Tag Archives: TTC

Time to vote #Toronto for something simple, radical or impossible!

Well your friendly neighborhood G.T.A Patriot is back online, after a hiatus. Today is Election Day, across the province. However in the G.T.A, specifically Toronto, you have a major choice today to make between 3, maybe even 4 candidates. Being that I love to talk about transit, let us keep this simple. Gridlock has been a major issue in Toronto and the surrounding areas. There are plans, and more plans. But who has the right one? What are your choices?

Plan 1 – Do something simple

Olivia Chow wants to keep things simple by adding more buses to Toronto streets. When I first looked at the plan I thought it was not radical enough. Why just buses? Then York Region VIVA/YRT finished their sleek looking BRT on Highway 7. Olivia Chow did not talk about buses to that extent, however I wonder what would have happened if she had? A BRT may not work in all areas in Toronto, however in the interim a simple BRT may have proven successful. She also wants to revisit the Scarborough subway expansion. She is right, we had a plan, it would have worked and saved us an extra 1 billion. Unfortunately it’s too late to open this issue again. 

Plan 2 – Do something radical

John Tory wants to utilize the infrastructure we already have with SmartTrack. The timeline he has chosen is aggressive, but needed. Forget all of the other ideas around, he wants us to do what others are doing in other parts of the world, with surface subways. It is a novel idea, which could work in certain parts of the city; I would love to see more of these surface options. I have often wondered why we don’t keep things simple in Toronto. I would not necessarily call the ones John Tory proposes as “surface subways“. The first thing that comes to mind is the open air section on the Allen. I have been to New York, Chicago and other parts of the world. Being in New York, I don’t see folk complaining about the overhead subway trains, similar to our Scarborough RT. The MTA, in New York, focuses on getting people from point A to point B, along with integration in transit options. Again his plan can work, however it is heavily dependent on Metrolinx. If John Tory wins, Scarborough can no longer say that they got nothing and if I was a developer I would start buying property around Kennedy station.

Plan 3 – Do something impossible?

Doug Ford has a plan called subways, subways, subways! It could be interpreted as a dream. Looking at his plan, if there was a bottomless pit of cash, it would be the best one; albeit with tweaks and the inclusion of LRT options. Of course everyone wants to see a major investment in subways. We are way behind in transit development. When I looked at the map proposed, by the Ford’s, I envision a well-connected city. Unfortunately the big problem with his plan is money and time. Unless, we the citizens, are prepared to actually invest in transit it will never get done. We constantly complain and bicker over the cost. But what will actually push us over the edge? When it takes 2 hours to get from point A to point B? Wait, that’s happening already!

In the end, in a pipe dream, I wish we could do all of the plans at the same time. Turning Toronto’s transit into a system, like New York or London, would help the city and region for generations to come. Another Toronto candidate, Ari Goldkind proposes that we have an “adult conversation”. We do have to come to realize that we must invest and actually pay for it. In the end, I imagine we will need to get the provincial government more involved. Metrolinx should be responsible for all subways, trains and light-rail, in the city and the entire G.T.A. I can only pray that we are not talking about this again in 4 years. Make sure you vote today!  

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Hey #Toronto! You’ll never get to work on time!

Found this photo and I think that nothing better shows what we can possibly expect this summer.

Credit: www.miamibeach411.com

Toronto I hope you are ready for the traffic apocalypse! You can thank the Pan-Am Games and the lack of investment in transit infrastructure over the past 20 – 30 years; both public and road construction.

We have done a pitiful job managing growth and urban sprawl. We cannot turn back the clock and despite what you may think investments in transit and roads are needed. The question is are we making the right investments? Are we letting the experts make the decisions? Or are we opting for band-aid solutions?

So be prepared for traffic and plan wisely. I would suggest you spend some time using Google Maps. Learn the best routes and take it easy; control your rage. Otherwise we will truly have an end of days traffic nightmare summer.

Toronto Traffic Biblical Proportions:

http://youtu.be/O3ZOKDmorj0

 

Let’s talk about transit at cross-roads again in Toronto

T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway ...

Transit is now on the radar. Everyone is talking about it. Yes, talking! Will we fund transit? How much will it cost? Will it really ever get done? I sense that there are a lot of skeptics; weary of trusting such a bold plan in the hands of politicians. Let’s be honest, we have been here before. We all remember the expansion plan that was pretty much killed by the Mike Harris and the Ontario PC Party. The common sense revolution took hold and since we didn’t have the money it was put on hold. So we got a third of a Sheppard line. However the PC party was not the only government to play with transit. We could have had an entire streetcar / LRT network in Scarborough. Instead we got the RT. What citizens are tired of is talking and fighting over transit. We need action, along with a long-term plan. Provincial and Municipal elections are coming soon. We finally have shovels in the ground. Question is will we fill up the sandbox again just so our grandchildren can continue to talk about it?

By: @iammannyj

The “One City” 30-year plan possibly 20-years too late?

English: "Transit City" billboard pr...

