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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #1
Gil
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Blue22 | Proposed | 30 km | $??? Million | Former Toronto, York, & Etobicoke

In other news... The Toronto Sun is reporting on the possible relaunch of the Blue-22 service.

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Originally Posted by The Toronto Sun
Sun, July 6, 2008
Airport rail link may fly
High-level talks could see work begin as early as next year

By JONATHAN JENKINS AND ANTONELLA ARTUSO, SUN MEDIA


This level crossing on John St. in Weston is at the heart of local opposition to an airport link. (MARK O'NEILL/Sun Media)


For years it's been the little engine that couldn't.

But high-level talks between Queen's Park and SNC-Lavalin are building steam, and construction could begin on a rail link from Union Station to Pearson Airport as early as 2009 -- more than a year after the long-sought after train was originally intended to start running.

A senior provincial government source told Sun Media that sensitive talks are under way with SNC-Lavalin and will continue throughout the summer.

The province is interested in proceeding with the project if negotiations go well.

"We'll be able to move forward," the source said.

If the timeline unfolds as anticipated, an environmental assessment would begin this fall and construction on the actual air-rail link could start as early as late 2009.

Dalton McGuinty's cabinet has instructed Infrastructure Ontario to work with regional planning authority Metrolinx and the company to see if there can be an agreement in principle by this fall.

SNC was picked to design, build, operate and maintain the service in 2003 in a deal that gave it the right to negotiate with Ontario, GO Transit and CN Rail.

The air-rail link is expected to figure prominently in a regional transportation plan being prepared by Metrolinx, originally slated for release at the end of this month but now expected after Labour Day.

The environmental assessment will also consider whether a stop should be built in the politically sensitive riding of York South-Weston, Sun Media has learned, a swing seat home to ardent critics of the Union-Pearson train link.

The air-rail link is seen as vital to the McGuinty government's $17-billion Move 2020 transit expansion plan. It's also critical to keeping Toronto a player on the world stage and capturing the 2015 Pan Am Games.

First announced in 2000, the plan to connect Union Station to the international airport 30 km away was intended to plug a massive hole in the regional transportation system -- a link almost every other major global centre has -- and firm up Toronto's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2008 summer Olympics, soon to kick off in Beijing.

When SNC-Lavalin was chosen in 2003 to build the line, it dubbed it Blue22 for the length of time the trip would take and pegged the fare at $20. The system was to be running by 2008.

GO Transit and SNC filed terms of reference for an environmental assessment of the scheme, along with other proposals for expansion of service along the Georgetown rail corridor in October 2006.

That document has remained on the environment minister's desk ever since. Greg Ashbee, manager for rail expansion projects with GO Transit, said he would have expected the terms of reference to be approved and the assessment under way by now. "We need to hear soon because we need to expand service in the Georgetown corridor," Ashbee said.

Part of the delay could be sensitivity to the complaints of Weston residents resisting rail expansion through the heart of their neighbourhood,

Liberal MPP Laura Albanese, who opposes a high-speed train, said: "I think the fact that the terms of reference have been with the ministry for so long means that they are listening to the concerns of the community."

Now she believes winning a station stop for the air-rail link in Weston will mollify the community's concerns.

"It would slow the train down and it would be just like a GO train," she said. "It could put Weston back on the map."

In the meantime, potential travellers, suppliers and even the airport itself are left waiting on the platform wondering if the train will ever arrive.

Scott Armstrong, spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, said work prepping the airport for the link is already done and is just waiting for a train.

"We're hopeful it will go forward, but we're not making any assumptions," he said.

Industrial Rail Services, the Moncton company lined up to refurbish the rail diesel cars SNC hoped to use on the run, said it could have had all the work done in less time than the province has spent reviewing the environmental assessment terms of reference.

"If they're still prepared to use refurbished (diesel cars) we have 25 of them sitting in our backyard," vice-president Chris Evers said. "(But) we would have to have a contract signed before we turn a wrench."

The torturously slow progress is also wearing on the federal government, which kicked off the plan when Jean Chretien was prime minister.

