Jump to content

Recommended Posts

It is meant for local travel, and if the travel speeds are slower, and people have to spend a few more minutes, then so be it.

I'm not so sure it being "meant" for local travel since a lot of the point is LRT as a lower-cost alternative to subway. Nobody is talking about LRT as a more reliable bus, and yet that's realistically the major value if it's for local travel. The TTC's own technology comparisons bring subway into play and that doesn't seem to be consistent with the idea of a purely local service either.

But assuming that that's so, one thing that Metrolinx will need to do is to recognize that we have local (bus/LRT), medium length (subway, ALRT, possibly tunnelled LRT) and regional service (GO/REX) and their plan needs to provide overlap to accomodate journeys of different lengths. Transit City-style LRT may not be enough to eliminate the need for subway expansion - which may be where Metrolinx is coming from with the Eglinton "metro" idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not so sure it being "meant" for local travel since a lot of the point is LRT as a lower-cost alternative to subway. Nobody is talking about LRT as a more reliable bus, and yet that's realistically the major value if it's for local travel. The TTC's own technology comparisons bring subway into play and that doesn't seem to be consistent with the idea of a purely local service either.

Why should we talk about LRT being a "more" reliable bus? You may as well consider subways in that debate then. Subways can be built for local travel, and historically, legecy HRT systems have had close station spacings. But can you justify the cost today? Not really. It's time people stopped treating subways as the holy grail of technology that will solve the transportation problems in a corridor. Realistically with LRT, we will have an affordable line that will be built pretty quickly, and will handle the expected demands on the line well into the future. TTC's Technology comparison is considering the minimum needed to justify a subway. It's not exactly stating that a subway is required, or if a subway will even be justified in the future.

But assuming that that's so, one thing that Metrolinx will need to do is to recognize that we have local (bus/LRT), medium length (subway, ALRT, possibly tunnelled LRT) and regional service (GO/REX) and their plan needs to provide overlap to accomodate journeys of different lengths. Transit City-style LRT may not be enough to eliminate the need for subway expansion - which may be where Metrolinx is coming from with the Eglinton "metro" idea.

As it stands, Many people(including myself) believe that the Eglinton Line will provide a good mix of local, and longer distance travel. with a reasonably quick travel time. What I see with Metrolinx's plan is regional travel, with little regard to local travel. As it stands Transit City LRT is more than enough to justify that currently, a subway is needed, and will not be needed for decades to come.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As it stands, Many people(including myself) believe that the Eglinton Line will provide a good mix of local, and longer distance travel. with a reasonably quick travel time. What I see with Metrolinx's plan is regional travel, with little regard to local travel. As it stands Transit City LRT is more than enough to justify that currently, a subway is needed, and will not be needed for decades to come.

Oh, I understand your position. I'm just wondering what happens when people realize that we have spent $6 billion to replace a bunch of bus routes with LRT lines that only average 5 km/h faster, and as a negative, have increased their walking time to the nearest stop. Will they be happy with it or will they view that Transit City has done relatively little to actually improve their commuting experience? I don't really know the answer to that. I have no doubt that a solid LRT implementation would be a positive thing; I'm just not sure that the speed improvements being shown are really that helpful.

As for capacity, well again, we don't actually have any details on how those estimates were generated, so it's hard to know how to interpret them. Given current trends in fuel prices and environmental concerns, I have a hard time believing that a line running clear across the city would only generate a peak of 5000 riders per hour by 2031. The *ONLY* way that I can understand such a low estimate is if we are planning for "business as usual" with the vast majority of trips being in cars, and with relatively little densification along the routes (particularly for Eglinton where the potential seems highest).

As for Metrolinx, well, the major additions that they have shown above what was in MoveOntario is naturally in the longer distance modes (e.g. REX), because MoveOntario scooped up most of the local plans (e.g. Transit City) that had been out there already. I do see some local improvements being shown in their test cases, but you're right that it is critical that Metrolinx address the local trips as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't bother quoting anybody in particular...

All these Transit City lines are designed based on corridors, and this is what they should be designed on, what's best overall for the corridor.

