At its meeting of December 8, 2021, the TTC Board received a report and presentation about the Bloor-Yonge project. This is a massive undertaking to expand capacity at the major junction of the subway network that is considered critical to future demand growth on the network.
Funding to the tune of $1.5 billion is already committed by the City, the Province of Ontario and the Federal government.
The project will:
- Add a new, separate eastbound platform on the south side of the existing station similar to the reconfigured Union Station where a northbound-to-Yonge platform was added.
- Convert the existing centre platform to westbound only.
- Add and reconfigure vertical access between the concourse east and west of the Line 1 station to Line 2 below.
- Substantially increase the concourse space.
- Increase ventillation fan capacity to reflect both the expanded station area and current fire code.
- Add new entrance connections at 81 Bloor East and link the existing automatic entrance on Yonge north of Bloor to the new platform.
- Reconfigure the main entrance of the station at 2 Bloor East.
In pre-pandemic times, severe congestion was common particularly, but not only, on the southbound platform. If nothing is done about this, the safety issues this brings will become more severe and train operations will be hampered by the volume of passengers.
Although Automatic Train Control will allow for more frequent service, this also means that passengers can be delivered to the station at a faster rate than today. If stairs, escalators and platforms cannot handle the added demand, the station will be a pinch point on the network. At a political level, the City of Toronto Council is already on record as requiring this expansion (as well as the Relief, now Ontario Line) as pre-requisites for the Line 1 Yonge extension to Richmond Hill.
The issues facing the TTC are summarized early in the presentation deck.
Modification & expansion of the existing Bloor-Yonge Station required to address current issues and future ridership demand as follows:
• Overcrowding of the Line 2 platform due to substandard platform width and congested vertical circulation in the AM and PM peak hour
• Overcrowding of the Line 1 platforms due to poor passenger distribution leading to congestion and queuing at vertical circulation in the AM and PM peak hour
• Overcrowding of Lines 1 and 2 platforms AM and PM peak hour hampering alighting and boarding leading to increase in dwell time for trains
• Projected ridership growth will exacerbate current deficiencies in station performance
• Projected ridership growth will greatly extend recovery time from a missed headway
• Line 1 expansion to Richmond HillPresentation deck, p. 3