 75′ long.

    Baltimore Subway:
    a.m. peak 8 min. mid day10 min. p.m. peak 8.5 mint even 11 – 15 min.
    Sat. Sun. every 15 min.
    one way trip time 29 min.

    Cleveland Red Line High platform
    a.m. peak 7.5 min. mid day 15 min. p.m. peak 7.5 min. even 15 min.
    Sat. Sun. every 15 min.
    one way trip 41 min.

    Chicago is closing the South end of its red line for 6 months with no service for major re-construction. They are re-routing the Dan Ryan trains to the west branch of the Green Line with all Green trains going to the east branch with shuttle bus service to handle people who would normally board the Red line trains. Most of the CTA rail lines operate every 6- 8 minutes rush and 10 or more base. The 2 subway lines, red and blue, might be better.

    Here is the CTA press release.

    May thru October, 2013

    Faster. Smoother. Better.

    The south Red Line, called the Dan Ryan branch, is more than 40 years old and is being completely rebuilt. CTA is rebuilding the tracks along the south Red Line, from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th/Dan Ryan—a project that will provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable service for Red Line riders.

    Crews are replacing everything in the track bed: ties, rail, third rail, ballast and drainage systems. Some stations are receiving improvements ranging from new canopies, paint and lighting upgrades to new benches and bike racks, plus accessibility upgrades (including elevators) that’ll make the entire route newly accessible.

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