Regular readers will know that my opinion of the Sheppard and York U subways is less than complimentary. Recently, I received a note comparing the length of the Danforth subway to the Sheppard line and asking whether Sheppard, were it the same length, would be any more successful.
The reply will come in two installments. The first one, linked below, takes us up to 1966 when the original Bloor-Danforth line opened and the Danforth leg (only to Woodbine) was roughly the same length as the Sheppard subway. The BD line carried far more people from day one than the Sheppard line does now or the York U line is projected to carry in 2021. Moreover, the BD line grew very substantially from its extensions to Warden and Islington a few years after the line opened.
In the first installment I also review the level of transit service that operated in the Bloor-Danforth corridor before the subway opened. There is no surface route in Toronto today that compares with the Bloor-Danforth streetcar service of 42 2-car trains per hour.
In the second installment, I will look at the riding growth due to the extensions as well as the original projections for the Sheppard line. That version will come within a week.