So You Want To Go To Sutton

In the midst of the discussion of the Richmond Hill extension of the subway, I thought it was time for a bit of historical perspective.

The TTC ran “radial” streetcar service from Glen Echo Loop to Richmond Hill until 1948.  Remnants of this operation were still visible when I was young, and Glen Echo was served from the south by trolley buses.

However, in a much earlier time, the line ran from just north of the CPR tracks at North Toronto Station to Sutton. Continue reading

Who Will Ride the Yonge Subway?

Updated January 9:  The 2009 Subway Fleet Plan has been scanned and linked from this post.

Toronto’s Executive Committee voted on Monday to approve submission of the EA for the Richmond Hill extension to Queen’s Park, but added a number of riders on their support for the line.  This parallels actions taken at the last TTC meeting to strengthen the pre-requisites for City participation in this project.  The conditions include:

  • Full funding for construction and operation of the extension beyond Steeles Avenue at no cost to Toronto.
  • Full funding for any cost of an additional subway yard.
  • Completion of the Automatic Train Control system on the YUS line, including the Vaughan extension.
  • Any measures to relieve capacity problems at Bloor-Yonge would be funded as part of this project.

City and TTC staff have been requested to report directly to the January 27 Council meeting on various potential ancilliary costs including:

  • Bloor-Yonge station expansion
  • Fleet expansion and subway yard costs
  • Second entrances to other downtown stations
  • Need for an eastern Downtown Relief Line
  • Need for extending the Sheppard line west to Downsview
  • Sequencing of these options relative to the Richmond Hill line’s construction

Notable by its absence from this list is any reference to GO Transit’s Richmond Hill service.  This must be included because the level of GO service has a big impact on the modelled ridership for any future TTC network.

Karl Junkin, who comments here regularly, presented a deputation on this item which is supposed to be linked from the City’s site.  However, that link is currently not working.

Karl Junkin Yonge Analysis

Karl covers a lot of the ground that was in my own report on TTC fleet planning and other posts about the Richmond Hill extension.   Staff have been directed to meet with Karl and provide comments on his concerns in a report to Council.

Much of this turns on hte question of how many people will actually be riding the subway in 2017 when the Richmond Hill extension is planned to open.  TTC staff have, to their considerable discredit, played fast and loose with teh relevant data depending on the argument of the moment.

When it suits their purpose to conjure up a need for vastly more trains on the line and increased capacity at Bloor-Yonge, then the estimates can be stratospheric.  When the goal is to pretend that the Richmond Hill extension can be accommodated with no increase in service, then — Presto! Chango! — more riders but no more service.  The word “bamboozle” comes to mind here, although somewhat less Parliamentary language might be more appropriate.

Let’s review the estimates we have seen recently. Continue reading