Some Friendly Advice For The Mayor Elect

Toronto has elected a new mayor, John Tory, who will formally take office in December 2014. The ancien régime may be on its way out the door, but this is not the time for dancing in the streets with bonfires and blazing effigies.

Part of me secretly yearns for the first of many speeches in which a Tory administration bemoans the Ford legacy, just as Ford bemoaned the Miller years, but that leaves us focussed on retribution, not on progress. Toronto’s job now is to look forward and to undo the damage that four years of narrow-minded, simplistic policies brought us.

The very first question we — and I say “we” because the responsibility of citizens does not end the moment they cast a ballot — must answer is “what should Toronto be”. In this article, I will address only transit issues and their general political context and will leave other portfolios to commentators and activists in their respective fields. However, the question is the same for all.

The Importance of Listening

Throughout the campaign, Toronto heard endlessly about Tory’s plan. Right up to the last debate at CITY-TV where I was a member of the “expert panel”, Tory’s response to criticism was to cite his confidence in Toronto and belief that his plan would work. Wonderful sentiments, but one cannot dismiss alternate viewpoints with a wave of the hand and a Pollyanna-like belief in a bright future.

At some point in the campaign, Tory allowed that he must learn to “listen more”. That’s not just a question of being polite so that a speaker can make their point, but of recognizing the validity of alternate outlooks and absorbing the best of them into a broad-based policy. Tory wants a collegial atmosphere at City Hall, and that requires more than everyone singing his tunes and hanging a SmartTrack map in every office.

A vital first step lies in the creation of a new Executive and Standing Committees, and in the selection of new members for the TTC Board. Will Tory take the same route as Ford in favouring only the sycophants, the Councillors looking to share a new mayor’s power, or will the boards and committees represent the whole city geographically and politically?

The condition of transit requires serious debates about service quality, maintenance and the future role of the TTC network. These are not simple issues, and Council needs to be given honest advice and a broad menu of options, not simply a “stand pat” budget that pretends we can get by with flat-lined subsidies.

In August, the TTC Board passed a motion directing staff to include provision for various improvements as options in the 2015 budget. Does John Tory want to hear what it will cost to improve the TTC, or does he want that muzzled so his SmartTrack will stand alone as the only topic worthy of debate and funding?

Budget Committee meetings of the Ford era treated those who might ask “please, sir, we want some more” to open contempt — the sense that people who made time to come to City Hall for their paltry 3 minutes were slackers who should be out working. City Council owes Toronto a collective apology for this treatment and a commitment to do better. Yes, deputations are tedious to listen through, and a Council less dismissive of alternative voices might find a way to actually hear them.

If we begin from an attitude that people who want better services are somehow undeserving of attention, that they are special interest groups, and most importantly that they are somehow not representative of “taxpayers”, then the new administration will be no better than the old.

The Importance of Transit Service

“City Hall doesn’t listen to us” is a common complaint both downtown and in the far reaches of Etobicoke or Scarborough. When “downtowners” complain of poor transit service, they make common cause with riders all over the city. Yes, we have subways downtown, but much of the “old city” depends on surface routes for transport. There will never be a subway under Dufferin or St. Clair any more than there will ever be a subway under Lawrence or Islington.

Technology battles use up a lot of ink and web space, but regardless of who “wins”, much of the transit system remains unchanged.

Tory’s campaign was all about SmartTrack to the exclusion of almost all other transit issues. The gaping hole in his platform was any real mention of better service on the existing system, and he dismissed out of hand the TTC’s August suggestions (and rather conservative ones at that) of potential improvements. That’s a position of someone who has a blinkered view of city life and of the real needs, today, that should be addressed.

What we know so far is that Tory would look at express buses to solve some “squeaky wheel” problems like transit from Liberty Village, but duplicating existing services this way won’t make much difference for the vast majority of travellers. First off, most routes into downtown are already crowded with traffic, and an “express” bus would still make a slow, expensive journey. Second, many trips are not headed to the core area in the peak period, and these trips require better service on the grid of routes we already have.

Third, needless to say, is that the TTC claims to be unable to run more service until at best 2018-19. In other words, we might see more service just when the next election campaign heats up. That position was useful to Tory in downplaying Olivia Chow’s credibility, but it undermines his own. Any municipal agency’s job is to provide advice on what can be done and how to do it. If the city says “build me a subway”, then that’s the TTC’s job. If the city says “run better service”, it is not the TTC’s job to say “that’s impossible” especially when the statement is a flat out lie. Challenging, yes, but not impossible if the city will provide the resources.

A mayor’s job is to lead, to set goals for the city and, indeed, that’s what the whole SmartTrack campaign, flawed though it might be, is about. Tory stuck with his plan, but now is the time to see how transit overall can be made even better, how it can provide more than superficial improvements in the short term.

This will require using all of the resources the TTC has available today, and accelerating capital purchases that now languish in future years of the budget.

For more about what we can do to improve transit today, see my previous article on the subject.

The Simplistic Proposal for a Fare Freeze

Every politician, especially every new mayor, loves to give the voters something as a reward: a tax cut here, a free service there. Tory (like his two opponents) wants to freeze TTC fares. That would be a terrible decision, and could set the TTC back even further than it has been under the Ford years.

Fare freezes do nothing to improve service, and in fact they hobble service growth unless the freeze is matched by increased subsidy. Roughly speaking, such a move would cost at least $25-million, and that is revenue that is lost not just this year, but every future year because today’s fare becomes the base against which future increases grow.

It’s easy to say “people pay enough already”, but in fact many riders are quite capable of and willing to pay more if only their bus would show up with space for them to board. Yes, there are lower-income riders who deserve a break, but they should get one directly as a targeted subsidy.

An important fare change under discussion (and likely to be forced by the move to Presto) is the implementation of time-based fares as a replacement for transfers. The TTC estimates the cost of a 2-hour fare at $20m annually, but such a change will make travel cheaper for many riders who now make separate, short hop trips, but not with sufficient frequency to warrant buying a monthly pass.

Such a fare will also make regional integration much simpler because boundaries could disappear. Two hours’ riding is two hours’ worth regardless of the colour of the bus.

Why don’t we discuss this sort of forward looking fare structure but instead simply say “freeze the fares” as if it will solve everyone’s problems? The discussion and the subsidy debate will be right back on the table in 2016 and every year after that.

There is basic math in the TTC budget large and complex as some of its details may be. The cost of running service is driven by two factors:

  • Increases in the cost of labour and materials, and
  • Increases in the amount of service provided.

There are “efficiencies” here and there such as a move to larger vehicles, but these are one-time savings once they are rolled into the system. If both service and the cost of providing it go up, so must the subsidy unless the difference comes from the farebox.

