Archive for July, 2008

What’s Up With the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Eglinton-Crosstown LRTThere has been a lot of buzz lately about what will happen with this Transit City line. Discussions on whether this line should have its tunnelled section built to subway standards have occurred, including on this blog (in this post about building the Sheppard East line to Don Mills).

Though their report has been delayed to the fall, Metrolink is pushing for some sort of metro line, either a full subway, or possibly an east-west crosstown extension of the Scarborough RT line (upgraded to ICTS ART Mark II cars). Steve Munro posted an entry on July 24 regarding these two views. In response to discussions around the ridership levels proposed for Eglinton, he posted another entry on July 27.

Now, in today’s Globe and Mail, John Barber writes today about how this bickering is getting us nowhere towards getting some form of rapid transit on this important line.

Why Call the Yonge Subway “The Jones Express”

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

A number of people have referred to the Spadina Extension as the Sorbara Subway in reference to the line terminating in the riding of former provincial finance minister Greg Sorbara, the man who announced the provincial funding for this extension.

In this blog, I have called the Yonge Extension to Highway 7 the Jones Express, in reference to Markham Deputy Mayor and transit board member Jim Jones. I was recently asked why pick on him when other politicians are supporting this. Also, possibility of the extension came about in a Dalton McGuinty pre-election announcement in June 2007.

subwaynow photoMy reason is simple: Jones spearheaded the push for this extension, encouraging other politicians to climb on board. Even before McGuinty made his announcement in June, Jones wrote this letter to York Region Council in April, copying it to federal and provincial finance and infrastructure ministers, and the councils of Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan. After McGuinty’s announcement, he made this motion at York Region Council.

Most visibly, he made himself available to be photographed for subwaynow.ca propaganda (he’s on the right in the photo above, along with Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti on the left and an unidentified TTC employee). It has been suggested to me that Jones may be more involved with subwaynow.ca than it appears from viewing the website. This is only speculation, likely due to the short time it took to have the photo available for subwaynow.ca.

Speaking of subwaynow.ca, their brochure that extols the virtues of subway over bus lanes, makes a few valid points for that argument but also makes some bogus points. I will post a point-by-point breakdown of this brochure with comparisons to LRT sometime soon, likely after the workshop this Thursday.

Jones Express

Hamilton Rapid Transit Open House

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

The City of Hamilton will be hosting a public information open house on its final proposals for two crosstown LRT lines on Monday July 28. Hamilton City Council authorized staff on June 25 to proceed with LRT instead of BRT for the project.

The July 28 open house will take place from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm at Lloyd D. Jackson Square, rooftop beside the stage. The public can review the latest proposal and offer comments and ideas by attending the open house on July 28, or by completing the on-line survey here.

You can learn more about the Hamilton rapid transit project here.

Scarborough-Malvern and Etobicoke-Finch West LRT EA Open Houses

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Scarborough-Malvern LRTTwo first-round open houses for the EA on the Scarborough-Malvern LRT will be held on July 23 (Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, 3600 Kingston Road at Markham Road) and on July 24 (University of Toronto Scarborough, Science Wing Meeting Place, 1265 Military Trail).

Etobicoke-Finch West LRTThree first-round open houses for the Etobicoke-Finch West LRTwill be held on July 29 (6:30pm - 9:00pm, North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street), on August 6 (6:30pm to 9:00pm, Jane-Finch Mall, 1911 Finch Avenue West), and on August 7 (6:30pm to 9:00pm, Elmbank Community Centre, 10 Rampart Rd, off Martingrove Rd, south of Finch Ave).

New TTC Streetcar Bids May Be Limited to Bombardier

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Updated: 

With the TTC’s announcement that the Bombardier bid was not technically compliant and the bid from TRAM Power was not commercially compliant, the Request for Proposal has been cancelled. At this time, the TTC is confident that this will not delay the procurement of new streetcars for the legacy network by more than four to six weeks. It remains to be seen how this will play out. For more details and comments, see Steve Munro’s website.

Original post follows:

Bids for the streetcar replacement contract, for 204 single-ended LRVs initially with double-ended Transit City LRVs to follow, are in and there are only two bidders, Bombardier and a small British manufacturer, TRAM Power.

For some reason, Siemens chose not to submit a bid about two weeks ago. With recent announcements of worldwide downsizing at Siemens, the need to start up some operations in Canada in order to meet the TTC’s requirement of 25% Canadian content may have resulted in this decision.

Further information on this can be found on the TTC’s Materials and Procurement website as well as in a Globe and Mail article by Matthew Campbell.