33 thoughts on “Finch West LRT Update December 2009

  1. You probably don’t want to put this here.

    I went to the Finch Etobicoke LRT open house tonight. The display boards should be posted soon. Items that I noticed:

    1) Yonge station will be underground and side platforms. It will be just above the Yonge subway. You will have to descend a staircase, walk north, go up a stair case and then go down to the subway platform. It seems a bit convoluted to me. There is a crossover to the west of the station and a tail track to the east that ends at Kenneth. There seams to be enough room to store 5 trains east of Yonge. If you look at the diagram very carefully there appears to have been a trailing point crossover east of Yonge that has been removed, but stills shows up a bit. I asked about this and was told that using the south platform for exiting then using an east side crossover to come back was wasteful, but they could go 2 or 3 blocks east and use the tail track at Kenneth if they wanted to use a separate loading and unloading platform.

    2) The connection at Keele Street to the Spadina line will also be an underground station but with an island platform. Apparently there will be a crossover and a tail track associated with this station but they do not show up on any of their drawings or maps.

    3) The maintenance and storage facility will be on the north side of Finch in the vacant field east of Norfinch. Apparently this facility will be large enough to service the vehicles for Finch and Jane. Jane must have a very heavy service to require two car houses, Finch and Eglinton.

    Steve: For those unfamiliar with the projects, this is a reference to the Black Creek carhouse proposal which is to serve “three” lines. They are not named, but only Eglinton, Jane and St. Clair make sense to get that count. It is possible, but a bit odd, if the capacity for Jane is being split between two sites.

    4) The line will use centre poles but the width of the devil strip will be about 50 cm less than that on St. Clair. Apparently they are using very skinny centre poles.

    Steve: Again for the benefit of readers, a big controversy on St. Clair was the use of centre poles for overhead suspension, and the extra metre this added to right-of-way width. Are the Finch designers working to a different spec? Is their design wrong? Has the TTC standard changed?

    5) There will be 30 stops on the line. All the the mid line stations will be far side platforms except Wilmington, west of intersection; Dufferin, west of intersection; Kipling, east of intersection; Silverstone, east of Intersection; Martin Grove, west of intersection; and Highway 27, north of Humber College Boulevard which will be centre platforms as will be the underground station that ingterchanges with the Spadina Subway.

    6) There will be a cross over on the west side of York Gate near the interchange to the car house, a tail track enterable east bound east on Tangiers and apparently a crossover and tail track at Keele St. but these do not show on any diagrams.

    7) The city will need an amendment to its offical plan to run the one block on Humber College Boulevard to Humber College as this street is not designated as an “Avenue”. Apparently Humber College is easier to get along with than York U.

    My questions are: why is Yonge St. side platform and not centre, why are there only two cross overs and why are the tail tracks single ended?


  2. Centre poles again?? How many times do we need to learn this stuff?

    The widths seems to vary between lines even.. not by much, but it’s rather confusing as to why. See the Finch Project and Sheppard Project

    (See the third page from the bottom and C-9 respectively)


  3. My best guess about the side platforms is there is still a chance the LRT will continue eastward, and considering the expected large crowds, it is better to keep eastbound and westbound crowds seperated.


  4. Interesting variation in width Jeffery, thanks for pointing out these diagrams. Finch seems to have a raised reservation like St. Clair while Sheppard East has curbs like parts of Spadina. Of course until the line is actually built we will have no idea as to what it will actually be.

    Finch with a width of 7.4 m and say a pole width of 20 cm leaves 3.6 m on each side of the poles. If the cars total width is 2.8 m, just over 9 feet, it leaves a width of 40 cm or 16 inches on each side of the car. Sheppard with a width of 7.0 m using the above approximations for car dimensions would leave 3.4 m on either side of the poles and and 30 cm or 12 inches on each side of the car. I guess that they will not have any windows that you can open through which you could stick out part of you body to hit the poles with.

    If the fire, police and ambulance, not to mention buses have trouble with St. Clair then they will have a nightmare on Sheppard. Page 14 of the Scarborough Malvern line report says the median width is 7.4 m.

    I tried to find the width of Eglinton but could not find a “typical cros section” diagram.


