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Old June 29th, 2012, 05:19 AM   #1
JulianLi
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How to make Toronto to be one of best transit cities using existing fund

Hello, everyone.
I have written a transit plan suggestion for Toronto.
I post my GTA Urban Express Rail Grid plan for your discussion.
The plan is an innovative an innovative transit plan of Great Toronto Area urban electrified rail grid, which can build with existing public transit fund, relieve all the transit congestion in the city, cut off 40 % commuting time, and make Toronto to be one of best Transit City in North America.
You can read the plan at http://www.slideshare.net/julianli/gta-urban-express-rail-grid.
Or http://youtu.be/esQdQZXj89M
GTA Urban Express Rail Grid uses existing surface rail corridors for public rapid rail transit covering most Toronto area with two loops, one is GTA loop, and another is Toronto Downtown loop. You can find the detail in my 106 pages ppt.
I sent the plan to Toronto City Council, Metrolinx and Ontario Ministry of Transportation in February, 2012. Although most feedbacks are very positive, the problem is that the plan gives out some kind economical final solution for Toronto transit and according to the plan many existing transit plans might not be necessary or need big updating , these changes are quite not easily made by those authorities. For example, Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Sheppard Subway are not necessary if the GTA Urban Express Rail Grid can be adopted, and the Grid can be finished with existing fund. Even Big Move plan could be updated with a total cast less than 30 billion for 30 -40 % cut of commuting time, not at existing estimation of 50 billion for cutting 7 minutes of commuting time.

I post the plan here and let people and transit professionals to discuss, comment and criticise it. If you think that the plan is really worth these transit plan changes from the authorities, please speak out to them.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #2
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Looks nice and all, but what is with the grammer? "no good serving for inner city passenger" you should check your grammer if you you want to make such radical changes like this to a plan that is already under construction.


The thing with these rail corridors is that they often run through small residential areas, and don't hit any of the trip generating locations. The stouffville sub runs close to STC, but still misses completely. A 2km range Is a bit far to walk as well don't you think? (looking at your visual showing 80% of the population being within 2km of a stop)
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Old June 30th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #3
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Hi, Innsertnamehere
Thank your reply. I know my English is some kind awkward as a ten years’ immigrant. The presentation was sent hastily to the City Council without careful proofreading in February, because that I want they could change the idea to fire Gary Webster, if we had the third option, the fighting between LRT and Subway should not be too fiery like that.
The station spacing in the system normally is above 2 KM, which is the distance between major road intersections.
GTA urban express rail grid is the arterial transit circulation, which operate at high speed and high load with high area coverage, so the station spacing could not be too small. Otherwise we can just get a capillary system, not an arterial system. Like as Hwy 401, the Hwy outlet spacing could be similar to the station spacing of an Express Rail.
The Grid uses the go train corridor for both inter-city commuter and urban commuter, the precondition is the future travel time should not exceed the existing travel time when you add more stations in the midway, so you have to increase the full speed, then the distance of accelerating and braking will also be increased, the station spacing about 2 km would be at a limitation edge.
Another problem is the ridership. When they discuss the subway issues, they said the population around the station should exceed a certain number. With 1 km station spacing, most of Toronto areas cannot meet with the criteria because of the low population density in the city. But with 2 km station spacing, there will be no problem in ridership, and the system operation can be economically reasonable.
Local feed bus can delivery passenger in 5 minutes to the station for 2 km distance, some people can walk or bike to the station, it is not bad. We have to admit the fact: Rapid Transit cannot stop at everyone’s backyard.
Anyway, with the GTA urban express rail grid, we don’t need LRT. LRT is the intermediate transit mode feeding the gap of HRT and bus; Now we have a high coverage HRT loop connecting with 5 minute local buses, there is no intermediate gap for LRT. WE can use the existing fund for Transit City to build the GTA urban express rail grid, and solve the transit problem for the whole city.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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I agree that it looks very good and I agree with 90% of your assertions (although I must be honest in that I didn't read the entire 106 slide presentation as I ran out of time after the 20th slide). This seems to address the aspect of service where Toronto is weakest. It has local subways and very long distance commuter trains, but little high frequency, middle distance service (except for the outer parts of the Yonge-University-Spadina line). Toronto could use a system like the Berlin S-Bahn, Copenhagen S-Tog, San Francisco BART, or Paris RER to fill this gap in service.

