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Sure, but that doesn't mean there is demand for LRT or something higher order. Most American LRT and even metro systems run at horrible frequencies, and exist not out of necessity, but out of some vague obligation to provide public transit. In other words, we really shouldn't be looking at other places and judging whether or not we need to build x because y place has x.

The Eglinton East LRT as it stands is a $4B capacity upgrade, with no tangible benefits in any other field other than maybe as a development tool, an excuse to do a street rebuild, or to adhere to some form of rail bias: none of which are good reasons to build transit.
A capacity upgrade is certainly a good reason to build transit. However, I agree that for local needs. I’m not sure an LRT makes sense where a BRT or just faster and frequent service would do just as well. Often in Toronton it feels like we build rail lines to make a point or subsidize development or land owners. It offen doesn’t serve a need for the region.
 
Sure, but that doesn't mean there is demand for LRT or something higher order. Most American LRT and even metro systems run at horrible frequencies, and exist not out of necessity, but out of some vague obligation to provide public transit. In other words, we really shouldn't be looking at other places and judging whether or not we need to build x because y place has x.

The Eglinton East LRT as it stands is a $4B capacity upgrade, with no tangible benefits in any other field other than maybe as a development tool, an excuse to do a street rebuild, or to adhere to some form of rail bias: none of which are good reasons to build transit.
LRTS don’t weave in and out of traffic making the ride smoother. People prefer rail travel than busses. The LRTs would be significantly larger meaning transit riders wouldn’t be stuffed in like sardines. Yes ROW LRTs encourage development as seen on eglinton, hurontario, Kitchener, finch. More development means more transit riders. I would think that’s a plus for transit, for property values and for the cities tax revenues.

And then the big one…

All the TC LRTs are in their own ROW and during rush hour would not be stuck in transit. That is a tangible benefit. The time most people are using the system when traffic is heaviest the LRT would have its own lane making it faster. For someone who wants to make transit fast you sure like to ignore this massive benefit and pretend it’s trivial.
 
LRTS don’t weave in and out of traffic making the ride smoother. People prefer rail travel than busses. The LRTs would be significantly larger meaning transit riders wouldn’t be stuffed in like sardines. Yes ROW LRTs encourage development as seen on eglinton, hurontario, Kitchener, finch. More development means more transit riders. I would think that’s a plus for transit, for property values and for the cities tax revenues.
Transit for the sake of development typically means vanity project. Just ask York Region and the VIVA BRT, a massive overbuilt BRT where aside from Viva Blue (Yonge Street), all run at horrible frequencies and isn't used by anyone. It was built to spur development, and that's all it's doing, with no evidence that that development is contributing much in terms of ridership. Viva also proves that no you don't need the project to be rail in order to spur development, all you need is some semblance of permanent infrastructure that would be difficult to get rid of. So no, this isn't even something that LRT has the exclusive rights on.

More importantly here, all you're explaining is that Light Rail is a luxury mode, or a "nice to have", a preference to smoothness. It doesn't change the fact that the only real improvement to transit in terms of operational improvement is capacity which is kinda the whole point of this convo. Does Eglinton need the capacity improvement of LRT given all of the under construction RT projects ongoing in Scarborough, or is the 4B better spent elsewhere.
All the TC LRTs are in their own ROW and during rush hour would not be stuck in transit. That is a tangible benefit. The time most people are using the system when traffic is heaviest the LRT would have its own lane making it faster. For someone who wants to make transit fast you sure like to ignore this massive benefit and pretend it’s trivial.
You seem to be ignoring the fact that Eglinton and Morningside have bus lanes which according to THE CITY THAT IS TRYING TO PUSH THE LRT TO BE BUILT, is faster than what the LRT will be. Eglinton's busses already bypass most of the traffic during rush hour, and this is something that can be replicated on most streets in the city. LRTs aren't special in that regard.

That's what LRTs are, higher capacity busses with smoother rides. Are they better than busses? Yes. Are they worth the hefty price tag? Depends.

I've always said that Eglinton-Malvern LRT was "one of the good" LRT projects that were in Transit City, mainly because it was a corridor most suited to LRT - a big high capacity route that funnels people into other higher order modes, where speed doesn't really matter all that much and doesn't make much of a difference. Of course that is contingent on Eglinton being in need for such a capacity upgrade, and with the DSBRT and SSE, I somehow doubt it. It's a project that should happen, but it shouldn't be on any immediate priority list, especially when there are more important projects out there like Sheppard West and Finch West to Woodbine Racetrack.
 
