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  #61  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 5:46 PM
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Metra has way more all-day two-way train service than GO. And it serves 50% larger population.

Why are people so adamant to bring Toronto transit down. Ssiguy talks about GO expansion, yet somehow the response is to shit on GO system now. Of course GO needs expansion. Why else would GO expand in the first place?

And sorry, transit ridership in the GTA is far higher than Chicagoland, especially considering the population difference. Toronto's transit ridership is much closer to Berlin than to Chicago.

Weekday boardings in Toronto area, 2012
TTC 2,938,796
Durham Region Transit 49,520
York Region Transit 96,849
Mississauga Transit 182,978
Brampton Transit 114,176
Oakville Transit 11,808
GO Rail 198,995
GO Bus 54,469
Burlington Transit

Weekday boardings in Chicago area, 2012
Pace Suburban Bus 137,400
CTA 1,723,800
Metra 300,400
Kenosha Transit
Gary Public Transportation Corporation
East Chicago Transit
V-Line


Weekday boardings in Berlin area, 2016
S-Bahn 1,300,000
BVG 2,700,000

Sources:
http://dmg.utoronto.ca/pdf/tts/2011/...ion2011.pdf#32
http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...ip-APTA.pdf#17
https://www.s-bahn-berlin.de/unterne...urzfassung.htm
http://www.bvg.de/en/Company/Profile/Structure--facts


Addendum:
Toronto area population 6.1 million, Chicago 9.5 million, Berlin 5.0 million. So per capita, Toronto area transit ridership is 2.8 (edit:2.6) times higher than Chicago area. Berlin area transit ridership is 1.3 times higher than Toronto area and 3.7 times higher than Chicago area.

Edit 2:
Even though TTC stats are outdated (from 2011), weekday boardings for Toronto still a bit inflated because they are not average. Toronto ridership is more like 2.5 times Chicago. Berlin ridership 1.4 times that of Toronto.

Last edited by Doady; Aug 24, 2017 at 9:43 PM. Reason: bad maths
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  #62  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 1:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
I rode SF Muni today for the first time in a few weeks. It reminded me of the original Star Wars bar scene. I'll continue to support transit for those who need it and as a backup, but I'll probably ride it less and less myself as I get older and less prepared to cope with the grit.
This sounds like every transit system in the United States. I'm retired and deal with this daily in Los Angeles. It's particularly problematic when I use it for simple things, such as going to the store to buy cat food.
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  #63  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 5:41 AM
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American cities have a very bad habit of spending precious transit funds for pet projects with the building of streetcars as the stellar example.
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  #64  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 2:34 PM
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American cities have a very bad habit of spending precious transit funds for pet projects with the building of streetcars as the stellar example.
Compare that with Toronto streetcars that are heavy movers of passengers in the older parts of Toronto. Most modern streetcar projects do a short loop that don't serve a great number of people. They are vanity projects with the hope of revitalizing downtown. But to do that properly, you need to draw people into downtown from the suburbs. Downtown circulator streetcars do not accomplish this.
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  #65  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 3:00 PM
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The best downtowns have a mix...big office populations, strong retail, strong tourism, nightlife, and so on. The office workers need access. But in some categories suburbanites are a secondary concern...for retail, it can be more important to capture the residents inside the first ring of malls, plus tourists. Real transit is important for a lot of reasons, and I won't argue for streetcars, but local circulator transit can have a role too.
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  #66  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 4:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Compare that with Toronto streetcars that are heavy movers of passengers in the older parts of Toronto.
*Were heavy movers of passengers. Not so much these days with the ongoing streetcar shortage.

I think the US focus too much on rail. Rail expansion in Canada is mostly for replacing overcrowded bus routes. If a place can't even support regular bus or BRT service, I don't see why waste money building light rail. Ultimately it's too much focus on marketing and image instead of function.
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  #67  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2017, 9:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
*Were heavy movers of passengers. Not so much these days with the ongoing streetcar shortage.