I think 2km is a pretty reasonable target for largely low and medium density areas since the ideal plan would be directed toward longer distance trips than would be seen on a subway ine like Bloor-Danforth. And even with a regular subway line that has 1km stop spacing, most people who use the line need to use feeder buses.

The government actually has the intention to build service similar to this back in the 50s and 60s. This is why the Advanced Light Rapid Transit vehicles were developed. Here's a short blurb on it from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Instead of expressways, Davis and his new Minister of Transport, William Goodfellow, outlined the "GO-Urban" plan. GO-Urban called for a system of three advanced mass transit systems that would be run by the newly-formed GO Transit. The idea was to select a system with low capital costs, one that would be cost effective in low-density areas where a traditional subway would be too expensive to build and operate. Designed to have a design capacity half-way between busses and subways, the new system was referred to as the "Intermediate Capacity Transit System", or ICTS. The space age automated guideway transit (AGT) systems being designed in the late 1960s seemed like the right solution.[4]

Toronto was not the only city looking for such a solution, and there appeared to be a large market for AGT systems in the 1970s and 80s. As GO-Urban was larger than most networks being considered, practically every company working on an AGT, or hoping to, submitted a proposal. The first cut reduced the field to a still-large fourteen proposals. After a year-long selection process, GO selected the Krauss-Maffei Transurban maglev as the preferred solution. As a maglev, the system would be silent, addressing concerns about noise on elevated portions of the track. Additionally, the system's linear induction motor did not require physical contact for traction, which meant it would run with equal capacity in snow or icy conditions. Krauss-Maffei agreed to do all vehicle construction in Ontario, and allow the local office to handle all sales efforts in North America - a stipulation most US companies were not willing to agree to. Local testing, construction and sales were centralized in the newly-created "Ontario Transportation Development Corporation" (OTDC).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombard...d_Transit#ICTS

Your plan differs in its approach, but adheres to the same basic essence in that it wishes to serve lower density areas using a compromise between high capacity, high frequency urban subways and low capacity, low frequency commuter services. I would be thrilled if a plan like this were to be implemented. I honestly believe that if offered a compelling product, citizens would be very responsive to transit - likely more so than the majority of cities on the continent. If such a rapid transit plan were to be built at 150km - 200km of route trackage (for a total rapid transit system of 225km - 275km) I can easily conceive of ridership reaching 650 million riders per year (compared to about 330 million per year currently). This would place Toronto at about 17th in the world.

3000th
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Old July 1st, 2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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TTC already has 500 million riders per year
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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Great idea JulianLi and it is good to see that some of it has made it into the OneCity proposal. You have put in a lot of work and thought into your plan and I am glad the politicians are interested.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by current View Post
Great idea JulianLi and it is good to see that some of it has made it into the OneCity proposal. You have put in a lot of work and thought into your plan and I am glad the politicians are interested.
Thank you.
I actually received some supports from City Councillors, Metrolinx and Ministry of Transportation, they all gave me positive feedbacks, the problem is that nobody has the courage to say that let’s change our existing plans and do it.
The transit fund is limited, if the plan can solve most transit problem in Toronto with the existing fund, why do we still waste those money for Eglinton Crosstown LRT that has been proved to be unnecessary in my presentation?
Existing 10 Billion is enough for the plan, please don’t waste the existing transit fund.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 04:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
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TTC already has 500 million riders per year
I was referring to the subway/RT, not the TTC. The TTC ridership figures include bus and streetcar as well.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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Welcome to the group, Julian! It is heartening to see people like you make constructive proposals to improve our city. Well done!
There is no shortage of people who complain, but a shortage of people who work to make it better!
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Old July 4th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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Nice presentation, and while the idea of using existing rail corridors is not new. It's an idea that needs to be further explored in Toronto.