Transit for the sake of development typically means vanity project. Just ask York Region and the VIVA BRT, a massive overbuilt BRT where aside from Viva Blue (Yonge Street), all run at horrible frequencies and isn't used by anyone. It was built to spur development, and that's all it's doing, with no evidence that that development is contributing much in terms of ridership. Viva also proves that no you don't need the project to be rail in order to spur development, all you need is some semblance of permanent infrastructure that would be difficult to get rid of. So no, this isn't even something that LRT has the exclusive rights on.

More importantly here, all you're explaining is that Light Rail is a luxury mode, or a "nice to have", a preference to smoothness. It doesn't change the fact that the only real improvement to transit in terms of operational improvement is capacity which is kinda the whole point of this convo. Does Eglinton need the capacity improvement of LRT given all of the under construction RT projects ongoing in Scarborough, or is the 4B better spent elsewhere.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that Eglinton and Morningside have bus lanes which according to THE CITY THAT IS TRYING TO PUSH THE LRT TO BE BUILT, is faster than what the LRT will be. Eglinton's busses already bypass most of the traffic during rush hour, and this is something that can be replicated on most streets in the city. LRTs aren't special in that regard.

That's what LRTs are, higher capacity busses with smoother rides. Are they better than busses? Yes. Are they worth the hefty price tag? Depends.

I've always said that Eglinton-Malvern LRT was "one of the good" LRT projects that were in Transit City, mainly because it was a corridor most suited to LRT - a big high capacity route that funnels people into other higher order modes, where speed doesn't really matter all that much and doesn't make much of a difference. Of course that is contingent on Eglinton being in need for such a capacity upgrade, and with the DSBRT and SSE, I somehow doubt it. It's a project that should happen, but it shouldn't be on any immediate priority list, especially when there are more important projects out there like Sheppard West and Finch West to Woodbine Racetrack.
Transit must serve the nice to have requirements as well. If you offer it as a bare bones service you will alienate a whole bunch of users. You want the people who can afford a car, chose to use transit because they think it’s a dignified and worthy alternative. Speed is not the only factor. And again even if that’s the standard the lrt in a row is better than a bus in traffic.

Btw riding the eglinton bus feels like a roller coaster weaving in and out of stops. There’s nothing luxurious about having to hold onto something or someone for dear life.
 
Transit for the sake of development typically means vanity project. Just ask York Region and the VIVA BRT, a massive overbuilt BRT where aside from Viva Blue (Yonge Street), all run at horrible frequencies and isn't used by anyone. It was built to spur development, and that's all it's doing, with no evidence that that development is contributing much in terms of ridership. Viva also proves that no you don't need the project to be rail in order to spur development, all you need is some semblance of permanent infrastructure that would be difficult to get rid of. So no, this isn't even something that LRT has the exclusive rights on.

More importantly here, all you're explaining is that Light Rail is a luxury mode, or a "nice to have", a preference to smoothness. It doesn't change the fact that the only real improvement to transit in terms of operational improvement is capacity which is kinda the whole point of this convo. Does Eglinton need the capacity improvement of LRT given all of the under construction RT projects ongoing in Scarborough, or is the 4B better spent elsewhere.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that Eglinton and Morningside have bus lanes which according to THE CITY THAT IS TRYING TO PUSH THE LRT TO BE BUILT, is faster than what the LRT will be. Eglinton's busses already bypass most of the traffic during rush hour, and this is something that can be replicated on most streets in the city. LRTs aren't special in that regard.

That's what LRTs are, higher capacity busses with smoother rides. Are they better than busses? Yes. Are they worth the hefty price tag? Depends.

I've always said that Eglinton-Malvern LRT was "one of the good" LRT projects that were in Transit City, mainly because it was a corridor most suited to LRT - a big high capacity route that funnels people into other higher order modes, where speed doesn't really matter all that much and doesn't make much of a difference. Of course that is contingent on Eglinton being in need for such a capacity upgrade, and with the DSBRT and SSE, I somehow doubt it. It's a project that should happen, but it shouldn't be on any immediate priority list, especially when there are more important projects out there like Sheppard West and Finch West to Woodbine Racetrack.
In terms of network connectivity Sheppard west is definitely a more important project, though I definitely disagree that finch is more important. Eglinton East connects 2 GO stations, a university, and a couple of busy local nodes vs 1 future go station and a college that is already going to be connected in some way. Not to say finch isn't important but a hell of a lot more people will find Eglinton east useful. I'm not sold that LRT is the best mode for Eglinton east, I think a full-on BRT with articulated busses could work better in some ways (could retain current bus routes radiating off the trunk). The LRT would definitely be a massive improvement for comfort, which is currently not great but not horrible, but also remember higher capacity LRT is cheaper to operate than busses just by nature of having fewer vehicles and fewer drivers. On the speed issue, i think the city has some real issues in the way it plans transit projects. It seems they just timed how long they think their planned route would take and excepted the final number, instead of actively trying to find ways that they could speed up the service. Cutting stops, strategic grade separations, trains with lots of doors, and transit priority from day one should all be looked at (or just included no matter what for transit priority) to see if they can speed up the operation. Really in the end though i don't think speed is a big issue here. I think the main benefit of this project is connecting line 2 and UTSC to lakeshore east with a high capacity connection for when GO inevitably has subway-like service and is fare integrated with the subway. This doesn't really require high speeds as most trips will be relatively short distances between the interchanges.

