At the TTC meeting last week, there was a long presentation about the status of the various Transit City projects. The TTC’s website contains only the two page covering report with absolutely no details, but lucky for you, my readers, here is an electronic copy. As and when the TTC actually posts this report on their own site, I will change the link here to point to the “official” copy.
Warning: 7MB download: Transit City February 2008
While there may be individual issues to prompt kvetching in this report, overall I am impressed by what is happening. For the first time in over 30 years, we have not only a unified plan, but a unified set of studies. I may be naïve to expect all of this will actually be built, but we are in far better shape knowing what might be than if only one or two lines were on the table.
Here is an overview of the report along with my comments.
Of the various Transit City proposals, three have been selected as the top priority for design, funding and construction: Sheppard East, Etobicoke Finch-West and Eglinton-Crosstown. All lines were scored against various criteria, and those coming out on top overall got the nod. This doesn’t mean work stops on the others, but at least we know the staging.
Projected total ridership is highest for Eglinton, Finch and Jane, with Sheppard East in 5th place. Partly, this is due to the length of the routes and their catchment areas. Note that Waterfront West brings up the rear, unsurprising given the area it draws from.
The lines rank roughly the same way for the number of car trips diverted to transit and the reduction in greenhouse gases. There’s something of a compound effect here as several measures all vary more or less as a function of ridership.
Transit City, again with the exception of Waterfront West, touches the City’s priority neighbourhoods where better transit is needed to increase mobility and economic opportunities for the residents.
Notable by their absence are the Waterfront East lines (Queen’s Quay, Cherry Street and Port Lands) as well as the Kingston Road line in Scarborough. EAs are aready in progress for these, but they don’t make it onto the overall status report.
This is a shame because we must stop making distinctions between “Transit City” itself, and other related transit projects that will compete for attention and funding.
When you put the various scores together, Eglinton, Finch and Jane rank 1-2-3 with Sheppard coming in at 4. Jane, however, has alignment problems that need solving at the south end, and politically, building most of the new lines west of Yonge Street wouldn’t fly at Council. Also, Sheppard has strong support from the local Councillors and it’s better that we take advantage of it before rumblings of “we want a subway” come to the fore.
The EA has started for this project, engineering feasibility studies are complete, some preliminary community meetings have already been held, and the first official EA meeting will be on April 7 (location TBA). The hope is that an EA report will go to Council in July.
One intriguing wrinkle is that the TTC will study a branch of the line down to the Scarborough Town Centre. I find this amusing considering that such a line would duplicate the proposed RT extension, and could pave the way for a full-scale LRT conversion of the RT. That will never be allowed to happen, and we can expect ice-cold water to pour down on this option.
Design at Don Mills Station is a concern given the depth of that station, and the real question is whether the subway should be extended one stop east, or the LRT dive into a tunnel before crossing the DVP so that it could make a connection one level up from the subway station.
One issue that we have debated here at length is the discontinuity of trips crossing Yonge Street, and this shows up in the Finch West study as well.
Etobicoke — Finch West
This project is running about four months behind the Sheppard line, and the TTC hopes to complete the EA by the fall of 2008.
Several alignment issues are to be resolved including the interface at Finch Station, getting across the 400 and the CPR MacTier Subdivision, and the western terminal’s location. This could be at the airport or is Mississauga or some combination of the two.
Also part of this scheme will be service to the developing entertainment centre in Rexdale.
Eglinton — Crosstown
This EA will also get underway in the spring, but given the complexity with a long underground section, the engineering studies will take longer and completion is expected in spring 2009.
Among the issues for this project are the connections with Kennedy, Eglinton and Eglinton West Stations, how to cross the CPR MacTier Subdivision, and some of the same western terminal options as on Finch West.
I will come back to the airport as a separate topic later.
Scarborough RT Upgrade and Extension
Much as I would like to see this as another LRT line, this is well underway as an RT project. The EA completion is targeted for early 2009. Unlike other projects, this one has a stale-date because of the gradual disintegration of the cars and the control system. For those who are wondering, the SRT is still operating on manual control weeks after the snowstorm, and running tolerably well.
One question in this project is that of an alignment for extending the line north of Sheppard. This is well down the priority list from the TTC’s view, but of course more important for Metrolinx. We shall see how the priority debates evolve over the coming years. In any event, no extension into York Region is possible until the line is rebuilt and extended. The question then will be whether we have an elevated RT in the middle of an arterial road complete with the station structures needed to access it.
