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begratto

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nfitz

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They have started the prep work and are moving the underground utilities, like sewers, water mains etc that are in the way of the tunnels and new stations.
Fair enough - similar to the status of the 15-km/15-station Ontario Line subway Phase 1.

I'm glad that's finally progressing. It would be nice to see them do the other 2 projects that have been stalled since the 1970s (the Blue line extension to Lachine and the 2-station orange line extension to Bois Franc - which surely is relatively minor given the running tunnel already extends most of the way to Poirier with the yard there; heck, extending to the once-planned Cartierville station wouldn't hurt.
 

LemonCondo

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Fair enough - similar to the status of the 15-km/15-station Ontario Line subway Phase 1.

I'm glad that's finally progressing. It would be nice to see them do the other 2 projects that have been stalled since the 1970s (the Blue line extension to Lachine and the 2-station orange line extension to Bois Franc - which surely is relatively minor given the running tunnel already extends most of the way to Poirier with the yard there; heck, extending to the once-planned Cartierville station wouldn't hurt.

Phase... 1?
:oops:
 

nfitz

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Phase... 1?
:oops:
We've discussed this in the Ontario Line thread. In the new update to the regional transportation plan released before the election, it showed plans for a 50-km Ontario Line extension (project 30) from Science Centre station north to 407, along the 407 transitway alignment, west to 427, south to Pearson and then Kipling subway station.

Oddly there was no extension west of Exhibition station. There were also potential spurs to Burlington in the west, and Oshawa in the east (project 29)- though it's not clear what the technology would be - potentially instituting the 1970s ALRT plan

1662158053541.png
 

LemonCondo

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We've discussed this in the Ontario Line thread. In the new update to the regional transportation plan released before the election, it showed plans for a 50-km Ontario Line extension (project 30) from Science Centre station north to 407, along the 407 transitway alignment, west to 427, south to Pearson and then Kipling subway station.

Oddly there was no extension west of Exhibition station. There were also potential spurs to Burlington in the west, and Oshawa in the east (project 29)- though it's not clear what the technology would be - potentially instituting the 1970s ALRT plan

View attachment 424798

It might make sense to basically do the ALRT plan but just make it all "Ontario Line" compatible and just have branches, or split it into distinct lines.
Either way this is exactly what the region needs if we want it to densify and be transit integrated and lower our car dependency.
London has lots of dense and transit-connected suburbs, no reason why we couldn't emulate it. And we should have lots of room to build the "Ontario Line" through these places without much tunneling. I say fund it all!
 

nfitz

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It might make sense to basically do the ALRT plan but just make it all "Ontario Line" compatible and just have branches, or split it into distinct lines.
That's pretty much what it like if they build it all as compatible rail. Other than having a leg up Don Mills Road from Gerrard station rather to Pickering. It would be great!
 

rbt

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$6.4 Billion dollars and at least 7 years for a 5 station extension.

Yeah but no, the REM and the CDPQ stinks guys!

REM is looking at collecting around $21B (today's dollars, future payments will be inflation adjusted) in ridership fees over the next 50 years, in addition to receiving a donated corridor in the first place: 190k riders @ 10km per trip @ 55 to 72 cents per km (a rate which gets automatically adjusted for inflation).

That said, the Quebec Government has full control over CDPQi and can (and probably will) force a renegotiation of the contract after the capital investment is paid down. It also gives them the option to fund the quebec pension fund via general revenues like sales tax and property tax; farebox receipts will over cover a small fraction of those ridership fees with the remainder paid by various levels of government. REM is a great transit project, but perhaps more importantly it's also a great way to top-up their retirement fund.

But for Ontario, borrowing from bonds at the December 2022 rate of 3.10% and paying contractors the direct construction cost, is ultimately cheaper because Ontario can't forcibly change the contract after the fact. The reason we very rarely use pension fund money is they're looking for closer to 7% returns and have no shortage of options for achieving that ROI.
 
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LemonCondo

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REM is looking at collecting around $21B (today's dollars, future payments will be inflation adjusted) in ridership fees over the next 50 years, in addition to receiving a donated corridor in the first place: 190k riders @ 10km per trip @ 55 to 72 cents per km (a rate which gets automatically adjusted for inflation).

That said, the Quebec Government has full control over CDPQi and can (and probably will) force a renegotiation of the contract after the capital investment is paid down.

But for Ontario, borrowing from bonds at the December 2022 rate of 3.10% and paying contractors the direct construction cost, is ultimately cheaper because Ontario can't forcibly change the contract after the fact. The reason we very rarely use pension fund money is they're looking for closer to 7% returns and have no shortage of options for achieving that ROI.

The only thing I am after is answering the question of "How can we build a lot of transit quickly?", and if governments are not willing to fund that I don't mind if there is some "public public" investment going on. And what's the harm in say, an Ontario pension plan making money? It's not like its Blackrock.
 

rbt

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The only thing I am after is answering the question of "How can we build a lot of transit quickly?", and if governments are not willing to fund that I don't mind if there is some "public public" investment going on. And what's the harm in say, an Ontario pension plan making money? It's not like its Blackrock.

