A reader, Vic, remembering my fondness for Swan Boats as the only possible solution to our transit woes, sent along a link to an article in the Long Beach (California) Press-Telegram.
I know that many people who read this blog don’t use an RSS feed to see recent comments on old threads, and since the last post about Swan Boats was last July, I thought that you wouldn’t want to miss this.
The article details (with lovely photos) the seven-week project by Sierra Brown to commute to class once a week by different human powered forms of transport. The grand finale was an 11-mile paddle by Swan Boat.
[For those who are wondering where their comments are: Several of these touch on the question of Transit City project costs. I plan a separate post on that topic and am holding your comments until that is ready.
[The many comments about the future of the RT have been moved to their own thread.]
On November 14, the TTC considered its 2008 Capital Budget. Although there are major issues with funding of many projects, especially on a long term basis, the budget has been passed on to Council.
One important approval, made with the concurrence of the City Budget Committee, is that work can begin on the three top-priority Environmental Assessments for Transit City: Eglinton-Crosstown, Sheppard East and Finch West-Etobicoke. This work will stop Queen’s Park does not make funding available as part of their budget announcement for the fiscal year starting in April 2008.
The Capital Budget presentation at the meeting is not available on the TTC site, nor are several tables and charts from the main report.
The 2008 Capital Budget Summary gives a broad overview of the five and ten year projections. The 2008 Capital Infrastructure and 2008 Capital Vehicles tables give some break downs.
The same information is subdivided in a different ways:
Growth and system renewal drive many aspects of the budget.
- Peak period riding increases the fleet and garage space requirements.
- The shift to low-floor buses reduces vehicle capacity and increases the size of the fleet needed to handle demand. This changeover will be completed by 2010.
- Replacement and expansion of the streetcar fleet for the existing base system plus planned additions such as the Waterfront lines.
- Replacement and expansion of the SRT fleet both for capacity and for the proposed extension to Sheppard & Markham Road.
- Expansion of the subway fleet and partial replacement with new cars to increase capacity on the Yonge-University line.
- Transit City will add seven new LRT routes to the network.
- Subway expansion on both the Spadina/York and North Yonge lines.
The Base Budget of $4.4-billion for 2008-2012 (detailed in the links above) covers only State of Good Repair projects. At present, there is a $0.7-billion funding shortfall for this work. Later in this article, I will return to this issue. Continue reading →