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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:45 PM   #861
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TTC retains paramedics in subway
28 November 2008
The Toronto Star

A pilot project that stationed a paramedic at the Bloor subway station on weekdays has reduced rush-hour train delays, delivered faster care to sick riders and persuaded the TTC to continue the program next year.

Ill passengers are the leading cause of delays on weekday rush hours, accounting for more than 49 hours of lost service last year.

Paramedics from Toronto Emergency Medical Services on hand at the station during the morning and afternoon rush hours have been able to respond to 70 per cent of all subway passenger illness and injury calls since the pilot began. The hope is to increase that to 95 per cent, said Paul Raftis, manager of EMS operations.

"The trains are running on about a two-minute cycle. For us to get from a surface route down into the TTC, it could take us eight, nine, 10 minutes to get right down to the train. With a TTC paramedic on the scene, it may only take them two minutes to get there. So you're saving in some cases six or eight minutes," he said.

An eight-minute delay on the Yonge line at rush hour is the equivalent of four trainloads, each carrying about 1,300 people.

It's not clear whether another team will be added in the future.

The number of calls a single paramedic and TTC supervisor handle is "extraordinary," said TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

"I thought we'd need four or five teams to cover the system, but apparently that's not the case. What that tells us is the (emergency) calls are concentrated in the downtown and they're concentrated in rush hour."

The 2009 TTC budget will cover the $150,000 cost of the program, Giambrone said.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 07:11 PM   #862
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What's the likelihood of a TTC passenger changing trains three times along the subway & RT there?
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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #863
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slim to nil.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #864
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
What's the likelihood of a TTC passenger changing trains three times along the subway & RT there?
It does happen and I would say more often then people may think.

I used to take the Sheppard line from Don Mills to Yonge/Sheppard station then go via Yonge/Bloor station to Sherbourne station to commute to work.

That was a three line trip though I have to admit it was the best commute I have ever had!
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Old December 8th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #865
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A three-line commute could also be made from anywhere on the Sheppard Line (say Leslie station) to Dupont if you cut across on the Bloor-Danforth instead of riding all the way around past Union.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #866
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^Or any trip involving the SRT which although not actual subway is considered a part of the overall subway network.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 11:24 AM   #867
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Quote:
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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.
The lines that have the potential for greater density within the next, say, 10-20 years, are Eglinton and Sheppard.

Eglinton will be built with an underground tunnel and designed for conversion to a subway in the future. The cost of the Eglinton line alone is a great chunk of the Transit City budget because of that tunnel.

Sheppard east will be a surface LRT but would be integrated with the existing Sheppard subway.

Now, if the integration of the SRT with the Eglinton line (as proposed by Metrolinx) takes place, then things will be quite different.

Cheers, m
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Old December 9th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #868
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Quote:
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A three-line commute
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
a three line trip
By changing trains three times, I meant a four-line journey.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:02 AM   #869
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Miller freezes TTC fares
TTC riders will see ticket prices remain unchanged for now.
Vanessa Lu
Staff Reporter


Toronto Mayor David Miller promised today to freeze TTC fares for next year.

"The growing economic crisis is having a profound effect on all of us. Many people have lost their jobs," he told reporters just before city council's special meeting to debate the $1.6 billion capital budget.

"People who are looking for work need to get around to find work."

Miller conceded that a fare freeze will put pressure on the TTC's budget, but argued TTC riders need a break.

The cash fare is now $2.75, or 10 tokens for $22.50. Last November, when fares were increased, the monthly Metropass jumped from $99.75 to $109.

"The economic situation has been nothing short of unpredictable. The scope of what we're witnessing is unprecedented and worldwide," Miller said.

City officials will continue to work toward the goal of a 2 to 4 per cent residential property tax hike when the operating budget is tabled next year.

He also argued that action is needed both locally and nationally, calling on the federal government to earmark funding for infrastructure and transit projects when Parliament resumes at the end of January.

He touted the city's plan to create and protect 35,000 jobs next year through capital spending on road repairs, bridge construction and new bike lanes. As well, the city plans to buy 360 new subway cars, 130 new buses and possibly more streetcars, if Ottawa agrees to kick in cash.

Opposition councillors including Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong will be calling on the city today to consider selling some real estate assets and reinvesting those funds in road construction and recreation facilities.

