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Old April 23rd, 2016, 04:37 AM   #1981
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4th quarter daily public Transit Ridership for Toronto Subways

Toronto / Toronto Transit Commission - 1,037.4 Million (2015) : 0.07%
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Old April 28th, 2016, 10:21 AM   #1982
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Toronto is one of the major urban centers in Canada.
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Old April 29th, 2016, 06:28 AM   #1983
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New fare gates at TTC's Main Street Station - time lapse

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Old May 1st, 2016, 06:15 AM   #1984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Are you implying that the only type of transportation that taypayers need or benefit from is for getting to and from work? Taxpayers don't travel to other places like the airport? And taxpayers don't benefit from the economic impacts of an airport rail link?
Are you saying a premium dedicated airport link takes priority over commuter transit for average people getting to/from work? I don't think the taxpayers would like that prioritization. The passenger numbers also don't support such a prioritization.

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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
One thing that it's important to remember, is that during peak times the service isn't underused, and it's only at off-peak times that the trains are mostly empty. In that sense, trying to attract commuter service which is very peak-period focused, may actually be detrimental to operation of the line.
You don't build transit just to address the peaks. The overall patronage figures are pitiful, which is interesting because air traffic tends to space out throughout the day rather than have marked peaks like regular commuter rush hours.

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Do you have anything which which to back up this claim? Just thinking that something sounds logical doesn't necessarily make it true. GO service to outer areas isn't that frequent that there's going to be major issues with more trips that serve just the central areas. Especially if there are bypass tracks at the stations. Not to mention that an inner suburban GO service could also share the UPX tracks if GO chose to use highfloor trains. And this would avoid expensive platform extensions and increased frequency at the airport where the capacity is totally unneeded.
I don't understand why they need to build a lot of new infrastructure to add by-pass tracks and maybe even add extra tracks for inner city service when there is already infrastructure built on an under-used airport line that could adapt itself to cater for inner city service. Seems like a waste of valuable tax dollars that could otherwise be used for many other transit priorities screaming for money in Toronto.

This Apr. 17 article from the Globe once again highlights just how bad this line is performing even at lower fares, requiring indefinite taxpayer subsidies : http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle29657207/

The lesson is if the private sector thinks it is a dud, the government shouldn't think they can make a better analysis.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 04:07 AM   #1985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Are you saying a premium dedicated airport link takes priority over commuter transit for average people getting to/from work? I don't think the taxpayers would like that prioritization. The passenger numbers also don't support such a prioritization.
No, like I mentioned before, this would not have been my first choice in terms of transportation spending priorities. But at this point, the discussion isn't about whether we should build this line instead of some other project; it's about how to move forward now that this line has already been built. I agree that if we could go back in time and make this project a lower priority than some of the other transit projects, then that would be preferable. What I don't agree with is saying we should spend extra money on this project to use it in a way that it isn't well suited for when we could put the extra spending to better use elsewhere.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
You don't build transit just to address the peaks. The overall patronage figures are pitiful, which is interesting because air traffic tends to space out throughout the day rather than have marked peaks like regular commuter rush hours.
The big problem with this statement is that if you want a service to serve commuters and have high total passenger volumes, you DO need to focus on peak period service. There are several GO train lines that only have trains in the peak period in peak direction, and simply use buses for off-peak service since the passenger volumes are so low off-peak. The Milton line for example has ridership of some 30,000 per weekday, yet has a total of only 9 trips going into town in the morning and 9 trip going back out in the afternoon and evening. But it manages to have high ridership compared to the UPX since it has such large trains.

If you want to put a focus on attracting commuters, this is what your service will look like. Much larger and/or more frequent trains than UPX during peak periods, and under used trains outside peak if they remain as frequent..