  5. Best guess is that Finch is wide enough and traffic-free enough that we can leave the ROW to Transit vehicles only. On St. Clair, correct me if I’m wrong, the added width was so that fire trucks and buses could navigate the ROW, which, in the end, they actually couldn’t. So maybe there’s some common sense in that they simply won’t need to use it this time around.


  6. “My questions are: why is Yonge St. side platform and not centre, why are there only two cross overs and why are the tail tracks single ended?”

    I could take a crack at the answer to the Yonge question;

    The challenge, from what I understand, is that there is no space between the LRT and the Yonge Subway at Finch Station. This is completely different from the Finch West Station on the TYSSE, which does have a mezzanine level between the two modes, which I believe is what facilitates the island LRT platform at that station. If they attempt the same thing at Yonge, riders would go down one level from a hypothetical centre platform below Finch, and then would be on same level as the subway platform (roughly), but on the outer sides of the tracks, while Finch is an island platform (and it is impossible to go in between the two tracks, as not only is there not enough space between them anyway, but there’s also a cross-over there, as we all know). So now what?

    As for the tail tracks, I’m not sure. Is the Keele one underground? Or is it at Romfield? I find it hard to believe they’d pay the money for an underground tail track, wouldn’t make any sense.

    I imagine they made them single-ended for turn-around operations, assuming all LRVs would operate at least as far as Keele, the first subway connection on the line if coming from the west. The other one, westbound at Keele, is a bit baffling.

    This same kind of tail track configuration appeared in at least one instance on the Scarborough-Malvern line, at Kingston Road.

    I would definitely agree that more pocket/tail tracks should be along the line. West of Kipling is an ideal location for one as far as availability of land goes, assuming the geometry can be negotiated (I think it can be done). You might be able to squeeze one in west of Bathurst, too (it could see the school there lose a little land though).

    Other parts are challenging because of grades, which are somewhat abundant on Finch between Goldfinch and Kipling, and tail tracks ideally are (virtually) level.

    All things considered, I think they’ve done well with the stop spacing on this line. I think it has balanced the competing interests quite well, staff have done well, although I’d add a stop between Silverstone and the Hwy 27 hydro corridor (I noticed that this also came out in previous consultations).

    I’m a bit critical of the lack of flexibility with the typical cross-section, but apparently this is a directive of the City, not the TTC.


  7. What I don’t get is that why is Yonge station going to use Side Platforms. I don’t know about you guys but Center platforms are much more convenient and less of a hassle to switch directions or switch lines. Center platforms are also wider and possibly safer than side platforms. If the side platforms are going to be as wide as Bloor-Yonge, be my guest!


  8. I would strongly disagree with island platforms being safer than side platforms. If both directions unload large volumes of passengers simultaneously, a common occurrence at Yonge and St.George stations on the Bloor Line, then the island platform can become problematic from a safety perspective because passenger congestion can reach a point where the LRVs have trouble pulling out of the station safely, unless they crawl all the way out. The big advantage of flanking platforms is that on one side is a wall that people can hug, as the wall will not pull away from the platform like the train, thereby not posing a safety risk, plus they offer the added benefit of distributing passenger circulation through a larger number of segregated stairways. Eglinton doesn’t have much choice since it uses bored tunnels, and the same is true for the majority of the YUS subway extensions. There are good reasons flanking platforms were used for the overwhelming majority of the older cut-and-cover subways (note that University mostly isn’t a cut-and-cover subway), save for termini and wyes.

    Steve: Island platforms have problems with two trains offloading only if the demand at the station is much higher than the capacity, certainly the situation at Bloor-Yonge and St. George. The real question is whether the underground LRT stations will reach this level of platform demand.

    Centre platforms can make accessibility easier to achieve because only one set of escalators and elevators is required to serve platform level, but this can be undone by the mezzanine-to-street design as shown on the Spadina Extension stations with their staggered levels between street and platform (see Steeles West). Keeping all of that equipment running is going to become a major cost factor for underground stations as working accessibility components become an essential part of the transit system.


  9. Does anyone know how many cars will be used in a train on Finch?

    I’m not sure of demand levels now or in the future relative to the number of cars that would be appropriate, but the reason I ask is because we seem to be backed into a bit of a corner if everything is designed for one car trains (And we will one day have the need to expand).

