Richmond Hill or Bust? The Yonge Subway Extension (Part 3)

Posts in this thread have examined the general design proposed for the Richmond Hill subway and the many demand estimates for this line.  Now I will turn to the impact of this line on the larger network.

As many have pointed out in comments to the previous items, the Spadina/VCC extension was supposed to offload the Yonge subway.  We now know, according to the TTC’s estimates, that the effect will be a reduction of less than 10% of the existing demand southbound at the peak point, Wellesley Station.  Meanwhile, the availability of a competing subway line in the established Yonge Street corridor will attract many more riders.

The TTC manages a rabbit-in-the-hat trick by claiming that demand relative to capacity on the subway in 2017 will be the same as it is today thanks to Spadina diversion and more commodious trains.  That’s a very big, very fat rabbit, and I suspect it’s more of a canard.

Development will continue in York Region, and if anything the availability of frequent transit service, both on GO and on the TTC, will offset any effect that long-term increases in energy costs and commuting might have on travel demand and the decision to live far out of the core area.  Demand will grow on the subway both from the 905 and from within the 416. Continue reading