I think the US focus too much on rail. Rail expansion in Canada is mostly for replacing overcrowded bus routes. If a place can't even support regular bus or BRT service, I don't see why waste money building light rail. Ultimately it's too much focus on marketing and image instead of function.
LRT that runs every 15 or 30 minutes and shuts down in the early evening seems like a waste for such expensive technology.
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  #68  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2017, 3:44 AM
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Seattle built up a huge bus system over the years before they finally built light rail. Now light rail is very successful and bus ridership continues to grow. Even before LRT, Seattle metropolitan area was already one of the top in USA in transit ridership and mode share, right behind Philadelphia and Chicago.

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing Seattle's downtown did not suffer massive decline due to lack of rail transit. Maybe better to think of the bigger picture, all the connections, and not focus so much on rail, disconnected from everything else.
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  #69  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2017, 3:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Seattle built up a huge bus system over the years before they finally built light rail. Now light rail is very successful and bus ridership continues to grow. Even before LRT, Seattle metropolitan area was already one of the top in USA in transit ridership and mode share, right behind Philadelphia and Chicago.

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing Seattle's downtown did not suffer massive decline due to lack of rail transit. Maybe better to think of the bigger picture, all the connections, and not focus so much on rail, disconnected from everything else.
It proves that a good quality comprehensive transit network is more important than rail transit by itself. This is why Toronto is so successful despite relatively limited number of subways. The complimentary bus network is effective and subways are built where buses cannot handle the passenger load. We are also seeing this in Ottawa, which is now building a LRT subway through downtown. It also has an extensive bus network and LRT is being built because buses can no longer handle the passenger load through downtown.

When you hear about LRT opening and overall ridership is declining, something is wrong with transit planning. Is LRT being properly integrated with the bus network? Is money being taken out of the bus network to fund LRT operating costs?
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  #70  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2017, 5:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
*Were heavy movers of passengers. Not so much these days with the ongoing streetcar shortage.

I think the US focus too much on rail. Rail expansion in Canada is mostly for replacing overcrowded bus routes. If a place can't even support regular bus or BRT service, I don't see why waste money building light rail. Ultimately it's too much focus on marketing and image instead of function.
The only issue I have with the approach taken in Toronto is that the replacement of busy bus routes is sometimes a bit too literal. People take buses along a particular street in order to access rapid transit that then leads to somewhere else, so the important thing isn't upgrading/reinforcing that particular route, but helping people reach their ultimate destination. For instance, if you have a large number of people trying to get to employment centers like downtown and over taxing feeder routes leading to the nearest rapid transit line, they turn the feeder bus route into a rail-based stub route rather than taking the hint and building another route to downtown. Examples being Eglinton, and the proposed Jane, Finch, and Islington LRTs. If they'd have taken the resources used for Eglinton and directed it toward a DRL from say, Sheppard/Don Mills down to King, then up Dufferin ending at Jane/Wilson or Islington/Dixon, we wouldn't need all these stub lines to be upgraded. Simple bus lanes would suffice.
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  #71  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2017, 4:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
The only issue I have with the approach taken in Toronto is that the replacement of busy bus routes is sometimes a bit too literal. People take buses along a particular street in order to access rapid transit that then leads to somewhere else, so the important thing isn't upgrading/reinforcing that particular route, but helping people reach their ultimate destination. For instance, if you have a large number of people trying to get to employment centers like downtown and over taxing feeder routes leading to the nearest rapid transit line, they turn the feeder bus route into a rail-based stub route rather than taking the hint and building another route to downtown. Examples being Eglinton, and the proposed Jane, Finch, and Islington LRTs. If they'd have taken the resources used for Eglinton and directed it toward a DRL from say, Sheppard/Don Mills down to King, then up Dufferin ending at Jane/Wilson or Islington/Dixon, we wouldn't need all these stub lines to be upgraded. Simple bus lanes would suffice.
The only LRT proposed or U/C that I like is Hurontario-Main in Mississauga. In Toronto, I would support Wilson LRT, and maybe Lawrence East LRT (if possible) and Scarborough LRT. But the focus of rail expansion in the city of Toronto should be subways: Pape-Don Mills, Eglinton, Sheppard, in that order.

With the huge mandatory underground portion and the Richview Corridor, LRT is obviously a stupid choice for Eglinton. Sheppard already has subway, so don't even think about Finch so close by. And Sheppard is a major part of the city's Avenues plan. Jane, Finch and Islington are not.

