[Since the Star has hotlinked my site from their article, it might be nice if there was actually some content here for any visitors to read. Hence this piece.]
Today, Queen’s Park announced that GO Transit would fund the construction of a regional terminal at Kipling Station for joint use by GO and Mississauga Transit. Amusingly, this project was not part of MoveOntario, but, like many other bits and pieces, was overlooked in the rush to put together Dalton McGuinty’s transit plan.
Oddly, nobody from the City or TTC was at the announcement even though the new terminal will sit on their land. The TTC design for a new Kipling Station came out late last year, and it’s hardly news. All we were waiting for was funding, and that arrived today. However, Queen’s Park seems only concerned with the regional part of the project and it remains to be seen how the City/TTC portion, which includes redevelopment of some lands at Islington, will fit into everything.Queen’s Park is desperate to get photo-ops for anything related to transit/transportation announcements. By leaving MoveOntario so late in the cycle before the election, and by throwing into the hopper every plan in every transit system’s wish list, they got a great funding announcement, but no shovels in the ground. These things take time.
Now, out of nowhere, we get a terminal at Kipling to open in 2010. Huzzah!! Huzzah!! And we don’t even have to wait for Ottawa to pay for part of it.
Where is funding for other TTC needs including vehicles and reconstruction of interchanges like Victoria Park and Warden? No 905 bus routes in either of those, so no 905-friendly photo op. Sigh.
Looking on the bright side, I am glad to see that this was not an announcement of a subway extension to Mississauga. For a modest investment, we can bring many services in to Kipling and provide better connections, and it should be ready in a few years.
Someday, maybe after the election, Queen’s Park will let the GTTA do the job it was created for rather than running announcements on a whim out of the Cabinet. For now, let’s sit back and watch for the me-too reactions from other parties.
I’ve been hearing in some circles that the $35 million slated for this terminal would have been better utilized as an extension of the BD subway line to East Mall, in that this proposed extension would have cost at least $40 million given that it would be above ground. According to them it would have also included the regional terminal for Mississauga Transit. Which makes me wonder: why the steep price for a regional hub?
Steve: Actually, $35-million would get you nowhere near the East Mall. A new terminal station would cost at least $100-million over and above construction costs from Kipling.
This issue was before Toronto’s Executive Committee on January 7 at which point the outstanding issue was funding for the GO and Mississauga Transit portion of the project. Unfortunately, the online version of the report does not include the drawings. I will dig them out, scan them and add them to this post in a day or two.
Did you notice they said “wheelchair accessible” NOT fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
I already wrote to Donna Cansfield’s office and expressed my disappointment with that one, There are a large number of blind/visually impaired that use that station as well as Islington and yet both are inaccessible in the bus bay areas, EXCEPT for the braille washroom signs, wayfinding paths, platform edging and the braille elevator buttons all currently at Kipling, and the wayfinding tiles and platform edging at Islington. Hopefully these features will be KEPT and hopefully some more features added on to this, such as a braille and tactiles map of the bus route bay locations. (if you Want, I can find a example for you and send you a picture)
Thanks Steve for at least going into details on this article, as it was woefully inadaquate in details.
Kipling has historically been shut down during TTC strikes – have GO/MT secured separate entrances manned by their employees? That to me should be a non-negotiable.
As for the announcement itself, I can’t help but feel this is as much about SNC Lavalin’s Islington project, given that Kipling’s revamp is a prerequisite to it.
If one read the freebee rags (Metro and 24) you’d think that the Kipling terminal announcement was a wonderful thing that would fix transit (just like the Presto card). Hazel McCallion was quoted in the headline for Metro how transit was “rosy”. 24 went so far as to call it a “cash injection” for the TTC, implying that it helps the cash-strapped TTC out, though the new terminal really doesn’t help, unless perhaps it is tied to the one-off development for SNC-Lavalin at Islington.
I really wish that the media would get the story straight, and not go ga-ga over canned photo-ops, while the real problems are still very much there.
Steve: If you read Ed Drass in Metro, you will see a less than glowing account of the Kipling announcement.
The way that this project “helps” the TTC is that it offloads Mississauga Transit from Islington permitting redevelopment of that site with a new island bus platform to replace the outmoded bus bays. The new terminal will only need space for the TTC routes, not for the regional services.
I heard on the news that Minister Donna Cansfeild said the new terminal at Kipling is a great start to a Kipling LRT to the airport. Although a Kipling LRT is not apart of Transit City plans, is this a project that GTTA or TTC is considering to do?
Steve: A Kipling/Airport connection only makes sense in the context of other lines such as the Eglinton LRT which it would use to access the airport site. Assuming that the Minister didn’t just invent this idea out of the air, this shows the disconnect between planning and announcements at the various levels of government.
An important issue here is what is meant by a “Kipling Line”. Is it an express line on the hydro corridor, or a line on Kipling itself? Transit City is much more concerned with local services than with point to point express operations.
That reminds me: I guess the planned 4th subway yard at Six Points has been relegated to the dustbin of history?
Steve: Yes. The purpose was to offload Greenwood so that there would be room in the east-end yard for the Don Mills subway fleet (aka the downtown relief line).
Also, Six Points is too valuable a property in urban development terms to waste on a subway yard.
The comment about LRT to Pearson from Kipling may possibly have developed from discussion at the press conference (which was held on the bus platform of Kipling). On the south side of this level is a long concrete platform that was described to me as being designated in the original station design for a “line to the airport”.
I haven’t verified if such an explicit stipulation was ever made, but this may have inspired Cansfield’s comment.
BTW, other discussion about the Dundas LRT to Mississauga included mention of that line not entering Kipling station, but staying on Dundas with acces via a walkway. It was suggested to me that such a design might allow the D-Line (?) to continue east to Six Points.