If we focus on Eglinton here, the main service in the corridor are the 32 and 34 Eglinton bus routes. There are also numerous bus routes currently using Eglinton to get to the subway (54, 56, 100 are prime examples in the east end; 5, 61 and 63 are west end examples to a lesser degree). What we need to understand is that we have existing demand, and Transit City should more or less be an evaluation of the corridor's needs, and implementing a technology that provides the best service to the corridor. We're starting with a bus route, with close stop spacing and therefore a slower time. There aren't any express routes along Eglinton (in fact, 54's express branch ends at Lawrence East RT station, not even touching Eglinton), which to me rings a bell saying that the corridor doesn't need express service.

As Transit City should be considered an upgrade to the route (as I said above), we should follow existing demands. Keep close stop spacing when possible.

As an example, we go back to Sheppard. Residents along Sheppard still use the 85 bus instead of walking into the station (even if they live right at the station). This should tell you that it still has local demand. The residents aren't willing to walk long distances to their stop, they want the closer service (even if it means waiting longer for the bus). If we build the Sheppard-style subway many are talking about, it won't serve the demand of the corridor; you'll have stations every 2 km and the local residents (remember, who we're building the corridor for) will be forced to get either a long walk or a long wait.

Link to post
Share on other sites
All these Transit City lines are designed based on corridors, and this is what they should be designed on, what's best overall for the corridor.

Ah, but that wasn't what was proposed when Transit City was first announced. The Transit City web site at http://www.transitcity.ca/index.php?option...4&Itemid=28 says that TC will offer (my boldface):

* much-faster travel between the major areas of Toronto, offering people a truly travel-time competitive and less-stressful alternative to private cars

* highly-reliable and frequent service in road space reserved for transit customers, eliminating the delays caused by operation in mixed traffic

* fully-accessible design, so that people with all levels of mobility can use the service with confidence and ease

* direct rapid transit links to areas that are currently far removed from rapid transit, including the north, west, and eastern areas of Toronto

* connections with all existing rapid transit routes and proposed extensions, to provide additional travel opportunities and the greatest possible integration of the new lines into the TTC rapid transit network

* connections or connection opportunities to the Greater Toronto regional transit network, including Mississauga, York Region, and Durham Region

* connection opportunities to all GO Transit rail lines; and

In other words, this was originally presented as a rapid transit service that was much faster than the bus routes and comparable to cars, and with regional implications. How did we get from that to 22 km/h service speeds?

Funny how Steve Munro and others have been going after Metrolinx over proposing a subway and ignoring public input (even before Metrolinx's actual proposal is out), while ignoring the fact that the Transit City we're getting is not the one we were promised, nor the one that the provincial government agreed to fund.

The infrastructure and route planning is fine overall (although I think stop spacing is tighter than it should be as a "rapid transit" line), but it sounds as if real signal priority has disappeared from the plans. These vehicles are going to spend a lot of time waiting for red lights to change.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I understand your position. I'm just wondering what happens when people realize that we have spent $6 billion to replace a bunch of bus routes with LRT lines that only average 5 km/h faster, and as a negative, have increased their walking time to the nearest stop. Will they be happy with it or will they view that Transit City has done relatively little to actually improve their commuting experience? I don't really know the answer to that. I have no doubt that a solid LRT implementation would be a positive thing; I'm just not sure that the speed improvements being shown are really that helpful.

The answer would seem to be favouring all out subway construction, but who knows? Do not take offense to this, but I am seeing that people seem to only focused on speed, and travel times. To me, it seems to be a tad insulting to transit riders. Travel time is important. We all know that. But we cannot justify building a subway network just to get an extra 5-6km/h average. The Eglinton LRT is attempting a compromise, and from what I have learned from residents at the Thursday, there seems to be little complaint about the station spacings, and average speed. Considering the vast improvement that any rail-based system is going to have over the bus, I do not think people are going to complain too much about spending an extra 4-5 minutes walking.

I do believe that the TTC is making a mistake in totally scrapping the surface bus routes, though.

In my opinion, any improvement over taking a crowded bus is good. Being a regular user of the 32 Eglinton bus, I have a feeling the underground LRT is going to be quite popular.

