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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2017, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Halifax, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Victoria should have LRT.
Niagara Falls does not need LRT. The town's population is only 88,000. It does need a good transit solution between the train station (VIA) and the tourism zone (if none already exists)

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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Charlottetown, Moncton, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Peterborough, Guelph, Regina, Lethbridge, Kelowna, and Nanaimo should have streetcars.
I'm not sure Guelph needs streetcars either. Traffic is much worse between Guelph and KW than it is within Guelph. A lot of Guelph's population does not work in Guelph. I'm less familiar with Peterborough, but I'd think they do not need streetcars either.

If these statements are based purely on the size of the cities listed (i.e. city of minimum size X should have transit option Y), they are oversimplifying the requirement for advanced forms of transit.
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2017, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TorontoDrew View Post
Hell no. The only people that seem to hate the streetcars are those who don't use them and those who drive in the city. You can't replace those lines with LRT's or subways because you need a vehicle that can make many stops. The only thing that could replace them would be buses but they are less efficient and way less comfortable. It's time to remove cars from King during rush hour. Cars create traffic not the streetcars.
I use the streetcars every day on King. From my observations, the biggest problem isn't the cars on King itself, it's the cars on intersecting streets such as Spadina, University, Bay, and Yonge. There is a major problem in Toronto with people entering intersections and then getting stuck in the intersection when the light turns red, and then the streetcar on King can't get through. Banning cars on King won't stop that; better police enforcement at these intersections will.

Additionally I'm not sure removing cars entirely from King at rush hour is physically possible, due to the number of parking lots/garages accessed from King.
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 3:30 AM
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Originally Posted by manny_santos View Post
I'm not sure Kingston needs streetcars. They've got a good thing going with their new express bus service. It just needs some traffic signal priority and it's good to go.
Hmm. Didn't know about the express bus route system. I do prefer the idea of streetcars to buses, though, for their capacity and permanence, as well as aesthetically, and as a city grows, it can be a precursor to full-on LRT. I'm not sure Kingston will ever grow to be that big, but who knows. I put Kingston on the list because it is an older, urban city with a large student population. I could see a single line going from Queen's University, over to King/Ontario St, meet up with Princess St and then go up to Cataraqui Centre.

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Originally Posted by Horus View Post
Niagara Falls does not need LRT. The town's population is only 88,000. It does need a good transit solution between the train station (VIA) and the tourism zone (if none already exists)



I'm not sure Guelph needs streetcars either. Traffic is much worse between Guelph and KW than it is within Guelph. A lot of Guelph's population does not work in Guelph. I'm less familiar with Peterborough, but I'd think they do not need streetcars either.

If these statements are based purely on the size of the cities listed (i.e. city of minimum size X should have transit option Y), they are oversimplifying the requirement for advanced forms of transit.
It's really awkward (though possible) getting from the VIA station to Fallsview. A direct, permanent, high capacity rail line, because Niagara Falls is more than the 100k due to the huge tourist population would be very useful and convenient. It would be very easy for out-of-towners who don't like to fuss with bus route names/numbers and would be far quicker. Could also hook up to Lundy's Lane.

Guelph and Peterborough I included because they are both cities with walkable cores and major university presence, but the university is located away from the walkable core. So I thought having a direct rail line would be useful.
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 3:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
It's really awkward (though possible) getting from the VIA station to Fallsview. A direct, permanent, high capacity rail line, because Niagara Falls is more than the 100k due to the huge tourist population would be very useful and convenient. It would be very easy for out-of-towners who don't like to fuss with bus route names/numbers and would be far quicker. Could also hook up to Lundy's Lane.
There is the Niagara Parks People Mover -- "WeGo" that makes stops at all the major attractions, including the train station.

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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 4:01 AM
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Yes, like I said, I know it's possible to use transit in NF, just a bit annoying to use. And it's a bus, not a train.
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 4:21 AM
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I guess we have different opinions on what "really awkward" means.