    Assuming it’s only deign for one… clearly there are always two ways to increase capacity, run more trains or longer trains. With the roads dept. limiting max frequency and a set tunnel design designed for only 1 car trains, (I assume that it’s the underground stretch that would be the biggest issue) we’re kind of screwed if we want to shoehorn more capacity on to the line.

    Of course if there is no reasonable expectation that we’ll ever need more then fine, there’s no need to waste money, but reasonably need it, it seems important that we address it now, and not x years in the future when the problem has not become big and expensive and would require some sort of huge delay to fix.

    Steve: With a projected peak demand of about 3K, and vehicles with a service design load of 150, that would give you 20 cars/hour or a three minute headway.


  10. Did anyone think to do what they did at Sheppard-Yonge Station where they have two side platforms and a center platform so as to invite ALL DOOR loading and unloading much like the SRT does today? It would solve the problem of the Centre platform V.S. Side platform dilemma.

    Steve: Sheppard-Yonge is a travesty of overspending. Have you noticed just how difficult it would be to fit in any vertical connections to that platform? It’s a gigantic platform with few opportunities for adding access points, especially from below.


  11. Island platforms on both the subway and GO Transit are fine, unless there is somethign in the middle… then they are almost always too narrow, especially as those narrow bits are precsisely where a lot of passengers will want to be in order to get at the stairs/elevator in the middle.


  12. Justin Bernard wrote, “My best guess about the side platforms is there is still a chance the LRT will continue eastward, and considering the expected large crowds, it is better to keep eastbound and westbound crowds seperated.”

    Perhaps, but might it not be better to design the station with three platforms (two side and one centre)? The side platforms could be remain roughed in for now with only the centre being used. In the future, they could be finished for an eastern extension.

    Steve: For a line with a projected maximum load of about 3K/hour, we don’t need a palatial junction like Sheppard-Yonge Station.


  13. JeffreyM wrote: The widths seems to vary between lines even.. not by much, but it’s rather confusing as to why.

    My best guess is anything over 7 m is a preferred with to run buses and emergency vehicles on the ROW with centre poles, with an allowance for snow clearing on each side of the ROW. 7 m is probably a minimum, allowing an extra turning lane at intersections. On St. Clair, at some intersections, side poles are used and the devilstrip between tracks is reduced.

    What has the TTC learned from St. Clair that is reflected in these designs? What will it take to kill centre poles? The Spadina ROW is much more attractive, plus that design allows for a tree-lined ROW (albeit poorly executed, the remaining saplings are barely clinging to life).

    Steve: For the record, those trees are the responsibility of the Parks Department who have taken over the work from the TTC.


  14. How will signal priority work on the Finch LRT line if the headway is going to be 2 – 3 minutes? Here in L.A., they tell us that the Orange Line BRT cannot run more than every 5 minutes because signal priority will not work at that frequent a train level. Even if we hate cars, eventually Keele, Dufferin, Jane etc. will have to get a green light if only so the buses can cross. I can see this non-grade separated line being a disaster right now, with Spadina-like light rail bunching. So the “rapid transit” will probably be little faster than the Finch express buses but at an exorbitant cost. This is what you get when you do things on the cheap.

    Another question: here in L.A. street running light rail constantly gets attacked by people who think it’s unsafe and going to kill people. Have there been any people with those kind of arguments up in Toronto?

    Steve: I am still trying to figure out why Finch West is so expensive as this is the most clear-cut situation where it should be a cheap implementation. As for 2-3 minute headways, I agree that getting down to 2 minutes is pushing things because the cycle time for traffic signals will have an effect on headway reliability. At wider headways, the variation this generates is proportionately smaller.


  15. I have seen some very wide center platforms on the Montréal Metro. If the Finch West could be designed in a similar fashion, that would be great.

    Also, the display panels for the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT are now online.

    Steve: I have included a link to the display panels in the main post. Unfortunately, they do not show all of the details especially of detailed intersection treatments and the connection at Finch Station.


  16. The display panels that were just posted are really interesting because (As far as I’ve seen) they’re the first to show a centre platform. I thought the right-of-way was always 36m?? It seems where there is a centre platform it balloons to 40m.