Although it ranks dead last in the priority scores, this is a line with a partly completed EA. A major issue here is the alignment through Parkdale as I have discussed in other posts.
Councillor Perks, representing Parkdale, spoke at the meeting noting that a Master Plan is already underway for redesign of the western waterfront and south Parkdale. He asked that decision on the alignment be held off until later in 2008 so that it could be part of the Master Plan.
When local Council members make requests of City agencies, they are usually heeded, but for reasons passing understanding, Councillor Perk’s issues were brushed aside. What’s the hurry? Any line that ranks so low overall won’t be funded for a long time, if ever, unless it has unanimous support and can be easily implemented.
The Don Mills line EA was already underway as a BRT study, and it has now been resurrected as an LRT scheme. Meetings will be held through the summer with a final report to Council in December.
This line has major issues as several readers have discussed in threads here already. There is the question of the interchange at Don Mills and Eglinton (all surface; one surface, one underground; both underground), the interchange at Don Mills Station (a logical, but tricky physical connection point to the Sheppard East line), and the whole question of getting from Thorncliffe Park down to the Danforth.
First off, we need to know whether the Leaside Bridge could handle the extra load of an LRT. It was originally built four-lanes wide for a streetcar extension, and the additional strength permitted expansion to six lanes. Whether there is enough in reserve to handle an LRT line remains to be seen.
Here is a 1928 view of the bridge looking south from the City Archives. Eagle eyed viewers will recognize the old-style TTC overhead poles that were on this bridge originally in anticipation of the streetcars.
If the Leaside Bridge can’t handle an LRT line, then a complete rethink will be needed of where and how the Don Mills line will cross the valley.
From this point south, the line could go down Pape or Broadview. Although I live at Broadview, my money is on Pape as it offers a better location for extension south and west into downtown. There is no way that suburban LRT trains can trundle into downtown via Broadview Avenue.
Scarborough — Malvern
The TTC hopes to have the EA for this route to Council by December 2008. Issues to be resolved include potential service to the UofT Scarborough Campus and where, exactly, the line would end north of the 401.
This line, as I mentioned, has a number of issues to be resolved that will delay the EA until mid-2009. These include the narrow roadway south of Eglinton and whether a connection south via the Weston rail corridor would be preferable.
This gets us directly into the potential territory of Blue 22. If the a line were to run southeast from Eglinton to Union Station via the rail corridor, the need for Blue 22 would completely evaporate. This would also act as a “western relief” line into downtown from the northwest.
I understand that the folks at GO regard this possibility as competition for their own service, but I think they are foolhardy. They have never been interested in serving travel within the 416, and a strong local transit service would complement their own operations.
The GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) is strongly supportive of this plan, contrary to statements made by another respected transit author some time ago. They know that their own shuttle cannot possibly handle the demand, and view the extremely low transit share (1%) of airport trips as unacceptable and unsustainable. Building more parking is simply not an option. They would like to see the LRT service come right into Terminal 1. Metrolinx is also strongly supporting this plan.
(Note that the comments above are based on a meeting between TTC staff and the GTAA that took place between the creation of the presentation materials and the TTC meeting, and the presentation was not updated to reflect new information about strong GTAA support.)
A report on airport connections was considered at Toronto’s Economic Development Committee on February 28, and it is on Council’s agenda this week.
Meanwhile, Blue 22 is still on the table, officially, but my guess is that a reasonably fast trip for a regular TTC fare to Eglinton West Station will destroy what little credibility Blue 22 still might have. All the same, it has its supporters, and the death will be long and painful.
LRT Maintenance Facilities
I have already reported here that the TTC is considering two new suburban facilities, one in the east and one in the west, and that joint operation with Mississauga is a strong likelihood for the western carhouse. There will be a report to the TTC by staff later this spring on this subject.
One big issue is the about-to-grow fleet of “City” streetcars. New cars will be on the property well before a new carhouse will be available and the system will run out of space in 2013. Even that date, I suspect, involves using some space at Hillcrest as I can’t think of any other location to build a temporary yard.
The Request for Proposals for new cars is on the street, and the TTC hopes to award a contract for the base system’s cars in September. These would be single-ended cars for street operation largely on the existing system quaintly referred to by the term “legacy” in the presentation.
A separate contract for “Transit City” cars would follow in 2010. These would be double-ended cars for operation on the new lines.
The big problem, of course, is money. Who will pay for all of these new cars?