I am not going to mince words, I have a serious problem with how you're presentating your case. You're basically falling into the trap of the pro-subways(and some pro-LRT) advocates in criticizing other modes of transportation, pushing your mode as the best solution for the GTA.
This idea could be implemented in a wider GTA network, but it's definitely not a substitute for surface LRT. Both modes have a role to play in a transit network.

So while it's a nice presentation, You can really do without the negative attacks on other modes, and making the assumption that 8.4 Billion is all we have for transit expansion.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #11
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Regional express rail is something that should really get more attention as part of the solution to Toronto's transit problems. Although, as JustinB mentioned, it doesn't negate the need for other types of rapid transit. The One City plan by Karen Stinz et al. is the first proposal I've seen that includes regional express rail, so hopefully it continues to be talked about.

There isn't one mode that will address all of Toronto's transit needs. The ideal system would include a combination of the following modes depending on distance from the core and density of the area served:

1) Commuter rail: Serves far-flung suburbs liked Burlington and Milton. Large trains with scheduled service every hour or so, with higher frequencies during rush hour. Large distance between stations. Mainly serves people commuting to the core. Toronto has a decent network with GO Transit, although off-peak frequencies could be better.

2) Regional express rail:
Serves closer suburbs like outer regions of Scarborough and Etobicoke, inner Mississauga, Markham, etc. Heavy rail with service frequent enough that riders can just show up without following a schedule - this means at least every 15 minutes. Stop spacing falls between commuter rail and urban rail. Much more integrated with other modes of transit than commuter rail, with many transfer stations and integrated fares. This is what Julian is proposing and Toronto has nothing like this at the moment.

3) Urban heavy rail:
Very frequent urban rail with high capacity. Serves the urban core and immediate suburbs. Stops are no more than a 10 minute walk from each other. This is Toronto's subway, which needs expansion.

4) Light rail: Same frequency as heavy rail, but lower capacity. Serves areas with density too low to support heavy rail, which means it would be used more in the suburbs. Stops are only slightly closer together than heavy rail. Feeds into higher capacity modes like heavy and regional express rail. For Toronto, this would be Eglinton, Sheppard, and Finch LRTs, which are in the works.

5) Streetcar, bus: Variable frequency, stops very close together, low speed, and runs in mixed traffic. Serves only areas with short travel distances. Feeds into faster modes mentioned above. Toronto has a decent network in the city, but the distances people have to travel on these modes are waaaaay too long due to the lack of improved transit modes.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensingtonian View Post
2) Regional express rail: Serves closer suburbs like outer regions of Scarborough and Etobicoke, inner Mississauga, Markham, etc. Heavy rail with service frequent enough that riders can just show up without following a schedule - this means at least every 15 minutes. Stop spacing falls between commuter rail and urban rail. Much more integrated with other modes of transit than commuter rail, with many transfer stations and integrated fares. This is what Julian is proposing and Toronto has nothing like this at the moment.

3) Urban heavy rail: Very frequent urban rail with high capacity. Serves the urban core and immediate suburbs. Stops are no more than a 10 minute walk from each other. This is Toronto's subway, which needs expansion.

Thank you for the transit category here .

When we want to do innovative work, sometime we can explore something out of normal category, such as finding or developing something has the properties of several items in the category, it is useful tacit for invention.
So, I can not put my express rail grid simply into “ Regional Express Rail”, I might say that it is a “ Urban Heavy Rail “ with some functions of “Regional Express Rail “. If the system can have about 320 million ridership as”Nouvellecosse” said, there should be more than 220 million urban ridership in it.

