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I don't believe for a second that routs like 29 Dufferin, 32 or 34 Eglinton, the YUS line, 501 Queen or 506 Carlton (others) are not money makers for the TTC. But lets go with what you say about 0 lines making money.
This is the report from 2005, and these are the stats from last year. As you can see cost of most routes is up drastically, while ridership isn't up as much on some of those routes. It is hard to consider YUS profitbality since a lion's share of the rider's pay their fare elsewhere (i.e. bus/streetcar) for at least half of their trips.

A simple calculation shows that cost recovery ratio on some of the routes you mention is probably lower than it was in 2005.

For example:

29 Dufferin had 75% cost recovery. By 2010, operating revenue per trip was up 20% (from annual report), but costs were 55% higher, so I would now estimate cost recovery of the route at 53%. Ridership on the route is also down 10%.

32 Eglinton West: 2005 cost recovery 51%, ridership is up ~10%. 2010 costs are about 55% higher again, which translates into a new cost recovery of about 43%.

34 Eglinton East: 2005 cost recovery 57%, ridership is up ~10%. 2010 costs are about 45% higher, which translates into a new cost recovery of about 52%.

501 Queen: 2005 cost recovery 49%, ridership is up 5.5%. 2010 costs are about 27% higher, which translates into a new cost recovery of about 48%.

506 Carlton: 2005 cost recovery 52%, ridership didn't change. 2010 costs are about 23% higher, which translates into a new cost recovery of about 49%.

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This is the report from 2005, and these are the stats from last year. As you can see cost of most routes is up drastically, while ridership isn't up as much on some of those routes. It is hard to consider YUS profitbality since a lion's share of the rider's pay their fare elsewhere (i.e. bus/streetcar) for at least half of their trips....

Well then I'm at a loss, I don't know if the TTC is including amortization of assets when calculating the cost of a route. I suppose in the end it doesn't really matter if they do or not. Nor do I understand why we are splitting hairs with it. If anything that report and most likely it's up to date successor should be used as more ammo to get the government to step up and properly fund the TTC. All along all I've been trying to point out is regardless of what percent of cost the TTC's revenue covers, the government subsidy is intended to balance the books. In reality is that what is happening now?
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Well then I'm at a loss, I don't know if the TTC is including amortization of assets when calculating the cost of a route. I suppose in the end it doesn't really matter if they do or not. Nor do I understand why we are splitting hairs with it. If anything that report and most likely it's up to date successor should be used as more ammo to get the government to step up and properly fund the TTC. All along all I've been trying to point out is regardless of what percent of cost the TTC's revenue covers, the government subsidy is intended to balance the books. In reality is that what is happening now?

Fuel prices have skyrocketed since 2005... I remember back then in the summer seeing gas prices just start hitting $1.00 per litre. Now it's hovering between $1.20 and $1.30 per litre, and diesel has gone through a similar price jump. For a year or two the TTC was somewhat insulated from this because of a guaranteed price supply contract, but it wasn't long until that expired.

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Fuel prices have skyrocketed since 2005... I remember back then in the summer seeing gas prices just start hitting $1.00 per litre. Now it's hovering between $1.20 and $1.30 per litre, and diesel has gone through a similar price jump. For a year or two the TTC was somewhat insulated from this because of a guaranteed price supply contract, but it wasn't long until that expired.
Yep, the annual reports also show this: in 2005 TTC spent 34,653,000 on fuel and 28,455,000 on electricity, while in 2010 it was 73,971,000 on fuel and 33,211,000 on electricity. At the same time while fuel costs more than doubled, kilometers traveled increased only by 20%.

The most astonishing number is that the wage expenses in the last 5 years have more than doubled while the number of employees went up only by 18%. This increase is even more unbelievable given that the last 3-4 years was the worst economic times since the great depression.

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Yep, the annual reports also show this: in 2005 TTC spent 34,653,000 on fuel and 28,455,000 on electricity, while in 2010 it was 73,971,000 on fuel and 33,211,000 on electricity. At the same time while fuel costs more than doubled, kilometers traveled increased only by 20%.

The most astonishing number is that the wage expenses in the last 5 years have more than doubled while the number of employees went up only by 18%. This increase is even more unbelievable given that the last 3-4 years was the worst economic times since the great depression.

I find that surprising given that I'm not making double what I used to five years ago. Where are all these extra wages going? Because it's not to operators.

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I find that surprising given that I'm not making double what I used to five years ago. Where are all these extra wages going? Because it's not to operators.

Or to many of the front line staff. Given what a significant percentage of staff are not getting these increases, one has to think there's an error in the numbers.

Remember though, that this would include new hirings. So if average wages are up 20% in 5 years, but the work force has gone up 50%, then total wages are up 80% (not 20% or 70%!). Still at first blush, something seems wrong.

