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Old August 13th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #841
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Nay, further I say! Why don't we just scrap Eglinton altogether, tunnel under Lake Simcoe and retrofit a couple Gondolas to create a northern Loop at Blue Mountain Resort!!
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Old August 14th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #842
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENTROBATE54 View Post
This is precisely the slippery slope we're opening ourselves up to by extending the YUS line any further north than York University. There'll always be these: "why not extend it just a little bit further" remarks until we have a line extending upto Lake Simcoe. Sometimes we must just allow buses to take over.
Well, back in the early 1900s you could take a streetcar from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe...

Yes, but there are several new high density condos being developed Jane north of Highway 7. And as stated, there is both Canada's Wonderland and Vaughan Mills Mall (not to mention the Village of Maple, which is currently the closest thing Vaughan has to a "downtown").

From a "transportation" network standpoint, the extension to Vaughan is long overdue. The Spadina Expressway was to connect the 407 to the Gardiner. However the government chose to scrap the expressway in favour of the subway. Therefore, for this "transportation" corridor to be complete, the subway must go at least as far as the 407... for better or worse.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #843
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Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
^How about we build a popsicle stick skyscraper while we are at it?

Any money and time being spend on subways should be done to best serve the most amount of people. By building in York Region, this objective would not be achieved.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #844
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Well, back in the early 1900s you could take a streetcar from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe...

Yes, but there are several new high density condos being developed Jane north of Highway 7. And as stated, there is both Canada's Wonderland and Vaughan Mills Mall (not to mention the Village of Maple, which is currently the closest thing Vaughan has to a "downtown").

From a "transportation" network standpoint, the extension to Vaughan is long overdue. The Spadina Expressway was to connect the 407 to the Gardiner. However the government chose to scrap the expressway in favour of the subway. Therefore, for this "transportation" corridor to be complete, the subway must go at least as far as the 407... for better or worse.
But why can't BRT feeders not terminate at Steeles West Stn (you know, that place where they intend to build a whopping 30 bus bays, to serve what I don't know-- there's Keele, Jane, York U and Steeles routes but what else )? Steeles is only a half-kilometre south of Jane/407 and there's nothing significant in-between those points that'd slow traffic/commutes down. That's why the Vaughan part of the extension is wasteful, it's serving nothing. The YRT 360 bus that currently feeds into Yorkdale Stn, could now route into Steeles West instead, creating the same accessibility for VMM, CWL and the Vlg of Maple without wasting billions more extending the YUS line upto them.

And VCC? Give me a break! The fracking VIVA bus runs half-empty all-day and it routes in the direct path of this future subway corridor. Jane/Interchange Way rivals Kipling/7 as the most underused stop. Yeah, a real winner there. The subway to Hilton Inn/IKEA/FutureShop/Walmart Supercentre and Colossus Theatre is sickening when one considers there's as of now still no subway to the airport, or across the CBD/downtown Toronto core, or to several postsecondary campuses around the city or one satisfactorily serving the inner-416 suburbs (Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York).

If the Sheppard "stubway" fiasco has taught us anything, it's that a cluster of condominums and/or big-box stores (both car-oriented forms of development) will never generate a consistent, high-yielding subway ridership base. Only building in preexisting built-up areas can!!
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENTROBATE54 View Post
But why can't BRT feeders not terminate at Steeles West Stn (you know, that place where they intend to build a whopping 30 bus bays, to serve what I don't know-- there's Keele, Jane, York U and Steeles routes but what else )?
I believe that is 37 bus bays. From what I read in the EA, there's 3 terminals, one of the terminals is for TTC, one for 905 systems, and one for GO Transit buses.
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Steeles is only a half-kilometre south of Jane/407 and there's nothing significant in-between those points that'd slow traffic/commutes down. That's why the Vaughan part of the extension is wasteful, it's serving nothing.
Nothing but parking spots. The Steeles terminal is going to count as the new York U service point because York U wants buses removed from the commons; that's why the TTC station there is pedestrian access only, no bus routes no nothing to connect to there. This idea that the transitway station will become the connection point between the 407 corridor and the subway then become muddled since the 407 corridor is used heavily by the York U crowd, so to force a transfer at the 407 onto the subway is rather retarded. I actually don't think the transitway should connect to this station at all; I'd say don't build the station there and build a small detour to Steeles West instead. I reject the idea of building a station in the middle of nowhere purely for parking expansion.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #846
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Wow, we're actually seeing eye-to-eye on an issue for once! IMO, the Vaughan extension makes no practical sense when you break it down. Steeles West/NW Gt to Jane/407 is 0.8 miles. The 407 to VCC is only a mere 0.4 - 0.5 miles. So we're attributing BD levels of proximity to a region which boasts as signs of modernity and urbanization-- a cemetary, an apple orchard, a heritage museum/estate, industrial sprawl, rolling meadows and car-oriented big-box chains? I know...