"The environmental assessment for this project has been bogged down for two years now, with no sign of any progress," federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a December 2007 speech to the Toronto Board of Trade. "The lack of a fast, frequent connection to downtown from the airport in a world-class city such as Toronto is turning into an embarrassment."

His office issued a statement earlier this week reiterating his position and calling the delays "unacceptable".

"We continue to await information from Ontario with regards to the provincial environmental assessment and how the project can be advanced," the statement said.

That process may well be much easier now that Ontario has introduced a new streamlined regime for transit projects, ensuring a decision on approval is made within six months of the assessment being completed.

GO Transit is even considering withdrawing the terms of reference that were originally submitted in 2006 and submitting them again under the new rules, Ashbee said.

OBJECTIONS LIMITED

Besides giving a firm date for a decision, the new rules limit objections against a project to issues of province-wide concern, aboriginal rights or health issues.

"It can't just be 'I don't want trains in my backyard,' " Ashbee said.

Details of the service will be have to be thrashed out in talks now ongoing between the province and SNC.

Halton regional chairman Gary Carr, a board member of Metrolinx, said the agency is looking at three or four possible scenarios for transit improvements that would require different investment commitments.

"There has been talk about the link to the airport -- how would that fit in, how much is that going to cost and what's the time frame," he said.

Because the Metrolinx board brings together representatives from across the GTA region, it can look at transit improvements from a broader perspective, he said.

"For example, if we do do a link to the airport, that could be a hub for buses from Oakville and Milton, and so on ... So we're looking at the whole region, as opposed to in the past when it was just a link between the airport and Toronto."
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Old July 7th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #2
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horrible news
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #3
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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The idea of running express buses from Mississauga/Brampton/Milton to the airport, then have passengers transfer to an express train service to downtown, is quite intriguing. Perhaps this type of routing can pick up passengers not within close proximity of GO train stations?
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Old July 7th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #5
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Weston braces for rail-link row
'Blue 22' study takes many locals by surprise

By AMY CHUNG, SUN MEDIA

News that construction of a controversial high-speed rail link from Union station to the airport could start next year has startled some city councillors and community members.

Blue 22, the contentious air-rail transit line first proposed in 2003, resurfaced when a senior provincial government source told the Sunday Sun that discussions between the province and SNC-Lavalin, the company that will build the line, are underway.

"This is very disappointing," said Frances Nunziata, Ward 11 councillor of York South-Weston. "The line goes right through Weston -- we have homes, schools and churches just a few feet away from the tracks."

Nunziata said the Weston community has already collected thousands of signatures opposing the line and was surprised to hear construction could start in early 2009.

"I know they were going to run through an environmental assessment, but that was the last I heard of it," she added.

As the name suggests, the line would provide a 22-minute ride from Union Station to Pearson Airport at $20 a pop.

However, community members complain the proposed route threatens to shut down main streets in Weston, partitioning the community in half.

Community members from the Weston Community Coalition said they would rather see an underground, publicly run rail line.

"There is no doubt that Toronto needs a link between Union Station and the airport, but it should not be a privately run line.

"They should have an express and non-express route so the public can take advantage of this line. What is the point of having this if there are no stops to pick anyone up?" asks Al Pietersma, a member of the Weston Community Coalition.

50-YEAR CONTROL

The retired University of Toronto professor also noted that SNC-Lavalin would have control over the line for at least 50 years, and worries any future development for public transportation would be in jeopardy. A subway extension from Eglinton West station to the airport was in the works, but Ontario's former Tory government killed it in the mid-90s. .

Blue 22 is part of the McGuinty government's MoveOntario 2020 plan to improve transit services in the province.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The idea of running express buses from Mississauga/Brampton/Milton to the airport, then have passengers transfer to an express train service to downtown, is quite intriguing. Perhaps this type of routing can pick up passengers not within close proximity of GO train stations?
What would make it any different from other GO Train stations though? If a slew of buses routed into Dixie or Rutherford GO Stations for the suburbanites, the amount of stops between the station they arrive and Union would be the same as the airport express route; 1 (the airport express line would stop at Bloor GO). This idea that the airport is some big mega-transit node is a little absurd; the airport is located in an industrial area with some very tourist-oriented commercial sectors in the areas closest to the airport passenger terminals. There is otherwise nothing there and this is not the place to focus a lot of transit energy. Pearson is important, but it is not important in the common resident's day-to-day life, and there is no argument for trying to force this to change.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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It's about damn time.