As for capacity, well again, we don't actually have any details on how those estimates were generated, so it's hard to know how to interpret them. Given current trends in fuel prices and environmental concerns, I have a hard time believing that a line running clear across the city would only generate a peak of 5000 riders per hour by 2031. The *ONLY* way that I can understand such a low estimate is if we are planning for "business as usual" with the vast majority of trips being in cars, and with relatively little densification along the routes (particularly for Eglinton where the potential seems highest).

Have the current estimate taken into account the emergence of electric vehicles, and hybrid/plug-in hybrids? We are looking are fuel prices, and environmental concerns, but it seems that people are not really looking at the whole picture, in that many people are switching over to cars with better fuel economy, and that electric vehicles are slowly entering the market., and some people will still own a car, but will use transit more often. I do not believe that the TTC is planning for a *business as usual* scenario. I do believe that the TTC's estimates are low. But I do not believe the estimates are so high to justify HRT. or ART/VAL construction. Also, with the line intersecting 3 subway lines(B-D twice), and 2 potential LRT corridors, maybe the number make sense. Maybe it is expected the higher numbers will be brief before they transfer to a subway. I experience that on the 32. It is packed, until the bus reaches Eg. West, and then the bus is half full. Who knows?

Is the type of densification the city wants even possible with subways? I look at Sheppard, and I do not think it is. There is potential, but I do not think a subway will bring the potential that is required on Eglinton.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The answer would seem to be favouring all out subway construction, but who knows? Do not take offense to this, but I am seeing that people seem to only focused on speed, and travel times.

Oh, there's no doubt that LRT will be a better quality trip than buses. It just seems to me that a component of the original TC plan has quietly slipped away without anyone really noticing. Note that there is NO mention of signal priority in any of the TC EA boards, even though they do include speed estimates and signal priority (or lack thereoff) would be a component of the speed estimate. It was proposed as rapid transit, and what we're getting now does not really justify the term. Whether the speed is the key issue is besides the point - the point is that something has been changed without an explanation being given.

Have the current estimate taken into account the emergence of electric vehicles, and hybrid/plug-in hybrids? We are looking are fuel prices, and environmental concerns, but it seems that people are not really looking at the whole picture, in that many people are switching over to cars with better fuel economy, and that electric vehicles are slowly entering the market., and some people will still own a car, but will use transit more often. I do not believe that the TTC is planning for a *business as usual* scenario. I do believe that the TTC's estimates are low. But I do not believe the estimates are so high to justify HRT. or ART/VAL construction.

There's no doubt that it's difficult to model. But at least Metrolinx has spelled out the assumptions of their modelling in the white paper. TTC has not, and it's a concern.

As a side note, there is a core of young urban transit buffs who show up at Metronauts events who seem to believe that the private car will be gone in 20 years. That may indeed happen, but I am far more willing to bet on much cleaner vehicles. There are simply too many kinds of trips that transit cannot enable as well as cars, and that's one reason why even Metrolinx's most aggressive test case only shows a 30% transit usage (across the GTAH, higher in Toronto) by 2031.

Is the type of densification the city wants even possible with subways? I look at Sheppard, and I do not think it is. There is potential, but I do not think a subway will bring the potential that is required on Eglinton.

Also a very good point - but was densification taken into account in the models? Perhaps something like a smaller scale ALRT implementation as a westward extension of the Scarborough RT (as rumours state Metrolinx wants to do) DOES make sense instead of a subway. Of course, this would have to be a properly planned ALRT implementation (e.g. Skytrain) rather than the current RT, and of course, we'd have to look at cost/benefit.

I guess in the end I find this very frustrating. We have lots of argumentation going back and forth between camps, but very little hard data to base decisions on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, there's no doubt that LRT will be a better quality trip than buses. It just seems to me that a component of the original TC plan has quietly slipped away without anyone really noticing. Note that there is NO mention of signal priority in any of the TC EA boards, even though they do include speed estimates and signal priority (or lack thereoff) would be a component of the speed estimate. It was proposed as rapid transit, and what we're getting now does not really justify the term. Whether the speed is the key issue is besides the point - the point is that something has been changed without an explanation being given.