Some people may think that the subway could be the faster transit model in urban area. But the speed of subway actually is limited by some factors, such as the ventilation of its tunnel . I took the TTC new rocket in Friday, it is very funny to hear the TTC broadcast kept to say : “ The subway is delayed due to weather condition”. The weather is hot, then subway has to reduce the speed to avoid producing dangerous hot wave in the tunnel. The average speed of subway is about 35 km/h, which is slower than the average speed of a car travelling on a local road, that is why people prefer to drive if the road is not in congestion. But my surface express rail has not a such problem, the speed is only limited by track or infrastructure condition and station spacing, the full speed is from 80 -130 km/h, and the average speed is about 55 km/h, which is faster than local travelling car.

High speed is very important to move a big coverage transit system effectively like GTA Urban Express Rail Grid. Even you can build the GTA LOOP totally with subway, the lower speed can not attract many drivers to take the transit.

In other hand, some think that the LRT is the most economic rapid transit, but the surface express rail is actually more economic than LRT.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #13
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found a good article of Greg Gormick published on May 30, 2011, which can be a good supporting material

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/edito...ix-for-toronto


A rapid transit fix for Toronto
Published on Monday May 30, 2011
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Greg Gormick
18 Comments
In the quest to resolve the transportation problems bedevilling Toronto, our politicians and planners have proposed every solution except the most obvious one: greater use of our underused urban rail corridors.

While GO was expanded geographically after its launch on the Lakeshore Line in 1967, its growth rate has been glacial and inadequate funding has shackled it to an outdated, long-haul suburban service pattern. It provides only morning-in, afternoon-out weekday service to Union Station on all its rail lines except the Lakeshore, where there’s a paltry hourly service off-peak. Less appealing bus service fills the wide gaps elsewhere.

Just bulking up this bare-bones rail operation with more 10-car diesel trains would still leave serious flaws, one of which is that GO’s oversized trains fail to serve many transit-starved Toronto neighbourhoods. They are likely to remain so under Mayor Rob Ford’s expensive and geographically challenged subway scheme, which has replaced the broader and more affordable light rail transit (LRT) vision of former mayor David Miller.

What Toronto requires is the conversion of GO into an urban railway. The concept was born in 1924 with the creation of Berlin’s Stadtschnellbahn or S-Bahn — the world’s first “fast city railway.” The S-Bahn converted key suburban lines into a network that vastly increased urban transportation options and benefits.

The urban rail principles first proved on the Berlin S-Bahn include:
• High frequency, usually 5-10 minutes within the city and 15-20 minutes beyond.
• Extended service hours, running from approximately 5 a.m. until after midnight.
• Numerous stations within the city for short-haul trips.
• Dedicated tracks alongside those used for other passenger and freight trains.
• New line segments in tunnels or on the surface to strategically improve routings.
• Grade crossing removal to eliminate conflicts with road traffic.
• Electrification for rapid acceleration, elimination of fumes and cost-effectiveness.
• High-capacity electric multiple unit rolling stock.
• Integration with other city transit routes through a common fare system and connecting stations.

The Berlin S-Bahn became what has been described as a surface subway. This successful template has been applied in 14 other German urban regions, numerous cities throughout Europe and as far afield as Hong Kong and Sydney. The latest is London’s Overground, launched in 2007. Others will open in Brussels and Denver in 2016, followed by San Francisco.

Like these cities, Toronto possesses the rail corridors — many now owned by GO — to create an urban railway cheaper and faster than is possible with subways. It would mesh snugly with any new TTC lines that may get built, making direct connections with these and existing subway, streetcar and bus routes. Furthermore, its construction won’t snarl up great swaths of the city because the rail corridors are independent of the street grid.

Ontario’s regional transportation agency, Metrolinx, fleetingly endorsed an urban rail concept in its 2008 master plan, The Big Move. It called for “express rail” on GO’s Oshawa-Hamilton line and from Union Station to Brampton, Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Markham, to be built on a leisurely schedule of 25 years or more.

A Metrolinx study team has recently gone even further in response to a looming capacity problem. Population growth and increased travel demand will drive GO rail ridership to a level that will overwhelm Union Station within 20 years. Inspired by the urban railways of Madrid, Melbourne and São Paulo, Metrolinx has contemplated an electrified east-west GO tunnel somewhere between the existing rail corridor and Queen Street through the heart of downtown.