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How will a Presto card make a difference to those using Metropasses or tokens - which don't need a human to interface with?

A lot of you guys make it sound like a Presto card is the panacea that will solve all of the TTCs ills. It's just a single tool that will do all the same stuff that a bunch of different tools do now.

Dan

I have yet to ride a system with farecards and unmanned stations. RATP, MBTA, New York MTA.... They all have farecards, and fully staffed stations. Even the Skytrain system have attendants wandering around.

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I have yet to ride a system with farecards and unmanned stations. RATP, MBTA, New York MTA.... They all have farecards, and fully staffed stations. Even the Skytrain system have attendants wandering around.

Even the ultimate example, Hong Kong MTR, all stations are manned.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nothing many people haven't figured already...

A national magazine has named the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Line the most expensive public infrastructure project in the nation.

The list was compiled by Renew Canada, ranking each project on total cost, including materials and labour.

The magazine cites Mayor Rob Ford's decision to move the line underground as a major reason the price was increased substantially to $8.2 billion.

See full story

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The amusing part is that many people are suggesting that more should be spent on the line since it makes more sense to convert it to a full subway, rather than just an underground LRT, now that the line will be completely underground.

I agree. LRT's should only be built if they're underground for a short period of time, and mainly above ground. Subways would most likely be faster, and more efficient (including higher capacity).

Also, the SRT should be replaced by an extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line, that would also open up possibilities for an Eglinton extension to Kingston Rd.

The other disappointing figure is that the line will take 10 years to build. The original Yonge Line only take 4.5 years to build. While the Crosstown line will be three times as long as the original Yonge, we have much better technologies than we did in 1950 to build tunnels. I could be wrong, but why can't the line be opened in 2016 or something?

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The other disappointing figure is that the line will take 10 years to build. The original Yonge Line only take 4.5 years to build. While the Crosstown line will be three times as long as the original Yonge, we have much better technologies than we did in 1950 to build tunnels. I could be wrong, but why can't the line be opened in 2016 or something?

Simple. They were able to build the Yonge line so fast because they used cut and cover and they didn't care about property owners, pedestrians and cars while building the line.

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Simple. They were able to build the Yonge line so fast because they used cut and cover and they didn't care about property owners, pedestrians and cars while building the line.

Maybe the Yonge Line isn't a good example, but again it's not the middle of the 20th century anymore. In 2012, I believe we have the technology to build the Crosstown faster than 10 years.

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I agree. LRT's should only be built if they're underground for a short period of time, and mainly above ground. Subways would most likely be faster, and more efficient (including higher capacity).

Why? Some systems use LRT technology and call it a subway. Some people are even refering to this as the "Crosstown Metro".

Also, the SRT should be replaced by an extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line, that would also open up possibilities for an Eglinton extension to Kingston Rd.

So would following Transit City.

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I agree. LRT's should only be built if they're underground for a short period of time, and mainly above ground.

Says you. Many other cities seem to think otherwise and build long stretches of LRT underground, and they do just fine.

Subways would most likely be faster, and more efficient (including higher capacity)

Incorrect. Speed is independant of the vehicle type. And capacity is almost the same: If you take an LRT of 300 feet, it will carry about as many people as a subway of 300 feet. Other factors, such as headways, are much more important in the overall capacity of the line.

Also, the SRT should be replaced by an extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line, that would also open up possibilities for an Eglinton extension to Kingston Rd.

Again, your opinion. I happen to disagree with it, as do many other people. It would be a lot more expensive and would result in the wasting of much built infrastructure that still has much life.

The other disappointing figure is that the line will take 10 years to build. The original Yonge Line only take 4.5 years to build. While the Crosstown line will be three times as long as the original Yonge, we have much better technologies than we did in 1950 to build tunnels. I could be wrong, but why can't the line be opened in 2016 or something?

As has been pointed out by others, the Yonge line was built by cut-and-cover, not tunnelling.Cut-and-cover is much faster, as you can construct many different sections at the same time without specialized equipment. There is also no lead time for the construction or assembly of the equipment.

As well, do you know when the planning started for the Yonge Line? It was well before 1949.

Dan

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Says you. Many other cities seem to think otherwise and build long stretches of LRT underground, and they do just fine.

Incorrect. Speed is independant of the vehicle type. And capacity is almost the same: If you take an LRT of 300 feet, it will carry about as many people as a subway of 300 feet. Other factors, such as headways, are much more important in the overall capacity of the line.

LRT's are generally LF. Meaning less room in between the trucks, and therefore less capacity. Being lower to the ground, they're also more vulnerable to roughness in the tracks, and in some cases that means lower speeds need to be taken.

Again, your opinion. I happen to disagree with it, as do many other people. It would be a lot more expensive and would result in the wasting of much built infrastructure that still has much life.

