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  #11821  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ScreamingViking View Post
How many billions will it take to provide the service? It would not just be a major rail upgrade, but a fixed rail crossing over or under the Welland Canal too, to avoid major delays from ship traffic, especially with frequent service. The demand has to be there to justify that spend.

Estimating travel demand for a specific mode is not simple.

According to StatsCan, in 2017 there were nearly 8.7 million visits to the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA, 5.4 million of them same-day. The majority are likely Friday to Sunday, plus holidays. I'm not sure if GO has published ridership for their seasonal Niagara service but that may be a good starting point for looking at tourist trip demand by rail.

Weekday service would rely on commuters. From the 2016 Census data on commuting flows for CMAs and CAs, there were 11,145 commuters from St. Catharines-Niagara to the Hamilton CMA and 5,725 to the Toronto CMA, the vast majority by car. There would be auto users willing to convert if the time/cost makes sense and they can connect to their place of work at the destination end, and you'd also have to look at where those people are coming from and going to within the CMAs to see if the rail option is reasonable (a better picture of origin-destinations can be had from the more detailed table for Census Subdivisions that covers the smaller geographies but would take a while to compile numbers). Some may just end up driving to Hamilton or Burlington and taking the train from there. Some may not want to switch at all, until congestion gets bad enough on the Niagara section of the QEW (and even then, commuters can be stubborn). The bus to Burlington remains a viable option too, until congestion affects travel times in a big way, and some of those commuters take it and may continue to take it. The portion of those ~17,000 commuters who would take the train to Hamilton or from Niagara region to Toronto may not end up being very big.

The numbers GO was showing a few years ago at their public info centres for Niagara expansion were small, far less than a full trainload per day from what I recall. They'll likely go up as growth continues and traffic worsens (and there are travel demand models that forecast trips for projects like this, which draw on data like the Census and travel surveys) but how much?

I'm not against this service (it's worth a trial at least). I'm just not optimistic the cost of a higher level of service will be justified for a long time.
It's an urban region with 450,000 people served by a highway with daily traffic of over 100,000 that's perpetually jammed all summer ("just" driving to Hamilton isn't so easy). Not to mention 14 million annual tourists, most of whom are domestic and coming from the GTA. In any other part of the world there would be fast, frequent, electrified trains serving this region. It would be an absolute no brainer and many such links exist. But here in timid Canada we quibble about canal crossings and doubts about demand when the demand is staring us in the face.

There's renewed talk of the mid-peninsula highway, which is estimated to cost billions of dollars and would make our transportation system even more skewed to driving than it already is. Putting that money into a rail link instead (yes, including a canal crossing) would be a much wiser move. If there's demand for not one but two freeways then there's demand for rail.
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  #11822  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 4:32 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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Originally Posted by ScreamingViking View Post
How many billions will it take to provide the service?
A consultant said around $1.2 billion in capital upgrades, if a new tunnel was built. As it stands, around $100 million.
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  #11823  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:02 PM
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I was taking Toronto Subway Line 4. It seems to be operating well under capacity. Does it take an extension to somewhere in Scarborough to jack up the ridership?
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  #11824  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
I was taking Toronto Subway Line 4. It seems to be operating well under capacity. Does it take an extension to somewhere in Scarborough to jack up the ridership?
Extending it to another transit line would make it more successful. Unfortunately, that line likely won't be extended for decades (which is a good thing in some ways as well) just due to the costs and the lack of justified ridership up there. Perhaps that DRL segment north to Don Mills would fix things a bit...
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  #11825  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneralLeeTPHLS View Post
Extending it to another transit line would make it more successful. Unfortunately, that line likely won't be extended for decades (which is a good thing in some ways as well) just due to the costs and the lack of justified ridership up there. Perhaps that DRL segment north to Don Mills would fix things a bit...
I wonder whether an eastward extension will take some commuter traffic off the 401.