Why does signal priority matter at this early point? It is easily implemented, and does not need an EA to be installed by itself.

From what I'm hearing, it seems that speed is only an issue because Metrolinx thinks that it is. Most riders will be happy to have a seat and a vehicle that does not get stuck in traffic.

To be frank, I'm not sure where the TTC is getting their average speed numbers, but at this point, they are simply numbers and can be easily changed.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why does signal priority matter at this early point? It is easily implemented, and does not need an EA to be installed by itself.

Understood, but the TTC has made an issue of average speed without telling us whether TSP is a part of their speed estimates.

From what I'm hearing, it seems that speed is only an issue because Metrolinx thinks that it is. Most riders will be happy to have a seat and a vehicle that does not get stuck in traffic.

If you're talking about bus replacements, sure. But the TTC and the City sold this as a "rapid transit" route.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Understood, but the TTC has made an issue of average speed without telling us whether TSP is a part of their speed estimates.

True, but if I'm not mistaken they have also said that the average speed given is just a projection.

While I'm sure that the speed of all of the Transit City lines will be a marked improvement over the current situations, I'm not in a hurry to take the TTC to task if their projections were a little off. If the lines are slower, however - that's a different story, although also very unlikely.

If you're talking about bus replacements, sure. But the TTC and the City sold this as a "rapid transit" route.

And it will be more rapid than the bus it is replacing, plus it will be almost immune to surface traffic effects. So what's the issue?

It's not like "rapid transit" is a hard-and-fast term anyways.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
While I'm sure that the speed of all of the Transit City lines will be a marked improvement over the current situations, I'm not in a hurry to take the TTC to task if their projections were a little off. If the lines are slower, however - that's a different story, although also very unlikely.

I recognize that they are projections and that reality will inevitably be somewhat different. My concern is that Transit City was sold as an inexpensive alternative to subways providing comparable service, albeit at lower capacities.

My concern is that when these things open, service that meets the 22 km/h projections will be very satistfactory to current bus riders along those corridors - but if the goal was to get "slightly better" bus service, we could do that without spending $6 billion + on it. The goal of TC has always been to build a grid of rapid transit routes that attract *new* ridership, and I'm just not convinced that what we're seeing out of the EA process meets that goal. In short, existing riders will be happy, but these lines (Eglinton as a possible exception due to the tunnelled section) won't do much to attract new ridership.

Since these lines appear to be going ahead, inter-agency squabblings over Eglinton aside, I hope that I'm wrong. I want to see LRT succeed in Toronto. I'm just concerned that these will be another half-hearted TTC implementation unless a solid TSP implementation is a part of the deal from the beginning. I fear that we are going to get another Spadina.

And as an aside - true, TSP doesn't strictly need to be an in EA - but neither do specific platform configurations for tunnelled stations. The fact is that these EAs are doing preliminary design work, and TSP very much should be a part of that process.

Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I hope so.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I recognize that they are projections and that reality will inevitably be somewhat different. My concern is that Transit City was sold as an inexpensive alternative to subways providing comparable service, albeit at lower capacities.

Agreed.

My concern is that when these things open, service that meets the 22 km/h projections will be very satistfactory to current bus riders along those corridors - but if the goal was to get "slightly better" bus service, we could do that without spending $6 billion + on it. The goal of TC has always been to build a grid of rapid transit routes that attract *new* ridership, and I'm just not convinced that what we're seeing out of the EA process meets that goal. In short, existing riders will be happy, but these lines (Eglinton as a possible exception due to the tunnelled section) won't do much to attract new ridership.

I suppose you're entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that if any sort of improvement is to be made in terms of allowing people to get from point "A" to point "B", we are going to need a network of transit lines laced across the City.

I will admit that LRT was not my first choice of mode for the lines, but at this point it's better than the status quo, and we don't need to mortgage our future to pay for them.

I think that the lines will go a long way towards bringing new people to the system - my worry is that once they get from the new lines, the old ones won't have room for them.

Since these lines appear to be going ahead, inter-agency squabblings over Eglinton aside, I hope that I'm wrong. I want to see LRT succeed in Toronto. I'm just concerned that these will be another half-hearted TTC implementation unless a solid TSP implementation is a part of the deal from the beginning. I fear that we are going to get another Spadina.