And that's the very reason I said we should be focusing on attracting more airport users rather than commuters. In one of the articles you posted, they said that 17% of UPX riders are commuters. This may not be much of the total, but since commuters are very peak period focused most of them would be using it during a couple hours at peak period, so those full peak hour trains would likely have been predominantly commuters. So adding more commuters is just going to make those trains uncomfortably crowded and leave the rest nearly as empty.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I don't understand why they need to build a lot of new infrastructure to add by-pass tracks and maybe even add extra tracks for inner city service when there is already infrastructure built on an under-used airport line that could adapt itself to cater for inner city service. Seems like a waste of valuable tax dollars that could otherwise be used for many other transit priorities screaming for money in Toronto.

The problem is that it CAN'T adapt itself to commuter service without significant new money being spent. That's the whole point of our disagreement. If the UPX could fulfil a different role serving as a commuter service without significant money being spent on upgrades, then I'd be all for it. But it would definitely require more money since it is already near capacity during peak periods, and would need significant expansion in either train lengths or service frequency. And since it would need more money, the question is how to spend that money the most effectively and you'd get more bang for your buck by using the money to upgrade one of the services that was actually designed for commuter use.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
This Apr. 17 article from the Globe once again highlights just how bad this line is performing even at lower fares, requiring indefinite taxpayer subsidies : http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle29657207/

The lesson is if the private sector thinks it is a dud, the government shouldn't think they can make a better analysis.

And that article is very interesting, especially the quote, "Boosters once said that the troubled airport-to-downtown train would recoup both its capital and operating expenses. But the struggling project, which was given to transit agency Metrolinx under the expectation that it would at least break even on day-to-day costs, now appears destined to require ongoing taxpayer funding."

If the lesson is that the success of public transit services should be judged based on private sector expectations of recouping operating expenses and capital investments, there are very few that wouldn't qualify as "duds" including a GO branded version of the line adapted to commuter service, if we're going to take other GO services as any indication.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 07:34 AM   #1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
No, like I mentioned before, this would not have been my first choice in terms of transportation spending priorities. But at this point, the discussion isn't about whether we should build this line instead of some other project; it's about how to move forward now that this line has already been built. I agree that if we could go back in time and make this project a lower priority than some of the other transit projects, then that would be preferable. What I don't agree with is saying we should spend extra money on this project to use it in a way that it isn't well suited for when we could put the extra spending to better use elsewhere.

The big problem with this statement is that if you want a service to serve commuters and have high total passenger volumes, you DO need to focus on peak period service. There are several GO train lines that only have trains in the peak period in peak direction, and simply use buses for off-peak service since the passenger volumes are so low off-peak. The Milton line for example has ridership of some 30,000 per weekday, yet has a total of only 9 trips going into town in the morning and 9 trip going back out in the afternoon and evening. But it manages to have high ridership compared to the UPX since it has such large trains.
UPX's 4 trains an hour cannot even generate a fraction of GO's 9 roundtrips a day on the Milton Line. The cause is not because of train size. It it because UPX is not being used while GO is.

I don't agree letting a broken line rot rather than improving it is the right solution. The problem is they are spending money to enhance the parallel tracks used by GO when this existing infrastructure that was ill-conceived but built already could be better utilized. While GO trains probably can't run on UPX tracks for technical reasons, if the objective is to enhance inner city service, then UPX can take that role. Once UPX trains fill up with the existing service, then they can think of how to increase capacity, such as adding frequencies or adapting for longer trains. They have a long way to go before this happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
If you want to put a focus on attracting commuters, this is what your service will look like. Much larger and/or more frequent trains than UPX during peak periods, and under used trains outside peak if they remain as frequent.
The irony is you keep saying the trains are full during peak periods but the overall patronage figures don't show this. The latest figures show 17% commuter use on average daily patronage of 5000 passengers. That is 850 people. For a 2-hour rush hour period in each direction, 4 trains an hour can handle 173*4*4 = 2768 passengers. Seems there is plenty of room, and flights don't have as marked a peak period as commuter traffic.

Commuters may not necessarily be downtown-bound. It could also be commuters heading to the airport to work. Airport workers are mostly shift-based, hence don't have the same movement patterns as downtown-bound work. So your concept of peak period use may not apply. The airport has a huge workforce, so it won't be surprising they take the train to work, although at the old prices, it would be cheaper to drive.

