Metrolinx Board Meeting October 2008

After all the other posts of the past week, here is one to catch up on bits and pieces from the Metrolinx Board meeting on October 24.  These are not trivial issues, and they relate to each other in ways that will become clear.

Status of the Regional Plan

There was considerable discussion of the timetable leading up to approval of a plan on November 28.  It turns out that there will be a Board “retreat” to consider the status of things on November 3, but this is nearly two weeks before the deadline for public comments.  This might suggest just how much impact public input might have in the process, but more to the point, some of that “public comment” includes reviews of the draft by regional planning staff.

Even assuming they all work a bit harder to hit the early November dealine, there remains the question of Metrolinx staff reviewing the comments, and the Board deciding what to do with them.

Rob MacIsaac, Metrolinx Chair, was clearly upset (as he has been on several previous occasions) with the idea that the plan will not be “finished” and approved on November 28.  His position, and by extension that of whoever is lighting fires under his butt, is fundamentally wrong on this.

From a purely political and process point of view, nobody plans to fund, much less start building, all of the Metrolinx plan out of the 2009 budget.  The Board has already identified projects that enjoy a quick start, and these will chew up the lion’s share of spending for several years.  Most projects that will generate spending at least for the next few budget cycles are already known, and that list can be nailed down in November. 

In fact, Metrolinx somehow got from selecting projects for advanced evaluation to approving them for implementation without benefit of detailed review, something that is only now starting.

Moreover, there is a legislative requirement to review the regional plan from time to time, and so we can expect changes long before work is started on building much of the plan, assuming we find money to actually build any of it.  Although a 10-year review is the current thinking, some members of the Board argue for a shorter 5-year cycle.

MacIsaac is creating unnecessary strain on the Board and bad feelings about what must be done in November to no good end.  Nobody casts a 25-year plan in stone on day 1, and it’s time MacIsaac stopped trying to force the Board, the municipalities, the regional transit agencies and the public down this path.  It is a manufactured crisis that has no place in this important discussion.

How Much Money Do We Have?

Another long discussion turned on the question of the $11.6-billion MoveOntario nest egg promised to us by Queen’s Park.  We are all taking it on faith that this is still money in the bank, but from a purely bookkeeping point of view, much of it won’t actually be spent from the next few budgets anyhow.

The Board got into a heated debate about what to do if this is the only money Metrolinx ever sees.  This brought on visions of the old regional “build my subway first” rivalries, and Mayor McCallion, among others, wanted nothing to do with it.  She argued that the Metrolinx role is to propose a network, to identify what is actually needed, not to get into political horse-trading and construction of pet projects.

This issue involves questions of additional revenue streams such as tolls, sales taxes and other ways to extract money for the greater benefit of transit systems.  The Board didn’t stop at capital funding, but is also very concerned with operating dollars because the local transit systems will be on the hook to operate all of the new services.  As if that isn’t bad enough, Metrolinx reports now speak of “eligible costs”, and the municipalities may find themselves on the hook for project costs everyone thought would be picked up by Queen’s Park.

It’s hard on one hand to publish glowing reports about mobility hubs and neighbourhood design, and then turn around and suggest that making a line look nice isn’t a Queen’s Park expense.  This sort of thing undermines the confidence of municipal leaders, and puts them in the ludicrous position of not being able to afford the new toys Uncle Dalton might give them.  The word is “downloading”, and it’s not a popular word around the Board table.

We don’t know yet whether we can even build the “top six” projects with the $11.6-billion, let alone anything else in the Regional Plan.  By the way, one slice has already been taken out of that pie — the Spadina Subway extension funding counts against Queen’s Park’s Metrolinx commitment.

Where Does the Growth Plan Fit In?

Brad Graham, ADM for the Ontario Growth Secretariat, gave a presentation about how Metrolinx’ plans fit so well with the direction of the Growth Plan.  Much back patting and kind words were heard.