What the City of Toronto is doing with LRT is idiotic. Don't think I want other cities doing the same. Again, too much focus on image. Building LRT just for the sake of having LRT. No regard for how the LRTs fit into the larger network, or into the city's Avenues plan. It's the opposite of what made the TTC a success in the first place.

So yeah basically I agree with everything you said.
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  #72  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2017, 9:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
It proves that a good quality comprehensive transit network is more important than rail transit by itself. This is why Toronto is so successful despite relatively limited number of subways. The complimentary bus network is effective and subways are built where buses cannot handle the passenger load. We are also seeing this in Ottawa, which is now building a LRT subway through downtown. It also has an extensive bus network and LRT is being built because buses can no longer handle the passenger load through downtown.

When you hear about LRT opening and overall ridership is declining, something is wrong with transit planning. Is LRT being properly integrated with the bus network? Is money being taken out of the bus network to fund LRT operating costs?
I read an article about Dallas, and there does seem to be conflict between bus and rail expansion. City wants more buses, but DART wants more rail, especially for the suburbs. Dallas has the largest LRT system in US so maybe it's just an extreme case.

According to the stats on the APTA website, overall Dallas ridership only increased 23% since 1996 (the year LRT first opened). Other systems like Denver and Phoenix saw major increase in total ridership (including bus ridership) after LRT was built. Other systems like Charlotte and St Louis saw overall ridership decline after LRT.
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  #73  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 1:41 PM
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I read an article about Dallas, and there does seem to be conflict between bus and rail expansion. City wants more buses, but DART wants more rail, especially for the suburbs. Dallas has the largest LRT system in US so maybe it's just an extreme case.

According to the stats on the APTA website, overall Dallas ridership only increased 23% since 1996 (the year LRT first opened). Other systems like Denver and Phoenix saw major increase in total ridership (including bus ridership) after LRT was built. Other systems like Charlotte and St Louis saw overall ridership decline after LRT.
The question has to be asked about why there is a decline in ridership. Is it because money was taken out of the bus system and service was cut? Is it because the bus system has not been modernized? Is it because buses are not being properly maintained or security is questionable? I am also hearing LA ridership is declining despite the implementation of new rail lines.

The example of DART is a perfect example despite some ridership gains. LRT is extensive but ridership is not very high and rail frequency is not that good. Is the the bus system that feeds it not efficient or the service poor?
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  #74  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 6:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
The question has to be asked about why there is a decline in ridership. Is it because money was taken out of the bus system and service was cut? Is it because the bus system has not been modernized? Is it because buses are not being properly maintained or security is questionable? I am also hearing LA ridership is declining despite the implementation of new rail lines.

The example of DART is a perfect example despite some ridership gains. LRT is extensive but ridership is not very high and rail frequency is not that good. Is the the bus system that feeds it not efficient or the service poor?
Ridership has less to do with transit quality than difficulty of driving. It's very easy to drive in Dallas, so there would be no reason for the non-poor to use transit, even if they built 10,000 miles of light rail.

IMO Europe doesn't have high ridership because it has good transit; it has high ridership because urban centers are very difficult to navigate by car. You see this in cities like Prague and Vienna, which have small Metro systems but massive ridership. You also see it in North America, where smaller systems in Canada have higher ridership than bigger systems in the U.S.
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  #75  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
The question has to be asked about why there is a decline in ridership. Is it because money was taken out of the bus system and service was cut? Is it because the bus system has not been modernized? Is it because buses are not being properly maintained or security is questionable? I am also hearing LA ridership is declining despite the implementation of new rail lines.

The example of DART is a perfect example despite some ridership gains. LRT is extensive but ridership is not very high and rail frequency is not that good. Is the the bus system that feeds it not efficient or the service poor?
Has there been a decline in ridership?
Dart bus ridership 1996 was around 57 million , today it's 36.5 million .
Dart light rail ridership 1996 was 1.4 million, today it's 29.6 million.
Some math follows;
36.5 + 29.6 = 66.1 million.
66.1 - 57 = 9.1 million.
66.1 / 57 x 100 = 115.96% increase over 20 years.
And you consider that a failure?
In Dallas, the bus system had been loosing ridership over the previous 20 years, 1976-1996, changing that around should be considered a success.

And I can post links to where I found the data at. Can you?