You don't need to upgrade the infrastructure to handle a reasonable commuter service. Just up the frequencies to every 5 minutes to see how that goes first. Once those trains fill up, remove seats in parts of the train for standing-only. Add a baggage car in the reverse direction which doesn't need platform access at the intermediate stations. There are plenty of ways to increase capacity with minimal capex. Whether the authorities have the competence to think of a solution and to execute it is another problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
And that's the very reason I said we should be focusing on attracting more airport users rather than commuters. In one of the articles you posted, they said that 17% of UPX riders are commuters. This may not be much of the total, but since commuters are very peak period focused most of them would be using it during a couple hours at peak period, so those full peak hour trains would likely have been predominantly commuters. So adding more commuters is just going to make those trains uncomfortably crowded and leave the rest nearly as empty.
The problem is that it CAN'T adapt itself to commuter service without significant new money being spent. That's the whole point of our disagreement. If the UPX could fulfil a different role serving as a commuter service without significant money being spent on upgrades, then I'd be all for it. But it would definitely require more money since it is already near capacity during peak periods, and would need significant expansion in either train lengths or service frequency. And since it would need more money, the question is how to spend that money the most effectively and you'd get more bang for your buck by using the money to upgrade one of the services that was actually designed for commuter use.

And that article is very interesting, especially the quote, "Boosters once said that the troubled airport-to-downtown train would recoup both its capital and operating expenses. But the struggling project, which was given to transit agency Metrolinx under the expectation that it would at least break even on day-to-day costs, now appears destined to require ongoing taxpayer funding."

If the lesson is that the success of public transit services should be judged based on private sector expectations of recouping operating expenses and capital investments, there are very few that wouldn't qualify as "duds" including a GO branded version of the line adapted to commuter service, if we're going to take other GO services as any indication.
If there are sufficient airport users then we don't need to be discussing how to rescue this ailing service. Simply put, a bleeding line that needs taxpayer support is not successful. The TTC keeps boasting about its farebox revenue sources for funding. In our capitalist world, it is about profit. Everyone is concerned about balancing the books - from all levels of government to the individual household. Whether it is correct for others to subsidize an unprofitable line for the sake of a community's transport needs is an urban planning question.
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Old May 13th, 2016, 01:57 AM   #1987
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Update on Eglinton Crosstown LRT

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2016/05/...-crosstown-lrt
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Old May 13th, 2016, 02:26 PM   #1988
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Fare bargain triples ridership on UPX
Airport train’s popularity surges since price was cut in half, but Metrolinx doubts it can break even.
Toronto Star Excerpt
May 12, 2016

Two months after the Union Pearson Express slashed its fares, ridership on the troubled airport rail link has tripled, according to a spokeswoman for the provincial transit agency.

Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said Wednesday that as of the end of April, 6,500 people on average now use the service on weekdays. Including weekends, when ridership is lower, the daily average is about 6,000, she said. About 80 per cent of the riders are coming to or from Pearson International Airport, and the rest are commuters.

Before UPX lowered the cost of tickets in March, daily ridership hovered between 2,000 and 2,200 people. Immediately after the price change, that number increased to about 5,000 a day. Aikins said since then, ridership has grown at a rate of about six per cent a week.

“It’s very, very nice to see. I can tell you that,” Aikins said in an interview. “Staff worked very hard to get this service out on time and on budget, and they want to see it utilized.”

She added that there was “every indication” ridership will continue to grow. “We’re still a very young service, and we are still doing marketing to spread the word.”

The numbers Aikins provided were based on passenger head counts; she said they are reasonably accurate despite being less precise than the official figures reported every three months to the Metrolinx board.

But even as the UPX becomes more popular, Aikins conceded that it may not be possible for the service to break even. Metrolinx originally projected UPX revenue would cover the train’s costs within three to five years when ridership was to reach 7,000 a day, but the agency is now reviewing its cost-recovery strategy with the province, Aikins said.