    It also shows the minimum width that the car itself needs; 3.27m.As long as I’m not missing anything, that would make the pole ‘zone’ takes up 46cm at the minimum point. That makes for 23cm from the edge of the 3.27m streetcar lane to the middle of the pole beside a farside stop and 42cm to the middle of the pole along the rest of the ROW where the width is 7.38m. That seems awfully tight doesn’t it??

    Does anyone know what the approximate pole width is? I’m guessing not since these poles seem to have not existed for the St Clair ROW… Maybe even a minimium size guess? I just think it’s interesting because if we know the width of the pole then we can calculate the distance from the car to the pole. For instance (I’ll use 25cm diameter for the purposes of an example) that’d mean 23-(25/2) = 10.5cm at a farside stop.

    Other questions.. why does the curb jump from 20cm to 40cm at intersections? Why are the bike lanes on Sheppard 20cm wider than here (Resulting in a 10cm reduction in sidewalk width)?

    Steve: There was supposed to have been a separate “Transit City Streetscape” design that would have set standard parameters for things like this. It is quite obvious that this did not occur.


  17. Steve: Island platforms have problems with two trains offloading only if the demand at the station is much higher than the capacity, certainly the situation at Bloor-Yonge and St. George. The real question is whether the underground LRT stations will reach this level of platform demand.

    The problem with island platforms is that in sections where escalators and elevators are in the way, the usable platform width is greatly reduced, yet passengers congregate at those points. We see this most noticeably at Bloor-Yonge on the B-D line, where the platform is narrow (and overcrowded) at the east end because of the staircases leading to the Yonge line, but wide (and underused) at the west end. This is not a problem with side platforms because stairs and escalators are normally put outside or at the ends of the main platform, so the platform is wide throughout. Thus, the platform width in a busy station like Bloor-Yonge or St. George is narrower than that in an underused station like Chester.

    It is certainly prudent not to overbuild here because this is merely a suburban LRT, not a subway, which even at maximum capacity will not require the capacity of an interchange like Sheppard-Yonge. However, if centre platforms are built, they should be reasonably wide or they will be overwhelmed in rush hour.


  18. Chris says: “Here in L.A. street running light rail constantly gets attacked by people who think it’s unsafe and going to kill people.”

    I always find it rather sad that the people who make these arguments completely ignore all the pedestrian deaths caused by cars. Within Toronto, I find that almost every time I cross an intersection, some car does something something stupid, yet none of the buses or streetcars I encounter do. (Could it be because most bad car drivers keep their jobs, while bad transit drivers don’t?)


  19. I too was at the PIC on Tuesday night. Many questions are unanswered.

    I was told that lessons were learned from St. Clair. Finch is different. The south line was contracted to a small inexperienced construction firm. These 2 new lines will go to firms with more resources & experience.

    Steve: This does not excuse the many screwups in the design and construction that should have been caught either before the work was built, or by on-site supervision. The fact that the detailed plans were rarely available for public review before construction was already underway meant that there was no opportunity for those familiar with the street to point out the problems.

    The rights of way & communication twixt involved parties will be improved.

    Steve: We shall see. It will be equally important not to try to piggyback too much work by too many parties in one construction effort to avoid delays thanks to delays by multiple agencies.

    The convoluted u-turns required to make right turns off side streets will increase private commute times. It will increase the backups/queuing at most signalized intersections. The timing at left turn signals will have to be longer.

    Steve: The problem is that, as on Eglinton, we are asked to believe information about traffic operations without benefit of the volume calculations. “Trust us” is not a phrase I want to hear from the folks who brought us St. Clair.

    Will the number of crossovers be adequate to allow car storage or short-turning or re-routing in case of an accident/traffic jam?

    Steve: By rerouting, I assume you mean single-track operation on the one remaining unblocked rail. That will be a challenge at the planned headways unless crossovers are close together.

    How would this leap-frogging affect normal running, dependability & speed?

    Steve: If wouldn’t work very well at all, and I would be amazed if anyone seriously proposes this scheme.

    Would not the off loading platform side change if there is a delay? Do the cars have doors on both sides?

