Archive for the ‘General LRT’ Category

Council Meeting on Sheppard East

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Today was the special meeting of Council on the transit choice for Sheppard East.

The morning, and part of the afternoon, was spent on questions for staff. The chair of the special panel on Sheppard, Professor Eric Miller, was not present as he is at a conference that was arranged long before this meeting was set for today (it was originally set for March 15). In order for him to be asked questions, a teleconference connection was to be used, but as this has never been used by Council and there are no official rules regarding it, Council needed to approve it. Councillor Minnan-Wong rose on a point of order questioning what the long term effects of this vote would mean. The City Clerk indicated that the vote would only apply to this one situation and would not be precedent setting. The vote to allow the teleconference questioning passed.

Councillor Kelly had a motion to allow another speaker to answer questions. Since this was an agenda change, it required a 2/3 majority vote and did not pass.

Councillor Glen De Baeramaeker presenting motion

A little after 3 pm, the main motion was finally presented by Councillor De Baeremaeker, followed by questions on the motion. After this, other councillors either spoke on the motion or presented other motions.


LRT and Subway Myths

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I have added a new page to the site outlining some LRT and Subway Myths. This blog posting is here to provide a forum for comments, suggestions, and arguments coming from that page.

The Case for LRT

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Toronto badly needs a new subway.

That is an odd opening statement for a position in favour of LRT. To clarify it, let me state that I did not say that Toronto badly needs any subway. What Toronto badly needs is transit expansion that looks at the network as a whole, and the one and only subway that fits that need at this time is the eastern leg of a Downtown Relief Line. This would be a line into downtown, possibly somewhere between Queen and King, running from the University line, connecting with the Yonge line, heading east and curving north to the Bloor-Danforth line somewhere between Pape and Coxwell, then continuing up to the intersection of Don Mills and Eglinton. Eventually, a western segment will be necessary, but the priority at this time is the eastern segment.


What a Waste

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Update at 11:26 am on August 11: Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne just stated on Newstalk 1010 that this is an unnecessary expense. She has cancelled it and has ordered the TTC to withdraw the ads seeking the consultant. 

 I have a problem when the focus is on subway construction when capacity needs are sufficiently met for the foreseeable future by LRT, but even LRT can have its costly waste.

It was reported in yesterday’s Star that the TTC is seeking a qualified consultant to choose art for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. I have great concerns about spending any money on a frill such as this, but just wait to hear what they are spending: the two-year consultant contract pays $420,000. That is just for the consulting work, and does not include what will be spent on actually purchasing and installing any art work.

It makes me wonder if the space for artwork wouldn’t be better used for advertising. I know there are those who are opposed to being inundated with ads everywhere, but is being inundated with what someone else feels as artistic any better? At least advertisements don’t cost us to put up and actually bring in an ongoing stream of revenue. Perhaps there could be a special contract that requires advertisements to somehow be artistic. I’m sure there are a few ad agencies that would jump at the chance to get in on that, and instead of us forking out a few million dollars (which I am speculating will be the total cost of consultant and chosen art), it costs nothing up front and we get a permanent revenue stream.

I would be willing to take that contract for half its amount, but even that is a waste.

Waterloo Regional Council Votes 9-2 in Favour of LRT

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

According to the Waterloo Region Record, in a historic decision, regional council voted 9-2 Wednesday to build an $818-million rail transit system, the largest public works project ever undertaken in the region.

Critics fear trains will prove a costly blunder in a car-friendly community where commuters shun transit. Some critics argue rapid buses — at $702 million — are a cheaper, more flexible way forward. What the critics don’t realize is that for the extra $116 million in additional capital costs, the LRT system will cost less per year to operate than a rapid bus system.

The approved plan and latest timeline suggests that by 2017 you will see electric trains, drawing power from overhead wires, running 19 kilometres between Conestoga Mall in Waterloo and Fairview Park mall in Kitchener. Trains will pass every 7.5 to 15 minutes and stop at up to 18 platforms. Mall-to-mall travel time is estimated at 39 minutes, up to nine minutes faster than the schedule for express buses today.

Cambridge is getting buses instead of trains because transit ridership is lower there, redevelopment potential is less, and rapid transit is being implemented in stages to save money.

Work to relocate or encase utilities beneath streets could launch by next year, to prevent ruptures and maintenance from disrupting transit. Track construction could launch by 2014.

If only this could be built and running sooner. Toronto could certainly use a good dose of LRT Envy, and this is close enough for that!