“It was a goal set to say we didn’t want this service to cost the taxpayers any more money, to be self-sustaining through the fare box. And that was an admirable goal, but whether or not it’s . . . realistic now is difficult to say,” Aikins said.

A study commissioned by Metrolinx in 2012, but not made fully public until last month, suggests that at current fare levels, revenues could fall more than $20 million short of covering operating costs each year.

The rest : https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...ip-on-upx.html
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 03:03 AM   #1989
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Relief Line: Preferred Alignment Now Includes Unilever Stop

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Today, the Province also pledged $150 million towards the Relief Line's planning, following the federal government's $840 million state-of-good-repair pledge to Toronto transit last month. Though the Relief Line planning process is still in its early stages, the latest plan is an important step forward in setting out a more finalized corridor and precise station locations. Notably, the new plan also presents meaningful revisions to the preferred corridor identified earlier this year.

In March, a preferred alignment connecting Downtown to Pape Station via Queen Street was announced. The City's initial preferred corridor terminated at 'City Hall' station on Queen, bypassing the Unilever site. However, the proposed station at Nathan Phillips Square would not provide direct transfers to either side of Line 1 at Queen or Osgoode stations, requiring transit users to walk long hallways in order to change trains. Meanwhile, although the Unilever station would boost ridership and be a major socio-economic boost to the formerly industrial area, the added cost was cited as a prohibitive factor. The new plan presents a different approach to both issues.

Although the general Queen-Pape alignment is maintained, the "emerging" preferred corridor jettisons the City Hall station in favour of direct connections to Line 1 at Queen and Osgoode. In lieu of the placemaking benefits of a station at—referred to as "the psychological heart of Toronto" by City Planning—direct transit connections are now preferred. Likewise, the plan now includes a station at the Unilever site, facilitating a more complete multi-modal hub, and helping advance one of the country's largest developments.
The new corridor


A conceptual rendering of the new transit hub at the Unilever site


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Old June 2nd, 2016, 03:56 AM   #1990
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I still think we need a Queen Line running from the Beaches all the way down the Queensway. In addition, we should build a Downtown Relief Line that loops down a few blocks south of Queen to hit the Distillery, Esplanade, St. Lawrence market, convention centre, CN Tower, Skydome, City Place, the CNE, BMO Field, Liberty Village, then looping up Roncesvalles.

If we build the DRL on the route proposed above we'll never get a subway to the above places, nor will we get a subway to the Beaches or down the Queensway. That's a big mistake imo. They're all major attractions (with the exception of the Queensway) and will only become more important moving forward. The Queensway is a major artery that connects Etobicoke to downtown. Surely it needs service... especially with what's happening down at Humber Bay.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 04:07 AM   #1991
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I do like that giant rail station at the Unilever site though. It's too large for our present day needs but shows a lot of foresight. Planning, like the word implies, should plan for the future... and the future Toronto will need other big rail stations besides Union.
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Old June 4th, 2016, 10:54 AM   #1992
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Google Maps launches real-time transit updates for the TTC

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Google Map’s real-time transit info feature has just launched for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on both Android and iOS, giving Torontonians more accurate and timely information about public transit.

With the update, Google Maps can now instruct users on what the best route is according to transit conditions and inform them when their subway, bus or streetcar will arrive (not just when it’s supposed to arrive). Maps will also continually update estimated arrival times throughout a trip and alert users to service disruptions, detours and stops that are under construction.

This update is a welcome addition to Maps, especially for daily commuters in Canada’s largest city. Google notes in its press release that transit is one of the most googled issues in the city, and says that the top question on the subject for the last six months is: “How to plan a TTC trip?” while other popular searches are, “When is the next TTC bus?” and “Where is my streetcar?”
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Old June 6th, 2016, 07:07 PM   #1993
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Track installation is now complete on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension:

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Old June 12th, 2016, 06:21 PM   #1994
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Video on proposed Hamilton LRT network called BLAST (every letter of this abbreviation is name of each LRT line):

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Old July 19th, 2016, 01:22 AM   #1995
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Anyone have an idea of what the symbol for the LRT will look like on all TTC signage once it's up and running?