Building a line straight along Eglinton and then suddenly shifting upward to Scarborough Centre doesn't make that much sense. Also, what happens to riders east of Kennedy? That's right, they'll always be stuck with buses.

Also, how does it waste infrastructure that still has life? While the elevated section at Kennedy would have to be torn down, the rest of the line can remain almost intact.

As has been pointed out by others, the Yonge line was built by cut-and-cover, not tunnelling.Cut-and-cover is much faster, as you can construct many different sections at the same time without specialized equipment. There is also no lead time for the construction or assembly of the equipment.

As well, do you know when the planning started for the Yonge Line? It was well before 1949.

Dan

Right, the planning was well before 1949, which is the reason it shouldn't take longer to build subways today. I can understand how boring can take much longer than cut and cover. Again though, it's 60 years later. We have much better technology, but yet it takes twice as long to build subways now.

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LRT's are generally LF. Meaning less room in between the trucks, and therefore less capacity. Being lower to the ground, they're also more vulnerable to roughness in the tracks, and in some cases that means lower speeds need to be taken.

I don't disagree with your actual vehicle capacity concern, but you're looking only at simple LRT systems as examples. Don't forget Calgary and Edmonton run high floor LRVs that are fully capable of carrying loads similar to a generic subway car, and these cars could potentially be used on any other new LRT system. But I don't agree with that 'vulnerability to roughness' thing though - full subways have slow orders too, it's all dependent on maintenance.

Building a line straight along Eglinton and then suddenly shifting upward to Scarborough Centre doesn't make that much sense. Also, what happens to riders east of Kennedy? That's right, they'll always be stuck with buses.

You're right, it doesn't. That's why Transit City would've addressed this concern by having them set as three separate lines - of which the Scarborough-Malvern line would've taken care of those riders (even though it wasn't set to be in place until...2020?). But the Ford 'appeasement' by through-routing ECLRT and SRT makes a heck of a lot more sense than extending the Bloor line by having it also 'suddenly shift upward' with an even bigger price tag.

Commuters east of Kennedy Station are also able to take the GO train, but we'll wait until PRESTO is in full force to see how that works out.

Also, how does it waste infrastructure that still has life? While the elevated section at Kennedy would have to be torn down, the rest of the line can remain almost intact.

Unused infrastructure is waste, is it not?

Right, the planning was well before 1949, which is the reason it shouldn't take longer to build subways today. I can understand how boring can take much longer than cut and cover. Again though, it's 60 years later. We have much better technology, but yet it takes twice as long to build subways now.

Let's see...full life-cycle analyses, designing for environment, gross energy requirements, negative-feedback systems, etc...There are a lot more factors we have to consider in engineering these days than there used to be. A basic reason for design delay is that in a democratic society, people have a lot more rights - and therefore have more leverage over a construction project than you think. Take a look at China, who doesn't care and will simply build the line.

Don't get me wrong, you have a lot of questions and that's great for discussion.

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LRT's are generally LF. Meaning less room in between the trucks, and therefore less capacity. Being lower to the ground, they're also more vulnerable to roughness in the tracks, and in some cases that means lower speeds need to be taken.

Partial point may be taken on the first one; however, many cities (Calgary, Edmonton for starters) have high floor LRVs. There are also "70%" low floor LRVs which have floors that are higher above the trucks, similar to that of any of the major bus models. The TTC however has turned this option down, preferring to pursue 100% LFLRVs only.

Second point... I personally haven't heard any mention of this. Regardless, it doesn't greatly affect the number of riders a line may transport - generally, capacity is restricted through turnarounds and stations with high volumes of passengers (example: Yonge/Bloor). Operating speeds don't really get down to capacity issues until you're running well really tight headways - under the 2 minutes that our heavy rail subways can barely manage now (see the first two arguments in this paragraph), and these delays can be minimized/eliminated through more advanced signalling.

Building a line straight along Eglinton and then suddenly shifting upward to Scarborough Centre doesn't make that much sense. Also, what happens to riders east of Kennedy? That's right, they'll always be stuck with buses.

Also, how does it waste infrastructure that still has life? While the elevated section at Kennedy would have to be torn down, the rest of the line can remain almost intact.

As mentioned within the Scarborough RT Replacement report, a subway would be on a completely new alignment to Scarborough Centre. Our current subway stock will not fit through the Ellesmere tunnel, nor the elevated section east of there; in addition, I don't see the subway making a tight turn from its east-west alignment at Kennedy to the north-south alignment of the RT.

Riders east of Kennedy would have had the Scarborough-Malvern LRT which would run from Kennedy station east along Eglinton, turn north-east along Kingston and north on Morningside. But the cost of burying the Eglinton-Crosstown line means they will have to suffer with buses. Too bad, they'd have to do the same if you extended the subway to Scarborough Centre as well since we don't have the money for them.