For as long as I can remember, the TTC has been saying “we should have regular, small increases in fares” because experience shows that at this scale, riders stay on the system. What we do not need is an artificial freeze followed by big changes when the budget pressure at the City becomes overwhelming. Toronto has been through this before, and it worked against the larger goal of getting more people onto the transit system.

Is there a Mayor, a Council, with the backbone to argue that short-term cuts and freezes don’t benefit the city and its transit riders in the long term?

The Technology Wars

Regular readers here will know that there are long discussions about what transit technology Toronto should embrace and where various lines might be built. I am not going to repeat that debate.

However, there are three hangovers from the election campaign:

  • A decision has been made to build a subway in Scarborough, and there is strong pressure for more subways elsewhere.
  • The regional rail network, call it GO RER or SmartTrack, will feature more prominently in transit planning that it has for decades.
  • We might, maybe, someday, see progress on a Downtown Relief Line (whatever it is called).

In all three cases, major studies will be needed to finalize basic details such as alignments, engineering challenges, station locations and cost. These studies should not be short-circuited with political rhetoric, nor should they reach “directed” conclusions to support a favoured result.

Toronto needs to understand the costs, benefits and limitations of various options so that Council and our friends at Queen’s Park can see how everything might fit together. This is not a matter of nay-saying, or delay for its own sake, as Tory’s campaign would argue, but of really knowing what we might do, how much it will cost, and how well any projects will improve the network.

There is far more to planning and building a network than printing hundreds of thousands of campaign handouts with a map of one route on them.

What Is SmartTrack?

As the campaign wore on and challenges to SmartTrack grew, it became obvious that the original proposal needed work, and this was only grudgingly conceded late in the game. The line was not worked out for its engineering challenges even on a rough basis, and its designers even made the fundamental mistake of not visiting potential sites. When someone like me does this, the epithet is “armchair railfan” or “wannabe engineer” if not worse. When a campaign does it, then it’s “a professional opinion” carved on stone tablets (although sandstone may be the actual medium).

I won’t belabour that debate as the challenges in SmartTrack have been addressed elsewhere, but now is the time for many questions to be answered. Just a few:

  • Is SmartTrack really a separate service, or is this simply a rebranded version of something GO was planning to run anyhow?
  • Why the insistence on veering west on Eglinton with a difficult route under Mount Dennis when (a) SmartTrack could continue northwest on the rail corridor and (b) the Eglinton-Crosstown line could continue west as originally planned?
  • At the proposed level of service, can SmartTrack actually benefit would-be riders at the “in town” stations proposed for this line, or would trains be full (just as GO is today) when they arrive?
  • How will a Relief Line eventually fit into this mix?

Toronto is being asked to believe that one line on a map can solve almost every problem, and that is simply not credible. We need to move beyond the campaign and talk about how GO’s RER, Smart Track and other parts of the TTC will co-exist and what role each part will play.

Waterfront Transit

I cannot end this article without mentioning the waterfront. Two major transportation issues face Council on waterfront developments in the coming term:

  • On the western waterfront, what will expansion of demand at the Island Airport do to the waterfront neighbourhoods, to the road and the transit systems serving that facility?
  • On the eastern waterfront, we are about to build a small city of 50,000 residents and at least as many workers and students over the next two decades. This was supposed to be a “transit first” undertaking, but what is actually happening is that transit comes up last. We risk building on a scale that could dwarf Liberty Village but without good transit to move people in and out of the new developments.

Yes, the waterfront is “downtown”, that place so vilified in recent political discourse, but it is a signature project for Toronto, something with which we show the world how well we can build our new city. Failure here will be front and centre, part of the picture post card of Toronto. Our new mayor cannot allow this to founder.

Conclusion

After four years of cutbacks and budgets that strangle the TTC’s ability to grow, it is time for real improvement in Toronto’s transit system. Some of this will come with the usual megaprojects, but attention must be paid to the day-to-day work of providing better transit. That means more service, a commitment to maintenance and fleet expansion that will allow the TTC to attract more riders, not simply keep the minimum possible service on the streets.

John Tory has a chance to show what he can do for transit and for Toronto, to show real improvement before he stands for re-election in 2018. Please let his record be something more than cleaner stations and a pile of discarded maps.

122 thoughts on “Some Friendly Advice For The Mayor Elect

  1. We need more LRT now said:Then run [the Crosstown] in a ditch in the middle of Eglinton (a ditch covered only at intersections and otherwise open).

    There are problems with this idea.

    In the early stages of public consultation, I suggested running the western extension of the Crosstown in a trench along the Richview Expressway right-of-way. The person I was talking to indicated that the TTC does not like trenches as a lot of junk blows in and needs to be frequently cleared.*

    If a narrow trench in the middle of the road is used, not only would there be a problem with debris, there would be other problems. First, there will need to be very solid barriers along the sides to prevent any cars or debris from accidents from falling in. This may not be the type of feature that the city wants on their new ‘avenues’.

    Secondly, there is the problem of snow. On the Richview the trench and the area beside it could be wide enough that the snow could be blown to the side, but if the trench is in the middle of the street there is nowhere convenient to put it . It can’t just be blown up onto the street without co-ordination with the street cleaning which would likely be difficult and expensive — above and beyond the cost of machinery to blow the snow that high.

    As for an elevated structure, I personally like looking out at the surroundings when travelling, so I really like the idea. I truly enjoyed the Skytrain when I was in Vancouver a decade or so ago. However, that route ran down the centre of a wide boulevard with no residences close to it.

    Parts of Eglinton East might work well with this, but there are also stretches with residences on both sides facing the street. I don’t think these people will take kindly to having the El just outside their front windows, and for the people on the north side probably blocking the sun for much of the day — particularly in the winter.

    I could see an El on Eglinton West, as there are (judging from Google Earth) no residences fronting on the street, meaning the structure would seem less intrusive. As I said above, I would personally very much like to have this built, but I don’t think it should be, because I do not believe the advantages (and there are some) are worth the extra cost involved.

    * I later suggested running a surface but “ducking under intersections” (there are only 7), and this was met with less distaste. Then the city started to sell the right of way. The conspiracy part of my brain has always thought the timing was suspicious and that it might have been ordered to remove the right-of-way from the list of options.

    Steve: No conspiracy. There was a strong political will to sell off “surplus” land. An alignment in the middle of Eglinton was the preferred option for a transit corridor decades before Transit City with some of the expressway lands reserved for a road widening. When property was sold, a strip was reserved for this purpose. A true conspiracy (one to prevent LRT or BRT construction) would have sold all of the land making a road widening impossible.

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  2. Malcolm N says

    “Also, is there not space in this ROW to add a fourth track, even if we insist on running a service to serve only the airport, instead of adding a service to the airport.”