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Old August 18th, 2016, 03:49 PM   #1996
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From Railway Gazette:

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Eglinton Crosstown LRT tunnelling completed in Toronto
18 Aug 2016





CANADA: Tunnel boring for Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project was completed on August 17 when TBMs Don and Humber broke through at Yonge Street after a 3·3 km journey from a site just east of Brentcliffe Road.

Each of the two TBMs boring the eastern tunnel section installed 26 178 precast concrete tunnel segments, which formed 4 363 rings. They started tunnelling in September 2015

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Old August 19th, 2016, 04:21 AM   #1997
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Quote:
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UPX's 4 trains an hour cannot even generate a fraction of GO's 9 roundtrips a day on the Milton Line. The cause is not because of train size. It it because UPX is not being used while GO is. .
No, it's because UPX is used for a totally different purpose than GO lines are.

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I don't agree letting a broken line rot rather than improving it is the right solution. The problem is they are spending money to enhance the parallel tracks used by GO when this existing infrastructure that was ill-conceived but built already could be better utilized. While GO trains probably can't run on UPX tracks for technical reasons, if the objective is to enhance inner city service, then UPX can take that role. Once UPX trains fill up with the existing service, then they can think of how to increase capacity, such as adding frequencies or adapting for longer trains. They have a long way to go before this happens..
Just because a line is used for a different purpose with different ridership stats doesn't make it broken. It makes it different.

The problem that no matter how much anyone tries to explain, you can't seem to understand, is that regardless of how much we want inner city service, UPX can't fulfil that role in an any way effective or functional manner. That's the problem. If it could do this effectively, we wouldn't have such a major disagreement.

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The irony is you keep saying the trains are full during peak periods but the overall patronage figures don't show this. The latest figures show 17% commuter use on average daily patronage of 5000 passengers. That is 850 people. For a 2-hour rush hour period in each direction, 4 trains an hour can handle 173*4*4 = 2768 passengers. Seems there is plenty of room, and flights don't have as marked a peak period as commuter traffic..
Where are you getting the idea that the trains are full during peak periods due to commuter traffic? Trains being full during peak periods is a fact, as reported by the transit agency itself, so that is not debatable. And the stats that you've mentioned would clearly indicate that the majority of riders even during peak periods are not, in fact, commuters. Flights may not have as marked of a peak period, but obviously it's marked enough to make the difference.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Commuters may not necessarily be downtown-bound. It could also be commuters heading to the airport to work. Airport workers are mostly shift-based, hence don't have the same movement patterns as downtown-bound work. So your concept of peak period use may not apply. The airport has a huge workforce, so it won't be surprising they take the train to work, although at the old prices, it would be cheaper to drive..
One of the biggest reasons people choose to live downtown despite the higher costs, is to be closer to work and cut down on the time and money spent on a long commute. I'm sure you could probably find someone doing it, but I doubt it would be significant numbers.

But even if you were right and these people were to provide more off-peak patronage, it still wouldn't do anything to address the crowding in the peak direction.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
You don't need to upgrade the infrastructure to handle a reasonable commuter service. Just up the frequencies to every 5 minutes to see how that goes first. Once those trains fill up, remove seats in parts of the train for standing-only. Add a baggage car in the reverse direction which doesn't need platform access at the intermediate stations. There are plenty of ways to increase capacity with minimal capex. Whether the authorities have the competence to think of a solution and to execute it is another problem..
This whole premise that you wouldn't need to upgrade the infrastructure to handle 5 minute frequencies is false. That would require a significant infrastructure upgrade, so I'll have to stop you right there. If you're interested in the details as to why, Steve Munro goes into great detail into the capacity restraints on his blog which I linked to a few pages ago.


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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
If there are sufficient airport users then we don't need to be discussing how to rescue this ailing service. Simply put, a bleeding line that needs taxpayer support is not successful. The TTC keeps boasting about its farebox revenue sources for funding. In our capitalist world, it is about profit. Everyone is concerned about balancing the books - from all levels of government to the individual household. Whether it is correct for others to subsidize an unprofitable line for the sake of a community's transport needs is an urban planning question.
So then none of the GO train commuter lines are successful. And that's despite them having far lower prices than UPX.