All new Transit City lines and vehicles will conform to AODA standards (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), while cars for the “legacy” system will require some way to bridge from streets where curbside loading (such as proposed for Cherry Street, Queen’s Quay and Roncesvalles Avenue) will not be practical. A review of options for the existing system’s routes is underway.
The TTC hopes to put forward a standard design for the new LRT lines where they lie in the middle of arterial roads. Although there will be site-specific needs in some places, we should not have to reinvent the basic street design over and over again.
A selection of views from existing systems brought the expected “ooos” from the gallery, with a fervent desire that we could replicate the palm trees from San Francisco on Sheppard Avenue.
The TTC recognizes that the new streetcar/LRV design will require proof-of-payment (POP) on its entire light rail network because passengers will not board by passing a farebox. At this point, the question is whether fare cards would be validated on board or at wayside equipment. A related issue not mentioned in the TTC presentation is that of fare-by-distance versus fare-by-time. If one “fare” buys a fixed amount of system use (say two hours), then the equipment requirements are much different from a system where passengers must check in and out of vehicles so that the distance travelled can be calculated.
In the presentation, you will see a Toronto Parking Authority pay-and-display station. One option the TTC is considering is whether these could double as fare vending/loading machines.
The signalling system will be designed to control the Transit City vehicles much more like a subway line than a streetcar line with enforced spacing, speed control and central activation of switches. Whether the TTC can actually make this work remains to be seen, but at least with modern radio and GPS-based vehicle location, such a system should not be as prone to weather sensitivity as technology of past decades. Salt and ground currents in particular are a big problem for legacy signalling systems, and this technology must be avoided for Transit City.
Centre poles will be used for overhead suspension as this is far simpler in the suburban environment where the Transit City routes will be built. Many of you know of my opposition to this design on St. Clair, but that is specific to a tight urban environment where side poles were already in place for the existing streetcar and could have been used to minimize right-of-way width.
Trackwork will include centre storage tracks at key locations, and crossovers both at terminals and along the lines. All switches will be double-blade.
Tunnel design criteria are now under study. Although the presentation does not mention this, an obvious question is whether the tunnels and stations should provide for eventual full subway conversion or be sized for LRT.
Public consultation has been run through Chair Giambrone’s office and an information booklet about Transit City will be prepared by Kevin Beaulieu, his executive assistant.
The EA process itself is under review to determine how it can be streamlined for these and other projects. Dare I suggest that simply having so many projects underway at once will relieve the transit advocate community of needing to educate the people managing each project over and over and over again about Light Rail Transit.
Official Plan Amendments are required to bring the City’s Official Plan and various other schemes, including Transit City, into line with each other. We have The Avenues, the Surface Transit Priority Network, and the Higher Order Transit Corridors. No surprise: they don’t line up with each other.
Staffing is a huge problem because, despite the army of consultants who have fed on the EA process for years, expertise on many areas is rather thin.
With all of this work rolling ahead in parallel, we will have stacks of detailed proposals for new LRT lines lining our library shelves (or at least taking up a lot of disk space) in the near future. Never before has LRT been taken this seriously in Toronto, and such a mass of information, including studies of many different types of implementation, will both set a standard for the GTAH overall and go a long way to showing the public and the politicians what can be done.
Conveniently, all of this will be sitting in full view just before the next round of elections, and the urge to put shovels in the ground and smile for the cameras will move these projects along.
I think back to the TTC’s plan for a suburban LRT network in 1966 and wish that we could have built so much already, but finally we are starting.
I also agree, these new lines should operate like a subway with stop spacing at 800 meters or more. Average speed should be at least 70 km/hr. This would surely make them True LRT. Using Railway crossing gate arms at Intersections aligned with the traffic lights would give these LRT’s true priority. Why isn’t this method considered? since the driver can activate them or they can be done by computer. It would only disrupt the intersections for 30 seconds. It can also deter drivers from moving when LRT’s are approaching. Don’t other city’s do this? This would stop all directional traffic.
As for extending Sheppard to Vic park and building a true level connection with the subway/LRT, that should be a must. The boring machines we would need to buy for Eglinton can be used here first. We can tunnel the Consumers road/Sheppard station to Don Mills. We could then continue east with traditional cut and cover and then start the Eglinton cross town line in conjunction with these projects. The Vic park terminus would be at level for both LRT/Subway, underground. The subway platform would be designed like the letter E with a crossover before entry and a third rail further west enough to hold two six car trains or three 4 car trains for storage etc… The platforms would act like a bumper for the subway trains, entering between the spaces of the letter E. Same goes for the LRT which would be a backwards E connected to the correct E, to form a cohesion between these two lines making all door loading for both modes and connecting platforms for everyone going in any direction. This would be a simpler way to connect them without really inconviniencing anyone too much.