    I believe that there is room for 5 tracks at least as far as the Newmarket Sub’s cutoff and 4 tracks beyond that. The right of way is at least wide enough for 6 tracks for a lot of it but they want room to put in stations which block the the room for tracks 5 and 6. The bridges and underpasses are built to accommodate 4 tracks but Metrolinx is only putting in 3 for the time being as a money saver.

    “Even if all the traffic for all planes originated in Toronto, from one direction, all on rail, that would still be able to be served by a GO train every 10 minutes or so (a flight per minute at 200 passengers each is the same as a GO train every 10 with 2000 passengers, except GO could come from both directions).”

    The problem is that when SNC Lavalin designed the route the grades and station length will not accommodate anything over 3 car MU’s This is one result when you do PPPs. The private partner builds the cheapest possible way not planning for the future because that will be someone else’s problem.

    Steve: I might also add that whoever in the public sector wrote a spec that would allow SNC to be so short-sighted bears responsibility too.

    David Weil says:
    November 1, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    “On the subject of operating rules and the capacity of a double track railway – I was recently in Barcelona, and caught a RENFE (equivalent of a Parisian RER) train from a station that served 3 RER lines and at least 2 “medium distance” lines. The station (not a terminal, obviously) had 2 tracks, and trains (EMU but not subway) stopping on 3 minute intervals. There’s no justification for not being able to interleave UPX and GO on a single pair of tracks. (Dumb, obsolete freight rail rules to the contrary notwithstanding.)”

    But David, the Europeans use logical operating rules and regulations. They design the system so trains don’t collide instead of the North American practice of make the cars able to withstand a crushing force of 1.2 million pounds. The line should have be designed so those two tracks for the UPX line were totally separated from the rest of the tracks. This would have allowed the line to operate with rapid transit style equipment and headways.

    The block lengths required for railway CTC signalling allow for 6 minute headways for a couple of blocks provide that the front train is express while the second is local. This soon increases the time between them to something the system can handle.

    There is another problem with high platform stations in that the platform has to be set back from the passing trains. The high platforms would need to be the same distance back as the handicap platforms unless the speed of the passing train was very slow.

    If Metrolinx were to dedicate two tracks to rapid transit operation they could:

    1) run more frequent lighter high platform trains with one person operation.

    2) run every other train to Bramalea as there is room on the south side of the Halton sub for the service to run without touching mainline track.

    3) train operators a lot faster as they would not need to meet the two years of previous railway experience criteria.

    Alas Metrolinx can only think in terms of heavy mainline operations. They want to run two way all day service as far as Mount Pleasant and there is no way to easily run two more passenger only rapid transit tracks from there to Bramalea so everyone pays the price of Metrolinx’ intransigence.

    You are trying to apply logic to Metrolinx who can only see Mainline rail options and refuses to think out side of the box. I am sure that any grade 6 class could figure this out quite quickly once the rules where explained to them.

    The advent of positive train control (PTC) might allow for closer headways as it could allow for moving block protection as well as differentiate between types of trains, but don’t hold your breath.

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  3. I would like to recommend that any off-street rapid transit line (be it SmartTrack or the ever popular and expensive subway) include a third track. This third track would be used for emergency and during future track maintenance. This weekend’s closure of the 1 Yonge line is an example why third tracks should be included for future lines. Of course, the negative would be the lack of space available for that third track may make that impossible.

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  4. Robert Wightman: comparing the European example, where the European Commission and the European Railway Agency are using TSIs to promote standard implementations with the North American scene where all sorts of local vetoes can be exercised is just going to frustrate our fellow readers. There is not yet a single PTC implementation in Canada, and the cost of those done in the US has been eye watering. There are also significant issues about which technologies to employ and how much *licenced* wireless spectrum will be required (the PTC frequency in the US, 220MHz, is used for other purposes in Canada but to specify a different frequency has cost implications). In some respects the American push to PTC will mean the challenges will be better understood when Metrolinx commits but getting the cash to implement and buy in from players like CN and VIA will be the tricky part.

    Irrespective of signalling, there will be pinch points where crossing movements happen with only one high floor platform at Union and one fly under in the west approach to it. Maybe the solution will be expediting construction of Bathurst Station to provide more terminal options.

    Steve: I agree that the Bathurst terminal option is the likely one to be chosen, but I anticipate foor-dragging on a scale that this won’t happen until at least a decade after it is actually needed. The GTHA talks a good line about congestion relief and better transit, but when it comes to actually doing something, delay, delay, delay and those ever precious taxpayer dollars come first.

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  5. Mark Dowling says:
    November 2, 2014 at 9:58 am

    “Robert Wightman: comparing the European example, where the European Commission and the European Railway Agency are using TSIs to promote standard implementations with the North American scene where all sorts of local vetoes can be exercised is just going to frustrate our fellow readers. There is not yet a single PTC implementation in Canada, and the cost of those done in the US has been eye watering. There are also significant issues about which technologies to employ and how much *licenced* wireless spectrum will be required (the PTC frequency in the US, 220MHz, is used for other purposes in Canada but to specify a different frequency has cost implications). In some respects the American push to PTC will mean the challenges will be better understood when Metrolinx commits but getting the cash to implement and buy in from players like CN and VIA will be the tricky part.”

    I did use the conditional, “might” and “don’t hold your breath.” PTC may still cause a lot of problems before it gives any safety benefits in the US. The only hope is to build lines that are not subject to Transport Canada rules. Unfortunately Metrolinx does not seem interested in doing so. SmartTrack will not be very useful unless they do.

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  6. Please excuse my ignorance. A lot of the discussion on this blog, and this thread particularly, is way over my head.

    I am curious about something that I observe. I have noticed from the College or Dundas streetcar as it passes over the railway ROW at Sterling that there has been ongoing construction for the past several months.

    What’s being built down there?

    Steve: Additional tracks for GO Transit services, plus barriers to insulate the surrounding community from the noise of the trains.

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  7. Malcolm N said: It is very nearly mind boggling, that the system is that limited when there is a track in each direction, and that Metrolinx is wasting this critical a rail space on an airport only service. I would think it would be better to run a people mover out to an easy rail sub, and then run a 6-8+ car train every 10-15 minutes out to Bramalea.

    This reminds me of the comments from Bruce McQuaig after the last Metrolinx Board meeting when he mentioned that they were “protecting for a station at Woodbine” (and Mount Dennis and a few other places).