Ps: On another note, taking those old-school streetcars has a historical feel to it.
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  #11826  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:37 PM
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I think people are missing the point that this GO train can actually provide a lot of utility to people commuting to Hamilton as well, of course the issue is that the early schedule makes this much less convenient.
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  #11827  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:40 PM
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The spec for REM is the same platform length as the E and M lines in Van and the same width as the Canada Line so the train are actually fairly large. My question is not whether the PLAN to extend the platforms but, whether this is something that they have PLANNED to be able to do. I.e. the Canada Line has knockout walls to extend to platforms. I’m talking more about whether they are making sure not to put something critical at the end of the platform that prevents them from extending it down the line. Especially since most of the platforms on the legacy Deux Montagnes route are much longer because they serve 8 car commuter trains.
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  #11828  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:41 PM
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Also visited every station on Montreals Metro!: https://youtu.be/u-Or_vNc2Z4
Did this for the one year anniversary of visiting every station on the TTC
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  #11829  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Reecemartin View Post
The spec for REM is the same platform length as the E and M lines in Van and the same width as the Canada Line so the train are actually fairly large. My question is not whether the PLAN to extend the platforms but, whether this is something that they have PLANNED to be able to do. I.e. the Canada Line has knockout walls to extend to platforms. I’m talking more about whether they are making sure not to put something critical at the end of the platform that prevents them from extending it down the line. Especially since most of the platforms on the legacy Deux Montagnes route are much longer because they serve 8 car commuter trains.
I believe they've planned it. Would be stupid not to.
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  #11830  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 6:57 PM
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Doug Ford: he couldn't get elected Mayor of Toronto, so he went for the next best thing... Mayor of Toronto.

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Ontario government to introduce legislation to upload Toronto subway to province in spring
https://globalnews.ca/news/4834294/o...medium=Twitter

What does this mean for the rest of Ontario? We'll have to pay for the maintenance, operation and expansion of the Toronto subway while the rest of us struggle to finance our own systems? The province is even leaving the fare revenues to the TTC. Hopefully, the rest of Ontario can use this as a bargaining tool for capital transit projects.
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  #11831  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 7:17 PM
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TTC used to be of provincial responsibility, though. Then again that was the time when public transit was considered luxurious, not essential.

Should Ontario government upload the OC trains too?
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  #11832  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 7:38 PM
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I sure as heck don't want Ford to take over OC's rail operations. I want him to stop playing Mayor of Toronto and start running the Provincial Government.
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  #11833  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 7:41 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
Doug Ford: he couldn't get elected Mayor of Toronto, so he went for the next best thing... Mayor of Toronto.



https://globalnews.ca/news/4834294/o...medium=Twitter

What does this mean for the rest of Ontario? We'll have to pay for the maintenance, operation and expansion of the Toronto subway while the rest of us struggle to finance our own systems? The province is even leaving the fare revenues to the TTC. Hopefully, the rest of Ontario can use this as a bargaining tool for capital transit projects.

No offense but the GTA has been the cash cow for most other projects in Ontario. It's has one of the least subsidized transit systems in North America. For every tax dollar that leaves Toronto only $0.04 ever gets reinvested here. I'm actually surprised the cons want to upload it as it was the cons that slashed provincial funding for it under Mike Harris. This is just another way for DoFo to pretend he is mayor of the city that hates him. If anything this is a bad Thing for Toronto as the DRL will never happen under DoFo and the cons.

Last edited by TorontoDrew; Jan 11, 2019 at 8:22 PM.
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  #11834  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:03 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
What does this mean for the rest of Ontario? We'll have to pay for the maintenance, operation and expansion of the Toronto subway while the rest of us struggle to finance our own systems? The province is even leaving the fare revenues to the TTC. Hopefully, the rest of Ontario can use this as a bargaining tool for capital transit projects.

Knowing Dictator Doug's style, it's all just another way to stick it the "downtown elite" and Toronto city council, and put us into massive debt by build subways out to Pickering and Oakville instead of much-needed lines in the city.

