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  #11861  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 1:34 AM
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ScreamingViking ScreamingViking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Also, is it possible to consider something other than massive GO trains particularly for the leg from Burlington to Niagara Falls? Surely, smaller, more economical trains are available that could connect at Burlington (Aldershot) with existing GO trains.

The challenge is to make strategic rail improvements to make the trip significantly faster than it is today. Rail service cannot generate ridership unless the service is more time competitive than it is today. Often these rail improvements can be made incrementally.
Smaller trains that connect to the regular GO service are something to think about, despite the need to transfer. Especially if they connect to an express service.

And I totally agree with your second point quoted here. If that generates higher demand, the economics of the investment may work.
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  #11862  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 1:44 AM
ClaytonA ClaytonA is offline
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Conservative Transit Funding Cuts

They want to pay for their tax cuts on top of the already large deficit. People get what they vote and pay for. And pay one way or the other in lost time, etc. or taxes and fees.

Scarborough Subway

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1084120672090112001

Quote:
... This will surprise no one who has been watching the Fords. We’ve been here before (Spoiler: No private sector investment materialized for a Sheppard subway extension) via @nataliealcoba circa 2011 ...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...article566757/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...ding-1.1026972

All new GO RER stations RFQs have also been cancelled.

https://yorkpublishing.escribemeetin...ocumentId=1631

https://yorkpublishing.escribemeetin...ocumentId=1632

Quote:
... the current delivery process and Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for new GO stations will be stopped ...
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  #11863  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 3:57 AM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Sounds like the Ford Conservatives are creatively winding down transit expansion without actually coming out and saying it. As always, the electorate gets the government that they deserve.
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  #11864  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 4:38 AM
SaskOttaLoo SaskOttaLoo is offline
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Originally Posted by ScreamingViking View Post
The totals are useful for marketing purposes, but for transit planning there's a need to delve into details. A business case isn't made on total market potentials. It's just not that simple.

This line is unique among others because it potentially serves two markets: the tourists, and the commuters to/from Hamilton and Toronto. (acknowledging that there are tourist trips heading into Toronto along all the lines on weekends and holidays, GO service depending)

For tourism, it's not just the total. We need to consider how those people are currently getting to Niagara from wherever they originate (Toronto area, other Canadian origin, the US, international) and where they are going once they get to Niagara: the Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, wineries. Would the train be a viable option in terms of cost and convenience? For all types of tourists? (singles, couples, families). If the train were an option, would there be viable options for them to get to their tourist destinations from St. Catharines or Niagara Falls stations?

Niagara Region does have 450,000 people, but those residents are spread among a number of urban areas across a bigger area that's largely rural. StatsCan's commuting flow data shows that the vast majority of workers in the local CMA (88%) commute within the region. For Niagara commuters travelling beyond, can the trip to Hamilton/Burlington/Oakville/Mississauga/Toronto be done efficiently by train with good connections at the destination end? Would there be a travel time savings? Would the cost savings be worthwhile?

These are all considerations that need to be made when establishing the current demand for a service. Then there's a need to consider what the trends say about the future. And whether there is latent demand to think about too. It's complicated.

Re: the mid-pen, I don't think it's warranted yet but I could see this government making a political decision that goes against the recommendations of the last provincial study. That study established a basis for route planning between the QEW in Fort Erie and the 406 to provide an alternate corridor from the Peace Bridge, and further study of transportation needs in the west section, but to monitor travel in the middle until 2031. Personally I don't think there will be a need for a full new highway for a long time if the QEW can be expanded and managed well enough.
I agree that it's complicated. However, in such cases I think you have a couple of options. One is to study it to death for a long time to try to estimate what's going to happen. The other is to just pilot the service and see how it goes. If no one uses it, then you have your answer. But if you start to see some pickup, that's your answer. In some cases, like where the track already exists, that can be an easy way to see whether it's worth further investment.
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  #11865  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 3:24 PM
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hipster duck hipster duck is offline
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Originally Posted by Mister F View Post
I'm curious what you mean by "viable in a conventional sense". Viable isn't the same thing as profitable. Few intercity travel options are profitable (including highways). But that doesn't mean they're not viable. The route to Niagara is a short, high demand, congested, densely populated and highly urban route. It doesn't get much more viable for passenger rail than that.
I meant to say profitable. However, now I'm wondering if it will be viable, given the costs involved and the payout.

Unless the train is time-competitive with the car, it will not be viable. To have faster travel speeds than the car and frequent departures, we would basically need to rebuild the entire line west of Hamilton. That would involve adding a second track at many, if not all, locations, tunneling or building a very tall bridge over the Welland canal, eliminating many grade crossings, upgrading all the stations with second platforms, and then building a flyover/under somewhere around Bayview Jct. to avoid interference from freights. Then we would have to buy and maintain a fleet of dedicated trainsets. Conservatively, this looks like it would have a cost of about $1.5 billion and take longer than one government's mandate (4 years) to plan, design and build. A government might be saddled with all the debts and delays and bad press and not even be able to look forward to a ribbon cutting ceremony.

I think such a train would, being generous, attract maybe 10,000 riders a day. And that's if the ticket prices are set at a reasonable level (like $20) that may not even recoup operating costs, let alone construction costs.