Vision such as this isn’t new in Toronto. In 1986, GO proposed expanding and realigning portions of GO’s Georgetown and Richmond Hill lines to provide high-frequency service from Malton to Union Station and up through Leaside and Don Mills to Thornhill.

The success of urban railways from Munich to Melbourne is proof of the tax dollars to be saved and the dividends to be reaped. Now’s the time for the creation of an electrified Toronto rail express — T-REX, to give it a brand name. Delay will only condemn Toronto to more gridlock, higher costs, lost productivity and increased car-fuelled environmental degradation.

Greg Gormick is author of the report No Little Plan: Electrifying GO Transit, commissioned by Transport Action, the Clean Train Coalition and the Canadian Auto Workers.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #14
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JulianLi, I like the proposal but can see one serious problem right from the off looking at your route map. The lines you propose to build express rail on are used by freight traffic, and CPR's main yard for Central Ontario is Agincourt in Scarborough. Using the existing routes are fine, of course, but the problem is that you'd have to lay new track and build new infrastructure, which would cost as much as any light rail plan. I'm not saying don't consider it by any means (I agree that it should be part of any plan), but you won't build your loop for $8.5 Billion, that much I can tell you, because you will still have to expropriate land and/or kick the CPR's yard out of Scarborough, which would be an expensive and disruptive process. CNR moved its primary yard to Vaughan in the early 1980s as a result of federal government actions after the 1979 Missassauga derailment, but CPR never did do that for whatever reason, so if you want to use that route you'd have to either work around CPR operations or build new track for it.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 05:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMann2000 View Post
The lines you propose to build express rail on are used by freight traffic, and CPR's main yard for Central Ontario is Agincourt in Scarborough. Using the existing routes are fine, of course, but the problem is that you'd have to lay new track and build new infrastructure, which would cost as much as any light rail plan. I'm not saying don't consider it by any means (I agree that it should be part of any plan), but you won't build your loop for $8.5 Billion, that much I can tell you, because you will still have to expropriate land and/or kick the CPR's yard out of Scarborough, which would be an expensive and disruptive process.

Thank you for participating the discussion. All the rail corridors proposed to be used in GTA urban express rail grid have already been planned for commuter service by Big Move Plan. And many corridors were already sold to Ontario province for go train service, including go train Stouffville and Richmond Hill corridors. Even CP Don branch ( the east section of Down Town Express Loop, please see slide 10 and slides 58 to 69) was sold to the province in 2009. The Grid proposal was planed in the way that there would be no considerable conflicts for freight service, and the estimated cost has included some land expropriation cost.

Off course, the estimation is a rough one, and some detail and unexpected things need to be explored in future.


But in my opinion, CP Agincourt Yard has not any conflicts with GTA Loop at go train Stouffville line, the previous intersection of CP and CN tracks in Agincourt area had been grade separated more than 10 years ago. Express rail service using previous CN track is totally separated from CP trains in this area.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #16
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I applaud your attempt, Julian, at creating an affordable transit plan, but I have to disagree that making use of existing railway corridors is the way to go. Those corridors aren't planned specifically for in-city mass transit, but rather, long distance intercity and freight travel.

What's important to me is that whatever plan is implemented, should reach into Toronto's busiest communities. A downtown relief line (preferably a subway under Queen Street) should be at the forefront of this.

The plan should also reach into Etobicoke and Scarborough, which Stintz's idea to convert the Scarborough RT to a subway would have done beautifully, before it was nixed by Ontario's Minister of Transportation/Infrastructure, and subsequently, City Council itself—as a direct result of the Transit City plan to rebuild the Scarborough RT into a light rail line (another hasty decision that Scarberians will have to suffer for).

By confining our new transit extension to existing railway corridors, we risk potentially moving it away from where it may be best for them to be (in-city core areas). As for doubling GO transit lines with new TTC lines, those areas are already served by GO trains (despite possible preference for a cheaper transit solution). The new plan should make an effort to get into areas that aren't already being served.