And I'm sure the maintenance & operations budget will be slashed from what it is now. This is basically a lose-lose for everyone.
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  #11835  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Reecemartin View Post
The spec for REM is the same platform length as the E and M lines in Van and the same width as the Canada Line so the train are actually fairly large. My question is not whether the PLAN to extend the platforms but, whether this is something that they have PLANNED to be able to do. I.e. the Canada Line has knockout walls to extend to platforms. I’m talking more about whether they are making sure not to put something critical at the end of the platform that prevents them from extending it down the line. Especially since most of the platforms on the legacy Deux Montagnes route are much longer because they serve 8 car commuter trains.
CDPQinfra's communications do not seem to hint an eventual provision for platform lengthening if ridership justifies it. They are selling the idea they can eventually allow a train every 90 seconds if ridership justifies it.

However, I remember they also have said that they could eventually add a 5th car on each train. The train ends would extend beyond the platform, but the train doors would still fit... I am very skeptical of this - unless they add a shorter car where the length would take in to account doors and PSD.

Current platforms for the Deux-Montagnes line can fit 10-car trains (~270 m).
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  #11836  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:12 PM
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For every tax dollar that leaves Toronto only $0.04 ever gets reinvested here. .
4 cents on the dollar is pretty hard to believe, unless this is hyperbole.
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  #11837  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:15 PM
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I don't know about the 4 cents on the dollar, but I would say that the previous Liberal Government did a fairly good job of keeping the transit funding proportional across the province. This is from an Ottawa perspective when looking at OT vs. GTA. I can't speak for the rest of Ontario.

I agree that the subway upload is not a good for Toronto. Leaving full control of future subway extensions to Doug likely means more subways to suburbs and another few years of nothing on the DLR. That said, there hasn't been much progress under the City of Toronto anyway, but that again can be blamed in part on Ford Nation.

As you said, it is quite ironic that the Conservatives are doing this as their policy usually involves downloading responsibilities to municipalities, not uploading. Then again, this isn't a Conservative policy, it's a Doug Ford policy, and none of his minions have the guts to call him out.
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  #11838  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I don't know about the 4 cents on the dollar, but I would say that the previous Liberal Government did a fairly good job of keeping the transit funding proportional across the province. This is from an Ottawa perspective when looking at OT vs. GTA. I can't speak for the rest of Ontario.

I agree that the subway upload is not a good for Toronto. Leaving full control of future subway extensions to Doug likely means more subways to suburbs and another few years of nothing on the DLR. That said, there hasn't been much progress under the City of Toronto anyway, but that again can be blamed in part on Ford Nation.

As you said, it is quite ironic that the Conservatives are doing this as their policy usually involves downloading responsibilities to municipalities, not uploading. Then again, this isn't a Conservative policy, it's a Doug Ford policy, and none of his minions have the guts to call him out.

Agree that this is a hell of a move for Toronto. With emphasis on "hell".

I did a double-take when I saw that news, even though I can't say I was totally surprised.
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  #11839  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:28 PM
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4 cents on the dollar is pretty hard to believe, unless this is hyperbole.

This is something Olivia Chow campaigned on when she ran for mayor a few years ago.


Even if not accurate Toronto's GDP is on par with all of Alberta's and all of Quebec's but this city doesn't seem to receive the investments it deserves. Anytime money is spent here we get the "Why should Ontario" or "Why should Canada" pick up the tab when this is never the case. If Toronto could even keep 25% of it's tax revenue we could build a subway system like London. NYC, or Paris over time.
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  #11840  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:32 PM
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This is something Olivia Chow campaigned on when she ran for mayor a few years ago.


Even if not accurate Toronto's GDP is on par with all of Alberta's and all of Quebec's but this city doesn't seem to receive the investments it deserves. Anytime money is spent here we get the "Why should Ontario" or "Why should Canada" pick up the tab when this is never the case. If Toronto could even keep 25% of it's tax revenue we could build a subway system like London. NYC, or Paris over time.
Are you sure she wasn't talking about the municipal administration's budget as opposed to overall government investment in the city?

And it was 8 cents on the dollar, I just checked. Still very low though.

But not sure about the correlation she and others are making.
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