There should be an alternative to the car, and it will make a dent on QEW congestion and possibly open up a lot of Niagara region for growth, so it's certainly not the dumbest transit proposal out there, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck by investing transit dollars elsewhere.
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  #11866  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2019, 4:03 PM
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Dengler Avenue Dengler Avenue is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
I meant to say profitable. However, now I'm wondering if it will be viable, given the costs involved and the payout.

Unless the train is time-competitive with the car, it will not be viable. To have faster travel speeds than the car and frequent departures, we would basically need to rebuild the entire line west of Hamilton. That would involve adding a second track at many, if not all, locations, tunneling or building a very tall bridge over the Welland canal, eliminating many grade crossings, upgrading all the stations with second platforms, and then building a flyover/under somewhere around Bayview Jct. to avoid interference from freights. Then we would have to buy and maintain a fleet of dedicated trainsets. Conservatively, this looks like it would have a cost of about $1.5 billion and take longer than one government's mandate (4 years) to plan, design and build. A government might be saddled with all the debts and delays and bad press and not even be able to look forward to a ribbon cutting ceremony.

I think such a train would, being generous, attract maybe 10,000 riders a day. And that's if the ticket prices are set at a reasonable level (like $20) that may not even recoup operating costs, let alone construction costs.

There should be an alternative to the car, and it will make a dent on QEW congestion and possibly open up a lot of Niagara region for growth, so it's certainly not the dumbest transit proposal out there, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck by investing transit dollars elsewhere.
Interim solution: allowing buses of all sorts to use the right shoulder during rush hour, with the speed capped at 20 kph over the traffic flow?
__________________
Q: ON-11 or ON-17, which one should we twin (assuming there's political will)?

A: Hook up a trailer to the back of the pickup truck and get from one Bay to the other Bay. Then you can understand which is more of a better highway to upgrade.
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  #11867  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:42 AM
Mister F Mister F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
I meant to say profitable. However, now I'm wondering if it will be viable, given the costs involved and the payout.

Unless the train is time-competitive with the car, it will not be viable. To have faster travel speeds than the car and frequent departures, we would basically need to rebuild the entire line west of Hamilton. That would involve adding a second track at many, if not all, locations, tunneling or building a very tall bridge over the Welland canal, eliminating many grade crossings, upgrading all the stations with second platforms, and then building a flyover/under somewhere around Bayview Jct. to avoid interference from freights. Then we would have to buy and maintain a fleet of dedicated trainsets. Conservatively, this looks like it would have a cost of about $1.5 billion and take longer than one government's mandate (4 years) to plan, design and build. A government might be saddled with all the debts and delays and bad press and not even be able to look forward to a ribbon cutting ceremony.

I think such a train would, being generous, attract maybe 10,000 riders a day. And that's if the ticket prices are set at a reasonable level (like $20) that may not even recoup operating costs, let alone construction costs.

There should be an alternative to the car, and it will make a dent on QEW congestion and possibly open up a lot of Niagara region for growth, so it's certainly not the dumbest transit proposal out there, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck by investing transit dollars elsewhere.
10,000 riders a day would be 3.65 million riders per year. That's almost as many as the all of Via's Corridor routes combined (4.1 million in 2017) and almost certainly more than any of them individually. 10,000 riders per day, or even half that, would be an enormous success.

Again you're conflating profitability and viability. Whether or not the line recoups operating costs (let alone capital costs) through ticket sales is not a measure of succcess. None of Via's busiest routes meets that standard, and neither does the 401 or the TTC or almost any highway or transit agency. That's not how you determine the viability of a transportation project.

As for bang for your buck, that argument could be made for literally any transit project except maybe the downtown relief line. Denying funding for one project doesn't increase funding for another. That's not how transit is funded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScreamingViking View Post
You seem to be taking this personally... it's not personal, it's business case.

I was trying to explain how travel demand for specific transportation projects is determined, as part of a business case -- that is what I was referring to as complicated. It's not a simplistic reasoning to "throw hands in the air and give up". Current trip projections in the corridor on the Metrolinx site for the project aren't that high: daily two-way trip estimates in the Niagara portion of the corridor are 1,050-1,900 (current/2016) and 2,200-3,000 by 2031. The most cost-effective way to serve that demand is a key issue -- as it stands, IMO the numbers don't make a strong case for a lot of rail service. It will be interesting to see Metrolinx's updated full business case for this, that looks at the net economic and financial benefits/costs.
I'm aware of how travel demand is determined, and I'm aware of how flawed the methodologies can be. The problem with your argument is that you equate those numbers with travel demand. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Those numbers merely reflect the ridership forecast for a specific proposal. Actual travel demand is much higher and the better you make the rail line the higher its mode share will be and the more it will induce new demand. With current transit mode share at well under 1%, there's a lot of room to grow.

In any case, those estimates are conservative at best. The seasonal weekend service that a lot of people don't even know exists gets that much ridership already. There were close to 3000 people riding the train in a single day way back in 2009, and the last couple years have seen the highest ridership on record. If we actually built a decent rail system instead of doing the bare minimum, it would be successful.
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