Before Vaughan even thinks it's ready for a bonafide subway line, it needs to find a way to fill VIVA Orange buses. I'm never in lack of multiple seating options when riding them. The fact that even during rush hour these buses are undercapacity, in spite of the influx of Brampton and Woodbridge customers, tells me the "high" demand for metro in this area is nothing but a platitude. I also think the whole fare zone tariff at Steeles West Stn will further discourage commuters from even wanting to ride this extension. They'll opt instead to ride the bus in, knowing they'll receive a usable transfer POP.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 09:24 PM   #847
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I also think the whole fare zone tariff at Steeles West Stn will further discourage commuters from even wanting to ride this extension.
That zone boundary isn't going to apply on the subway, I can't imagine how they'd design it in to the infrastructure in any practical manner.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #848
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TTC to curb train delays with help of paramedics
Pilot project will have EMS worker posted at Bloor subway to reach ill passengers faster

27 August 2008
The Toronto Star

The TTC is posting paramedics at the system's busiest subway station to try to reduce train delays caused by sick passengers.

Rider illness is the top cause of rush-hour delays, accounting for more than 49 hours of lost service time last year.

So this week, the TTC and Toronto EMS launched a 19-week pilot project in which a paramedic and TTC supervisor are posted at the Bloor subway station, with the option to travel quickly to nearby stops, in hopes of shaving a couple of minutes off the usual 8- to 10-minute ambulance response time.

Ambulances will still be called in each case, but they may be redeployed if the on-site paramedic is able to handle the problem alone without assistance.

As subway ridership has grown, so have illness-related delays, TTC chair Adam Giambrone told a news conference yesterday.

"None of this is the fault of the individuals who are experiencing these, of course. No one chooses to have a medical emergency," he said.

"At the end of the day, though, these medical emergencies end up causing a large number of delays - in total 2,983 minutes of delays (annually)," Giambrone said.

"If you think of the Yonge line, which carries 35,000 people between 7: 45 and 8: 45 a.m., running a train every two minutes, an eight-minute delay is the equivalent of four trains passing by, each train carrying somewhere between 1,300 and 1,400 people."

The TTC will cover the $50,000 cost of the pilot project. If it proves effective, the service is likely to be incorporated into next year's operating budget.

EMS responded to 4,182 calls at TTC stations and on trains last year, according to EMS deputy chief Mike Neill. Of those, 1,241 incidents were because riders were sick or injured. Each means an average two-minute delay to service.

Most calls are not life-threatening; they typically range from simply feeling sick to experiencing chest pain, Neill said.

It's hoped that as passengers become aware paramedics are on hand at the busy transfer station, they'll leave the train there and seek assistance before they collapse or get sicker somewhere down the subway line, he said.

The on-site paramedics are equipped with a 14-kilogram "jump pack" that includes a cardiac monitor, blood pressure equipment, cardiac drugs and painkillers, and an oxygen canister, said Wayde Lansing, one of three paramedics assigned to subway duty.

"I have everything we would need to deliver advanced life-support care in an emergency situation," he said.

Cities around the world place paramedics on their subways, said TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.

"Over the years we've always been monitoring our performance on the subway. ... We've done a good job in the last 10 years of addressing all the equipment problems," he said.

"The customers are more of the issue. What can we do? You want to minimize the number of times it happens, but when it happens you want to minimize the impact."

Subway delays increased by 84 hours last year over 2006, but those blamed on mechanical and maintenance issues declined about 2 per cent. Some 40 per cent more delays were caused by passengers who were either ill or disorderly.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #849
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Metropass users will lose free parking
August 28, 2008
Tess Kalinowski
Toronto Star

Metropass users accustomed to driving to the subway in the morning may need to reconsider their commute next year when they will no longer be able to park free in TTC lots.

Elected transit commissioners voted last night to charge pass holders between $2 and $6 a day to park in any of the TTC's 16 car lots, starting in the first quarter of 2009.

The changes won't alter the free parking offered at many lots after 3 p.m. daily and on weekends and holidays.