There’s only one problem.

While Ontario is busy stimulating, regulating, generating new transit-oriented neighbourhoods out in the 905, what is actually going to be built by Metrolinx focuses much more on existing travel patterns and particularly core-oriented movements.  All that stuff about Mobility Hubs looks good until you realize that a lot of them (and associated services) it won’t be built soon.  This is partly related to funding, and partly to the pressing need for more capacity into the core.

Another problem is that the projected modal split in much of the 905 is still poor, and will take years to improve.  A lot of that will come from better commuter service to downtown, not from inter-regional travel.  How this is supposed to stimulate interest in transit-supportive neighbourhoods is unclear.  Yes, there’s a chicken-and-egg problem.  Without new neighbourhood designs, transit in the 905 is doomed.  But without transit in the 905, car oriented planning will be the standard.

Mayor McCallion raised the issue of infrastructure to support new population.  This is not just a question of transit capital, but of sewers and water, hospitals, schools and all the other bits and pieces that go into a city.  Without money to build and operate these facilities, there is no point in talking only about new transit lines.

The Mysterious Benefits Case Analyses

The process for getting a line built by Metrolinx is supposed to be:

  • Propose a line
  • Study the line for its benefits
  • Study the line for its financing options (including “alternative procurement”) (AFP)
  • Approve the line as part of the Regional Plan

However, the current process doesn’t work like this.  In fact, we have lines that already have, more-or-less, Board approval (the “top six”) that are (or are about to be) going through “Benefits Case Analysis” (BCA) by Metrolinx (actually, by their consultants).  Although nobody has actually said so, it appears that parallel studies for alternative procurement are already underway.  All of these threads will come together (or more likely collide) at a Metrolinx Board meeting that may or may not be in public.

The BCA for York Viva was supposed to come to the public meeting in October, but it was held until the private session.  Adam Giambrone raised a question of whether it could be made public, and in the course of discussion, Rob MacIsaac implied that parts of the report might include confidential commercial information that they wouldn’t want to (or couldn’t) release.  That smells a lot like an AFP study to me.

To further complicate things, the BCA process has already spawned many optional schemes for the projects under study.  Some of these make changes in the draft Regional Plan that have never gone through any sort of public review.  Ironically, some of them are alternatives that have been suggested by folks like me who, in the past, have been told to go play with their toy trains and leave the real work to the pros.

In practice, a line in the Metrolinx RTP doesn’t seem to mean much because it’s all subject to detailed study and alternatives analysis through the unseen BCA and AFP processes.  So much for the vaunted public input we hear so much about.

Metrolinx really needs to sort out its processes for project definition, investigation and inclusion in updated regional plans.  I understand the pressure to cut corners to get the first projects underway, but some very bad precedents are being set.

Studying Projects or Studying Networks

The draft regional plan is a network, not a set of lines that exist in complete isolation from each other.  Work toward the draft operated, we are told, by finding the correct set of lines to have the best effect in the 15 and 25-year timeframes.  All of the demand estimates are based on a fully built-out network.

However, the BCA process goes one line at a time, and this risks missing the links between projects, the possibilities of looking at alternatives that span project boundaries.

I will explore the question of subway capacity in a separate thread, but the analysis for the Yonge Subway extension to Richmond Hill is deeply troubling.  This extension triggers higher riding on the existing subway which the TTC has finally admitted cannot be handled by the existing infrastructure.  It’s not just a question of buying more trains, putting in new signals to run them closer together, and fine-tuning terminal operations.  Now we know that there are capacity problems from Bloor south with the stations themselves.

The TTC has resurrected a scheme for a third platform at Bloor, and it’s fairly easy to see that this is not the only location where more platform and circulation capacity are needed.  Moreover, if the Yonge line delivers more transfer passengers per hour to the Bloor line in the PM peak, this will trigger capacity and service issues on that line too.