    Steve: The platform side would change from the “normal” only if cars switched onto the opposing track. Of course the cars have doors on both sides. You seem not to have read the basic info about the fleet which makes this whole sequence of questions a bit suspect. Note also that the presence of both side and centre platforms could not possibly work without doors on both sides of the cars.

    Centre platforms could pose loading problems if 2 trains in opposite directions meet at the same time to load/unload. How would you “hold back” trains to ensure this does not happen?

    Steve: Only if the platform isn’t big enough to hold the demand at that location. Don’t forget that we’re not talking about Yonge Subway loading levels here. You let the trains show up to load/unload whenever they arrive.

    Will the wider stop spacing induce people to drive rather than walk?

    Steve: That depends on how many people are affected by the relocated stops (the major ones are unchanged) and how much longer their walk to a stop is on top of their existing walk out to the arterial road from their sidestreet. There is a big economic impact to change from transit to car that is not entered into lightly. On the flip side of the equation, how much will the improved capacity, speed and reliability (assuming we actually achieve this with the TC lines) encourage people to use transit? It’s a tradeoff, although we can argue about specifics on a line-by-line, stop-by-stop basis. Part of the problem with Metrolinx’ meddling is that they want fewer stops on the assumption everyone is going from Pickering to the Airport rather than making local trips.

    Is it possible for YRT & TTC to both operate vehicles twixt Finch & Steeles on these N-S lines? This would allow YRT to run routes up to Teston. They would need on street looping for this, as the only off-street loops are planned at the 3 terminals.

    Steve: The N-S lines are way off in the future (Don Mills and Jane), and York Region is already talking about a Don Mills extension north of Steeles. The new lines will be owned by Metrolinx on behalf of the province, and any LRT operations into York Region will simply be an extension of the Toronto system. Loops? The TC lines do not require loops because the cars are double-ended.

    Now that route 36 is not a bus, how is Keele Station being sized & plotted? (The combined frequency in rush is still 3 min. as it is now, but more riders can use this.) These trains with 1 driver cut labour cost & increases productivity.

    Steve: What does this have to do with Keele Station? Do you mean Finch West Station? There are two options in the presentation — one underground and one at grade. There is a design issue for the subway station in that it should not have to handle the 36 provided the LRT is open before the subway.

    How will Finch & Steeles be linked twixt Dufferin & Weston by surface transit routes?

    Steve: The TTC has tentative plans for the rearranged bus systems associated with Transit City, but this sort of thing won’t be finalized until much closer to opening day. One obvious issue will be whether the TTC and YRT/Viva will be a single unified system by then, in which case the bus route structure at Steeles may be different than today.

    Will Finch LRT take traffic off Highway 7? How will Zum connect to Toronto? What effect will Presto card have on zones & fares?

    Steve: Finch take traffic off Highway 7? Surely you jest! As for Brampton’s BRT system, I don’t have the faintest idea, although the interchange at the west end of the Eglinton LRT may see some of this. Presto and fares? Nobody has figured that out yet. Note that all of this is well beyond the scope of a transit EA for Finch Avenue.

    I hope Mitch (planning) & the project team can solve these dilemmas now. I was told there will be no other PIC’s, only an EA comment period. I am not sure how long they will accept comments before EA preparation.


  20. I think that the prevailing attitude towards public transit in L.A., as in many american cities, could be closer aligned with that of, say, Thornhill. To quote a hotel concierge in Cleveland when asked if we could take public transit to the shopping mall, “I don’t do the bus thing.”


  21. When Chris said, “Here in L.A. street running light rail constantly gets attacked by people who think it’s unsafe and going to kill people,” Tom wrote, “I always find it rather sad that the people who make these arguments completely ignore all the pedestrian deaths caused by cars.”

    The trouble is, accident statistics are categorized based on the higher-order vehicle involved. Many pedestrian deaths involving cars do occur, and whether they are the fault of stupidity, either on the part of the driver or on the part of the pedestrian, or whether they are just accidents, they go down in the statistics as automobile accidents.

    When a driver does a stupid thing like turning into the path of a streetcar, LRT, or even a railway train, the fatality is not counted as an automobile accident, but a rail accident.

    Never mind the fact that the idiot would eventually do the same thing in front of some other vehicle ending up just as fatal. People who make the arguments described above think that the presence of a rail-based mode somehow increases accidents. In more situations than not, it only adds a new opportunity for something to happen that is inevitable, with or without the rail vehicle.


