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How would you change transit for the better in the entire GTHA?


brianc1981

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So I decided to create a new topic, because I have lived in several areas from Oshawa to Hamilton and I have taken transit all across the region, and I can see how bad things are in places. It seems like there are a lot of obvious and easy fixes, but there are people on here that are a lot more knowledgeable that might have some better ideas and suggestions, so I would love to hear it. 

Keep in mind I am looking for ideas that would make sense. I don't want to hear things such as "people in Toronto don't want to pay for transit in such and such" or people don't travel from here to here by transit. I am looking for genuine answers that could be made to make transit better. Mostly because the traffic on the 400 series highways is ridiculous, so how do we fix that and get more people leaving cars at home? 

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18 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

So I decided to create a new topic, because I have lived in several areas from Oshawa to Hamilton and I have taken transit all across the region, and I can see how bad things are in places. It seems like there are a lot of obvious and easy fixes, but there are people on here that are a lot more knowledgeable that might have some better ideas and suggestions, so I would love to hear it. 

Keep in mind I am looking for ideas that would make sense. I don't want to hear things such as "people in Toronto don't want to pay for transit in such and such" or people don't travel from here to here by transit. I am looking for genuine answers that could be made to make transit better. Mostly because the traffic on the 400 series highways is ridiculous, so how do we fix that and get more people leaving cars at home? 

I remember when I was a member of the Community Advisory Committee for DRT's long term transit strategy. This was back in 2008/2009. We were discussing ways to improve service over 50 years. Before Pulse, and during a time that DRT was consolidating it's fleet from 5 municipalities. One suggestion that came up from the CAC was to try an implement transit in to new developments as soon as possible and establish that reliable transit before families decide to buy a second car. Anyone who has moved from the city to the suburbs may be faced with this decision especially if one or both parents still work in the city. Bowmanville and Clarington were receptive to transit but ridership still wasn't overly high as bus routes weren't direct enough. At the time we wanted to see more grid routes that served Bowmanville but also connected them to Oshawa and GO Transit. I'd say those meetings were a success in getting effective data on community demand for transit. Now fast forward to 2023, and despite pandemic service cutbacks, I'd say transit in Durham Region is on the right path. Progress has been slow overall in Durham compared to other municipalities in the GTA, but with more GO Train service to Bowmanville on the horizon, I'd say those meetings were meaningful. So if there's anything I took away from this experience it's that community engagement is key to figuring out where people are going and how much service is needed., when talking about how we can deliver effective service with the resources we have at hand. 

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On 12/6/2023 at 5:10 PM, brianc1981 said:

So I decided to create a new topic, because I have lived in several areas from Oshawa to Hamilton and I have taken transit all across the region, and I can see how bad things are in places. It seems like there are a lot of obvious and easy fixes, but there are people on here that are a lot more knowledgeable that might have some better ideas and suggestions, so I would love to hear it. 

Keep in mind I am looking for ideas that would make sense. I don't want to hear things such as "people in Toronto don't want to pay for transit in such and such" or people don't travel from here to here by transit. I am looking for genuine answers that could be made to make transit better. Mostly because the traffic on the 400 series highways is ridiculous, so how do we fix that and get more people leaving cars at home? 

I'm just curious why can't there be bus-only lanes designated only for transit given that there are already tens of traffic lanes on the 400 series highways. Providing bus-only lanes in highways is nothing new in many other countries and that significantly reduces travelling time for transit riders . Transit providers may even explore the possibility to open up more routes utilizing the highways, which in my opinion is a very attractive option when compared with driving and got stuck in the traffic.

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  • 7 months later...

Bus lanes on 400 series doesn't make much sense because there aren't that many GO buses or people using them to begin with. Bus stops along those lanes are not possible, and riders would not be able to walk to them to begin with. The future 407 Transitway combined with the current Mississauga Transitway should improve regional crosstown transit greatly. GO has already laid the foundation with its 407 routes.

Lay the foundation and then build on top that. Build a transit system for the current riders. If you can keep them using transit for longer, then your ridership will grow. For example, if people start using transit for 6 years instead 5 years, that is 20% growth in ridership.

Many cities across the USA try to build systems for potential riders instead of current riders, lots and lots of LRT, and it just doesn't work. York Region made the same mistake with VIVA. People will not abandon their car for transit. Growing ridership is really about delaying people's purchase of their first car.

I think you only need to look at the massive ridership growth in Brampton and Mississauga in recent years to see what building a system for the current riders means. That is where LRT is truly needed. Brampton Transit needs to keep serving their current riders and I don't think they can do that if the City doesn't drop its anti-LRT stance.

And of course, it terms of capacity, the biggest problem has long been the Bloor-Yonge station. That's why they are finally building the Downtown Relief Line, or Ontario Line. Extending the Sheppard Line to Allen Road would provide further relief for the Yonge Line, where overcrowding will only become an increasing problem with an extension into York Region.