Wonderful news.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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Wonderful news.
This is an uneducated comment.

Nothing wrong with ignorance, but to act like it is a good thing just because of what it does on the surface is a dangerous attitude.

Anybody that knows a thing or two about the Blue22 evil plot is aware of how bad a plan it is.

Train service to Pearson is a good thing, but only if done well. There's good ways and bad ways with almost everything. Blue22 is a really bad way to service Pearson, by far. It really is a no-brainer when you think about it for a few minutes.

Most noteworthy is the fact that this is marketed in such a way that nobody but tourists and business travellers would use it.

Worse though is the fact that for the sake of serving a small travelling population that isn't even Torontonian, or even Canadian in most cases, we are building something that is going to have very negative impacts on the areas of the city it passes through, in some areas it may even result in slums.

There is no reason that this cannot be a GO Train based service. As such a service, making stops at Weston and Bloor on route (I don't see much purpose stopping at Etobicoke North, the regular Georgetown service is good enough for that), it will be little different from the Blue22 service, but would be usable by the general public.

This SNC-Lavalin shit is a prime example of why P3 projects suck. If it was all private or all public, we wouldn't have this kind of backdoor bullshit. The fundamental problem with P3, I argue, is that the public portion and the private portion are always trying to screw the other over in an effort to get the better deal, that's why they get involved with them in the first place; this is includes setting one of the parties up as a scapegoat, which I am quite sure is what SNC-Lavalin is planning to use the Government for when the negative impacts of the service they are trying to build are realized. If this was a purely private venture (for example, run by CN, although that is very unrealistic), then they wouldn't be so inconsiderate to the consequences of this on the people and the city in general like SNC-Lavalin is being. And the 50-year term condition makes it worse; they can just leave it to rot after the damage has been done and not have to worry about it after that.

Weston and Carlton Village, possibly to a lesser extent Brockton Village, are going to suffer from the Blue22 project if it goes through. This should be done by GO Transit in order to ensure a more resposible and harmonious result with the city and its residents, and the provincial government should definately not be involved in something like this; city hall, fine, they actually care, but the provincial government is too big to care about these details. GO Tranist is a provincial sub-body, but is veyr specialized in the Toronto area, so they do actually care about these details; just not the MTO.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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What would make it any different from other GO Train stations though? If a slew of buses routed into Dixie or Rutherford GO Stations for the suburbanites, the amount of stops between the station they arrive and Union would be the same as the airport express route; 1 (the airport express line would stop at Bloor GO). This idea that the airport is some big mega-transit node is a little absurd; the airport is located in an industrial area with some very tourist-oriented commercial sectors in the areas closest to the airport passenger terminals. There is otherwise nothing there and this is not the place to focus a lot of transit energy. Pearson is important, but it is not important in the common resident's day-to-day life, and there is no argument for trying to force this to change.
It's supposed to complement the GO service, as the Georgetown line frequencies drop off dramatically after the rush hour. Trains leave from Bramalea to Union only at 0905, 1015, 1215, and the last downtown-bound train departs at 1345. The rest of the time there is a bus service that rarely even goes to Union. The shuttle to Blue22 will at least provide a reasonably-fast train connection for Mississauga / Brampton residents into downtown when GO trains don't run.

Provided there are enough people from those suburbs into the city throughout the day, Blue22 may not be just an airport service after all. But considering the amount of traffic YYZ gets, is it not feasible to even provide several frequencies an hour train service?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
It's supposed to complement the GO service, as the Georgetown line frequencies drop off dramatically after the rush hour. Trains leave from Bramalea to Union only at 0905, 1015, 1215, and the last downtown-bound train departs at 1345. The rest of the time there is a bus service that rarely even goes to Union. The shuttle to Blue22 will at least provide a reasonably-fast train connection for Mississauga / Brampton residents into downtown when GO trains don't run.