  22. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post with the word TWIXT used so many times. Are we in the 14th century now? How about “BETWEEN”?

    Steve: Understandeth ye not?


  23. Dear SM;

    I meant N-S BUS operations not LRT lines in this corridor.

    YRT’s present 5-10 year plan calls for taking over some TTC operated N-S routes. Teston Rd. is about 30 minutes north of Finch. This plan may mean route duplication by 2 operators, unless Metrolinx operates this. Perhaps the Prestocard will solve revenue problems.

    Steve: Presto will only solve revenue problems if someone comes up with a scheme to share revenue and to keep the total take (from fares and subsidies) at the same level. Any new discount created for riders who now pay two fares must be offset by extra revenue somewhere else, or by service cuts.

    There are few crossovers shown. Is this based on accident-free operation? Snow storms or traffic jams or icy rails could change reliabilty instantly. They can only build crossovers on straightaways and areas with good sightlines & no/little elevation difference. Hopefully operators will be able to handle emergencies. One hopes opearators & engineers have operated model trains-these are great simulators.

    Steve: If the TTC uses trailing point crossovers for emergency turnbacks, they will be (a) easy to slip into the design anywhere along the line and (b) failsafe in the sense that a car would have to be travelling in reverse to enter them and cross to the other track. I believe that things like the number and location of crossovers is part of the fine tuning in “detailed design”, but after St. Clair, I don’t trust that part of the process to be done properly.


  24. Steve,

    In a previous response, you wrote: “With a projected peak demand of about 3K, and vehicles with a service design load of 150, that would give you 20 cars/hour or a three minute headway.”

    How are the calculations for passengers per hour, and for passengers per peak hour, derived? Regardless of which agency, the TTC or Metrolinx, has ‘the best’ forecast, it seems like a bit of a black box. I’m certain that it isn’t, but Transit City presentations don’t provide much in the way of transparency in terms of the assumptions that they have utilized. Thanks in advance!

    Steve: Both the City and the TTC have models which include future land use patterns (residential densities, job locations) as well as historical commuting patterns that are used to project where people will live, work and commute. This information drives a demand simulation model that assigns trips to various parts of the network. In general the TTC/City numbers are lower than the Metrolinx numbers because Metrolinx uses a different model with more aggressive density information (ie more of everything). One city planner told me that Metrolinx projects considerably more people commuting into downtown than there will be jobs, leaving aside the increasing number of people who live and work downtown. The Metrolinx model also projects demands well in excess of the service levels they plan to provide, especially on GO rail lines.

    Considering that a 25-year regional plan was based on such transparently faulty information, one can’t help wondering how much else Metrolinx managed to get wrong.


  25. Forecasting for 25 years later is quite inaccurate but growth does slow down at a certain peak. I hope they consider that in their forecasts.

    The subway stations outside of the downtown core get their usages mostly from feeder buses. Wouldn’t the number change drastically if new bus routes fed into the lrt lines than the current subway stations?

    Maybe if Thornhill/Richmond Hill was transformed into a new downtown where people would commute north instead of south would bring more usage to the line.

    Steve: The feeder routes have been essential to the subway’s success for decades. The TTC loves to show photos of high rise clusters at stations, but if the system depended on these for demand, it would be a much quieter place. The Danforth has many busy subway stations, but few high-rises, and the demand comes primarily from the feeder buses, not walk-in traffic.

    The LRT lines will get some traffic from intersecting bus routes just as several heavy bus routes do today. Finch West illustrates this and another important line characteristic. People do not all ride from one end of the line to another, but between many intermediate points including a large amount of transfer traffic to and from north-south routes. The number of riders on the line is much higher than the peak point demand because the riding is spread out. There will be some rebalancing especially if the TTC reorients routes to feed LRT lines to provide the line-haul function to the subway, but additional riding will also come from the higher capacity and service quality.

    Counter-peak riding has the advantage that, by definition, it does not add to the peak capacity that must be provided, but improves the utilization of the service. A good example of this is found on the Yonge line where traffic northbound in the AM peak is quite good. By contrast, eastbound riding on BD is much lighter, something that made my old commute from Broadview eastbound quite comfortable even while would-be riders jostled for space on inbound trains.