Last edited by electricron; Aug 25, 2017 at 7:10 PM.
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  #76  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 7:02 PM
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Has there been a decline in ridership?
Dart bus ridership 1996 was around 57 million , today it's 36.5 million .
Dart light rail ridership 1996 was 1.4 million, today it's 29.6 million.
Some math follows;
36.5 + 29.6 = 66.1 million.
66.1 - 57 = 9.1 million.
66.1 / 57 x 100 = 115.96% increase over 20 years.
Any you consider that a failure?
If those numbers are correct, then, yeah, there has been a decline in ridership. Those numbers show a pretty significant drop in ridership share.

You're trying to muddy the numbers by pointing out there has been a (slight) net rise in raw numbers, without pointing out that population grew by like 50%.

Also, your numbers likely show unlinked transit trips, which will obviously be inflated when you introduce light rail, since a (previous bus only) trip would have been counted as one trip, and a (new, bus + light rail) trip counts as two trips.
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  #77  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 8:33 PM
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Ridership has less to do with transit quality than difficulty of driving. It's very easy to drive in Dallas, so there would be no reason for the non-poor to use transit, even if they built 10,000 miles of light rail.

IMO Europe doesn't have high ridership because it has good transit; it has high ridership because urban centers are very difficult to navigate by car. You see this in cities like Prague and Vienna, which have small Metro systems but massive ridership. You also see it in North America, where smaller systems in Canada have higher ridership than bigger systems in the U.S.
Cities in Canada are small, easy to drive around. They have much larger bus systems than cities in the US, and buses use the same roads that cars do.

It's true Canadian cities have fewer freeways downtown, but that doesn't explain the high local bus ridership in Mississauga or Laval.

Higher ridership in Canada is largely because of higher transit service, especially bus service.
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  #78  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 8:46 PM
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cultural differences as well. Small cities like Kingston have 10 minute frequency lines running all day with a population just over 100,000. Near impossible in the US, even in university towns (which Kingston is).

Honestly I think a big reason is how much more expensive driving is - insurance, gas, and car prices are all far higher in Canada. Its costing me over $700 / month right now to finance and operate a honda civic. And that is direct costs only (gas, payments, insurance), yet alone depreciation, etc. That same car in Ohio would probably be closer to $400 / month.

A bus pass is mighty attractive when compared to that, even if you are making half decent money.
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  #79  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Has there been a decline in ridership?
Dart bus ridership 1996 was around 57 million , today it's 36.5 million .
Dart light rail ridership 1996 was 1.4 million, today it's 29.6 million.
Some math follows;
36.5 + 29.6 = 66.1 million.
66.1 - 57 = 9.1 million.
66.1 / 57 x 100 = 115.96% increase over 20 years.
And you consider that a failure?
In Dallas, the bus system had been loosing ridership over the previous 20 years, 1976-1996, changing that around should be considered a success.

And I can post links to where I found the data at. Can you?
Note that my comment mentions ridership gains, but a 15% increase in overall ridership is not impressive given the amount of investment that was made and given population growth. My main point is the low frequency of trains.
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  #80  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2017, 11:19 PM
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cultural differences as well. Small cities like Kingston have 10 minute frequency lines running all day with a population just over 100,000. Near impossible in the US, even in university towns (which Kingston is).

Honestly I think a big reason is how much more expensive driving is - insurance, gas, and car prices are all far higher in Canada. Its costing me over $700 / month right now to finance and operate a honda civic. And that is direct costs only (gas, payments, insurance), yet alone depreciation, etc. That same car in Ohio would probably be closer to $400 / month.

A bus pass is mighty attractive when compared to that, even if you are making half decent money.
Most (and Least) Expensive States to Own a Car
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gobank...b_9516846.html

According this list, Michigan is the most expensive states for car owning, and New York is one of the cheapest. But if you look at transit ridership stats, I think you will find Michigan is one of the worst in the US, much worse than New York.

D-DOT in Detroit had 26.1 million boardings in 2016. That's half of MiWay bus system in Mississauga (54.2 million). The City of Detroit is probably not wealthier than Mississauga, and Detroit transit fares are half price. Cost doesn't seem like a huge factor. And Detroit is probably not easier to drive around in than a post-war suburb, built for the car. I think what makes the biggest difference is the amount of transit service.
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