"I think a number of the city's assets are being underutilized and there's hidden value. We have to look at our real estate assets, which are worth over $16 billion," Minnan-Wong said.

source: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/551451
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
What's the likelihood of a TTC passenger changing trains three times along the subway & RT there?
I used to take the Spadina line to the Bloor line, Bloor line to the Yonge line and down the Yonge line to Dundas.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #871
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Faulty turnstiles impede subway traffic


JACK LAKEY/TORONTO STAR
Two turnstiles at the TTC's Finch station have not worked for months.
Dec 10, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter


Broken-down turnstiles are causing rush-hour bottlenecks at the TTC's Finch station.

If there is anything that requires all its components to work smoothly to provide optimal service, it's the subway.

Trains and tracks are at the heart of a system designed to quickly move people across large distances, but small things like doors, escalators and automated equipment must be in good order for it to be efficient during peak periods, when hundreds of thousands of people cram the subway at the same time.

Michael Sheiner emailed to say two turnstiles at the south entrance to the sprawling Finch subway station, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave., have been cordoned off for months. When they're working, the turnstiles accept tokens and Metropasses, which makes it much easier to get in during rush hour by allowing riders to bypass the collector's booth. "You have to either wait in line to see the person in the booth, or use one of the two `token-only' turnstiles that are in working order, which is very inconvenient," he said.

Finch is the north terminus for the Yonge subway line, with buses from York Region's Viva service and GO Transit dropping off riders, as well as the TTC's own buses, making it one of the busiest stations in the system.

All that commuter traffic creates wear and tear on the infrastructure, which is painfully apparent at Finch. When we were there Monday, stairs descending from the northwest corner of Yonge and Finch were littered with trash and narrowed at the bottom by plywood hoarding.

Just a few metres from the out-of-service turnstiles was an area of floor next to a wall that is closed off by barricades. Some floor tiles have been removed within the area, with a bunch of sand bags in the middle of it. We were told it's been that way for six months.

The TTC is trying hard to improve the appearance of stations, which is evident at some, like the downtown Museum station. But there's a long way to go at Finch.

STATUS: A TTC employee working in the collector's booth next to the turnstiles said they haven't been fixed due to a delay in obtaining parts. Danny Nicholson, who deals with media for TTC, is getting back to us with a timeline for repairs.

UPDATE: Our Monday column detailed how The Fixer got a $39.80 wagering voucher from a self-serve betting terminal at a Champions horse racing teletheatre that couldn't be cashed. Jane Holmes, of Woodbine Gaming and Entertainment, called to say it was due to an error by a mutuels clerk, and has since refunded us the money. We'll round it up to $50 and donate it to the Sportsmen's Corner of the Star's Santa Claus fund.

What's broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To email us, go to www.thestar.com/thefixer and click on the submit a problem link. Or call us at 416-869-4823.

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/551288

=====

New TTC signs confusing for visitors
JACK LAKEY/TORONTO STAR
Union Station sign now shows TTC logo, not symbol for subway trains.


Oct 28, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter


The TTC may be The Better Way, but not if you can't find it.

Few services are more dependent on good signage than large-scale public transit. With all its stations, bus and streetcar routes, the TTC relies on signs to steer people in the right direction.

Toronto's main public transit terminus is Union Station at Bay and Front Sts., where the TTC subway and trains operated by GO Transit and VIA Rail converge. A huge number of people stream in and out of Union Station each day.

Most of the ground floor at Union Station is occupied by GO's concourse, where riders are funnelled to the right train platform or enter on their way from a GO train to the subway or a VIA train.

Alan Fenton has called twice to complain about signage in the GO concourse, noting many of the signs that send commuters in various directions were changed recently.

"They used to have signs that indicated `subway' with the international symbol for subway trains," which is a silhouette of the front of a subway car sitting on tracks, said Fenton, but have changed all of them to the TTC's corporate logo.

When Fenton pointed this out to GO staff at Union Station, he says they were hostile and blamed the city, which owns the station, for the new signs. While many of us in Toronto know that TTC stands for Toronto Transit Commission, Fenton said many visitors wouldn't have a clue know what it means and would have to ask for directions instead of being guided by a sign. "I was told by another GO Transit official that it was the responsibility of tourists to ask for directions ...

