Sean Marshall pointed out that I started a thread here just over two years ago under the title of A Grand Plan. The first post in that series included a long paper detailing what a regional transit plan for Toronto might look like as well as a technical discussion of transit modes.
In the process of writing my series on Transit City as an LRT network, many of the ideas from that paper were recycled, tempered by a few years of debate on this blog and other venues. It’s worthwhile for serious readers (and especially those who haven’t been regulars here long enough to have seen posts two years ago) to go back to that original, and to follow the discussion thread that follows.
As a quick refresher, here’s what was in it. Note that some of these proposals were mined from work by others and I claim no special right to them other than putting them all in one place. Queen’s Park did roughly the same thing with MoveOntario2020, and Metrolinx stirred the pot with its three scenarios in the Transit Green Paper.
- Several updates to services, but particularly all-day service so that GO is a real alternative regardless of when one makes a trip.
- Various grade separations (some now in progress)
- Service to Barrie (well, they got as far as a parking lot and may go further)
- Service through Agincourt to Peterborough (I swear I am not a shill for the Finance Minister)
TTC Surface Transit
- More vehicles and garages
- Improved policy headways (this might show up in the fall, or in 2009, depending on budget)
- Improved service standards and deliberate overservicing of routes relative to demand to encourage ridership growth (some work has begun in this area by TTC, but more is needed)
- A new low-floor streetcar fleet
- Retention of a mixed fleet of new cars and CLRVs/ALRVs to ensure that the fleet is big enough to absorb ridership growth until we can fully provision a low-floor fleet
- Eglinton with an underground section from Leaside to somewhere around Keele including access to Pearson Airport
- Don Mills to downtown via Waterfront east
- An LRT replacement for the SRT extended north into Malvern
- Sheppard east from Don Mills
- Waterfront West connecting into The Queensway
- Weston corridor from Union north connecting with Eglinton and turning into a Jane line (replacing Blue 22)
- Kipling Station west into Mississauga
- Downsview Station to York U and beyond into the 905
- Finch West
- Yonge north from an extended subway at Steeles
I hate to say “I told you so” as this doesn’t fit with the modest (yes, me, modest) way I publicize my own activities and opinions. However, I think it’s worth reiterating than a lot of these ideas have been around one way or another for some time, but interagency rivalry, intergovernmental sloth, and the inability to let go of old, worn-out plans prevented a lot of this from being discussed.
Metrolinx is now trying to build a regional plan, and I worry that this will be held hostage to many of the same preconceptions about what is acceptable. I hope to be proven wrong.