The RTP itself includes alternatives both on the comuter rail network and the subway system to divert traffic off of the Yonge line.  Why aren’t any of these being studied at the same time as the Yonge extension?  Could we avoid the need for massive capacity expansion on Yonge by operating other parallel services?  What are the comparative costs and implementation issues?  Could we get better network coverage for comparable or modestly higher investment?

That’s the sort of thing Metrolinx should be doing, but it’s not.  We risk many of the mistakes of past decades by studying lines in isolation from each other.

A Few Concluding Words

Metrolinx is so fixated on the short term, on giving Queen’s Park a finished report and a “quick start” set of projects, that we risk an opportunity to do proper comparative analysis and planning.  The Board needs to seize control of the process and set out a few basics: 

  • a short-to-medium term plan that will give Queen’s Park enough to munch on for budgetary purposes,
  • a review even of that plan to ensure that project sequencing is appropriate and alternatives really have been considered,
  • a clear process that keeps debate in public fora as much as possible and ensures input by municipal and transit system staffs together with the public.

This is not the time to sit back and admire the map on the wall, but to treat it as a living, changing and challenging guide to our future transportation network.

18 thoughts on “Metrolinx Board Meeting October 2008

  1. This is the exact issue I was trying to raise regarding the Transit City lines’ analysis, which suffer from the exact same problem and will contribute to the same problem as other parts of the regional plan.

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  2. What are the top 6 priority projects you refered to? I hope the Yonge Subway extensionn(to at least Steeles) is one of these projects to be started first.

    I was at the Victoria Park subway st. today and saw that they started the construction for The Station Modernization Program already. This is different money then the MoveOntario 2020 monies I think. I imagine this will help tranfers at this station and may help increase ridership. So glad the Vic. Park St. is getting rid of those separate bus platforms and the extra stairs to climb.

    Steve: The six are projects now going through Benefits Case Analysis (with the anticipated report completion dates) are:

    • York VIVA (October 2008)
    • Scarborough Rapid Transit replacement and extension (November 2008)
    • Yonge North subway extension (November 2008)
    • Eglinton Crosstown (January 2009)
    • Sheppard / Finch LRT (January 2009)
    • GO Lakeshore 2031 (January 2009)

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  3. Hi Steve,

    Could you comment on the relative merits and technical feasibility of the following suggestion:

    build a single-track second level under the Yonge line south of Bloor, reduce the existing facility to single-track, and equip each station level with both a loading and unloading platform.

    Steve: Funny you should ask. The TTC studied this idea and rejected it in 1988 in the same report that evaluated a third platform. I am preparing this info for publication, and you will see it fairly soon.

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  4. If we were going to go to all the trouble of adding a 2nd level under Yonge (like the Lexington IRT — where it’s two over two and then splits to four across), we’d do express/local.

    Steve: The 1988 report estimated the cost of a new single track lower level station at $203-million 1988 dollars not including property acquisition, signal changes or temporary facilities for track relocation. It also assumed sub-surface conditions were compatible with normal construction methods.

    The scheme requires tunneling under the existing Bloor subway and the high-rise buildings such as the Bay and Bell Canada’s Asquith switching office in the vicinity. Anyone who watched this building go up knows that sub-surface conditions are not ideal due to groundwater. The report was concerned about possible damage to existing structures and whether it was even feasible to build this option.

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  5. I’m am absolutely positive that the TTC could find a way to make Spadina connect on both lines (Yonge-University and Bloor Danfort) if they really looked into. Nothing is impossible and if they really put their resources into it they could find something reasonable to make a better connection instead of what it is today (a maze). This would take some pressure of St.George which would in turn take pressure of the spadina section. I’m not quite sure if this would help the Yonge situation.

    Steve: The fundamental problem is that there is a maze of building foundations through which any construction must be threaded, never mind problems with underground streams in some locations. Any new construction must get under existing tracks, and that takes it a long way down.