Provided there are enough people from those suburbs into the city throughout the day, Blue22 may not be just an airport service after all. But considering the amount of traffic YYZ gets, is it not feasible to even provide several frequencies an hour train service?
For 20 dollars?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #11
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This is an uneducated comment.

Nothing wrong with ignorance, but to act like it is a good thing just because of what it does on the surface is a dangerous attitude.

Anybody that knows a thing or two about the Blue22 evil plot is aware of how bad a plan it is.
Honest question, why is Blue22 bad? It was proposed so many years ago, that now the only things I see are about how evil it is and people's one-liners about it.

Were they going to create new tracks by bulldozing neighborhoods down? How many new tracks were they going to create like this? Is the complaint more about the noise of the trains otherwise, because isn't is going to run on tracks which already exist for most of it?

How much would this actually cost taxpayers if the tickets are $20 and it's P3? Is the extra ease of travel for tourists and business travelers (thus making Toronto an even more attractive destination) and the decrease in pollution from those people using airport limos totally not worth it considering the negatives?

Are there any better alternatives which would help aside from extending the B-D line to the airport or building the Eglinton line (both of which would be not really that beneficial to people heading downtown)? Do we even care about people heading downtown, and are the projections for airport people NOT going downtown who would prefer to use transit over other modes that high as to make a downtown service a very low priority?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 10:33 PM   #12
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^Set up an S-Baun type service and it will benifit society greatly.

As is it is bad for both the community and limites future options.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #13
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Honest question, why is Blue22 bad? It was proposed so many years ago, that now the only things I see are about how evil it is and people's one-liners about it.
The biggest one-stop source of info regarding this is the Weston Community Coalition's website. The website is not the best design in the world, but the information is all there. I've gone into the details of this before, I'd hardly call it a one-liner as you so flatteringly put it.

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Were they going to create new tracks by bulldozing neighborhoods down? How many new tracks were they going to create like this? Is the complaint more about the noise of the trains otherwise, because isn't is going to run on tracks which already exist for most of it?
Yes, they are going to lay new tracks because the existing tracks are at times single-track only. These upgrades are going to go ahead anyway with GO Transit, but the Blue22 proposal adds even more tracks to it, including a new bridge over the Humber (which GO doesn't need, for example).

Part of it is noise; the engines for these high-speed trains are hulking diesel reburbished old tanks. For a measely 80km/h, which GO can surpass, these engines are easily making too much noise, but it is more than that.

The frequencies of this thing are said to require current at-grade crossings to be closed (grade-separation is extremely difficult with intersections on either side extremely close). This would make Lawrence the only street in the area through which you can cross the tracks around Weston for example. There are examples further south.

The city has already passed a policy that bans road closures for new railway operations. So they still have to find a way to work through that requirement.

The biggest slap in the face though is that they are going to cause so much noise, airborn dust, property devaluation, and community isolation, without even allowing the general public to take advantage of it since almost all locals would scoff at using such for their airport travel needs; the vast majority do not come from downtown according to a previous UofT study on the topic, available at the Weston Community Coalition website.

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How much would this actually cost taxpayers if the tickets are $20 and it's P3? Is the extra ease of travel for tourists and business travelers (thus making Toronto an even more attractive destination) and the decrease in pollution from those people using airport limos totally not worth it considering the negatives?
No way. The decrease in pollution is pretty measely because most people will not be headed downtown from the airport anyway. I don't see what Blue22 does that the Eglinton LRT can't accomplish in its own right (if designed properly).