The fees will go ahead even though some commissioners wanted the TTC to wait and study other pricing structures such as a premium Metropass that would cover parking. It was also suggested that parking rates penalize suburban riders who have less bus service to subway stations.

But TTC chair Adam Giambrone said it's time to be pragmatic about parking fees.

"It's not appropriate for the average TTC rider to be subsidizing between 10 and 15 cents out of their fare for parking lots. We will still be providing a subsidy to each rider who uses these spots. Even with these charges, we will be bringing in (only) 50 per cent of the cost of operating these parking lots," he said.

The TTC spends $6.3 million a year to operate its parking lots, including payment to the Toronto Parking Authority, which operates them; lease payments to Hydro One and property taxes. But the transit authority recovers only $2.7 million in fees.

The parking lots run at 97 per cent capacity but end up costing the TTC money because four out of five spots are taken up by Metropass holders who don't pay for them.

The average parking fee under the new plan will be about $3 to $4 a day for Metropass holders but could run as high as $6 at suburban stations such as Finch. It's expected the fees will raise between $2.9 million and $3.9 million a year – money that will be pumped into more bus service to get TTC riders to the subway.

A report before the commission suggests the parking charges could cost the TTC between $2.5 million and $3.5 million in lost fares.

But Giambrone said the transit service will be ahead in the long run.

"We know we can attract more riders with increased bus and streetcar service. We cannot provide enough parking to grow our ridership to where we want to be," he said.

A Metropass costs $109 a month for an adult and $91.25 for a senior, with reductions for annual purchases.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #850
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Mingling intimately or standing on subway like cattle?
1 September 2008
The Globe and Mail

Transit overlords in New York – revealing the universal and sometimes endearing transit-engineer impulse to treat people like freight – are preparing to test a low-tech way to jam more passengers onto packed rush-hour subway trains: Lose the seats.

According to local media reports, New York plans to test a subway train with flip-up seats in four of its 10 cars. The seats would be locked upright in rush hour, allowing 18 per cent more passengers to fit inside, mingling rather intimately.

With ridership rising, the move is meant to allow a boost to the system's capacity that could only otherwise be achieved by the installation of new multimillion-dollar signalling systems – the kind earmarked for Toronto's packed Yonge subway line in coming years – which allow for computer-controlled trains to be run more closely together than now possible.

Imagine, in the meantime, the boost to the efficiency of the increasingly crowded TTC subway if just a couple of cars on each six-car train had seats that disappeared in rush hour, creating a standing-room-only ride for some, but leaving the rest of the train for those who really need to sit down. If you are going to be standing anyway, it might be more tolerable without all of those seats, and the lucky people sitting in them, just getting in your way.

The Toronto Transit Commission has proven surprisingly resistant to suggestions it should stopping coddling passengers who insist on sitting down. In 2006, its commissioners overrode pleas from the agency's engineers to install “perimeter seating” in the next generation of subway cars. This is a layout common in Europe and Asia that would allow for more stand-up types and easier movement with seats set along each wall, instead of the TTC's current, obstructive “conversation nook” arrangement.

Then-TTC-chair Howard Moscoe derided the idea, saying it would turn the city's subway trains into “cattle cars.”

It seems obvious that public transit, in a growing city that is supposed to be getting much denser and less car-dependent in the coming years, is simply going to get more and more crowded. We are going to have to get over some of our hang-ups about personal space, as have subway riders in other major cities. Think of it as a tax break: The more people you cram into an existing subway, the less governments have to spend on new public transit.

While he wouldn't endorse New York's seat-lockup idea, Adam Giambrone, the city councillor who chairs the TTC, did point out that when the new subway cars – called Toronto Rockets – start arriving at the end of next year, they will be equipped with seats that fold up when they are not being used. (The new subway cars will also allow passenger to walk from car to car while the train is moving, which the TTC says will ease crowding.)

It is hard to imagine the TTC ever having the gall to bolt the seats up in rush hour as New York is proposing. Instead, Toronto's approach, Mr. Giambrone said, will preserve an element of customer choice, allowing the pressure of group behaviour to govern who sits and who stands.

Mr. Giambrone said that passengers on other systems with similar flip-up seats that he has ridden, such as in Paris, intuitively understand that when the subway car is really crowded, it is time to stand. Unless, of course, you are in one of those categories of passengers that really needs a seat.

“People are really good about it,” Mr. Giambrone said. “People get it.”