    There is a point at which the cost of all this, plus the “cost” of the upheaval of tearing the city apart to build it, exceeds the cost of simply providing new, parallel capacity to divert riding around the peak point. In the process we also get new links in the network giving new options for travel.

    The world does not have to pass through the Bloor-Yonge-St. George interchange.

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  6. Call me crazy, just an idea. If we were down the road to build express services on our subway network, would it be simplier for the Yonge “express” line, to move the line to Sherbourne and build a transfer there and swing the express trackage back under the Yonge line? Yeah a lot more expensive but there’s no room at the Yonge/Bloor interchange. I understand the Bloor line would get messed up with passenger flows, but if we build an express line under Bloor we can do it. But of course the viaduct comes to mind. Oh well no simple solution if we ever go down the express route. Thank goodness Metrolinx is using more GO transit.

    Steve: Please see my previous remarks about adding new trackage around Bloor-Yonge. That move to “swing back” to Yonge has to get through a lot of building foundations, and Sherbourne is a long way east of Yonge.

    If we build up the regional network and possibly with the addition of some form of DRL, the peak load at Bloor-Yonge is actually forecast to go down in 25 years in the Metrolinx model. This tells me that a focus on the existing junction may be an engineer’s wet dream, but there are better ways to improve the network.

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  7. There is no easy way to increase capacity where the YUS and BD lines meet. I’ve researched it quite a bit and it is all but impossible. You could add extra platforms at Yonge-Bloor but the cost would be amazing, as well it has all of the risk-factors for “unexpected cost increases”. Trying to shuffle it to Sherbourne is too far east, and connections at St.George also get very tricky thanks to the wye.

    The Bloor line is much further from its capacity limit than Yonge is, partly due to the simple fact that many on the bloor line are heading downtown and while less attractive, they could always take the Queen or Carleton routes, etc. Yonge however does not have this benefit as you have to go out to Dufferin to get a route that goes “straight though” and even then Dufferin only goes up so far. Yonge is also densifying at a rapid rate. The University-Spadina line is much further back in terms of capacity. The biggest concern is the Yonge line, especially if it’s extended to Highway 7. At this rate we’ll be in Barrie before we know it.

    It seems almost required at this time that there be a yonge-express. I’ve been able to shuffle and shimmy the line though side streets (like Duplex and Beecroft) and while it’s not perfect (There is a little walking between Yonge and Duplex, It’s not quite as far as the spadina tunnel but it’s close) we have to work with the city we got, not the one we wish we had. The biggest problem comes south of Rosedale station, how the heck do you fit a new (express) subway in?

    As I said earlier, I’ve done quite a bit of research on this. There is only one way. That is by using Bay. While lower bay has to be dealt with, there does seem to be enough room to squeeze a very deep station in underneath both bay stations. Again, this is not ideal, but we live with the city that exists, not the one of our dreams. This would be a very difficult transfer (Kennedyesque) but it is possible. Bay and Bloor stations are actually close enough that this transfer could be to both stations, and both would become connected into a single fare-area. Again, this new station would have to be very very deep and be expensive to construct, but it would be just as deep if built at St.George or Yonge-Bloor, and if built at the latter there are underground streams to contend with.

    South of Bloor the line would have to continue under Bay as there is literally no room under Yonge. There is a possible station at King and/or Queen, but the final stop at Union would also be a difficult connection. Not quite as difficult as that at bloor, but it would involve a long walk either way.

    None of this is ideal. Ideally, we would have done what they did in New York and build 4 tunnels and not 2 when we build our subway lines, and we would already have express services. The reality is that this was not done and now it is too late. While we can build a good new subway north of Eglinton, south of it we will have troubles. I however feel the need for a yonge-express is strong enough that we must do it. In my mind the only quesiton is if we end the new line at Steeles or Highway 7.