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Are there any better alternatives which would help aside from extending the B-D line to the airport or building the Eglinton line (both of which would be not really that beneficial to people heading downtown)? Do we even care about people heading downtown, and are the projections for airport people NOT going downtown who would prefer to use transit over other modes that high as to make a downtown service a very low priority?
This is exactly part of the point, but B-D to the airport is such a non-starter, that's around 10km from Kipling to the airport, a very long extension with low benefit.
Eglinton is a little different, but why do you insist on a subway to the airport?! Demand is so low at the airport itself that LRT would be more than sufficient. If the Eglinton LRT interlines with Jane, then an LRT route from the airport to Bloor GO could be accomplished with that. If an express option is a requirement for airport service, fine, the Richview corridor has enough space to accomodate the 4-track LRT infrastructure until it meets the rail corridor.

From the junction area, they could branch the airport service either to B-D at Dundas West or to St.Clair. I would consider that kind of service easily superior to any express between Union and the airport only; I don't care if it is a teleporter, Union station is too out of the way for the general airport-using populace to make good use of; it should be integrated with other parts of the network.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:25 AM   #14
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It's supposed to complement the GO service, as the Georgetown line frequencies drop off dramatically after the rush hour. Trains leave from Bramalea to Union only at 0905, 1015, 1215, and the last downtown-bound train departs at 1345. The rest of the time there is a bus service that rarely even goes to Union. The shuttle to Blue22 will at least provide a reasonably-fast train connection for Mississauga / Brampton residents into downtown when GO trains don't run.

Provided there are enough people from those suburbs into the city throughout the day, Blue22 may not be just an airport service after all. But considering the amount of traffic YYZ gets, is it not feasible to even provide several frequencies an hour train service?
You completely missed the point; GO Train frequencies are going to go up on all lines anyway - the reason for the low frequencies right now is due to a)single-track corridor, and during rush hours b)fleet limitations.

Upgrades are already in progress - have been for a while but it doesn't happen overnight.

The point is that any GO Staiton can get more frequent service if it gets the same kind of infrastructure upgrades that the Blue22 project leads to. The buses can provide the same kind of node to any GO Station, they just don't right now because GO frequencies are too low at the moment.

Pearson doesn't need heavy rail; period. If you are going to give it heavy rail anyway, a train every 15 minutes will do - only a few trains an hour, not several, and I don't know why you think several heavy rail runs an hour could possibly be necessary at Pearson, anybody with any understanding of the airport travel patterns would know this.

Every 15 minutes is what big cities like Tokyo and London get with their express runs. Why in the world would Toronto need anything better than that?

Toronto can provide better through LRT though; a 3-car LRV every, say, 8 minutes (random example, but thereabouts) sounds like a better deal IMO; greater frequency, and probably would generate more demand as a result of the higher frequency, while being far more appropriate as a mode for the demand that can be expected.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #15
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For 20 dollars?
Although Blue22 was designed as an airport-dedicated service, an additional source of revenue would be to lure the average commuter. In this instance, fares can be lowered since the average commuter would normally be a 'lighter' load than a tourist. However, if the operator believes the trains are sufficiently full with airport passengers only, then making this a dual airport and commuter service wanes. But I think this type of arrangement would better utilize a line especially when GO service to Bramalea is spotty after rush hours.

How this can be implemented hinges on the smart card concept. You swipe your way onto a bus connecting to the airport rail station, then swipe again to get on Blue22. The two combined can lead to a fare savings, so the passenger will not be paying 20 dollars for the entire trip. Considering the GO ticket costs just over 5 dollars now, perhaps a reasonable fare would be somewhere around that?

Here's an example of how a similar concept has worked. In Sydney, passengers who use several stations along the airport line pay a huge premium, while passengers further down beyond the airport pay normal, much cheaper fares. Intuition says people who travel further should pay more, but that is not the case, since the operator intends to gouge people who travel to the airport, and the average commuter pays the regular fare.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:52 AM   #16
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Why can't we route a subway line into Pearson instead? No one is willing to fork out $22 one-way just to get to the airport. Heck, even from Union to Barrie is only $16. Blue 22 caters primarily to a business-class clientele. Bully for them but what about average Torontonians? Give us an Eglinton Subway line instead, for both local en route and airport destinations.