M. Briganti: Commuters would like to see an extension of the Sheppard Stubway to Victoria Park for three reasons: Firstly, it is close to several highrises in the immediate area (a trip generator for sure). Secondly, Sheppard over the 404 gets real jam packed during the day as traffic from the 404/DVP joins the fray. Thirdly, as much as I hate to admit it, leaving Sheppard in its present form is nothing more than a joke. A really inefficient way to run a subway if you ask me. Lengthening the line would make it a bit more attractive, if you ask me. Extending it to Downsview (yes I know I’m dreaming) would make the line a corridor.
I’m not saying that we should endorse all subway construction (I don’t even endorse the Sorbara Line past York University). But if there has to be subway construction, this is one area in which we could do it.
One other aspect of these streetcar Right Of Ways is what is going to happen to the bus routes that share the street with the proposed route? The Sheppard East LRT will replace the #85 bus of course so no worries about that route, but, the Sheppard Ave. E is used by a number of buses besides the #85- the #169, #224, #24A and the #190 Rocket all need this Avenue as well as the proposed LRT. This will be another angle for me to pitch the Sheppard subway extension to Vic. Park as it will eliminate a few conflicts there. Sheppard is just one example out of all these ROWs, their are many bus routes on all of them besides the bus route the streetcar is replacing.
One other thing: try telling businesses and residences that line the street that a disruption of several years long due to cut and cover methods is better for them compared to Tunnel Boring.
One reason to not support the Sheppard subway extension to Victoria Park (aside from the cost): two transfers will be required to transfer from the Don Mills LRT line to the Sheppard East LRT line east of Victoria Park. Remember that we want people to use the Don Mills LRT as an alternative to Yonge, right?
Bus routes running parallel to the LRT are not a significant issue. The 169, 224 and 24A are fairly infrequent routes so they can just use the regular traffic lanes along Sheppard. The 190 will cease to exist once the LRT is built so we don’t have to accommodate it.
re: proposal for RT capacity into core
Actually, I didn’t make any proposal for this – but like your LRT system, we should study it and understand the costs rather than rejecting it out of hand. It’s interesting that the Dutch are building a subway – after all it is a a nation well-known being frugal.
The William Tell should be played on subways – because it’s related to Switzerland and the the Swiss just love tunnels.
About the Jane LRT, it is possible to make a right-of-way south of Eglinton to St. Clair. Once you get to Dundas it becomes 4 lanes all the time and gets extremely narrow approaching Bloor.
The problem with aligning the Jane LRT with the Weston Rail Corridor is that it would suffer the same problems with putting the Finch LRT on the Hydro Corridor. It would miss a lot of passengers because of its remote location.
The only way the Jane LRT is going to run south to Bloor is if they run the trains with mixed traffic and without a right-of-way. They could still use LRT features on this part of the line (e.g. all door loading, traffic signal priority, Proof of Payment system). The proof of payment will work because the buses that currently stop at Jane station are OUTSIDE the fare gate, meaning passengers have to show transfers and whatnot to get to the subway. Parking restrictions are already in effect on most parts of Jane south of Eglinton. The only bottleneck on Jane during rush hour is the tunnel going southbound from St. Clair to Dundas, because of the many cars wanting to turn left and right.
I honestly don’t see the TTC building an underground section for the Jane LRT. It would either run in mixed traffic with LRT properties like I said, or possibly on the rail corridors on Weston or Dundas. I can see the St. Clair LRT having the same fate from the Gunns Loop to Jane/Jane Station, because that section is extremely narrow (3 lanes!) to make a right-of-way. It won’t be as bad as Queen, and I’ve seen LRT lines running in mixed traffic in San Francisco, perfectly fine. Even though the thought of running light rail in mixed traffic is scary to some.
“Mark Dowling: If Janers want to get downtown, they should use the subway at Eglinton West or St Clair West, or press for the extension of the Dundas West car to Jane.”
Dundas from Roncesvalles to Jane is pretty narrow as well. Putting a streetcar/LRT line would be as difficult as Jane south, and putting a loop on Jane/Dundas is impossible. Two hills on the northwest and northwest, a library on the southwest, and a restaurant on the southeast. A crossover COULD work on in the intersection, but would get rid of left turn lanes. A Dundas extension could use the same rail corridor to Jane that Steve was talking about, but again it would suffer from isolation/middle of nowhere problems.