    Steve: I have said it before and I will say it again: The problem with Yonge should be addressed by diverting demand onto new lines, not by trying to up the capacity of what we already have.

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  8. Steve I’m going to chime in to back your point, people travelling from Richmond Hill to Downtown shouldn’t be on the Yonge subway. The same goes for Vaughan or the “fantasy” Eglinton cross-town passengers. Making better use of existing infrastructure and redirecting traffic to alternatives is a far superior use of transit dollars than building more capacity on Yonge.

    You can’t compare the transit systems of high density cities such as New York to the sprawling GTHA. The island of Manhattan has 1.6 million people packed into just under 60 sq. km. Toronto proper has 2.5 million in close to 4,000 sq. km.

    Metrolynx should stop looking for ribbon cutting ceremonies and get on with the task at hand; developing a viable plan for the regions transit needs.

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  9. Steve: I have said it before and I will say it again: The problem with Yonge should be addressed by diverting demand onto new lines …

    I agree, but you have to ask yourself why more B-D passengers transfer at B-Y for a shorter ride than at St. George for a longer one, 40 years after the lines were built. This same passenger behaviour will show itself with the DRL if it imposes two transfers instead of one … which it will. Passengers will opt for the more congested direct route of BD/Yonge.

    That subway survey in 1966 proved it. — the TTC concluded that passengers will only ride 3 stops out of their way, and that was with a direct routing. A DRL that forces passengers to transfer twice and backtrack for stations north of Queen may not be as effective as everyone thinks.

    Even before B-D, University was mostly empty because passengers faced a longer walk to their destinations (which were closer to the Yonge line).

    Steve: Broadly speaking, the users of the Yonge line can be subdivided into the following groups.

    1. “Local” riders who are relatively close to the subway system today and for whom diversion is unlikely because they would have to travel out of their way to use an alternate route. Back in the days of the subway O-D survey, the lines were much shorter and the alternatives mainly dealt with differences in travel time for “via Yonge” and “via University” transfer traffic from BD. Riders who originated on Yonge itself had no alternative route and there was no reason to attempt to divert them.

    There was no Spadina subway to intercept “Yonge corridor” traffic from the west. Indeed, when that line opened, some travel that had previously gone south to Bloor switched to come east to the Spadina line.

    2. Riders who are more remote from the subway, but still within the 416. These are riders for whom an alternative path may prove attractive because it can give them a more direct and faster ride to downtown. Of course, this is also sensitive to fare levels and service quality. A premium fare GO train that runs two trips a day isn’t much of an attraction, but a full-service line, possibly with a comparable/integrated fare is quite another matter.

    The situation is somewhat different to the east and west of Yonge because the west side traffic is already intercepted by the Spadina line and does not contribute as much to the Yonge line’s demand. On the east side, the story is different.

    I agree that a DRL stopping at Danforth would not be attractive except for riders going to Union and the immediate environs because it would impose a double-transfer on trips that can now be made with only one change of train. However, this is not a trivial market.

    Whether operationally we could run an integrated service with Danforth trains heading downtown depends a lot on the capacity needed on the west leg of Bloor. I would not want to make a network design dependent on integrated service.

    If the DRL goes north to Eglinton, it can both intercept traffic on the Eglinton line and attract rides to the Don Mills corridor from the north. Indeed this might even reduce the peak point demand for the Eglinton line itself.

    GO service to Agincourt can intercept some traffic that now either travels west to the Yonge line, or goes south to BD and then transfers at Bloor-Yonge. (This assumes, of course, that the passengers are not just dumped onto the subway at Summerhill, the worst possible choice for a transfer station.) Increased service on the Lake Shore will also probably attract trips that now use the BD subway from Scarborough. Again this is dependent on fare structure.

    Comparable GO services in the Weston and Lake Shore West corridors will also have some effect, but this will show up moreso on the Spadina-University line as discussed earlier.