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18 hours ago, ngdvd said:

Bus lanes on 400 series doesn't make much sense because there aren't that many GO buses or people using them to begin with. Bus stops along those lanes are not possible, and riders would not be able to walk to them to begin with. The future 407 Transitway combined with the current Mississauga Transitway should improve regional crosstown transit greatly. GO has already laid the foundation with its 407 routes.

Lay the foundation and then build on top that. Build a transit system for the current riders. If you can keep them using transit for longer, then your ridership will grow. For example, if people start using transit for 6 years instead 5 years, that is 20% growth in ridership.

Many cities across the USA try to build systems for potential riders instead of current riders, lots and lots of LRT,d it just doesn't work. York Region made the same mistake with VIVA. People will not abandon their car for transit. Growing ridership is really about delaying people's purchase of their first car.

I think you only need to look at the massive ridership growth in Brampton and Mississauga in recent years to see what building a system for the current riders means. That is where LRT is truly needed. Brampton Transit needs to keep serving their current riders and I don't think they can do that if the City doesn't drop its anti-LRT stance.

And of course, it terms of capacity, the biggest problem has long been the Bloor-Yonge station. That's why they are finally building the Downtown Relief Line, or Ontario Line. Extending the Sheppard Line to Allen Road would provide further relief for the Yonge Line, where overcrowding will only become an increasing problem with an extension into York Region.

 Bus only lanes are or were in place on the 403, I used to live out near Winston Churchill and Eglinton and having the 109 run on the 403 bus lane was very handy. Having bus lanes for DRT express buses on Highway 401 between Westney and Highway 412 would open the opportunity to run buses between Brooklin and Ajax GO. That trip would take between 17 and 25 minutes and give Brooklin a link to GO Train service into Union in under 2 hours. I believe DRT route 302 will eventually deal with overcrowding, if it doesn't already with the growth in Brooklin. So I'd say bus lanes in that small section, particularly eastbound would offer a many opportunities to run express buses in Durham Region. 

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10 minutes ago, MorningsideExpress said:

 Bus only lanes are or were in place on the 403, I used to live out near Winston Churchill and Eglinton and having the 109 run on the 403 bus lane was very handy. Having bus lanes for DRT express buses on Highway 401 between Westney and Highway 412 would open the opportunity to run buses between Brooklin and Ajax GO. That trip would take between 17 and 25 minutes and give Brooklin a link to GO Train service into Union in under 2 hours. I believe DRT route 302 will eventually deal with overcrowding, if it doesn't already with the growth in Brooklin. So I'd say bus lanes in that small section, particularly eastbound would offer a many opportunities to run express buses in Durham Region. 

Yes, those are the bus-bypass lanes on the 403, which bridges two portions of the Mississauga Transitway. It is a busy corridor for both MiWay and GO, and there are many stations. It is not like the 401 and 412 where there are no stations. Brooklin seems too close and too big to be connected to the rest of Whitby with only one route, so it seems early worry about connections to Ajax.

Highway 401 in Durham doesn't have bus lanes, but it does have the Lakeshore East train running right beside it. You start building bus lanes there, they will overlap with GO Train service for 4km. It will be express buses competing with express trains.

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Instead of building an expensive subway along Sheppard to McCowan, I would continue to extend the Finch West LRT to U of T at Scarborough via Morningside. To build a Finch Crosstown. Can be above ground for the majority of the extension (we've seen how expensive and delay prone building underground can be). Already stable ridership on 36, 39 and 939. Far enough away from Eglinton and Bloor to not draw away ridership. Multiple higher education institutions to increase ridership (Humber College, York U, Seneca College, Centennial College, UTSC). 

Plus we already have the tech and the experienced workers to build the extension with minimal hiccups. It would be a waste to lose that when we stop building LRT. 

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13 hours ago, erniewitt said:

Instead of building an expensive subway along Sheppard to McCowan, I would continue to extend the Finch West LRT to U of T at Scarborough via Morningside. To build a Finch Crosstown. Can be above ground for the majority of the extension (we've seen how expensive and delay prone building underground can be). Already stable ridership on 36, 39 and 939. Far enough away from Eglinton and Bloor to not draw away ridership. Multiple higher education institutions to increase ridership (Humber College, York U, Seneca College, Centennial College, UTSC). 

Plus we already have the tech and the experienced workers to build the extension with minimal hiccups. It would be a waste to lose that when we stop building LRT. 

Finch Ave East is not a big part of Toronto's "Avenues" Plan. Sheppard Avenue is a much more appropriate corridor in which to build rapid transit. Other corridors of this type in Scarborough are Eglinton, Kingston, and Lawrence.

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/9039-Avenues-Mid-Rise-Buildings-Study-Part-1.pdf

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