Praxis II Showcase 2009 at U of T

When:  Wednesday, April 15 from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Where:  Bahen Centre Lobby, 40 St. George Street

What:  First year engineering students spent half a term identifying and researching issues of usability, accessibility, and sustainability within the TTC system.  This led to 80 “Requests for Proposals (RFPs)” of which the top six were selected as design challenges to be solved during the second half of the course.


  • Improving Passenger Safety Near TTC’s Exposed Subway Tracks
  • Solving the Heat Loss Problem
  • Improving Wayfinding Signage on the TTC
  • Service Delays Caused by the inefficiency of Passenger Dynamics Into and Out Of Subway Cars
  • Revising TTC Bus Interiors to Maximise Space and Boost Passenger Satisfaction
  • Improving the Emergency Response System on the TTC Subways to Decrease Delay Time and Increase Safety

For more information, please see the full invitation.

Weston Corridor Meetings Start Tonight

Metrolinx and GO begin their series of open houses for the expansion of tracks and service in the Weston corridor tonight.  Politically, this project has moved from a concern just in the town of Weston to a growing controversy along the line as neighbourhoods learn of the potential impact on them.

Among the issues are:

  • How many tracks are required to handle the planned service
  • To what degree does the proposed Air Rail link (Blue 22) affect track layouts
  • What pollution will be caused by a high level of diesel-hauled trains in the corridor
  • Why isn’t the line being electrified, and what effect would this have on track and equipment needs
  • What is the effect of increased service on existing grade crossings in Weston and at Strachan Avenue

GO Transit fought a long battle with the Weston Community Coalition over issues in their neighbourhood during an earlier GO-managed study of the line.  GO used the term “NIMBY” in an attempt to marginalize this opposition, and that term crept into recent provincial announcements about the need for an enhanced (read less vulnerable to opposition) transit environmental assessment process.  Sadly GO and their new partner, Metrolinx, do not seem to have learned much about meaningful public participation, but now face opposition from other neighbourhoods and possibly from the City of Toronto itself.

The open house schedule is available at the project website.

How Much Should the Eglinton Line Cost? (Update 1)

Update 1, April 15, 2009:  Although the original Transit City report gave Pearson Airport as the western terminus of the Eglinton line, the cost estimate only covered the portion to Renforth.  Approximately 3 km of additional construction are required to bring the line right into the airport, and the cost of this was not included in the 2007 estimate.

The underground section of the line was originally planned to lie between Keele and Laird Drive, but this may be expanded west to Jane and east to Don Mills (except for the river crossing).  This additional tunnelling is included in the recently announced cost estimate.

Original article:

Today’s Globe & Mail contains an article by Jeff Gray about the constantly escalating estimates for the Eglinton “LRT” line.  Gray cites the original estimate of $2.2-billion in 2007 compared with $4.6-billion figure included in the recent McGuinty funding announcement.  Nobody quite seems to know why the cost has doubled in two years. Continue reading

Metrolinx Cancels April Board Meeting

The planned April 24 meeting of the “old” Metrolinx Board has been cancelled.  A May meeting still appears in the events list on the Metrolinx website, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point which version of the Board will exist by then.

Among the long-awaited reports that were expected this month is the Benefits Case Analysis for the Eglinton line.  Meanwhile work continues on design work leading to Transit Environmental Assessments by the City of Toronto and TTC.