I have a simple solution to the problem with the routes that run east on Sheppard. Run them on the ROW express. Give buses the same priority treatment as the LRVs, that should solve the problem. As for the 85, not everyone will live between stations run busses every 6 mins round the clock to keep it competive more capacity potential means fewer cars, simple math right?
Given that St. Clair streetcar is somewhat isolated from the rest of the legacy streetcar network, is there a case to make it a Transit City line type, i.e. pantographs, Transit City signalling and double ended cars, and therefore integrate it with the Eglinton/Jane lines and maintenance infrastructure?
The new St Clair single end cars could then be used for service expansion in expanding lines like Cherry as the Don Lands developments are constructed.
Steve: It’s a nice idea, except that a Jane line plus a new west end carhouse for Transit City won’t exist soon enough to release cars needed for the waterfront lines. Worth looking at as a long term consideration.
Andrew said: One reason to not support the Sheppard subway extension to Victoria Park (aside from the cost): two transfers will be required to transfer from the Don Mills LRT line to the Sheppard East LRT line east of Victoria Park. Remember that we want people to use the Don Mills LRT as an alternative to Yonge, right?
Never going to happen, guaranteed. People up on Sheppard who need to go midtown or downtown would be far better off taking the Sheppard and Yonge subways as opposed to the Don Mills LRT. Even on a ROW, it’s a mighty long ride down Don Mills, and such a trip would undoubtedly increase travel time significantly. Also, don’t forget that the Sheppard and North Yonge subways have wide stop-spacing which makes those two routes even more appealing for riders.
In addition, the Don Mills LRT is currently slated to terminate at Pape/Danforth, meaning that anyone heading downtown would then be forced to take the packed BD subway over to Yonge, and then try to squeeze onto a Yonge train at Bloor. They’re better of getting on a Yonge train up at Sheppard, where there will still be room to get on.
Finally, even if the Don Mills LRT line were to go all the way downtown, I suspect most riders north of the 401 would still opt to use the Sheppard/Yonge subways, again, simply because it would be faster. It would only be riders further south who would opt to use Don Mills as an alternate to Yonge, and in fact, it is the southern portion of the Yonge subway that needs relief anyway.
Re: Jane LRT in mixed traffic south of St. Clair.
But wouldn’t that upset the headways on the whole line?
The density around Jane is higher north of Eglinton, and most of riders will come from there. Perhaps give them an express to Bloor using the rail corridor? The section of Jane between Bloor and Eglinton can still be served by the shortened bus 35.
For those (not very numerous) riders who wish to get from Etobicoke to Jane LRT, transferring at Dundas West instead of Jane Stn will not be a huge detour, probably less than 5 minutes extra time.
Steve: Don’t forget also that depending on where in Etobicoke one comes from, it may be faster to take the Eglinton or Finch LRT lines to Jane Street. We have to stop thinking only in terms of existing subway connections.
I used to be in favour of double ended cars even on the existing city lines but the mockup in Dundas square last year brought to my attention the fact that double ending means doubling the number of doors with a consequent loss of seating. Less problematic, it also means backward seating. I suspect that on the new articulated cars there will likely be more doors in anycase. For too long the emphasis on the TTC has been on crush loads with passenger comfort taking a back seat (no pun intended). Remember, the competition (automobiles) provides seating for all.
It’s definatly really nice to see progress being made on getting TC up and running.
Others including myself seem to have some concern on the disjointed situation in the North Etobikoke — North York — Scarborough corridor. One possibility I see is having the Finch LRT continue east from Yonge street to Don Mills, then simply continue south along the Don Mills line and east along the Sheppard LRT, though I do see how this could be difficult when trying to create seamless transfers between the lrt lines and subway lines.
With regards to the Jane LRT, I would prefer to see it routed downtown via the railway corridor. I don’t think it would suffer from the same problems as putting the Finch line through the Hydro corridor as the areas around the Weston ROW are fairly well developed. This would also allow the TTC to run LRV trains from downtown to the airport via Eglinton and the Weston corridor.
I see no reason for the tunnels along Eglinton to be built to subway standards however I do feel the platforms should be of adequate length for the use of 3 or 4 car LRV trains which I think would put it in the range of 270-360 feet. The TTC would also be foolish not to take advantage of the Richview expressway lands for this line.
The overall design and details of the system are really the make or break aspect of TC and I hope the TTC doesn’t screw up and give us more St. Clair’s.