Agreed. But again, I don't think we need to be worrying about signal priority just yet. Let's get the lines planned out first - once we know where the intersections, stops and interchanges are, then we can worry about the little things, like integrating signal priority into the existing intersections.

And as an aside - true, TSP doesn't strictly need to be an in EA - but neither do specific platform configurations for tunnelled stations. The fact is that these EAs are doing preliminary design work, and TSP very much should be a part of that process.

Again, your opinion - I don't think that it should be. Signal priority is not going to make the difference whether the lines will be a success or fail horribly - things like station spacing and stop locations are.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've added comments on the Toronto Sun story to the streetcar news thread; it doesn't really belong here as this order of cars won't even see service on Transit City lines. They are for existing routes only. I suggest we discuss it over there. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we very much SHOULD be worried about signal priority. If we can't do it right on the non-tunneled portions of Eglinton, then Eglinton will end up as big of a mess as the Queen and King streetcars.

Transit City was specifically come up with as a poor man's subway network. It was something that Toronto was willing to fund itself, that it could afford without breaking the bank, and without the help of the federal government. The fact that we have money possibly flowing from all three levels of government who are suddenly concerned with looking green, indicates to me that we should have a serious discussion about what method is appropriate for what corridor, based on what we have built already.

It does NOT mean we should shutter the Sheppard line and replace it with LRT. Sheppard should be finished, otherwise it'll always be a stump, which in my mind is even worse. The SRT should be rid of completely, with Danforth extended to STC. Once Sheppard and Danforth end at STC, there'll be no need for further subway expansion in the east end. LRT can go from there.

LRT with provision for future conversion to subway along Eglinton might be sufficient for now. But I feel we'd get bigger bang for the buck over the LONG TERM if we built the subway right away than thinking we might ever convert it from LRT to subway in the future, seeing as that has never been done anywhere.

The DRL should definitely be subway, and in my opinion it should run under Queen Street.

So I mostly agree with Metrolinx I guess ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think we very much SHOULD be worried about signal priority. If we can't do it right on the non-tunneled portions of Eglinton, then Eglinton will end up as big of a mess as the Queen and King streetcars.

Two very, very big problems with your theory:

One: Queen and King both have signal priority.

Two: The Transit City lines (Eglinton included) will run on their own private-right-of-way - Queen and King for the most part do not.

So with those two points in mind - how the hell could Eglinton ever get as messed up as Queen or King?

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

David, you'll be happy to know that ALL of the Transit City lines will have priority signals at all intersections.

I was talking to one of the staff at tonight's meeting (who's name I have since forgotten), and he explained that because it is already set up on all streetcar lines, and because it just made sense that they didn't mention it in any of the literature.

He also went on to explain that the system to be used on the Transit City lines will be different than that of the regular streetcar lines - the cars will activate the signal priority upon leaving the previous stop, rather than at the intersection as they arrive at it.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Clearly if a lot of people were wondering what was going to happen then it wasn't as clear as they thought.

I pointed that out to the TTC staff, and he said that they would try and make that more clear in subsequent reports.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
He also went on to explain that the system to be used on the Transit City lines will be different than that of the regular streetcar lines - the cars will activate the signal priority upon leaving the previous stop, rather than at the intersection as they arrive at it.

Sounds as if the intent is to time things so that the light will change "just in time" for the vehicle's arrival at the intersection. If so, this is very good news.

I assume that TC will generally be far-side stops? It's shown in some, but not all, of the individual route EA display boards.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds as if the intent is to time things so that the light will change "just in time" for the vehicle's arrival at the intersection. If so, this is very good news.

I assume that TC will generally be far-side stops? It's shown in some, but not all, of the individual route EA display boards.

He explained that virtually all stops would be far-side, and that it was projected that with this early-activated signal priority system that things should move along quite fluidly with minimal bunching.

We shall see how well it all works together however whenever the first line is up and running.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Even though, I expected far-side stops with signal priority, it is very good to have it confirmed by the TTC.

Exactly. These kinds of details need to be discussed early and often so that Toronto Traffic gets the message as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...