    Where would a GO station at “Woodbine” (south of Rexdale, east of 427) have to be located in order to allow a UPEx train to serve said station? I’ll assume that the UPEx platform would be on the south side of the station and the GO platforms would be on the north side … and there would have to be at least one through track without any platform.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  8. Robert Wightman said:

    “The problem is that when SNC Lavalin designed the route the grades and station length will not accommodate anything over 3 car MU’s This is one result when you do PPPs. The private partner builds the cheapest possible way not planning for the future because that will be someone else’s problem”

    As Steve said the notion that the scope was also written to not expect it. To me the answer might just be to start with a notion to work to complete isolation, and look at LRT like service to get around the main line conductor/engineer requirements, and then look at running service at extremely small headways.

    Even at 3 cars if you could get 150/car and 2 minute headway you get 13,500 or a little more than a full on 6 train per hour 12 car GO. However, Robert, it is still very frustrating, as this type of service will likely attract a great deal of load, and even at 30 per hour, the presence of such a low headway service, should encourage a notable change in bus routes and loadings. Service needs to be designed with a plan to get to and past the 20+k mark.

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  9. Malcolm N says

    “As Steve said the notion that the scope was also written to not expect it. To me the answer might just be to start with a notion to work to complete isolation, and look at LRT like service to get around the main line conductor/engineer requirements, and then look at running service at extremely small headways. “

    In Lyon France there is an LRT line to the airport. The cost is about 14.50 Euros and the trip takes about 30 minutes to travel the 25 km. The service is called the “RhonExpress, the smart link.”

    A word of warning: Unless you want to spend 20 minutes trying to convince the local gendarme, entirely in French, that you are not a terrorist do not take pictures of public transit vehicles without a letter of authorization from the local transit authority. Mlle. Liddy, my high school french teacher, would have been proud of me.

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  10. I could not agree more with Malcolm N’s assertion that running a people-mover to an existing station like Malton would have been a much wiser use of the additional tracks put in place for UPX. I’ve mentioned it here before but you could turn Malton into a Regional Hub for GO, TTC, MiWay, Brampton Transit and YRT as well as further afield if VIA were to make regular stops there. You could market the VIA service as a Premium service as it would run non-stop to Union. GO Transit would provide the medium-range service while the local agencies would provide the local service.

    The most direct route, up Airport Rd. runs into the problem of running right next to the runway ruling out an elevated line. A surface line would need to a segregated ROW with dedicated priority signals for it to be effective. Stopping at each traffic light the way streetcars do would not leave a great first impression for people arriving at Pearson. The amount of truck traffic would also do a number on the rails over time. Which leaves tunnelling at least through the runway chokepoint between Orlando and Northwest.

    You could run a more circuitous route following the newly laid tracks to Goreway and then piggyback on the railway sidings to get back up to the tracks to Malton. It would probably require twice as much trackage. The only redeeming views would be the Mimico Creek. Otherwise it’s most the back of industrial properties.

    Ideally, the new station would be situated above the existing Malton GO station, which would also receive an upgrade of its bus facilities. (Currently it is only served by MiWay with rush hour service. Given its location, I assume other passengers from TTC and Brampton Transit are expected to walk into the station off the street.) That would provide one vertical transfer from whatever means you used to reach the station — train, bus, (a much cheaper Airport extension of the Finch West LRT line?) car or even pedestrian/cycling for those in the adjacent Malton neighbourhood who work at Pearson. The International Centre would also benefit at having broader Regional access.

    If they don’t want to go to the trouble of doing what they should have done in the first place, the Woodbine infill station would do. The location at Carlingview would be less than ideal for service from local agencies and would be entirely dependent on the development that takes place at the Woodbine lands. That development itself is somewhat removed from the station location and would likely require a shuttle of some sort to maintain any useful connection to the site.

    We’ll have to wait and see whether the UPX can live up to its billing after the PanAms have left town.

    Steve: It is interesting that even the authors of the CUI report which provides the backing for SmartTrack talk about the UPX taking on a wider role than just shuttling folks to the airport. However, the amount of political ego entangled in UPX is immense, and we have to let the Games circus come to town and leave before we can have an intelligent discussion.

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  11. Moaz Yusuf Ahmad said:

    Where would a GO station at “Woodbine” (south of Rexdale, east of 427) have to be located in order to allow a UPEx train to serve said station?

    Theoretically almost anywhere east of the 427. The important question is where can it be placed so that it doesn’t interfere with the industries that have rail service in the area.

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  12. Robert Wightman said:“In Lyon France there is an LRT line to the airport. The cost is about 14.50 Euros and the trip takes about 30 minutes to travel the 25 km. The service is called the “RhonExpress, the smart link.””

    Out of curiosity Robert, is this not run on the same track as other LRT, with track set up to allow it to pass the local LRT? I was under the impression that this somehow did not force an exclusive on a large amount of track.

    My problem with the current proposed Toronto Airport Express (UPX), is that it locks the track, and therefore means track space cannot be used for other services. If my (very vague) understanding of Lyon is correct, I can see this type of set up in Toronto. I would even be quite happy with it as LRT, just to make sure it is not Mainline railway rule bound.

    I would almost prefer to see this become LRT, just so that Metrolinx can start thinking about this type of signaling etc as a possible option. Yes EMU is better, as long as the operator can and will use it at small headways. Of course as Steve has said more frequent does not perforce mean shorter, in that if you went to 15 minute headways from 30 you might darn near double traffic. I of course think there is a limit to this, but I would be willing to suggest that you could fill trains every 10 minutes at peak within a reasonable period, as long as there was reasonable service all day (especially well past peak).

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  13. Malcolm N says:

    “Out of curiosity Robert, is this not run on the same track as other LRT, with track set up to allow it to pass the local LRT? I was under the impression that this somehow did not force an exclusive on a large amount of track. “

    From Wikipedia:

    “The route is served by 6 tram trainsets, which were built by the Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail. The route has a length of 23 kilometers (14 mi) and it takes 29 minutes to go from Part-Dieu to the airport; service is every 15 minutes at peak times. Tickets cost €15 one way and €26 round trip, and are cheaper when purchased online. The project included building 8.5 kilometers (5.3 mi) of new track, while remainder of the route runs along the tracks of the existing T3 tram line, which is built with passing tracks to allow express service. The service is independently run and is not a part of the TCL system, although it appears on TCL maps.”

    Yes there are passing tracks that allow it to run express along line 3 of TCL which is Transport en Commun de Lyonnais. Remember to get a letter of permission from them before you take pictures of their system. The line ends in the downtown across a plaza from the main railway station. Lyon has modern LRT lines bus and trolley bus lines. Some of the trolley buses run around with no overhead wires. I don’t know if they use batteries or auxiliary diesels. All in all a very good system.

    They also have 4 metro lines, one of which, line D, is totally automated. Lines A, B and D are rubber tired with steel guide rails like Montreal. Line C has a 17% grade and is a rack railway. It claims to be the steepest metro line in the world.