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Old September 5th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #851
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When's the next subway train? Look up
TTC tries out signs offering real-time info

5 September 2008
The Toronto Star

It's one more sign that the TTC is getting a foothold in the information age.

Riders at the Dundas station can now tell how long they'll wait for a train by checking the screens on the northbound and southbound platforms. The next-train-arrival information is part of a three-month pilot project experimenting to see what kind of information riders want before the notifications appear in all 69 subway stations - sometime by the end of 2009.

TTC officials acknowledge that next-train information isn't that valuable during rush hour, when trains run about every two minutes. But the system is a way to notify riders of delays, so they can plan their time better. It also reminds riders that when the system is packed at rush hour, the next train is only two minutes down the tunnel.

"If that prevents somebody from jamming in a door, which then causes an eight-minute delay, you begin to think about it being a pretty good investment," said TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

Transit Control already knows where all the trains are in the tunnels, Giambrone said. "This is about taking the information we have already and giving it out to the public. This is really about customer service enhancement today."

Unlike cities with more extensive systems, where trains moving through a line may have more than one destination and may run less frequently, Toronto probably doesn't need sophisticated notifications, acknowledged TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.

"If it were more expensive, you wouldn't do it," he admitted. But the $330,000 price tag is small compared with the $8 million bus-arrival notification system that will roll out on the Harbourfront line and in Spadina station in November. It will provide surface riders with real-time information on the next bus or streetcar's arrival, using LED technology similar to that being used on York Region's popular VIVA system.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #852
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Another embarrassment for the mismanaged TTC. Total chaos ensued as no one knew what was going on. No crowd management, no disaster planning whatsoever.

Toronto subway delay keeps getting longer

JOSH WINGROVE

Globe and Mail Update

September 25, 2008 at 11:31 PM EDT

TORONTO
— TTC riders stranded by a power outage along the city's busiest subway track Thursday night could again face delays Friday morning, as crews worked overnight in a frantic attempt to restore service.

Trains on the Yonge line, between the Bloor and Lawrence stations, stopped just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday after a bundle of cables came off the wall along the northbound tracks between the Davisville and Eglinton stations. That caused a chain reaction, pulling some 46 metres of different types of communications and signal cables from the wall, forcing the TTC to close that section of track, which carries 60,000 people in a typical evening rush hour.

The damage proved worse than crews first thought. Around 7 p.m., the TTC said the track would reopen by 8:30 p.m.; that was later bumped back to 10 p.m.; and shortly after, TTC spokesman Brad Ross announced they'd keep the tunnel closed until 6 a.m. Friday morning.

“They said to us, it's going to take us all night to fix this,” he said. “The odds are better than good than we'll have normal service in the morning … there are no guarantees,” he said.

Thousands of Toronto commuters were stranded Thursday when electrical cables fell onto the tracks near Eglinton station just before 5 p.m., forcing TTC staff to shut down the Yonge subways between Bloor and Lawrence stations.



At 11 p.m. Thursday night, crews opened the tracks from Bloor up to Davisville, leaving only Eglinton closed. Shuttle buses were running between Davisville and Lawrence, where subway service continued.

TTC staff still hoped to have full service running normally Friday morning.

Service could likely run at a slowed pace Friday morning, if signalling systems haven't been repaired and crews are forced to manually signal trains along the stretch. Mr. Ross acknowledged a worst-case scenario – trains not running, replaced by shuttle buses – is a possibility.

After trains stopped Thursday afternoon, thousands of passengers spilled onto sidewalks and roads near Yonge and Bloor streets, searching for other options to get home. The influx of pedestrians brought traffic to a standstill across the downtown core. As many as 60 buses provided shuttle service, but “certainly, one bus does not replace one subway train,” Mr. Ross said. Buses hold a few dozen people, while a full subway train holds 1,500.

That stretch of the subway line carries 500,000 people each day, peaking during, naturally, the morning and evening rush hours.

“You couldn't imagine a worse time for something like this during rush hour,” Mr. Ross said Thursday night.

It was one of two delays that stalled trains Thursday. About 45 minutes earlier, trains on the Bloor-Danforth lines were stopped briefly as two people were found carrying knives. They were arrested and now face charges. Those delays lasted only a few minutes.

source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../National/home
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:37 AM   #853
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Police board turns down TTC request for more constables
17 October 2008
The Globe and Mail

The Toronto Police Services Board yesterday put on the brakes, for now, on a request to add more special constables to patrol the city's subway system.