Also, it'd be far easier to just route shuttle buses out of Malton GO station (you know, the stop a mere five mins away from Terminal 3 ) every 20 mins (or less depending on demand levels) to meet a more regularly scheduled Georgetown train (at least 3 trips per hour, 20 hours a day). This way no additional infrastructure would be required in the Weston-Galt subdivision.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:54 AM   #17
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You completely missed the point; GO Train frequencies are going to go up on all lines anyway - the reason for the low frequencies right now is due to a)single-track corridor, and during rush hours b)fleet limitations.

Upgrades are already in progress - have been for a while but it doesn't happen overnight.
Is GO service to Bramalea / Georgetown being upgraded to a frequency that parallels Blue22? In fact, recent reports indicate that the Georgetown line expansion is now stalled as it is stuck at the environmental assessment stage. A Blue22 feeder service can easily get around the single track and fleet limitation constraints on the Georgetown line and make better use of a huge investment in the airport line.

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The point is that any GO Staiton can get more frequent service if it gets the same kind of infrastructure upgrades that the Blue22 project leads to. The buses can provide the same kind of node to any GO Station, they just don't right now because GO frequencies are too low at the moment.
The problem is the Georgetown line, or much of GO, is not going to get the same level of funding Blue22 is going to get from both the private and public sectors. So as the reality of Blue22 sets in, planning should start on how to best utilize this investment. If GO gets the same kind of investment is a great assumption, and can solve a lot of problems if it comes true, but it is not going to come true.

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Pearson doesn't need heavy rail; period. If you are going to give it heavy rail anyway, a train every 15 minutes will do - only a few trains an hour, not several, and I don't know why you think several heavy rail runs an hour could possibly be necessary at Pearson, anybody with any understanding of the airport travel patterns would know this.
Every 15 minutes is what big cities like Tokyo and London get with their express runs. Why in the world would Toronto need anything better than that?

Toronto can provide better through LRT though; a 3-car LRV every, say, 8 minutes (random example, but thereabouts) sounds like a better deal IMO; greater frequency, and probably would generate more demand as a result of the higher frequency, while being far more appropriate as a mode for the demand that can be expected.
The proposed service is every 15 minutes, hence several (4) trains an hour. But frequency alone is only part of the revenue management question, as we need to know how long the trains are and what their actual capacities are to judge against other similar airport rail services. Are they running GO-style trains that have a lot of capacity? I don't think so. In fact, if you assume an airport-dedicated service is not feasible, then it supports my suggestion that adding a commuter service to it would be necessary.

At this point it seems construction will likely start even though a lot of your questions on economic feasibility still linger. While I have my doubts on how full the trains will be given the percentage of travellers heading downtown is proportionately low for Pearson, perhaps it's time to accept the fact that this is going ahead and start thinking about what's the best way to minimize the likelihood of a major flop coming in a few years. Revenue diversification, such as a commuter service, should feature prominently now.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #18
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Is GO service to Bramalea / Georgetown being upgraded to a frequency that parallels Blue22? In fact, recent reports indicate that the Georgetown line expansion is now stalled as it is stuck at the environmental assessment stage. A Blue22 feeder service can easily get around the single track and fleet limitation constraints on the Georgetown line and make better use of a huge investment in the airport line.
The reason it is stuck at the EA stage is BECAUSE of Blue22!!! Blue22 was directly tied to the Georgetown enhancement EA, but was separated last year or so. The MoE has been sitting on it ever since, and the recent news about Blue22 certainly seems to send a loud signal as to why - the separation of the two was interpreted by some, myself included, to mean Blue22 has officially died. MoE is holding GO back for their selfish and foolish Blue22 BS.



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The problem is the Georgetown line, or much of GO, is not going to get the same level of funding Blue22 is going to get from both the private and public sectors. So as the reality of Blue22 sets in, planning should start on how to best utilize this investment. If GO gets the same kind of investment is a great assumption, and can solve a lot of problems if it comes true, but it is not going to come true.
GO has a whopping 96% cost-recovery ratio these days. If it gets to 100%, well within the realm of possibility now, then it is no longer subsidized and can take advantage of all the government support available for capital expansion that is only available to systems that are not subisidized - Blue22 can access that level of funding since it is unsubsidized as a not-yet-existent entity.