Steve: Yes, that platform on the south side was intended for an LRT extension. As for the Dundas line not connecting with Kipling, that’s madness! What would be the point of having a heavy line on Dundas that didn’t connect with either the subway or the regional terminal? Sounds to me like someone has designed a bus terminal without thinking how it would connect to the planned LRT line.
Just remember, when a new facility (be it a terminal or station) is built, politicians of the time all get their name on the plaque. However, no governing party has their names inscribed on the buses that were just purchased.
Keep up the good work !!
Hi Steve and Ed D.:-
I was part of the crew that built the track out to Kipling Station and even then, well before any trains ran, the general discussion with anyone even remotely involved with the construction and design of the abuilding westerly B/D extension had said that the track bed on the south side of the Kipling Station bus area was for a Light Rail line to the airport. This may be the source of the ressurected commentary, where the original plans are still coming back to the forefront, even though they haven’t been discussed for years. I don’t recall any other routes mentioned nor the preferred ROW alignment to the NW. The tail tracks beyond the west end of the subway station were to be the beginning of the extension to the Sherway Gardens mall at QEW and the 427. The opinion proposing a due west alignment is a new one.
I was at a TTC meeting earlier this year before the MoveOntario 2020 plan was announced a councillor, I can’t recall his name, proposed the westward extension of the Bloor line not stop at East Mall but rather end at Sherway Gardens. This idea makes sense to me as complementing the MoveOntario 2020 plans because Mississauga is going to get its own light rail network and for the two transit system, Peel and the TTC, both having a terminus at Sherway Gardens would make this area a very important transit hub taking a substantial load off the QEW and Gardiner highways.
Steve: It was Councillor Milczyn who represents southern Etobicoke who asked about this. The staff reported back on the issue and gave an order-of-magnitude estimate for an extension to West Mall of $1-billion, assuming an underground alignment. It is unclear why a surface alignment was not costed, but it may be that there are enough barriers along the proposed route that the line cannot practically be placed there. I will have to dig into my archives on that issue as the original BD extension study is not available online.
From the Kipling announcement, it is clear that at least for the moderate term, Queen’s Park sees that location as the site of a regional terminal. If the subway were extended further west, the whole question of serving the Dundas corridor would need to be examined.
One big advantage of the Dundas LRT is that it allows development along the street to replace the miles of haphazard strip development. However, a subway extension parallel to the rail corridor could not provide service on Dundas itself and would encourage point development at the station(s).
I currently work just accross the street from Kipling station. I often see passengers from Mississauga buses travelling along Dundas get off just north of the station and then walk down, although I can’t tell if they are heading for the TTC or GO.
This announcement would also explain why there was a new GO bus and a Mississauga transit bus parked inside the TTC bus terminal for most of the day, using up some valuable space. I did not see any mention of the TTC bus terminal being expanded, which it does need. Or possibly a Dundas and/or Kipling lrt line (that enters the station somehow) could reduce the existing need for bus bays.
Kipling station also could use a new entrance/ exit at the east end of the structure, to make access easier for the 5 condo towers being developed across the street, as well for future devopment in the now vacant lands in the six points area.
But that would not mean good 905 friendly campaign announcements now would it?
Steve: There is a scheme for the TTC part of the station and it is bound up with a redevelopment plan at Islington. The regional terminal at Kipling allows the TTC to reduce the space at Islington because Mississauga Transit won’t be there any more. That, in turn, simplifies the provision of a new island platform for buses and a reduction in the land needed for the station permitting construction of SNC Lavalin’s new building on Bloor Street.
I am not surprised that the LRT connection at Kipling was totally forgotten. When the TTC did the design for the regional terminal last year, nobody even dreamt that there would be an LRT line on Dundas. Neither Transit City nor MoveOntario had seen the light of day.
But Queen’s Park needs a photo op, so they highjack the existing TTC plan without bothering to see how it will fit into more recent announcements. I am rather baffled by comments about the LRT line continuing further east because it would have no logical place to go.
This is what passes for “planning”.
I usually ride Mississauga Transit “1” bus along Dundas to work and back and tend to take it all the way to the terminus at Islington in order to get on the subway for the way home. However, I’ve gotten off at Kipling sometimes and at least by my experience, virtually everyone who gets off and walks down to Kipling is heading to the subway – even with the little walk its a lot faster than sitting on the bus until it gets to Islington (though in the winter, the extra wait is preferable to the walk!).
I have started to take the Kipling subway to downtown recently. This was working out to be a cheaper alternative as opposed to the GO train, however every second day there is absoloutely no parking at all. I drive from lot to another lot from kipling to islington like a chicken without a head but end up driving in to downtown.
Could this not be anticipated and better planned. I mean how hard is it for someone to anticipate, plan and ensure there is sufficient parking.
If the government wants to encourage an environmentally friendly transit then what’s the delay. It seems to me that this problem was identified back in 2004 and I’m now a victim.
I see 20 cars parked in the no parking spots only to find them with parking tickets every day at the end of the day..is this a conspiracy to make more money for the city? Or am I being too generous in my thoughts.
I just find it so frustrating that people try to make environmentally conscious decisions but don’t find the support from the city to help.
Steve: The fundamental issue is that the TTC is not in the parking business, much as some people there seem to think that’s the main way to get new riders. Once the cheap spaces are gone and you have to build a structure, there are major problems with cost and security. This is also a problem for GO.
A further issue in some communities is the way that parking poisons land for development and creates huge traffic jams.
Without good surface feeder buses to and from major stations, there is a limit to what you can do with parking and that’s the issue that planners completely ignored. Parking is cheap, good bus service isn’t.