The move comes amid growing concern by the civilian police oversight body and the Toronto Police Service over the Toronto Transit Commission's plans for a significant expansion of its unarmed special constables who have police-like powers to arrest.

“Why are we doing this?” board chairman Alok Mukherjee asked after yesterday's meeting. “Are we building another police force?”

At issue is that special constables, approved for duty by the police board, are not governed by the same rules as the police, such as the oversight by the province's Special Investigations Unit, civilian complaints or codes of conduct. The TTC has its own less formal rules without the legislative punch applicable to the police.

“We want to examine if the current arrangement is the best arrangement and what are the alternatives to it,” Mr. Mukherjee said, with the board set to debate the options at its next meeting in November.

The board had approved 15 more TTC constables in August, but yesterday turned back a request for another 10 this year, pending further talks with the TTC to set out new rules on oversight.

“The TTC's core business is not policing, but running a safe public transit system,” Mr. Mukherjee said. “The policing function is to provide policing to the city.”

That view was echoed yesterday by Police Chief Bill Blair.

“The police are responsible for doing the police job and I don't think we need to have multiple police services in the city of Toronto,” he said, adding “if it is a police job, the police should do it and if it is a security job, the security people should do it.

“We need a legislative framework that clearly defines the difference.”

Despite the temporary rebuff by the board, TTC chief general manager Gary Webster was upbeat about being able to carry out commission plans to boost the number of special constables to 176 in 2011, up from 95 last year.

“The special constable program is a very effective one,” he said. “At this point, there is no consideration being given to changing the policing model.”
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:23 PM   #854
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Police board turns down TTC request for more constables
17 October 2008
The Globe and Mail

“Why are we doing this?” board chairman Alok Mukherjee asked after yesterday's meeting. “Are we building another police force?”
They might as well.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:34 PM   #855
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If they were to 'might as well', then I could guarantee that city upstream that their additional officers' lone mandate would be to catch fare evaders -- since Montreal's own patrol revision, loads of Montreal coppers virtually velcro themselves alongside the metro turnstiles.....nary an officer is seen patrolling an underground passageway, platform or train in Montréal...
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:38 AM   #856
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TTC marks ridership record as it improves bus-subway links
21 November 2008
National Post

The Toronto Transit Commission has set a ridership record, topping a 20-year high, at the same time that it announces improved bus service in a bid to handle even more riders. The transit commission announced yesterday its 12-month ridership hit 465 million rides in mid-November, surpassing 1988's 463.5 million. ''The service improvements that go into effect this Sunday will reduce crowding and improve the quality of service,'' the TTC said in a release. Starting on Sunday, the TTC is aligning all bus routes with subway operating hours, and riders can take almost any bus route between 6 a. m. and 1 a. m. all week long. ''Routes that used to only operate during peak periods, or midday, will now run during the same hours that the subway operates, with a maximum of 30-minute waiting times,'' the TTC said. ''An increase in the number of buses during peak periods will mean an increase in service for customers across Toronto.''
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Old November 30th, 2008, 03:25 AM   #857
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Two questions:

1) Will be building of light rail preclude the city from building more subways in the future? I mean, if the demand and the money where to became available, could they bury the tracks of existing lines or are we always going to be stuck with light rail on, say Eglington or Sheppard.

2) Are these light rail line going to show up on the traditional subway maps as new routes? I.e. to the lay person, will this essentially look like an extension of the subway system?
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Old November 30th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #858
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I thought the whole purpose of using LRT is because there isn't enough money for subways. I'd argue that once the tracks are in-place, unless the density profile substantially changes, there's no longer a need to build a subway (ie. preclude case).
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:08 AM   #859
Ramako
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I thought the whole purpose of using LRT is because there isn't enough money for subways. I'd argue that once the tracks are in-place, unless the density profile substantially changes, there's no longer a need to build a subway (ie. preclude case).
Well, I mean in the future, like 20 or 30 years.

Also, I meant technically, not practically.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #860
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramako View Post
Well, I mean in the future, like 20 or 30 years.

Also, I meant technically, not practically.
I don't think even the busy corridors along King / Queen have ever warranted a subway service although the streetcars are busy running at frequent intervals. I can't find a recent example of LRT turned subway either in Toronto.

I don't think LRT infrastructure can be easily adapted into subways, and the TTC is not going to dig tunnels to put streetcars in them either until subways become feasible. It contradicts the cost argument.
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