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  14. Steve said:

    “It is interesting that even the authors of the CUI report which provides the backing for SmartTrack talk about the UPX taking on a wider role than just shuttling folks to the airport. However, the amount of political ego entangled in UPX is immense, and we have to let the Games circus come to town and leave before we can have an intelligent discussion.”

    Hopefully there can be an proper discussion, and a look at what will be required to make this serve a wider variety of needs. I also hope that transit friendly switch and control systems have been employed so that this can be used for a much higher order service. I commented earlier that I can see a 3 car service be a start (although how to get a 4th and maybe 5th better be considered), as long as it can be pressed to very high frequency. There is also the idea of adding a 4th track and running 2 relatively frequent services in this ROW, one local and one longer distance. This might mean the UPX portion might need only carry 10-15k for a reasonable timeframe. Simply having high frequency rapid transit in this corridor would change the nature of Rexdale’s transit access to the core and the balance of the city. This plus a long form Finch LRT and the long form Crosstown would transform the complexion of transit in the northwest of the city.

    Similar service in Stouffville (at least 15 minute all day-10 minute or better peak) and extra tracks in Lakeshore east, plus connecting LRT in Sheppard/Morningside and a converted and extended and connecting Scarborough RT (LRT) could do the same in Scarborough, especially if 15 minute or better service in 416 was also available on Lakeshore. I also hope that Metrolinx will find a way of making this a transit not mainline railway oriented service, using transit rules, and frequency. If you could also provide similar service in Richmond Hill, you might even buy some real time for the Yonge subway. There needs to be an eye to the how to preserve the ability to provide more than the service that will likely be required in the next 15 years or so. Do not build it, but leave the door open. Do not give up any more space around Union, or in the railway corridors (any of them). Do not close the door to underground stations in the core allowing 5 minute or better service.

    While I think high frequency rail transit in these corridors, (including Richmond Hill) is likely required, SmartTrack as a proposal in the political realm, should have followed not led a Yonge relief line study. It needed to be on the table as an option, not *the option*.

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  15. Steve said:

    “I agree that the Bathurst terminal option is the likely one to be chosen, but I anticipate foot-dragging on a scale that this won’t happen until at least a decade after it is actually needed. The GTHA talks a good line about congestion relief and better transit, but when it comes to actually doing something, delay, delay, delay and those ever precious taxpayer dollars come first.”

    Ideally I would like to see a commitment to an underground option, and not have distant stations (yes I know Bathurst is not that far, but just far enough to get people riding other transit). If you have a Bathurst station with 1.5-2K trains arriving, will that not mean a section of subway is also required just to serve this link. This is fine as long as they are building the Don Mills subway and it has a stop there, and goes not much further (trains basically empty inbound). I was under the impression with using an underground option this could be pulled out of the basic track mix and allow headways to be pushed down into the 5 minute range. This would allow the western end of a Don Mills subway to eventually be extended, and actually take on some real local load.

    If the equipment was changed, so that it could unload faster, and platforms and trackage were in fact dedicated, it should be able to be even closer (although the trains less capacious). I would prefer they not go whole hog, but the idea of pulling a match set of Stouffville/UPX out, and providing a through service underground would be great. If you could later add the Richmond Hill line to this mix, I think you would then allow enough growth for the balance within existing space at Union. A train of 1-1.5k passengers every 3-5 minutes in Richmond Hill and the same in each of Stouffville & UPX would provide a very large growth in the overall traffic to the area, without affecting the current platforms. However, this is likely the most expensive option, and would likely not remove the eventual need to build a Don Mills subway anyway.

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  16. Assuming frequent rail all-day two-way service is eventually provided as far as Brampton (the City, take your pick which station), it would be ironic to have MiWay provide Rexdale with the cheapest means to access the nearest station, Malton. The co-fare with GO Transit is 75 cents with either PRESTO or a ticket to/from the station. MiWay provides service along Rexdale Blvd., Humberline Dr. and Finch Ave., the latter two requiring a transfer unless routes are changed in light of the increased rail service. Mississauga would probably appreciate having the extra passenger traffic, regardless of the subsidized fare.

    Unless you live on Kipling Ave., getting to Etobicoke North requires a transfer, and seeing as buses will be the last to get PRESTO, will require two full fares.

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  17. Robert Wightman:

    “The only hope is to build lines that are not subject to Transport Canada rules.”

    Where would these lines be? The Union Station Rail Corridor and lines feeding it must be subject to TC mainline regulation as long as VIA, CN and any other similar train operates through it with concurrent operation. The O-Train only works because they can exclude mainline spec trains and then every so often shut down the transit service to allow a freight to the National Research Council. The only line which has been previously suggested as a similar candidate for non PTC Euro equipment is Stouffville branch, and the unfolding political realities involving Scarborough and the Markham YorkU campus mean that a segregated shuttle to the Lakeshore GO train will not be acceptable.

    I hate to be confrontational on this but the cry of “Europe” raised as a panacea for avoiding regulatory realities is all too frequently based on wishful thinking rather than a workable scheme grounded in the infrastructure we have and are likely to have in the next two decades. Thus: details please.

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  18. Mark Dowling says

    “Where would these lines be? The Union Station Rail Corridor and lines feeding it must be subject to TC mainline regulation as long as VIA, CN and any other similar train operates through it with concurrent operation. The O-Train only works because they can exclude mainline spec trains and then every so often shut down the transit service to allow a freight to the National Research Council. The only line which has been previously suggested as a similar candidate for non PTC Euro equipment is Stouffville branch, and the unfolding political realities involving Scarborough and the Markham YorkU campus mean that a segregated shuttle to the Lakeshore GO train will not be acceptable.”

    As I have said there is enough room in the Weston Sub corridor to make the two tracks for UPX totally isolated from the rest of the lines, at least as far as Bramalea. There are a couple of sidings in Northern Etobicoke and Malton that might cause problems but there should we work arounds available with temporal separation. This line would make a west end complement to the DRL and run through Toronto under Wellington or Adelaide in a subway. This would get it out of the USRC entirely, but Metrolinx does not want to look at running it as rapid transit.

    The Stouffville line would be very difficult to run as rapid transit because of the problems with the Lakeshore east corridor being too narrow. I do not know if there is enough room to put in an isolated pair of tracks along the north side but I doubt it. What I am saying is build what you can as non TC compliant and fight for better regulations on the remain lines. If you can get temporal separation of the few freights that run up the Newmarket and Stouffville sub that would help but as you say how do you get from Scarborough Junction to downtown? The other problem comes when CN wants to run a diversion along the Bala or Newmarket subs to the Lakeshore lines.