English: “Transit City” billboard promoting proposed LRT expansion in Toronto by the TTC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford says “No”, and Karen says “Yes”! Most Torontonians know we need subways and better transit. We need a proper transit system in Toronto and transit is a smart investment. I was amazed to see how bad transit is in Toronto, when I attempted to make a simple trip on the roads the other day. To travel on Eglinton, from Wynford to Warden, took approximately 20-30 minutes, and I thought I was taking a short-cut. On another day I got off the 401 and got stuck on York Mills. I could not believe how many cars were on the road.  I understand why people are stressed. Drivers are upset in traffic, it makes sense. Trips that should take 10-15 minutes are now taking 45 minutes to an hour. There is not even a proper strategy for bicyclist downtown.

So what to do now? Well we have ‘another’ new 30-year transit plan. I have some news for our politicians, and I will keep it simple. We don’t have 30-years! I think we actually only have 10 years, max 15. We need shovels in the ground now and some out of the box ideas.

1. GO Transit has lines and tracks crossing through the city. Keep it simple! We need trains running on these lines in minimum 20-30 minute intervals; both ways, not in one direction downtown. Let’s utilize some of the infrastructure that exists and make it better.

2. Open up David Millers original Transit City plan and do more. Lets enhance that plan and fix what needs to be fixed. Get it done! No more long-term plans. Let’s get the maximum value out of the plans we have.

3. Let’s get a downtown “No Frills” relief line for Toronto. It does not have to be fancy. There are under-utilized CP/CN lines in the city. Put something on them and get people moving! In Ottawa they created a line on a single track, with track switching on certain portions of the line. It was not fancy, but they got it done.

4. Where are the BRT‘s and bike networks? Lets use our hydro corridors for BRT’s and a proper bike network.

5. Let’s get inventive and use Lake Ontario to move people to downtown Toronto, between Oshawa, Bowmanville, Hamilton and more.

6. Possibly re-visit Leslie as a relief to the Don Valley Parkway, maybe even using it for transit. We don’t need a massive change, but when we get to Eglinton somehow connect the road to the Bayview extension via a tunnel or via the valley in a creative fashion.

7. Merge transit across the city and lets get Presto implemented everywhere! Should Metrolinx be in charge of the entire transit system across the G.T.A?

We have to stop saying Torontonians, and G.T.A residents, cannot afford new taxes. I don’t like them either, but I don’t like to see people idling their cars. I don’t like stress. It’s pointless, if we know the solution to a better and healthier city. We do not need fancy, we just need to move! We know something must be done, so let’s get it done now; not 30 years down the road. It’s nice to have a plan, but we have had too many since the Liberal Peterson Government. We need transit in 10-15 years, not 30.

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Different modes of transit in Greater Toronto – removing political spin and disinformation

Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sci...

Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sciences LRT Station, Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Explaining different modes of transit in the G.T.A; removing political spin and disinformation

Found a great article on transit through “What happens to public opinion when LRT is explained”. It is a great piece, which is quite informative. Take some time to read the article. Cherise Burda takes to time to explain the differences between subways, light rail, GO Trains, rapid bus and right-of-way streetcar modes of transit.

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New construction timeline for Transit City

Overview of Anonas LRT Station

Overview of Anonas LRT Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New construction timeline for Transit City

Despite 16 months of flailing on the transit file, all four of Toronto’s new provincially funded light rail lines will open within the original timeframe of 2020.

Only the hotly contested Sheppard LRT will be completed much later than it would have been before Mayor Rob Ford came to office and stalled all plans for street-level transit expansion.

Now, instead of the Sheppard LRT opening in 2014 as originally scheduled, work will only begin that year. The Finch LRT is scheduled to break ground in 2015. Both projects are expected to take about four years to complete.

The debate over Subways or LRT transit is over – David Miller will see his vision for Toronto

"Transit City" billboard promoting p...

David Miller‘s original plan for Transit City will go ahead. The debate is over and it’s time to move on. It is pointless to delay building transit in Toronto and we should accept the conclusion. According to the original plan, if Transit City was started on time the Sheppard portion would have been completed by 2014. Hopefully the province will get it done quickly and on budget. Any further delays will add to the overall costs. Oddly enough construction on the Sheppard portion of the LRT will not begin until 2014, in a municipal election year. Is it a coincidence? Rob Ford may want to consider leaving this issue alone during the next election. Let’s look at the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), or something else. Unless he has a Federal ace card up his sleeve he may find himself on the wrong side again.

http://www.thestar.com/mobile/news/transportation/article/1167448–metrolinx-recommends-sheppard-lrt-building-start-in-2014

David Miller launching "ICT Toronto"...

David Miller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Keep it simple stupid Air Rail link options dead on arrival

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline (Photo credit: Bobolink)

Keep it simple stupid Air Rail Link options dead on arrival

It was actually a novel idea and it was nice to see a unity at City Hall. They may have been a bit far reaching, however it would have been nice to see connections at Eglinton and maybe St. Clair. However this was “dead on arrival”. As indicated on NewsTalk1010 this morning, the Government said “what part of express rapid air link to you not understand”.  Well I guess council got it’s answer? In some sense it was nice to see a decision actually made by Metrolinx. It would have been nice for them to offer an opinion and some decisions in regards to Transit City.

On Wednesday council will consider a motion put forward by Councillor Frances Nunziata – a close ally of Rob Ford – that calls for a major revamp of the Air Rail Link planned to run between Pearson Airport and Union Station by 2015.  

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