Fortunately the pricing changes that have already been made seem to have done the job of improving the ridership numbers (tripled) without needing the changes that you're advocating.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...ip-on-upx.html

And according to the article, 80% of the riders are still airport users rather than commuters. So attempting to attract commuters has been proven unnecessary. I didn't bother explaining all of this before and figured it would be best to just wait and see, and show you once the numbers were in. I knew otherwise you'd never believe it.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 01:47 PM   #1998
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No, it's because UPX is used for a totally different purpose than GO lines are.



Just because a line is used for a different purpose with different ridership stats doesn't make it broken. It makes it different.

The problem that no matter how much anyone tries to explain, you can't seem to understand, is that regardless of how much we want inner city service, UPX can't fulfil that role in an any way effective or functional manner. That's the problem. If it could do this effectively, we wouldn't have such a major disagreement.



Where are you getting the idea that the trains are full during peak periods due to commuter traffic? Trains being full during peak periods is a fact, as reported by the transit agency itself, so that is not debatable. And the stats that you've mentioned would clearly indicate that the majority of riders even during peak periods are not, in fact, commuters. Flights may not have as marked of a peak period, but obviously it's marked enough to make the difference.



One of the biggest reasons people choose to live downtown despite the higher costs, is to be closer to work and cut down on the time and money spent on a long commute. I'm sure you could probably find someone doing it, but I doubt it would be significant numbers.

But even if you were right and these people were to provide more off-peak patronage, it still wouldn't do anything to address the crowding in the peak direction.



This whole premise that you wouldn't need to upgrade the infrastructure to handle 5 minute frequencies is false. That would require a significant infrastructure upgrade, so I'll have to stop you right there. If you're interested in the details as to why, Steve Munro goes into great detail into the capacity restraints on his blog which I linked to a few pages ago.




So then none of the GO train commuter lines are successful. And that's despite them having far lower prices than UPX.

Fortunately the pricing changes that have already been made seem to have done the job of improving the ridership numbers (tripled) without needing the changes that you're advocating.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...ip-on-upx.html

And according to the article, 80% of the riders are still airport users rather than commuters. So attempting to attract commuters has been proven unnecessary. I didn't bother explaining all of this before and figured it would be best to just wait and see, and show you once the numbers were in. I knew otherwise you'd never believe it.
If a line is not working, like UPX, you need to change it. That's something you don't seem to be able to grasp. Clearly, the status quo is not the solution. It is broken because it is bleeding. Being different is irrelevant. Of course the UPX can fulfill the role as a suburban service. It means changes need to happen.

It shouldn't be surprising that an infrastructure upgrade will cost money, but that will also mean more revenues to help lessen the bleeding. The infrastructure upgrade to enhance frequencies is relatively minor compared to building new tracks, installing a new signaling system, or some of what they are trying to do with the parallel GO line.

What significant upgrade do you envision should not happen but instead let the UPX continue to operate in an unusustainable and tax-draining way now?

The key point is this line is bleeding tax dollars. Whether it is 80% airport traffic or 80% commuter traffic is irrelevant as long as it can at least breakeven and not rely on government hand-outs. As of now, traffic needs to go up, and commuter traffic is easier to capture than trying to boost airport patronage to indirectly boost airport users. Airport workers living along the line, and not necessarily in the expensive downtown area, can most definitely help out at the right price. They would complement the other type of downtown-bound commuter traffic and keep loads healthy in both directions.

You need to stop believing the UPX needs to be different from GO. That premise, as we have seen by the financials and patronage stats, has failed. At least by bringing it to GO's operating standard, it won't be bleeding over 52 bucks a ride, maybe a bit less, which would still be a marked improvement. To put things into perspective 52 is a lot bigger than the less than 1 buck per ride subsidy needed by the TTC.
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 08:14 PM   #1999
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Old August 28th, 2016, 03:15 PM   #2000
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