    There are two avenues where Metrolinx could improve:

    1) Build the right type of service where possible.

    2) Fight for changes to transport Canada regulations for the rest.

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  19. As I have said there is enough room in the Weston Sub corridor to make the two tracks for UPX totally isolated from the rest of the lines, at least as far as Bramalea.

    Actually, that ability ends around Weston GO station. Beyond that, the corridor narrows and you have industries with rail service along both sides of the Weston Sub out to Bramalea which makes it impossible to totally isolate a RER operation from the other operators in the corridor.

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  20. Robert Wightman said

    “The Stouffville line would be very difficult to run as rapid transit because of the problems with the Lakeshore east corridor being too narrow. I do not know if there is enough room to put in an isolated pair of tracks along the north side but I doubt it.”

    Robert, if it were not so far to the Scarborough junction one would be tempted to say nuts, build a tunnel… However, the shortest tunnel I can see would be about 13 km, and that would just make the jump to Union.

    I keep finding my mind wandering back to the Richmond Hill ROW south of CN main. You could make this a dedicated transit ROW, however, that leaves you the issue north of the CN main. I know you hate the idea of LRT here, but convert it to transit, and then figure out how to deal with it north of the CN main. ( one reason LRT attracts me here, as you could hop out to Bayview).

    If we look at the Richmond Hill ROW as common track (would need at least double track and flood proofing), and you could actually get Hydro to allow use their ROW, you could run a pair of tracks the 5 -6 Km between Stouffville ROW and Richmond Hill ROW, and run the Scarborough LRT North in Stouffville after Kennedy to meet this other route. This would maybe permit a completely isolated transit route. Would mean running the trains in somewhat the opposite direction, but it would mean that you would be isolated from freight and via.

    I realize this is totally left field, and probably has a host of other issues, and would require God herself (Premier) to intervene in order to get Hydro to go along.

    Having worked some miracles, it would now only leave you the 2.5 km to get to the core. This I can see building a tunnel for. It would also have the benefit of getting Stouffville and Richmond Hill underground approaching Union, and if you also dropped UPX at the Station, it would basically remove enough future service from Union itself to buy some real time. Ideally these services would have a short section of seperated track and platforms at Union.

    If you are running transit alternating between Stouffville and Richmond Hill, and both were now fully converted, you could run a train in each every 3-4 minutes, although not the current double deck style trains. If you make them all three LRT you could run other track north of the CN main in York region. You could then run long (could never run on street) in Stouffville, say 180-240 metres long, and short ones in Richmond Hill say 120 metres to remain median of street running. To make this attractive would need to be faster than Flexities, more like the Citadis or S70 type cars. At 3 minutes in each gives you a 24k line in Stouffville, and 12k in Richmond Hill.

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  21. Mark Dowling says

    “Irrespective of signalling, there will be pinch points where crossing movements happen with only one high floor platform at Union and one fly under in the west approach to it. Maybe the solution will be expediting construction of Bathurst Station to provide more terminal options.”

    These two pinch points can be gotten around by good design. The major pinch point is the use of the two double sets of ladder tracks with double slip switches from north to south and south to north both east and west of the station. I know this allows for maximum flexibility but it can tie up a lot of tracks while a train is traversing it and then waiting for the signal system to reset. I believe they would have been far ahead to design the system so they could have made do a few strategically placed double crossovers and design the routing so the crossing of a large number of tracks was unnecessary.

    “I hate to be confrontational on this but the cry of “Europe” raised as a panacea for avoiding regulatory realities is all too frequently based on wishful thinking rather than a workable scheme grounded in the infrastructure we have and are likely to have in the next two decades. Thus: details please.”

    I agree that the existing rules and infrastructure will preclude much non TC compliant service. Metrolinx just announced a $365.5 million upgrade to the signal system to the Union Station Rail Corridor. I am afraid that they will build a digital version of the 80 year old analog system with no capacity improvements in it. Transport Canada regulations say that the signal system must meet the specifications of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Association but, it does allow for deviations if it can be demonstrated that there is no reduction in safety.

    Metrolinx should be looking at a system with shorter fixed blocks where the number of blocks protected could be changed depending on the type train being operated. (You are right in saying that VIA and CN (and CP) will not install PTC willingly.) It should not be difficult with computer controlled signals to design one that would keep a 6 or 8 mile section in front of freight trains empty while only keeping 1 or 2 miles clear for passenger trains. This would only be done on lines that Metrolinx owns but this is where most of the service improvements would take place.

    It would not require any extra on board equipment so it would not cost VIA, CN or CP any money and their engine operators would see no change. There would 6 or 8 short blocks in front of a freight but only 2 or 3 in front of a passenger train. It isn’t rocket science; it does not require changes to TC and the FRA archaic rules; it just requires an effort to change a few things at a time.

    But when you can build something that does not need to be TC/FRA compliant do so.

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  22. Malcolm N:

    “I commented earlier that I can see a 3 car service be a start (although how to get a 4th and maybe 5th better be considered)”

    UPX is limited to 3 car lengths by the platform at Pearson. I had thought it was four, but not so.

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  23. Nick L says:
    November 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

    As I have said there is enough room in the Weston Sub corridor to make the two tracks for UPX totally isolated from the rest of the lines, at least as far as Bramalea.

    Actually, that ability ends around Weston GO station. Beyond that, the corridor narrows and you have industries with rail service along both sides of the Weston Sub out to Bramalea which makes it impossible to totally isolate a RER operation from the other operators in the corridor.

    The number of industries are getting fewer and fewer all the time and if you run Rapid transit type equipment it should be possible to get it over or under a connection to an industry lead or to provide temporal separation while a passenger train goes buy. The trains would be shorter, vertical clearance less and 4 or 5% grades would be no problem.

    The LRT line in Baltimore goes through or beside a Norfolk Southern yard. When I rode north past it there was a freight sitting on one side of the line and when I returned it was on the other side. It really is no different than the protection required for a level crossing with gates on a road.

    You would probably need to build new underpasses for the 400 series highways it crosses though. Most of this right of way has spare room. Etobicoke North Station would be a bigger problem than around Weston because they are building the right of way to 4 track width but only putting in 3 tracks. Make the southwest tracks for rapid transit and don’t put any switches in them that connect to the other two tracks. If all else fails, switch the industry in the late evenings when there are not as many RER trains on it.

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  24. Mark Dowling said:

    “UPX is limited to 3 car lengths by the platform at Pearson. I had thought it was four, but not so.”

    I realize this, however, this will need to be revisited at some point. The logic of saying that 3 high frequency can make an impact is that this would based on current platforms, however, the platforms will eventually need to be looked at. Possibly by taking the line out of Pearson per se.