"My point is, who on earth besides people who live in Toronto know what the stylized TTC logo stands for? The concourse is very crowded and busy and you would think GO would want people to move quickly and efficiently."

STATUS: Mike DeToma, who deals with media for the TTC, checked and confirmed that GO revamped its signage at Union Station about a month ago. DeToma also checked with TTC's customer service to confirm that so far, nobody's complained to them about it. But he agreed that it could be confusing for tourists.

We're waiting to hear from Ed Shea, who deals with media for GO.

What's broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To email us, go to www.thestar.com/thefixer and click on the submit a problem link. Or call us at 416-869-4823.

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/525646
======

The Fixer has complaints regarding the TTC almost every week!
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Last edited by Skybean; December 11th, 2008 at 06:32 AM.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 04:19 AM   #872
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Embarrassing.

Story spawns growing list of complaints about TTC

Now readers tell of escalators broken down for 6 months – a pain for elderly, disabled passengers
Dec 13, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter


It doesn't take much to light a fire under the seats of TTC riders. Mention doors or escalators and watch the sparks fly.

On Wednesday, we reported on two automated turnstiles that had long been out of service at the Finch subway station, causing delays for people who would otherwise be able to use tokens or Metropasses.

By Thursday, about a dozen emails and calls had arrived from readers pointing out similar problems at other stations, along with a few choice words about delays in repairing them and inconvenience to seniors and people with reduced mobility.

Mark Orfus sent an email saying an escalator at the Sheppard station that ascends to the southwest corner of Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave. has been out of service since last summer. "Every so often they have people tinkering with it, but it has never been operational in six months. It's unheard of."

Ingrid Auer's email said five escalators at Wilson station weren't working during November, adding a notice was recently posted saying they won't be operational until the new year.

"I have a damaged knee and am waiting for surgery," said Auer. "I know for myself that going down three flights, walking across a corridor and going up two flights of stairs every morning is quite painful. I can only imagine the discomfort for the elderly and disabled."

STATUS: The TTC likely has plans and timelines to fix those problems, but haven't shared them with riders. We forwarded all the complaints to Mike DeToma, who deals with media for the TTC. DeToma said he'd find out what the plans are to fix them and get back to us with the details.

source: http://www.thestar.com/article/553262
====


More useless expenditure by the TTC.

TTC urges hiring of 60 supervisors
Putting more traffic managers out on the street would improve flow of buses, Giambrone argues
Dec 13, 2008 04:30 AM

Tess Kalinowski
Transportation Reporter

All that bus service Toronto added this year will run more efficiently if 60 new supervisors are hired to manage the routes, says TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

They would do the same job as those who manage difficult streetcar lines such as Queen – keeping an eye on where buses are down the line and minimizing the short turns and bunching that occurs when too many buses arrive at a stop at about the same time.

Bunching means packed buses are often followed closely by others that are nearly empty.

Passengers who miss the "bunch" can end up waiting too long for the next bus.

"It's unacceptable, our route management right now. It's a real source of customer complaint," said Giambrone.

Those 60 new supervisors would cost the TTC $6 million.

But with 2009 expected to be another difficult budget year in Toronto and the mayor promising a fare freeze, hiring more staff is expected to be a tough sell with the city's budget committee.

Already nearly half – $782 million – of Toronto's capital budget has been devoted to the TTC. So the commission's requests for operating funds are likely to face close scrutiny in the new year.

The commission is asking the city for a $330 million subsidy on its $1.2 billion operating budget – including $27 million over last year to cover increased labour costs.

It's already being suggested that the TTC's plan to ramp up bus service to ensure 20-minute intervals across the system – an improvement on the 30-minute service introduced last month – could be in jeopardy.

Street supervisors improve the efficiency of existing service, argues Giambrone.

Equipped with hand-held GPS devices, they can do things the TTC's control centre can't – ensure buses pull out of designated waiting spots on time, and curtail bunching.

"You can see 180 people waiting to board buses only if you're on the street," he pointed out.

Of 129 supervisors tracking TTC routes, 59 work on computers, 35 are roving supervisors and 35 deal directly with operators on the street, Giambrone said.

In 2000, the ratio of operators to supervisors was about 20:1.

In the unlikely event that the TTC hires no new operators until 2011, that ratio would then rise to about 33:1.