Though, I do agree with you that LRTs in the middle of our streets (which are already congested during rush hour without taking the three center lanes away) are not preferable (with the slowdowns of traffic lights, pedestrians, construction, etc). And though I'd much rather have underground subways, at this point, I'd compromise for a monorail built above-grade—as long as it services busy, core areas.

I think it's important that if we're going to spend all this money (tens of billions of dollars, inevitably) on finally expanding TTC's railway system (after 34 years of doing nothing), that it be done right rather than be done hastily under financial constraints.

Last edited by RTL; July 20th, 2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 05:59 AM   #17
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Hello RTL, thank you for your comment.
My quote may split some parts of your comment, and put the related parts together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTL View Post
but I have to disagree that making use of existing railway corridors is the way to go. Those corridors aren't planned specifically for in-city mass transit, but rather, long distance intercity and freight travel.
.......

By confining our new transit extension to existing railway corridors, we risk potentially moving it away from where it may be best for them to be (in-city core areas).

I agree with the latter point, but disagree with the first one.
Using the existing railway corridor is an important characteristic of the Grid Plan,but I don't want confine anything;at slide 103, you can see that I proposed the Hydro corridor to be transit line. I developed the plan because I thought it might be better than other existing plans; but any plan could be better than my plan is absolutely welcomed. The term of “ best “ may contain many “ common criteria” of transit plan.
But in the first point, you might kindly “confine” the usage of existing rail corridor for long distance intercity and freight travel. The Grid plan actually is a win-win solution for both regional and urban commuters.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:00 AM   #18
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Hello RTL, thank you for your comment.
My quote may split some parts of your comment, and put the related parts together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTL View Post
but I have to disagree that making use of existing railway corridors is the way to go. Those corridors aren't planned specifically for in-city mass transit, but rather, long distance intercity and freight travel.
.......

By confining our new transit extension to existing railway corridors, we risk potentially moving it away from where it may be best for them to be (in-city core areas).

I agree with the latter point, but disagree with the first one.

Using the existing railway corridor is an important characteristic of the Grid Plan,but I don't want confine anything;at slide 103, you can see that I proposed the Hydro corridor to be transit line. I developed the plan because I thought it might be better than other existing plans; but any plan could be better than my plan is absolutely welcomed. The term of “ best “ may contain many “ common criteria” of transit plan.

But in the first point, you might kindly “confine” the usage of existing rail corridor for long distance intercity and freight travel. The Grid plan actually is a win-win solution for both regional and urban commuters.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:22 AM   #19
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Sorry RTL, my open office software go mad , and I continue to reply your post here.


I can say that the GTA Gird already can reach into Toronto's busiest communities ( Down Town Express Loop), it also already can reach into Etobicoke and Scarborough ( GTA Express Loop), and can reach areas that aren't already being served, not just for existing go train passengers but also for urban passengers . No existing single network plan has the large service area coverage like GTA Express Grid.


At the slide 14, I pointed out that we actually can release the transit congestion of a street without building a transit line along the street. But some people may still “confine” their thought, when they think about how to solve the transit congestion at Queen Street, they will mostly put a new transit line on Queen Street. It could be a Subway, or Light Rail, or the monorail that you suggested. But GTA Express Grid can actually solve transit congestion problems on many street.




There are two transit delivery strategies :
  • Delivery to the right point no matter how costly. ( I think your “reach into” may like this, reaching into the right point.)
  • Delivery to a place close enough to the point with reasonable and affordable cost.
My “reach into” is the flexible and affordable route reaching into the destination area, that is why the GTA Grid can solve most transit congestion in the city using existing fund.



Thank you.

Have good weekend.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:17 PM   #20
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Decided to give this tread a bump after going through the proposal.
I notice in a YouTube video of transit city posted Feb8 2012 Rob Fords plan to start the Eglinton crosstown got overwhelmingly rejected by console.
You did a good job J. li Peng. Thanks

Last edited by OEincorparated; February 20th, 2013 at 09:25 PM.
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