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  25. Why has the TTC not used the shorter double decker buses like OC Transport to replace the articulated buses? Apparently Ottawa saved money due to decreased operating costs with increased capacity. Ya some of the station’s clearance might be a bit low but not all of them!

    Was there a withdrawal of Buses from service due to failure before the City TV Debate, Martineau’s comment?

    Steve: Double decker buses pose even greater problems for loading times than artics that don’t use all-door loading. On a line haul, express route from a suburban collection point to downtown, this isn’t much of a problem, but on routes with on-off traffic all along them, it would be a disaster.

    As for Martineau’s comment, I’m not sure what you mean. I was in the debate studio and did not hear whatever setup he did on the news before we went on air. What has happened recently is that the TTC has increased its spare factor at all garages to reduce the pressure on maintenance. How much this will have improved the ratio of actual to scheduled service remains to be seen.

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  26. Regarding the use of double-decker buses, as someone with limited mobility I hope these vehicles never go into use in Toronto. It’s bad enough getting onto a one-level bus/streetcar/subway car where all the “handicapped” seats have been taken by able-bodied passengers who prefer to sit near the doors. At least there are other seats (often unoccupied – or occupied by more courteous passengers) at the same level. But if all seats on the lower deck of a vehicle have been taken, the mobility impaired TTC passenger can’t climb to the top level.

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  27. Regionally Steve should not extending the CrossTown to the Mississauga TransitWay Renforth Station be one of the priorities?

    Also would it not make as much sense to run a local link from there (meeting point of Crosstown and TransitWay) to the terminals as from the Rail line, and more sense to run a link to both so an airport service joined the LRT, TransitWay and RER in the rail corridor?

    Would that not provide access to and from the airport for more of the region as a whole on transit? Relieve more congestion long term? Also if you used the 2 stations/hubs for a node for multiple bus service/routes that covered the airport area, would that not also mean you could greatly improve transit access to the employment area? You could still run the existing airport/Kennedy service, however, perhaps also have it stop at the hub for Crosstown/Transit Way.

    Eventually the Finch West LRT could also be tied in.

    Steve: I could argue this either way. It depends on whether we see the airport proper as the centre of the universe (at least for transit demand) or the employment areas around the airport and the regional links between routes as more important. Some folks who leave comments here have a fetish for uninterrupted, one-seat rides and they may regard the need to change to an airport shuttle as an undue imposition. I am sure a pitched battle will follow on the pros and cons of direct or shuttle service.

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  28. With all the comments about running non-FRA-compliant services along the same corridor as other tracks, I am wondering just what are the rules. The focus has been on not having them able to be shared, or with temporal separation, but what about actual space separation requirements?

    I ask this because back when the new west line in Denver was under construction, I took this photo. It shows the relocation slightly to the west of mainline railway tracks that were previously right next to the line.

    The relocation shown is along the existing line just south of where the new line was to make a connection. Back when the original line was built (opened in 1994), and when it was extended south to Littleton (opened in 2000), having an LRT line alongside a mainline railway was acceptable. Some level crossings along this stretch are shared with mainline operations.

    However, as I understand it, the recent new construction had to comply with newer FRA regulations that require a degree of separation greater than what was previously permitted.

    Getting back to the GTHA, do all of our right of ways where people are suggesting running non-compliant track with compliant track, is there enough room for the tracks AND the necessary spacing between the two?

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  29. Donal Smith said:

    Why has the TTC not used the shorter double decker buses like OC Transport to replace the articulated buses?

    Bridges under the railway corridors. In the event of an emergency, the TTC wants to guarantee that all of their buses can at least make it to the street entrance of any subway station along any route.

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  30. Before anyone gets carried away with notions of double decker fleets, most of the rail/road subways in the old part of the city south of Bloor only have 3.6-3.8m of clearance which is not enough.

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  31. Steve said:” I could argue this either way. It depends on whether we see the airport proper as the centre of the universe (at least for transit demand) or the employment areas around the airport and the regional links between routes as more important. Some folks who leave comments here have a fetish for uninterrupted, one-seat rides and they may regard the need to change to an airport shuttle as an undue imposition. I am sure a pitched battle will follow on the pros and cons of direct or shuttle service.”

    I think this may be a test of the waters to see if this applies to all areas of Toronto, and trips, or whether this is only a requirement for those seeking the Scarborough subway.

    Question Steve, is the current UPX actually going to represent a single seat ride to all from core to the airport? Is it also going to terminal 3? I was under the impression that it was only going to go to Terminal 1, leaving those poor Westjet, Delta, American Airlines, Air Transat passengers having to scramble for service, and suffering through a bus connection, and a low frequency 2 seat ride, is this so? If true why is it that these passengers would rate a lower level of service than Air Canada passengers?

    Sorry Steve, to me the internal to airport service, would mean a 2 seat ride, but would also mean that it could stop in a couple of places in each terminal providing a shorter walk and a direct to final terminal trip for those using it. The other issue here Steve in terms of transfers of course, is by improving the in airport service, and making it link to more services, would mean a simpler ride for more airport bound passengers.

    Focusing on using an in airport people mover (or whatever) of course also means actually making the UPX track do some heavy lifting in terms of moving the daily load, so that Commuter service in UPX, Crosstown and Finch West LRT can be used as 2 way capacity getting people from the rest of Toronto to the airport employment area, and from Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga to and from the core, mid town and York University areas, and hopefully if Finch LRT extends east to Yonge to North York employment areas.

    Regionally I would think it would be ideal if the 4 services (Mississauga Transit way, UPX, Crosstown, Finch West LRT) to the airport area linked up. This would provide another transfer/anchor point for rapid transit to give access to a large area of the city beyond. This would be more so if the Hurontario/Main LRT also links a high frequency UPX service. It would mean a couple of transfers between small headway services and you are in essence anywhere in the city.

    Steve: The UPX station is right beside the people mover station, and circulation within the airport is expected to be on that line. Yes, I was taking a shot at the people for whom the Kennedy (or proposed Don Mills) transfer is something to be avoided at all costs. As you point out, a line going into the airport like UPX will not serve employment areas around the airport, but that was never the intent for UPX, a “business class” link to downtown. It’s a crappy design, but such is the magic of “air rail links” that we are somehow supposed to ignore this. The self-serving publicity machine at Metrolinx for this project cannot be shut down quickly enough for me as it constantly reinforces the waste involved in a misdirected project.

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  32. Steve said:

    “Yes, I was taking a shot at the people for whom the Kennedy (or proposed Don Mills) transfer is something to be avoided at all costs. As you point out, a line going into the airport like UPX will not serve employment areas around the airport, but that was never the intent for UPX, a “business class” link to downtown”

    Leaves the questions however, why does Air Canada from core rate a different level of service than WestJet etc passengers. As designed the service clearly favors one air group over the other, at least if we accept the argument that transfers are a big deal.