Stop spacing should probably be an average of 400m-600m apart in most places and I think the nature of the neighbourhoods TC lines will run through will allow for this to work.
While I recognize that it’s over 100 years old, I think the Boston Green Line light rail system is a good example of the versatility of light rail. If I remember correctly it has tunneled sections, street median ROW’s, side of street ROW’s, off street private rights of way as well and elevated stretch. The TTC should make sure they take advantage of the versatility of the technology wherever possible.
I’m assuming the wide grass strips at the sides of the suburban arterials will be torn up to make space for the ROW’s.
If you visit th Halton County Radial Railway Museum, you will see that some of the old double-end cars had seats that convert to face forward or backward. A group of four could have two seats face each other for conversations. The problem as I see is that current safety regulations may not allow such movable seats without some sort of locking mechanism.
David O’Rourke wrote, “Remember, the competition (automobiles) provides seating for all.”
In order to win a battle, you have to know your competition. The idea that the automobile is the competition is a partial falacy. True, we want to pull more people out of their cars and onto transit, but thinking this will magically happen with good, reliable, rapid transit is simply wrong. There are people who would rather be hung up by their toenails than switch to public transit. This is a cultural mindset that will take generations to change. That said, we have to move that way.
The real “competition” to LRT is subway. I suspect that if you polled people who are part of that “toenail” crowd what one thing would make them consider public transit, it would be another subway line that is convenient to them. The idea that LRT can provide nearly the same level of service (frequency and speed) with a lower capacity to suit areas that do not warrant full subway service has to be driven home.
Nobody complains about the lost seating on subway cars to the doors on the “unused” side of the train, so why should it be an issue on an LRT? The new generation of LRT cars will seat a comparable number of people as do a subway car, so the more an LRV “feels” like a subway car, the more people will accept it on the same level.
Having the public want an LRT line near them the same way they might want a subway line *IS* the goal. Given the lower cost of an LRT line, it is possible for more people to get what they want.
Given that LF LRVs should not need steps/treadles which mean the space is wasted like it is now, I think Calvin has a point there on the door issue. There’s also the possibility of double side loading/unloading at termini with one side being opened to an exit only platform and the other side opened a few seconds later to the boarding side.
The idea of having LRVs going into the mezzanine at Don Mills is a good one given the 0% chance of the subway line going any further east. It sure will be interesting to see how having one LRT line terminating there while having another line crossing there is worked out. Speaking of the Don Mills line I’ve been wondering lately about the possibility of using the Don Valley to take it south of Bloor.
Michael Forest: There’s actually a quickly surging group on Facebook promoting getting the DRL back on the city’s agenda.
The link is here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10757265438
You may want to put your Wellington proposal on their board.
Jason Paris: thanks, but may I ask you to post that proposal?
I support the DRL group, but am averse to Facebook.
I know the subject of eliminating the Sheppard subway altogether and running the LRT through the tunnel has been raised before and I understand the issues with tunnel and platform heights.
The question is wouldn’t it be easier to completely rehab the Sheppard subway tunnels, allowing for an LRT that runs from Yonge to Morningside than to rehab just Don Mills station as a tranfer point, or to extend the subway to Victoria Park?
Surely the subway platforms can be lowered and tunnels heightened at a far lower cost than the $500m cost of building one or two new stations east? Similarly there has got to be a way to overcome the height clearance for LRT, or lack thereof, at Yonge/Sheppard Station. Even if it cost $100m it could be worth it to create a seamless transit corridor from Malvern to Yonge St.
Are my eyes deceiving me? The document suggests that the LRT lines will be triple tracked?
I’m in Melbourne now, and there are many light rail lines in reserved lanes. They are using a very high-tech ROW divider: yellow paint. I don’t know why TTC thinks segregations need a concrete barrier?
I’ve seen some reserved tram lanes here on streets as narrow as King St. (minus on-street parking).
Steve: Triple tracking is for turnback points so that a car can pull out of the stream of service. Clearly this only works where there is enough right-of-way, but between stops where there are neither loading islands nor left turn bays, there would be room for this sort of configuration.
As for King Street (or Queen for that matter), yes, if you get rid of parking, amazing things can happen. However, as long we we dedicate two lanes of King to storing taxi cabs in the bank district, not to mention tour buses in the theatre district, don’t hold your breath for improvements. Also, as I have said before, there are areas and times of day with congestion that don’t fit the conventional “peak period, downtown” view of the problem.