There used to be a rail line that ran from an abandoned bridge over the river near the train station, down past the Skylon Tower and through the land the Fallsview Casino now occupies. Some of it has been converted to a pathway, with the rest just greenspace or parking lots (there is still track south of the falls). It could be recovered for rail transit, but whether the cost would be justified by the demand is a good question.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 6:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Halifax, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Victoria should have LRT.

Charlottetown, Moncton, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Peterborough, Guelph, Regina, Lethbridge, Kelowna, and Nanaimo should have streetcars.
Why the devil do any of those cities need streetcars? There is nothing a streetcar could do that a bus couldn't but the bus would cost one-tenth the amount to implement.

If there is one thing that Canada can learn from the US on transit is that all these streetcar lines that have been constructed for the sole reason that "everyone else has one" is that they are money pits and have nothing to do with transit and everything to do with vanity and political ambitions. Nearly all the new streetcars have absolutely deplorable ridership and are universally panned as an obscene waste of limited transit funds.

Ridership on the new Seattle streetcar has collapsed and the new Atlanta one has such poor ridership they are thinking of closing it down. Downtown Kansas City's only attracts 3,000 passengers a day and it's free!
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 2:47 PM
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if you follow ue post history (past and present usernames) - you'll realize he believes roads and vehicles not on tracks are the workings of the devil.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 3:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Why the devil do any of those cities need streetcars? There is nothing a streetcar could do that a bus couldn't but the bus would cost one-tenth the amount to implement.

If there is one thing that Canada can learn from the US on transit is that all these streetcar lines that have been constructed for the sole reason that "everyone else has one" is that they are money pits and have nothing to do with transit and everything to do with vanity and political ambitions. Nearly all the new streetcars have absolutely deplorable ridership and are universally panned as an obscene waste of limited transit funds.

Ridership on the new Seattle streetcar has collapsed and the new Atlanta one has such poor ridership they are thinking of closing it down. Downtown Kansas City's only attracts 3,000 passengers a day and it's free!
It's a bit of a stretch to suggest the issues faced by the transit systems of many american cities can be blamed on the streetcar. They can be a an effective treatment - but you can't just slap them down anywhere and expect them to be successful.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 4:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Why the devil do any of those cities need streetcars? There is nothing a streetcar could do that a bus couldn't but the bus would cost one-tenth the amount to implement.

If there is one thing that Canada can learn from the US on transit is that all these streetcar lines that have been constructed for the sole reason that "everyone else has one" is that they are money pits and have nothing to do with transit and everything to do with vanity and political ambitions. Nearly all the new streetcars have absolutely deplorable ridership and are universally panned as an obscene waste of limited transit funds.

Ridership on the new Seattle streetcar has collapsed and the new Atlanta one has such poor ridership they are thinking of closing it down. Downtown Kansas City's only attracts 3,000 passengers a day and it's free!
Yeah, I agree with this post completely.

These downtown streetcars are basically total failures when it comes to transit investment: they're slow, they don't go anywhere, they cost an obscene amount to build and an obscene amount to operate. They also require an entirely separate division of managers, maintenance crew and operators that a small transit agency cannot rationally support.

US cities built them as a sop to the construction industry post-2008. Many of them were funded by TIGER grants. They also were meant to be downtown revitalization schemes, not actually to serve transportation needs.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 5:06 PM
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Originally Posted by feepa View Post
if you follow ue post history (past and present usernames) - you'll realize he believes roads and vehicles not on tracks are the workings of the devil.
This is false, full stop. I'm not responding here for your sake, as you clearly have your mind made up about me, although I can't quite understand why you feel the need to be a petty curmudgeon on an online forum with people you don't know.