We demand Ontario pensions make money; revenues don't cover expenses without significant investment growth. So I'm certainly not going to argue there's a harm in them making money.

A few points strictly from Ontario government perspective:

1. An operating liability counts as debt. Creditors see a required future payment as a liability regardless of the form it takes. We cannot side-step a credit rating downgrade by changing the name of the payment type (from bond interest to a guaranteed operating fee).
2. The fee private pensions require is higher than selling bonds. Ontario does not operate a pension fund, and cannot order them to take a lower return.
3. Due to #1, debt being debt, a higher rate reduces borrowing space. The bit that counts is interest payments vs revenue (or GDP, since revenue can be adjusted up if necessary).

In short, we can borrow over 2x the money at 3% as we can at 7%. This is why in Design-Build-Finance tenders, the government still tended to directly back the loans so the company seeking financing could get a better rate.

Chasing high interest money does not increase the amount available to build transit. The drop in interest rates between 2020 and 2022, however, significantly increased borrowing capacity and you may have noticed the Ford government jumped on it: tons and tons of 30 year bonds at ~1.5% rates were issued. Recent rate hikes are eventually going to make capital funding tight again.

It works for the Quebec Government because they're borrowing directly from themselves, it's one department effectively giving a loan to another department. I believe CPP is also the largest holder of Canada Bonds for a similar reason.
 
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felix123

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I have all trust that Ontarian taxpayers are smarter than wanting to import a financing scam which perpetually extracts billions from local taxpayers and funnels a part of it back to pensioners in Quebec…
Unfortunately, very little in the way of quality transit had been built in Montréal since 2007, and even that was just a modest extension to an existing RT line.

My feeling is that Montréalers (who comprise half of Québec's population and many of whom benefit from CDPQ's revenue streams) will be happier with the REM than without, despite the ownership implications of the line.
There are many rail lines in Japan that began as, or became privately-owned, and I don't think people there say "we would be better off had none of these lines been built", which is effectively your stance on this matter.

Case in point: REM de l'Est has been cancelled for Scarborough-style reasons, so now the lower-income people on the east and north-east sectors of the island will be contending with slow, shitty bus services for years more to come. I suppose you would consider that as a win, because those buses are "pure" STM.
 

felix123

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Only the Scarborough RT has the same „quality“ as the REM - which is being an incompatible proprietary technology impeding the development of an integrated network.
Not that the REM is of the highest quality, but I doubt anyone would agree with you that it's "proprietary". It's a standard gauge, steel wheel rail operating on 1 500V overhead catenary, and it uses a pretty standard CBTC GOA 4 signalling system.

If you read up on the brief history of Jean Drapeau's infatuation with the rubber-tired metro, I think you'd agree that a change is warranted for a city with such a cold climate.
Montréal does need to build metro lines that can operate above-ground, and that are unfortunately incompatible with the current metro. Since we can't live in the past and do nothing: onward, I say.
 

nfitz

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Unfortunately, very little in the way of quality transit had been built in Montréal since 2007, and even that was just a modest extension to an existing RT line.
Or 1987, if you don't count that modest extension - which wasn't on the island!

If you read up on the brief history of Jean Drapeau's infatuation with the rubber-tired metro, I think you'd agree that a change is warranted for a city with such a cold climate.

Montréal does need to build metro lines that can operate above-ground, and that are unfortunately incompatible with the current metro. Since we can't live in the past and do nothing: onward, I say.
The completely underground rubber-tired metros are perfect for Montreal weather conditions. When I used to live there, I don't remember ever having service stop because of weather issues.

But where it doesn't work is in the less dense suburban towns and boroughs - and particularly off the island. When Drapeau announced Line 3 in the early 1960s (essentially the Central-Deux Montagnes branch of the REM) it was steel-wheeled.

If there's ever another line that runs east-west through downtown Montreal, using the existing technology makes the most sense to me.
 

felix123

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Or 1987, if you don't count that modest extension - which wasn't on the island!

The completely underground rubber-tired metros are perfect for Montreal weather conditions. When I used to live there, I don't remember ever having service stop because of weather issues.

But where it doesn't work is in the less dense suburban towns and boroughs - and particularly off the island. When Drapeau announced Line 3 in the early 1960s (essentially the Central-Deux Montagnes branch of the REM) it was steel-wheeled.

If there's ever another line that runs east-west through downtown Montreal, using the existing technology makes the most sense to me.
Given the cost and decades-long delays of extending the Blue line eastward, it seems that sadly, we missed the chance to build out the legacy metro, so it will continue to be a rather small network without REM adding a few more stations and a more connectivity in the core.

I agree the metro runs well though - even today. It's fast, has far fewer service issues compared to the TTC subway, and it negotiates switches without slowing down.
On the downside, it's also pretty loud and cannot have A/C. The Beyoncé music video fans in the new Azur trains definitely help with the heat, though. My hair is always a different style coming out of the metro!
 

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