Of course the dream would be for the crosstown to be fully grade separated (metro or basically metro in the style of Ottawa) and then Eglinton east could also be grade separated. The ROWs definitely have room, and i think the idea in Toronto that we can't build grade separated transit everywhere and that we should only build the bare minimum capacity-wise is going to hurt us in the long run.
 

Comparing the 2018 route ridership stats for Finch West vs Eglinton East:

#36 (Finch West): 47,300 customers per day

#86 (Scarborough): 16,500
#116 (Morningside): 22,200
#905 (Eglinton East Express to UTSC): 9,200
#986 didn't exist in 2018

Perhaps we shouldn't include the #905 counts into the Eglinton East totals, as many of those riders travel between Kennedy and UTSC, and will switch to the subway + Ellesmere route once SSE is completed.

Adding up the #86 and #116 counts: 16,500 + 22,200 = 38,700, not that much behind #36.

Thus, if LRT is appropriate for Finch West capacity wise, it might be appropriate for Eglinton East as well.
 
The LRTs would be significantly larger meaning transit riders wouldn’t be stuffed in like sardines.
Correction: LRTs are significantly larger, meaning transit riders are still stuffed in like sardines and service is less frequent.
 
Correction: LRTs are significantly larger, meaning transit riders are still stuffed in like sardines and service is less frequent.
Do we know what frequency is planned for Eglinton, on opening day, if such a day comes?
 
Do we know what frequency is planned for Eglinton, on opening day, if such a day comes?
Realistically it won't be that much more than every 5 mins in the surface section.
 
Frequencies can always be changed for either a bus or a lrt But a bus will always be physically smaller than a lrt.
For a given capacity, you have to run a bus ~3x more frequently. Transit agencies are not in the business of running mostly empty vehicles.
 

Comparing the 2018 route ridership stats for Finch West vs Eglinton East:

#36 (Finch West): 47,300 customers per day

#86 (Scarborough): 16,500
#116 (Morningside): 22,200
#905 (Eglinton East Express to UTSC): 9,200
#986 didn't exist in 2018

Perhaps we shouldn't include the #905 counts into the Eglinton East totals, as many of those riders travel between Kennedy and UTSC, and will switch to the subway + Ellesmere route once SSE is completed.

Adding up the #86 and #116 counts: 16,500 + 22,200 = 38,700, not that much behind #36.

Thus, if LRT is appropriate for Finch West capacity wise, it might be appropriate for Eglinton East as well.
Also I think it is important to note that Eglinton would truly becoming a crosstown network all the way from Sauga to close to Pickering. Assuming it is one network and not split in half at Kennedy station. which looks like to be the case day by day
 

Comparing the 2018 route ridership stats for Finch West vs Eglinton East:

#36 (Finch West): 47,300 customers per day

#86 (Scarborough): 16,500
#116 (Morningside): 22,200
#905 (Eglinton East Express to UTSC): 9,200
#986 didn't exist in 2018

Perhaps we shouldn't include the #905 counts into the Eglinton East totals, as many of those riders travel between Kennedy and UTSC, and will switch to the subway + Ellesmere route once SSE is completed.

Adding up the #86 and #116 counts: 16,500 + 22,200 = 38,700, not that much behind #36.

Thus, if LRT is appropriate for Finch West capacity wise, it might be appropriate for Eglinton East as well.
But that's contingent on the capacity needed being equivalent to all of those added up together. Part of the point I was making earlier is that most of the traffic will probably be going to the GO stations, rather than all funneled together. As such, you shouldn't be looking at each of those routes together, but separately.
 
It is clear to me that spending $4B on an at grade tram with poor future capacity abilities is not a good idea.

Hot take: What if the Eglinton East money is used for an infill station at Brimley on SSE. This best serves the Existing density & future development areas on Eglinton East. The remaining money could used for more bus lanes in Scarborough (on Lawrence etc).
 
It is clear to me that spending $4B on an at grade tram with poor future capacity abilities is not a good idea.

Hot take: What if the Eglinton East money is used for an infill station at Brimley on SSE. This best serves the Existing density & future development areas on Eglinton East. The remaining money could used for more bus lanes in Scarborough (on Lawrence etc).
Or just fund the whole Sheppard Subway, Sheppard West to McCowan.
 
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