Don Mills / Leslie LRT Project Public Consultation

VIVA Next has announced a public consultation on an LRT project on Don Mills Road and Leslie Street from Steeles Avenue to Highway 7. There will be an open house from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm with presentation at 7:00 pm on Wednesday June 10, 2009. The location will be at the Hilton Garden Inn, 300 Commerce Valley Drive East, next to the eastbound East Beaver Creek VIVA stop.

Here is the background from this announcement:

In November 2008, Metrolinx adopted a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) called The Big Move: Transforming Transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The RTP identifies a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in the Don Mills Road/Leslie Street corridor from the Bloor-Danforth Subway to Highway 7. The City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission are currently undertaking a transit planning study to define the LRT project along the Don Mills Road corridor from the Bloor-Danforth Subway to Steeles Avenue.

I will add that even though this site is dedicated to the promotion of LRT over Subway, it is my opinion that the section of Don Mills Road from Eglinton to the Bloor-Danforth Subway would be better served by a northern extension of a yet-to-be-built Downtown Relief Subway line, for a number of reasons I have outlined on this site.

Here is the details of the study for this announcement:

The purpose of our study is to undertake the transit planning and assessment for the LRT on Don Mills Road and Leslie Street from Steeles Avenue to Highway 7. The study will proceed in two phases. The first phase will involve defining the specific details of the transit project. The second phase will be the transit project assessment, which will be initiated this fall and will be conducted in accordance with the  Ministry of the Environment’s assessment process for transit projects, Ontario Regulation 231/08, Transit Projects and Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Undertakings (March 2009).

To obtain additional information or provide comments, please contact:

2 Responses to “Don Mills / Leslie LRT Project Public Consultation”

  1. Michael Forest Says:

    The idea is interesting. Pros:

    1) Leslie / Hwy 7 / East Beaver / West Beaver is a large employment area. The majority of employees arrive by cars; those who use public transit, mostly use Hwy 7 VIVA service or 400 express bus from Finch subway. There is no good transit connection to the south, as the TTC 25D and YRT 90 buses are neither frequent nor very reliable. Reliable LRT service has a chance to attract a significant number of commuters.

    Cal’s comment: I believe you mean the ‘300 Business Express from Finch subway’. YRT’s express routes are numbered in the 300s while school routes are in the 400s (400 is ‘Brother Andre via Raymerville’).

    2) TTC plans to build an undeground LRT station at Fairview, and LRT tracks on Don Mills from Sheppard to Finch. Those could be shared with the Don Mills / Leslie LRT.

    Some concerns:

    1) Not clear whether the LRT section on Don Mills between Sheppard and Finch can cope with both Finch / Sheppard Crosstown LRT and Don Mills / Leslie LRT.

    For the 2 km distance, it should not be an issue. What are the closest head ways being planned - 4 minutes? This would mean that a worst case scenario would have 2 minute head ways over this short section. A comparable distance in Melbourne just south of Melbourne University sees head ways under a minute during rush hours, and this does not have a segregated right of way! Besides, I would expect that not all runs on the Finch LRT will run through, especially at rush hour. Then, of course, if my idea of a 404 alignment for Finch were to be used…

    2) The LRT line is likely to serve Leslie St. only, whereas bus 25D, albeit infrequent, serves offices located at West Beaver and East Beaver.

    I would suggest the cancellation of the 25D altogether. YRT’s route 244, Beaver Creek-Commerce Valley Local (one of only two YRT routes in the 200s that are not GO shuttles) covers the full circle clockwise on a 20 minute head way all day right now. The 25D covers only three quadrants of this, missing Commerce Valley West, in the anti-clockwise direction. I would say that adding an anti-clockwise run of the 244 for all day service, and add a second bus in each direction during rush hours for 10 minute head ways would provide sufficient service when combined with the less frequent route 85B that covers the territory as well, mostly during rush hours. Can you tell I work in the area?

    3) The demand for LRT will be very light off-peak.

  2. Michael Forest Says:

    Cal, you are right regarding the bus number. It is 300 Business Express, not 400. I used to know (I worked in that area a few years ago), but forgot.

    I also like the idea of using a local shuttle bus or a branch of 85 YRT for the East / West Beaver circle. That plus LRT up Leslie should be more attractive that 25D (the latter is not very fast, and often misses schedule).

    Regarding the combined frequency on Don Mills between Sheppard and Finch, I’d like to believe that 2 min service is not an issue. However, my concern arises from the following examples:

    Roads Department apparently does not want Sheppard East LRT trains to run more frequently than once in 5 min.

    TTC has concerns about sharing a section of Sheppard E tracks between Sheppard E and extended S(L)RT lines, even for a short (about 2 km) section between Markham Rd and Neilson.