That said, GO should not have private sector involvement beyond the railways it rents track time from.

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The proposed service is every 15 minutes, hence several (4) trains an hour.
OK, you call 4 "several", I call it "a few" (several would be like 6 an hour (ev.10 min.) or better, but whatever).
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
But frequency alone is only part of the revenue management question, as we need to know how long the trains are and what their actual capacities are to judge against other similar airport rail services. Are they running GO-style trains that have a lot of capacity? I don't think so. In fact, if you assume an airport-dedicated service is not feasible, then it supports my suggestion that adding a commuter service to it would be necessary.
Except you don't "add" a NEW commuter service, you "expand" the EXISTING commuter service, as it is much, much friendlier to everyone that way.

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At this point it seems construction will likely start even though a lot of your questions on economic feasibility still linger. While I have my doubts on how full the trains will be given the percentage of travellers heading downtown is proportionately low for Pearson, perhaps it's time to accept the fact that this is going ahead and start thinking about what's the best way to minimize the likelihood of a major flop coming in a few years. Revenue diversification, such as a commuter service, should feature prominently now.
No, the best course of action is to get Metrolinx to not support the project; they haven't yet, and if they can be convinced to withold support for Blue22, the province would likely be somewhat obligated to listen. If Metrolinx can join with the TTC to form a LRT link between the airport and the 3 major subway lines (St.Clair West, St.Clair, and Dundas West (or Jane, but I find that one less likely), then that will provide the best solution, both short- and long-term.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 06:41 AM   #19
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Honest question, why is Blue22 bad? It was proposed so many years ago, that now the only things I see are about how evil it is and people's one-liners about it.

Were they going to create new tracks by bulldozing neighborhoods down? How many new tracks were they going to create like this? Is the complaint more about the noise of the trains otherwise, because isn't is going to run on tracks which already exist for most of it?

How much would this actually cost taxpayers if the tickets are $20 and it's P3? Is the extra ease of travel for tourists and business travelers (thus making Toronto an even more attractive destination) and the decrease in pollution from those people using airport limos totally not worth it considering the negatives?

Are there any better alternatives which would help aside from extending the B-D line to the airport or building the Eglinton line (both of which would be not really that beneficial to people heading downtown)? Do we even care about people heading downtown, and are the projections for airport people NOT going downtown who would prefer to use transit over other modes that high as to make a downtown service a very low priority?
Blue 22 originated by some smart ass federal liberal who thought he was going to change the world by initiating it. But it completely ignore that Airport travellers don't only go to union station.

The biggest problem I have with it is that it will take away service improvement from GO trains using the same track, it will be overly expensive, and it is a private operation being heavily subsidized.

An express airport link should be much better integrated with GO and include service to the other GO stations. The current plan has held back GO rail improvements for many years now.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #20
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Except you don't "add" a NEW commuter service, you "expand" the EXISTING commuter service, as it is much, much friendlier to everyone that way.

No, the best course of action is to get Metrolinx to not support the project; they haven't yet, and if they can be convinced to withold support for Blue22, the province would likely be somewhat obligated to listen. If Metrolinx can join with the TTC to form a LRT link between the airport and the 3 major subway lines (St.Clair West, St.Clair, and Dundas West (or Jane, but I find that one less likely), then that will provide the best solution, both short- and long-term.
I thought Metrolinx was never on the bandwagon as Blue22 was purely an SNC Lavalin - government initiative, and as such, falls outside the new GTA transit authority. In that case, Metrolinx's support, or lack of, would not matter and construction can still go ahead.

While I agree that expanding existing capacity is the way to go, it looks like Blue22 is likely going ahead first, and as GO still doesn't have access to capital (government aid) for a major upgrade of the Georgetown line, perhaps we should look at Blue22 to bring about that service expansion in the interim.

But then, I'd think that the Blue22 planners would have thought of revenue streams beforehand. Time will tell whether their views on an airport-dedicated link will work.
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