Right, the planning was well before 1949, which is the reason it shouldn't take longer to build subways today. I can understand how boring can take much longer than cut and cover. Again though, it's 60 years later. We have much better technology, but yet it takes twice as long to build subways now.

Detailed design (like exact alignment, station layout, etc.) has only begun during 2011 for the Eglinton-Crosstown. I believe roughly 40-50% of the time for the Spadina extension to Vaughan was taken up through the design phase (Environmental Assessment, detailed design, soil sampling, and other work) with the remaining 50-60% to be spent on construction and testing.

And new.flyer.408 posted before I finished typing... oh well. Both posts have similar and different info, so both are still worth reading.

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Again though, it's 60 years later. We have much better technology, but yet it takes twice as long to build subways now.

It has nothing to do with technology but everything to do with changing standards in noise, safety and disruptions. To put it in perspective, they used explosives to excavate part of the Yonge line and they chew through rock much faster than any TBM.

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LRT's are generally LF. Meaning less room in between the trucks, and therefore less capacity.

Except that you can put seats on the trucks. Forgot about that already?

The way capacity measurements work is by taking the square footage of the usable floor area, not a volumetric measurement of the interior of the vehicle. A low-floor LRV has a pretty high number of usable floor area - not quite as high as a subway admittedly, but quite close.

Being lower to the ground, they're also more vulnerable to roughness in the tracks, and in some cases that means lower speeds need to be taken.

I'm calling bullshit. Give me some empirical evidence and I might contemplate believing you. In all of the low-floor LRVs that I have ridden, there was no issue with speed or lack thereof due to any real or theoretical loss of ride quality. I have heard from others who have ridden more cars that I that some low-floor cars ride better than high-floor ones. Suspension is not a side effect of the height of the floor.

Building a line straight along Eglinton and then suddenly shifting upward to Scarborough Centre doesn't make that much sense.

Neither does trying to fix one mistake with another.

Besides, the Bloor-Danforth is largely a crosstown line much like the future Eglinton Line. Hell, it's even more important of one, as it actually crosses the full width of the City, whereas the Eglinton Line will end at Keele or Weston. Why is it okay for the B-D to jog north to Scarborough Town Centre, but not the Eglinton?

Also, what happens to riders east of Kennedy? That's right, they'll always be stuck with buses.

East of Kennedy where, exactly? If you live north of Lawrence now you take the SRT - how does that change exactly?

As for those to the south, how does converting the SRT to a subway change that?

Also, how does it waste infrastructure that still has life? While the elevated section at Kennedy would have to be torn down, the rest of the line can remain almost intact.

Not if you use subway. Forgotten that the vehicles are much larger and heavier than the SRT cars? They won't fit in the guideway or the tunnel between Ellesmere and Midland. Not to mention that the current orientation of the line at Kennedy Station is almost perfectly east-west - meaning that you will have to build a huge looping curve underneath the apartment buildings north-east of the station.

No, if you convert the line to a subway a new underground alignment would have to be built diagonally from Kennedy to Scarborough Town. This means not only scrapping the old alignment and infrastructure, but also pissing off a lot of people who will now be further away from a station. As there would only be two on the extention - Lawrence East at Brimley, and Scarborough Town Centre.

Right, the planning was well before 1949, which is the reason it shouldn't take longer to build subways today. I can understand how boring can take much longer than cut and cover. Again though, it's 60 years later. We have much better technology, but yet it takes twice as long to build subways now.

Before a shovel can be put into the ground, you need to do the detailed design - that is, map every inch of the ground that the line will run, and design not only the tunnels but the tracks, the signal system, power lines, water drainage, stations, passageways, hydro interconnects, etc. This is a huge job that takes several years, and for a line like the extension to Vaughan runs well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Then there is the preliminary construction - things you have to do before you even build the main object or system that you are building. Moving sewers, building new roads and streetcar tracks, rerouting hydro wires, etc.

Don't just think that they decided one day to take a shovel and start tearing up Yonge Street - many years of work was done way before they even decided the date for that.

Dan

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Except that you can put seats on the trucks. Forgot about that already?

The way capacity measurements work is by taking the square footage of the usable floor area, not a volumetric measurement of the interior of the vehicle. A low-floor LRV has a pretty high number of usable floor area - not quite as high as a subway admittedly, but quite close.

The only thing that limits lrv capacity would be it's width compared to a traditional (ttc) subway. I doubt vehicle capacity will be an issue anywhere west of Kennedy.

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The only thing that limits lrv capacity would be it's width compared to a traditional (ttc) subway. I doubt vehicle capacity will be an issue anywhere west of Kennedy.

You're absolutely right. And with the width of the Transit City cars being 9 and a half feet (versus the almost 10 and a half feet of a subway car), they will be able to stuff a lot of people into them.

Dan

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