But if more supervisors are hired, the proportion would be about 24:1.

Supervisors earn about $70,000 a year.


source: http://www.thestar.com/article/553206
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Old December 16th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #873
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Quote:
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I was told by another GO Transit official that it was the responsibility of tourists to ask for directions ...
That is the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time, but indicative of the mentality of so many government run organizations. Isn't that the point of having a sign in the first place? I suppose that GO Transit official has 20 staff who can each speak over 100 languages at every station looking for lost tourists.

I doubt that. That official is far too stupid to be working anywhere. Put him in a home.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #874
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Isn't that the point of having a sign in the first place?
It's been written a few times that Expo '67 has been the only time that --indigenous communities excluded-- properly sufficient signage existed anywhere coast to coast to coast here.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #875
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Canada gets many things right, but signage has always been one of those small things that always irritates me here. It's usually inadequate, confusing, or non-existent.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:37 AM   #876
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That is the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time, but indicative of the mentality of so many government run organizations. Isn't that the point of having a sign in the first place?
I agree totally. This is directly discouraging tourists from visiting Toronto. It's absolutely embarrassing and unacceptable.

Check this "new" TTC feature. It has been implemented in virtually all other world metro stations since the early 1990s.

Quote:
TTC wait times on texts, screens
AARON HARRIS/TORONTO STAR
The first screens in a $5.2 million GPS-based system show when the next Spadina streetcars will arrive Dec. 15, 2008.

Dec 16, 2008 04:30 AM
Tess Kalinowski
TRANSPORTATION REPORTER




If information is power, then the TTC is about to put a little bit more of it into the hands of riders.

A new $5.2 million GPS-based screen system means TTC patrons will have access to next-vehicle-arrival information on streetcar and bus platforms by early 2010.

But even before that system is fully installed, riders will be able to get information about when the next bus or streetcar will arrive via text messages on their cellphones.

LCD displays inside stations will show when the next several vehicles are due to arrive and map where other streetcars and buses are located down the route. LED screens, which are less susceptible to weather conditions, will announce next-vehicle-arrival information on platforms.

By late next year, similar information will be available on LED screens at about 350 outdoor transit shelters across the city.

Giving riders the ability to learn how far down the line the next vehicle is means they can grab a cab instead or take time to get a coffee, depending on their schedule.

"It will give people more information to make intelligent decisions about how they travel and move around the city, and that's critical," said TTC chair Adam Giambrone, who showed off the new screens at the 510 Spadina streetcar platform yesterday.

The system is expected to become increasingly accurate as it records data based on variations in the vehicles' travel pattern and calculates the differences, he said.

Also coming to the TTC next year is a text-based system that will allow riders to receive next-vehicle-arrival information for the more than 10,000 bus and streetcar stops in the city via text messaging. Each stop will post a number that riders can use to access that information.

About 6,000 of the TTC's surface stops have shelters. The new shelters being installed as part of the city's street furniture project are wired to work with the LED signs. But it's not clear yet which shelters will get the displays, said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

"There's a criterion that needs to be established with respect to which shelters those go in. There are about 3,000 stops that are fairly major intersections," he said.

A next-train arrival system for the subway will be installed on subway platforms around the city early next year.

"No matter where you are, you will have access to real-time information at your stop," Giambrone said.

The same information will be available on the TTC's web page.

More is coming in the next year, including the opportunity to sign up for email alerts on problems in the system. Next summer, the TTC hopes to launch a trip planner that will help riders map and time a route anywhere on the system.

source: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/554383
While frivolous upgrades are being done to the system, even maintaining the basic sanitary conditions of stations are a challenge. Most are in a deplorable state with litter strewn everywhere and no working elevators or escalators. Disabled? Forget it, you won't be using the TTC.

Quote:
TTC turnstiles are working, but garbage at Finch lingers

Fixer's Guide to Getting Things Done
Dec 15, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
STAFF REPORTER


Broken-down turnstiles that caused commuter bottlenecks at the TTC's Finch Station are back in service, but a trash-strewn area near the entrance needs to be cleaned up at once.

Our Wednesday column was about two automated turnstiles at the south entrance that had long been cordoned off, creating backups at the collectors' booth during peak periods.