But for the sake of others here -- I don't have a problem with cars or buses. In fact, if feepa really followed my post history, he'd note several instances where I mention the usefulness of cars, especially in an auto-dependent city like Edmonton. He only looks at what fits the narrative he wants to spout, however. I even conceded that a rapid bus system for Kingston would probably render the need for a streetcar moot, although it still has some perks.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2017, 5:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ciudad_del_norte View Post
It's a bit of a stretch to suggest the issues faced by the transit systems of many american cities can be blamed on the streetcar. They can be a an effective treatment - but you can't just slap them down anywhere and expect them to be successful.
This. The streetcars I envisioned for those smaller cities would not be little tourist downtown loop streetcars which are common in the US. They would connect nodes (eg Trent University to Downtown Peterborough). Furthermore, I was thinking more of the streetcars in smaller European cities, not American cities, which are riddled with issues, outside of certain cities.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 1:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
This. The streetcars I envisioned for those smaller cities would not be little tourist downtown loop streetcars which are common in the US. They would connect nodes (eg Trent University to Downtown Peterborough). Furthermore, I was thinking more of the streetcars in smaller European cities, not American cities, which are riddled with issues, outside of certain cities.
Buses are good enough. Basically anything short of a metro can be covered by a bus (as Vancouver proves with a bus line seeing roughly 50K riders a day, ahead of any Toronto streetcars, even limiting within cities Toronto's 3rd or 4th busiest route is a bus route, well ahead of many streetcar lines).
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 1:25 AM
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Buses are good enough. Basically anything short of a metro can be covered by a bus (as Vancouver proves with a bus line seeing roughly 50K riders a day, ahead of any Toronto streetcars, even limiting within cities Toronto's 3rd or 4th busiest route is a bus route, well ahead of many streetcar lines).
Isn't the King St. corridor at something like 60k per day?
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Halifax, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Victoria should have LRT.
I was saying this in a London post earlier, But I do agree that London should go for LRT instead of BRT. I mean at least we're getting something (that is, if those NIMBYs don't ruin it for us), but I feel it's a waste of money to build BRT, and then have to upgrade it years later for LRT.
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 3:27 PM
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Isn't the King St. corridor at something like 60k per day?
I'm pretty sure I read it was at 46-48K. . . I might have the numbers slightly off, but I remember the Vancouver bus route was significantly busier than Toronto's top streetcars.
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  #37  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 4:18 PM
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Yeah, I agree with this post completely.

These downtown streetcars are basically total failures when it comes to transit investment: they're slow, they don't go anywhere, they cost an obscene amount to build and an obscene amount to operate. They also require an entirely separate division of managers, maintenance crew and operators that a small transit agency cannot rationally support.

US cities built them as a sop to the construction industry post-2008. Many of them were funded by TIGER grants. They also were meant to be downtown revitalization schemes, not actually to serve transportation needs.
I think what I highlighted is the key. If you build transit that just circulates around downtown without fulfilling a specific transportation need, it will be doomed to very low ridership. Transit needs to move people from place to place where there is a demand.

Downtown circulator streetcars are vanity projects designed to encourage reinvestment instead of actually moving people to where they want to go. Relatively speaking they are cheap, but ridership figures speak for themselves. They are for a city too cheap to build real rapid transit.
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  #38  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 4:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
I'm pretty sure I read it was at 46-48K. . . I might have the numbers slightly off, but I remember the Vancouver bus route was significantly busier than Toronto's top streetcars.
As of the end of 2016 the 504 King had an average ridership of 64k per day: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/co...0071d60f89RCRD
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:09 PM
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As of the end of 2016 the 504 King had an average ridership of 64k per day: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/co...0071d60f89RCRD
That is a ridiculous number. King Street - should be streetcar only.

For real.
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
US cities built them as a sop to the construction industry post-2008. Many of them were funded by TIGER grants. They also were meant to be downtown revitalization schemes, not actually to serve transportation needs.
I don't think these streetcar projects were well-justified but there's something to be said for getting rid of diesel buses if you want to make a transit corridor more pleasant to attract more residents and shoppers. The noise pollution and emissions are terrible.

Electric buses seem like a better trade-off though. With overhead lines you are still stuck on a route but adding extra overheads is cheaper and less disruptive than laying new track. There are also battery-powered buses that today are viable on a lot of routes, and they are just going to get better over time.

Having a dedicated right of way has the other advantage of making it easier to control the system with automation, but this is going to be less important in the future, particularly along the 30-50+ year public infrastructure timescale. In 10 or 20 years it will probably be pretty easy for most cities to run automated electric buses along most routes. That will be relatively affordable and a big improvement over today's technology. This is an awkward time to spend lots of money on streetcars or LRT.
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