    Another important shortcoming in the Metrolinx projections is that they give the demand pattern for a full network, but don’t explore what things would look like in interim stages, nor how the network would behave if various components were missing.


  26. Steve: Sheppard-Yonge is a travesty of overspending. Have you noticed just how difficult it would be to fit in any vertical connections to that platform? It’s a gigantic platform with few opportunities for adding access points, especially from below.

    Sorry if this is going off on a tangent, with the layout of the Sheppard-Yonge station, the only realistic way to serve the centre platform would be from above. The side platforms can be used for transferring lines, while the centre platform is used to head up to the bus platforms. Access from the side platforms to the centre platforms would require going up and then back down or crossing the tracks through a stopped car. If all three platforms are ever used, an announcement about the arrangement should be made before entering the station.


  27. Why have the Finch West LRT on Finch, as oppose to having it on Steeles Ave West?

    Steve: Because Finch runs right through a lot of neighbourhoods within the City of Toronto. Also, on Steeles, there are major problems with the fact that half of the street is actually in York Region.


  28. To me, the only logical reason (although it is counter-productive) that we have the centre platform at Sheppard-Yonge is to accommodate the track switch room (the room with a box showing where the trains are, and allowing personnel to manipulate the track switches). It could have been hidden behind the wall of the northern platform, but what’s done is done. They could eventually expand the Yonge line’s platform, allowing for multiple stairs and an elevator, but (excluding the possibility of buildings being in the way), this would be far too costly, and unnecessary unless it was proven beyond doubt that if the Sheppard line was expanded in both directions (West and East) that it could generate 20,000-25,000 pphpd, and funded by every level government (good luck with that). Otherwise, it really is a horrendous waste of money for, what in the beginning was a subway line to a shopping mall. (Of course, now there is quite a bit of demand from people coming and going home from distances away [ex. Northeast Scarborough, Markham].)


  29. Steve said: “…on Steeles, there are major problems with the fact that half of the street is actually in York Region.”

    Not true, actually – the ROW is entirely City owned.

    Steve: This may be true, but one reason for maintenance delays on this road is that the city and region share it.


  30. I am just so glad they dealt with the Hwy 400 Situation properly and not the normal Toronto Inner-City Ideology that does not work for suburban areas!

    Finch Ave will retain 3 Lanes from Jane to Arrow Road/Signet. It will loose the extra lane between Arrow and Weston Road but in order to make up for that shortfall, a Dual-Lane Left Turn is being created at Finch and Arrow Road. This can ensure that existing capacity is kept relatively intact. The Finch Underpass is luckily 4 lanes (3 Lanes + Ramp Lane) so maintaining 3 lanes and an LRT worked out perfectly!

    Again, Bravo Toronto for ensuring the LRT isn’t some cluttered St.Clair/Spadina like line but rather a truly well planned out suburban LRT that can actually get people moving quickly!

    I Also noticed they want the LRT to go on a private ROW from Humber College to Woodbine Live instead of mixing it up with Hwy 27. Great Idea! Make it a simple elevated line from Humber College to Woodbine or even all the way to the airport to use the flexibilities of LRT to the fullest extent!

    I hope this type of smart planning continues on for the rest of the Transit City lines where necessary.


  31. Dear SM:

    Just to clarify the borderline in York County.

    The city owns the land up to & including the sidewalk on the north side of Steeles. York Region begins on the north side of this sidewalk.

    That is why Wheel-Trans will not go up driveways on the north side of Steeles, but Mobility YRT will. Thus the street is effectively a city arterial so city pays for work done on it & sidewalk-Even if York Region benefits.

    The 2 sides do share policing. TTC will run the subway north of Steeles.

    Hopefully, this arrangement has its economies & simplifies bureacracy.


  32. chetan said: Why have the Finch West LRT on Finch, as oppose to having it on Steeles Ave West?

    Finch West bus ridership is 1.5 times higher than Steeles West (TTC 2008 Service Plan, table in Appendix C).

    Moreover, large part of Steeles West ridership base is between Yonge subway and Steeles / Dufferin. Finch West ridership is spread more evenly along the route.


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