    3. Riders from the 905 who currently crave subway extensions beyond Steeles. Some of these are already transit users, but many are net new. The question really is whether all of their trips are best served by the subway network itself.

    In the case of the Yonge extension, the proposed Richmond Hill express GO service drains a lot off of the subway according to Metrolinx projections. The further south one comes, the more we get back to the double-transfer problem for riders going downtown (and hence through the peak point). It may be physically possible to change from, say, the Finch bus to a REX train, but it may be simpler and more direct just to stay on board to Yonge Street.

    All of these flows are interrelated in that they contribute demand to or remove it from the existing subway network. We need to understand how each possible network addition would behave as part of a larger whole to determine where and when investments in new capacity are actually required.

    I do not believe that the results of the 1966 and 1969 O-D surveys dealing with a very different population, job and trip distribution pattern can be applied to travel decisions for a much larger geographic area.

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  10. Just to correct the figures about Toronto in Michaal Vanner’s post.

    Toronto has a land area of 630 sq km – not 4,000 sq km. New York City itself is very dense – in large part the extensive subway system has enabled and encouraged this.

    Toronto’s density [3,972 per sq km] is not that much lower than London’s [4,761 per sq km]. These figures are from Wikipedia.

    I agree that the prospects for debottlenecking the Yonge line are poor. It’s disappointing that the capacity is (at least appears to be) crimped by decisions made about platform width and station design early on. There is surely a lesson in there for today’s designers! (hint hint)

    Steve: This reply is directed generally to the thread, not to Dave’s comment above.

    A few common items I have noticed in this thread that also are “words of warning” for designers (including those of you who write detailed schemes for additional tracks):

    1. Take the trouble to actually learn where the existing tunnel structures are and how they relate to building foundations and other underground features including the Bloor subway itself, the PATH network, streams and utilities. Downtown is much more densely built-up than it was back in the 50s and 60s, and the opportunities to thread new structures through this maze are few, especially over the distance needed for a parallel subway line. The option of demolishing run-down buildings from the 1890s is not as widespread today as it was when the Yonge line was built.

    As an example, there is an S-curve at Bay and Queen that is far too tight for a subway line, for example. Don’t even think about demolishing nearby structures.

    2. Understand that the further down you go (vertically), the more complex the construction becomes, and the more difficult access to the stations from the surface will be.

    3. Capacity is not just a question of more trains in the Yonge corridor, however we run them, but of station circulation and of transfer impacts to the BD line.

    4. Recognize that we are dealing with a peak period problem for which we would be investing a very large sum of money that might be put to better use on a separate corridor that had more benefit on an all-day basis.

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  11. Steve and I are old enough to remember that back in the 70s (or was it 80s?), the TTC used to run ads encouraging people to transfer at St. George instead of Bloor-Yonge. Maybe it’s time for them to try this strategy again?

    Even St. George was the target of a study to add outer platforms back in the 80s, and that idea was dropped because there was no room in between the train levels for a mezzanine so that passengers could cross from one side to the other.

    And, there was another TTC study which showed that many Bloor transferees from the west who use University in the AM peak inbound use the Yonge line in the PM peak outbound (so that they can get a westbound seat on a Bloor train before it gets full by St. George).

    The suggestion I submitted to Metrolinx as a cheap DRL alternative involves terminating all YUS trains at St. George. Then, detach and extend the Spadina line down Spadina Avenue into the CBD. You now have three lines serving the core, and a direct-to-downtown service from Bloor becomes feasible once both lines are fully automated in 20 years.

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  12. I agree that the best way to relief Yonge line and Yonge / Bloor intersection is to provide a parallel route (aka DRL East) plus divert long-haul riders to GO REX. I also agree that the best way to make DRL competitive is to extend it north of Bloor to the Eglinton / Don Mills area.