    Also the in airport link is only serviced by 2 trains, which means this transfer will be more of an issue than Kennedy or Don Mills. So why are we so blatently prejudiced against mid town West Jet (etc) travellers? The government should be held to account for this clear and blatant favouring of Air Canada and the core !!

    Sorry now that I have that out of my system, since nearly 1/3 of the passengers will have a transfer from the core, and all from every other location, please better/more service for all. To me this means an improvement in the in airport link and extend it to more services beyond, and run 1 service through the airport grounds to directly link all. I see the idea of serving the airport and the airport employment area as a artificial choice. The demand for each enforces the other, and creates a demand for a better service. I would be willing to bet, that all would be happier with more frequent service, and nobody would object to others getting service, as long as it is not at their expense.

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  33. AC is the largest tenant at YYZ and operates it as a hub. Since it is a hub, other Star Alliance partners fly in to it. This is why Terminal 1 is more profitable and hence better connected by train. WS does operate a hub at Terminal 3. However, it lacks the reach since WS is not really aligned with any one. They have code shares with One World, but they are not a One World member. Thus a BKK to YHZ would be routed like this BKK -> NRT (JL) NRT -> ORD (JL) ORD -> YHZ (AA). This is despite the fact that WS flies from YYZ to YHZ.

    Business travelers really have no choice but to fly AC. Places like LHR, HND and LAX are slot congested. WS will never be able to fly there unless they purchase a slot from someone. There are not even a credit card in Canada that collect JL frequent flyer points even though they have service between NRT and YVR. Just look at how much TD paid to have an Aeroplan linked credit card.

    The area surrounding YYZ should be served by Union Pearson Express. This can be accomplished by extending the line by one more station. This way, people using the line to head to work can get off somewhere other than the airport terminal. No matter where the station is placed, it will have to rely on bus feeders. So build a proper station with a bus terminal and the people working in the area (like the Fedex depot) can catch a connecting bus.

    At YYZ station, the station should be revised to add additional check in counters for One World and Skyteam airliners. This way, passengers can disembark and check in their luggage right away. Once the luggage are checked, taking the LINK train should not be a bother. With the airport traffic and airport area traffic separated, fares can charge at a different rate. For example, a $2 surcharge to use YYZ station.

    One last suggestion, the Union Pearson Express trains should have a two class cabin. This way, F and J passengers can pay more, so that Y passengers do not have to pay as much. Even a 1 hour shuttle flight between say ORD and YYZ has a two class cabin. It also allows for a more seamless experience for those passengers. This way, they can be pampered from beginning to end.

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  34. The solution with the issue of transportation to the Airport (and Airport area) is probably the same as the Scarborough subway and DRL issues: real public discourse with real data, not a politically-driven competition between modes, supported by meaningless slogans & false dichotomy.

    A few days ago I received an email from TTC Riders updating me on their campaign to turn the UPEx into a surface subway with more stations. It’s a nice idea in theory but it only really resolves one issue … The perceived lack of affordability of the unconfirmed $20-30 fare. It doesn’t help the residents of Mississauga, Brampton, North and central Toronto and all of the other points of the GTA not within easy access to Union Station. It doesn’t provide easy transit access to points outside the airport terminal or the major employment areas to the south and northeast of the airport.

    We have to do better than this. There is too much at stake.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  35. The UPX serves Terminal 1 because it still has room to expand (G and H hammerhead piers), whereas Terminal 3 is only expected to receive marginal additional capacity at full build out. Given the spaghetti of roads around the airport, threading an approach into the terminal area is no easy task and serving both terminals would have required removal of the existing people mover.

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  36. Moaz said:

    “The solution with the issue of transportation to the Airport (and Airport area) is probably the same as the Scarborough subway and DRL issues: real public discourse with real data, not a politically-driven competition between modes, supported by meaningless slogans & false dichotomy.”

    Amen, transit to the area can reasonably serve both needs, and the areas beyond. Rapid frequent service that links well to the airport and transit beyond. We were going to have the Crosstown to the Miway BRT, Finch West was also going to be longer and should be right to the area, and linked.

    We do not think of subway to Eglinton, or Bloor or to the Financial district when discussing improvements to the Yonge Line. To suggest it was a choice between in terms of service improvements would be similarly false choice in my mind.

    The major drive region wide is to improve transit and reduce congestion, and the limited resources that are available need to be put to maximum effect.

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  37. Mark Dowling said:

    “The UPX serves Terminal 1 because it still has room to expand (G and H hammerhead piers), whereas Terminal 3 is only expected to receive marginal additional capacity at full build out. Given the spaghetti of roads around the airport, threading an approach into the terminal area is no easy task and serving both terminals would have required removal of the existing people mover.”

    Frankly mostly I was kidding about where it comes into the airport, other than I question the need for it to be an airport only service. While terminal 1 may still have room to grow, it does not represent enough of a demand to justify tying up a set of tracks entirely from Union to the Airport. To me it would make more sense as I said earlier to have an in airport service that served both terminals and tied to transit. UPX rails could then be used to provide much more frequent service, and the airport service would be a small part of a larger service. UPX as is will likely see perhaps 700-800 passengers per hour, this is a nearly criminal waste of rail capacity that could be used to serve the region. Imagine this even as an LRT (not even an EMU) running 4 cars at a 2 minute headway (18,000) a 6 car emu at the same headway could mean subway capacity. Why waste this option?

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  38. GTAA’s Development Plan to 2030 states that 2013 passengers at GTAA are 36m, and will be 50m by 2020 and 66m by 2030. The next expansion will be to the east with Piers G, H & I, depending on demand. Some development drawings that were floating around in 2001 or there about showed a final expansion to the west to replace Terminal 3 which will be about 60 years old by then.

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  39. RobInNorthToronto said:

    GTAA’s Development Plan to 2030 states that 2013 passengers at GTAA are 36m, and will be 50m by 2020 and 66m by 2030. The next expansion will be to the east with Piers G, H & I, depending on demand. Some development drawings that were floating around in 2001 or there about showed a final expansion to the west to replace Terminal 3 which will be about 60 years old by then.

    I remember those, but haven’t been able to find them when I’ve gone looking in the past 2 years. IIRC, the end result was a single terminal in a “C” shape with 4 major (hammerhead or forked), and at least half a dozen minor piers. Do you still have any references that show it?

    The thing is that even at 66Mp/y, demand from downtown only approximately doubles, and that still doesn’t mean nearly enough capacity to justify the permanent allocation of 2 tracks to the shuttle.

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