Danny Nicholson, who deals with media for the TTC, called Friday to say the problem was corroded wiring, which was fixed the day after the story.

The column also mentioned a small, fenced-in area across from the turnstiles where floor tiles had been removed, which a TTC employee said had been that way for six months.

Aside from several sandbags in the area that serve no clear purpose, it is strewn with coffee cups, cigarette packages and other refuse. Worse, there's a revolting layer of liquid on the floor with greasy, congealed stuff floating on top, to which large fuzz balls have attached themselves.

We know the TTC's cleaning staff is stretched thin, but the mess inside the fence is indefensible.

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/553766
The TTC is a system fit for a third world city.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #877
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The TTC is a system fit for a third world city.
exactly.

Seoul and Hong Kong are better
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:43 PM   #878
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Light-rail plan favoured over Yonge line extension
Dec 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Toronto Star

It's not that the TTC doesn't want to extend the Yonge subway line 6.8 kilometres into York Region. It's just that Toronto doesn't want it built at the expense of the city's other priorities.

After listening to a lengthy update yesterday on the $2.4 billion plans for the extension from Finch station to Richmond Hill Centre, north of Highway 7, councillors on the Toronto Transit Commission are still looking for projected ridership when the proposed extension opens – as soon as 2017.

There are various projections for ridership in 2031, but they're based on potential intensification around some of the proposed stations, and the existing cost estimates don't take into account multi-million-dollar items such as train yards and expanding platform capacity at Bloor station.

Dollar for dollar, the TTC's Transit City light-rail plan will serve more riders than a subway extension, said TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

Unlike the Spadina extension, funding is not yet attached to the Yonge extension.

The $2.4 billion estimated cost could climb as high as $4 billion, said Giambrone.

But the project is on the Metrolinx list of priorities anticipated to get part of the $11.5 billion the province has pledged to transit by 2020.

Yesterday's TTC report says only $5 million is expected for the Yonge extension in the province's spring budget.

Meanwhile, planning for the extension, to this point steered by York Region, is progressing quickly. It's possible shovels could go in the ground by 2012.

The first three of seven Transit City light-rail lines into the suburbs also have been designated as Metrolinx priorities, but some councillors fear the money won't suffice for everything on that list.

"It may be the perfect time to be (building) two or three Transit City lines at once, (a Scarborough rapid transit line), two subway lines, both the Spadina extension and the Yonge extension," Giambrone said.

"All we're saying is, fund your state of good repair, fund Transit City, and then, if we want to talk about other projects, we're happy to go ahead and do them.

"We have the capacity to do that, but we have to make sure the funding's in place. I can't run the system on a hope and prayer. I have to have committed capital dollars."

A public meeting on the Yonge extension is expected in January.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #879
allurban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skybean View Post
I agree totally. This is directly discouraging tourists from visiting Toronto. It's absolutely embarrassing and unacceptable.

Check this "new" TTC feature. It has been implemented in virtually all other world metro stations since the early 1990s.



While frivolous upgrades are being done to the system, even maintaining the basic sanitary conditions of stations are a challenge. Most are in a deplorable state with litter strewn everywhere and no working elevators or escalators. Disabled? Forget it, you won't be using the TTC.



The TTC is a system fit for a third world city.
It is easy to say that but do remember that the TTC system started operating in 1954 and most of the stations were finished by 1965. Aside from the Sheppard Line and Downsview station, the rest of the TTC is more than 25 years old.

TTC would be able to do anything and everything that the newcomer cities could do if they had the funds. They have been starved of proper funding since 1994, that is 15 years of lost opportunities.

Cheers, m
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #880
ssiguy2
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I think Yonge is a good investment and FAR superior than subway ext north of Steels on the Spadina Ext.

That said I think the TTC has a point. With thosee kinds of extra funds they could make a REAL Sheppard cross-town route whether that be elevate a subway or preferably switch the stubway to LRT and then have the Sheppard line continue east to Jane. Sheppard is a mess.

Also some of those extra funds could be used to ext the DonMills line south of Bloor to Queen and eventually turn down Queen to an DRL beginning at the DVP.

Jane could also be extended south past Bloor to hook up onto the Waterfront LRT and further east down Steeles to not only YorkU but all the way to Yonge.

TransitCity could use $2billion to fill a lot of the LRT gaps.
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