    But if the Yonge express tracks make it into the agenda eventually, I would consider one of the following two alignments:

    1) A variation of M. Briganti’s suggestion: Disconnect Spadina line from the University line. Extend Spadina south of Bloor under the namesake street. Extend the University line north of Bloor under Avenue, then perhaps Duplex, until it merges with Yonge line at Eglinton or further north.

    Or

    2) Place the express tracks under Church or Jarvis south of Bloor, and under Mt. Pleasant north of Bloor. Again, that’s until they merge with Yonge at some point north.

    Obviously, neither suggestion is prefect, one issue being the difficulty of providing a transfer to B-D subway. Since the latter has no stops at University, Church, or Jarvis, a long walk through a pedestrian tunnel will likely be involved.

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  13. The only way I can see any major passenger diversions is if the Don Mills LRT is built correctly. By that I mean a line that does not stop often and runs very quickly. Somehow I see local neighborhood activists St.Clair/Spadina-ing the line into something far slower and more “local”. The only way you’d attract people off those buses from scarborough and onto this new line is to short turn those buses at Don Mills – IE force them to transfer and choose between a Don Mills LRT and the Yonge Subway.

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  14. Rainforest said … “extend the University line north of Bloor under Avenue, then perhaps Duplex, until it merges with Yonge line at Eglinton or further north”.

    That idea was proposed in 1968 by some crackpot city politician (I can’t remember his name now) — but the merge was to be somewhere south of St. Clair, and it was supposed to somehow magically utilize L. Bay, which was physically impossible of course.

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  15. I would be opposed to any effort to divert traffic from Bloor-Yonge to St. George, which is already overcrowded to an unsafe degree. I take the Y-U-S train northbound in rush hour, and about once every couple of weeks or so, the crowd waiting for the southbound train is so large that it’s hard to make my way to the northbound side of the platform.

    Once, as I got off the B-D and tried to make my way upstairs to the northbound train, the crowd was so large that it was backing down the stairs, and I couldn’t get anywhere. It took me a second to realize that to exit the station, I would also have had to proceed up the blocked stairs. Had a fire occurred at that moment, it would have been a disaster of epic proportions.

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  16. There is one other possible passenger diversion method – use Bay St. to encourage people to use Bay Station to access the B-D line. The question is how to do that, particularly during extreme weather which makes people not want to wait for a bus or streetcar, and with the city and TPS’ reluctance to get tough with traffic that impedes transit.

    Steve: The problem with the Bay bus is that you have to pass through a subway transfer station at Yonge or St. George to get to it. Sidewalk capacity for transfers southbound is limited and there is a practical limit of about 30 buses/hour at this location. That won’t make much of a dent in the Yonge line.

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  17. To comment on Rainforest’s suggestion of Church and involving a long passenger tunnel, if an exit was added to the east end of the Yonge platform on the Bloor Line, it would end up fairly close to Church, not a long walk really. That said, I do not support the idea of a Church subway (I’d rather see a Church Transit Mall south from Wellesley… the tracks are already there south from Carlton).

    Steve: The east end of Yonge Station is roughly at the corner of Bloor and Park Road, the east end of the Bay. The turn as you leave the station eastbound is the tunnel making the curve to run directly under Bloor Street.

    Steve said: Whether operationally we could run an integrated service with Danforth trains heading downtown depends a lot on the capacity needed on the west leg of Bloor. I would not want to make a network design dependent on integrated service.I agree with this, and I believe that a balance can be achieved where it can run either-or (integrated/non-integrated). In order to protect that, we’d end up with a total of 4 wyes along the DRL, including Greenwood Yard’s.

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  18. I’m not about to jump in and propose an alternative.

    I would make the point that numerous buildings downtown have been redeveloped in such a fashion that only the facade is maintained – a new building sprouting up within.

    If this is feasible for private interests, why not for the general interest?

    Steve: The buildings I am talking about were built since the 1970s, and have deep foundations and parking structures. You don’t run a subway through them. Yonge Station is actually inside the Bay which was built around the existing subway.

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