Ideas for Useful Subway Expansion

Don’t let the title fool you: I am still in favour of LRT over most every subway expansion proposal. I am fine with extending Yonge up to Steeles. I also suspect that there may be some benefit of extending Sheppard east to Victoria Park and having the Sheppard LRT in the Transit City proposal meet it there (although, that would eliminate a connection with the Don Mills LRT).

While I am not 100% convinced that either the Vaughan or the Yonge extensions are done deals yet, betting on either going forward might be a reasonably safe bet. That said, some comments on other postings here have raised some ideas about more useful ways to expand the subway system, if subway expansion is in the cards. Check out the post by Andy MJ on The GTA Patriot.

I personally feel  that LRT should be implemented from Downsview to York U and on to Vaughan, where it would connect with future YRT/VIVA LRT operations. This would also connect with the Finch LRT and possibly also with the Jane LRT proposed under Transit City. It is these connections that make a rapid transit network - and it is a network that we need, not a skeleton consisting of a backbone and a couple of ribs that we have to funnel people from a wide area onto.

That said, if a subway must go to York U, I am becoming more of a supporter of extending the Sheppard subway to that destination. It would provide a useful cross-connection between the two subway lines at the north end and, at the same time, significantly increase the usefulness of the Sheppard line while providing people in the east a convenient way to York U.

2 Responses to “Ideas for Useful Subway Expansion”

  1. Andy MJ Says:

    If the Sheppard line were expanded and used as the extension to Vanghan, then this should be the “last” subway for Toronto and beyond. There is just too much money involved to justify the cost. Anything else, should be LRTs and/or some type of right-of-way. Also, we need to make use of the Hydro corridors that we do have and utilize them, with LRT technology. In the long run, if expansion is needed, we can focus on extending the LRT network throughout the GTA.

    Cal’s comments: I am basically in favour of using Hydro corridors for LRT - though I have heard that there are some issues with electromagnetic fields under high capacity hydro lines.

    Though this is a bit off topic, I am also in favour of the Gatineau Hydro corridor being used for the Scarborough-Highlands Expressway/Highway 448 concept to connect the DVP at Spanbridge to the 401 east of Morningside, with a northward extension to the Donald Cousins Parkway. Certain traffic is going to exist, and public transit is severely impeded when traffic that should be carried on an expressway moves to arterial roads.

  2. Andy MJ Says:

    Now I am starting to wonder if this was their plan all along?

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/269896

    Cal’s comments: Interesting article. I have mixed feelings about this, but there could be some real transit benefits. For instance, GO should be within the TTC fare zone. For instance, if you take a TTC bus to Kennedy station in the morning and arrive there just before 8 AM, you should be able to hop on the Stouffville GO train that arrives there at 8 and take it to Union. You can do that now, if you are willing to pay the extra GO fare (your transfer from that bus, by the way, IS valid for boardinig a subway at Union). With both ends of the GO trip in the TTC zone, there shouldn’t be any extra fare.

    In Dallas and Fort Worth, the two transit operators work together to operate Trinity Rail Express (their “GO Train” - that actually uses some former GO coaches and locomotives). Within DART’s fare zone, your transfer is good on TRE and within The T’s fare zone, your transfer is good on TRE.

    Cal’s additional comment: Perhaps no extra fare is a bit extreme. GO is more of a “premium express” service and should requrire perhaps a 50 cent surcharge for this example. That is a far cry from the current surcharge of $3.70