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RedRocket191

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For those who don't know, I'm one of a diverse group of people who form the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Advisory Committee (AC). Our job is to analyze the public comment on the Metrolinx discussion papers, and eventually, the RTP that will guide the Greater Toronto / Hamilton Area into the future. I've heard some great ideas on this board, and I hope that this thread can be an idea factory for everything you want me to take to the committee.

Yours,
Andrae Griffith
--------------------------------------------------------

The AC meeting to discuss the first discussion paper, "Towards Sustainable Transportation" is fast approaching. This paper isn't about where lines on the maps should be drawn, and it's not about what density targets we should be building at (both of those will come later). This paper tries to outline the process that will be used to form the RTP and explains how everyone interested can get their voices heard. So here's one last kick at the can:

  • What do you think about the 5 step consultation process?
  • What fundamental goals should Metrolinx keep in mind while developing the RTP?
  • What measures of success should be used?
  • What best-practices from around the world should Metrolinx incorporate into the regional plan?
 

unimaginative2

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I think the absolute most fundamental goal is that modes employed in various corridors should be determined by their technical merits rather than merely politics. Any study on Sheppard East, for example, should determine whether a new light rail line or an extension of the existing subway is the best way to go. Metrolinx should force it on the city as a condition of funding if they refuse. It's crazy to spend billions of dollars without even studying whether we're using the best approach.

I think we should also start using European- (and particularly UK-) style economic cost/benefit analyses. New infrastructure should be evaluated based on its benefit to the economy as a whole rather than merely a narrow transit ridership/revenue basis.
 

isittimetomoveyet

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I think the absolute most fundamental goal is that modes employed in various corridors should be determined by their technical merits rather than merely politics. Any study on Sheppard East, for example, should determine whether a new light rail line or an extension of the existing subway is the best way to go. Metrolinx should force it on the city as a condition of funding if they refuse. It's crazy to spend billions of dollars without even studying whether we're using the best approach.

Exactly!
 

TrickyRicky

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unimaginative,

I totally agree with you however the specifics of what to include and how to weight various factors in the cost benefit are all highly political and will give you completely different outcomes. So I guess what I am saying is that the devil is in the details.
 

RedRocket191

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The DRAFT version of the green paper on Transit is up, and the final version of the green papers on Mobility Hubs and Active Transportation is also available on the Metrolinx website.

As always, you can leave comments on their website of pass them along to me directly.
 

urbanfan89

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I have a suggestion about fare collection: all buses should become fare paid zones similar to Vancouver's system. Also, drivers no longer collect fares and instead vending machines are installed in the bus. This should eliminate time wasted while the granny is fumbling for change. Also, fares should be time-based rather than proposals that call for distance-based.

The vending machine can sell a choice of tickets:
$1.50 = 30 minutes unlimited travel anywhere within the Metrolinx service area
$2.00 = 60 minutes
and something like this.
If there are delays on the bus/streetcar/light rail, then the operator can push a button that allows the vending machine to dispense a ticket that allows an extension on a single ticket.

Also, Presto must be introduced on the entire TTC or it will be useless (I suspect the real reason the TTC is refusing is because they will have to fire the ticket booth people at subway stations and face a strike). The province should bribe the TTC as much as it can to convince them, and all the ticket collectors will be reassigned to be roving inspectors like the ones on Viva buses.

This arrangement will require a massive improvement in services everywhere in the region but especially in the outer 905 where some politicians still don't give a damn about transit.
 

JasonParis

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City:
Toronto
(I suspect the real reason the TTC is refusing is because they will have to fire the ticket booth people at subway stations and face a strike).
I'd still think that every station could use an "information booth" though (much like the London Underground, Paris Metro, etc.) Still, yes, about 50% of the booth collectors would need to be reassigned.
 

waterloowarrior

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Here's the roads and highways green paper

the two most recent papers are great....I love all the "bold" options... super-metros (ie RER), complete streets, balanced transportation options, road pricing.

this is the best one of all

Aggressive rapid transit expansion with the construction of an Eglinton subway from Mississauga and Pearson Airport to Scarborough, a new downtown Toronto subway along the Queen St./King St. corridor, Yonge and Spadina line extensions, extension of the Sheppard line west to the Spadina line, and East to Scarborough Town Centre. For new subway lines, four-track alignments can be considered to provide local and express service
 

isittimetomoveyet

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"Aggressive rapid transit expansion with the construction of an Eglinton subway from Mississauga and Pearson Airport to Scarborough, a new downtown Toronto subway along the Queen St./King St. corridor, Yonge and Spadina line extensions, extension of the Sheppard line west to the Spadina line, and East to Scarborough Town Centre. For new subway lines, four-track alignments can be considered to provide local and express service"
Them shits is crazy, and I love it!
 

afransen

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What's the chance of such craziness becoming Metrolinx policy?
 

RedRocket191

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@ Urbanfan

The advantage of distance-based fares are that the distance you travel is always the same. With strictly time-based fares, what happens if there's a mechanical problem along the line?

The kind of system i wanna see is where you get 2 hours of unlimited travel for one fare, pay a pittance to cross the 416/905 divide and get a fresh two hours. Alternatively, you could cross the divide for free and have the original two hours continue. Either way, I don't support a per-KM fare by distance. I'd like to see one that combines what you've been saying with the one we have now.

As for the Presto, the main reason for the TTC's reluctance is because their fare boxes are apparently incompatible with presto readers since they are not electronic like everyone else's. This means that they would have to replace all the fare boxes and they are reluctant to do so because their old ones are still really reliable.
 

afransen

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Distance-based fares can also be employed with valuing different services at different rates/km. Premium services (GO, for instance) can be charged at a different rate.
 

afransen

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If the province imbues it with revenue raising powers, it can let Metrolinx take a larger share of the political heat for imposing tolls, etc.

Vancouver is a very compelling example for why such organizations are a good thing.

Is it odd that Metrolinx is coming to very different conclusions than the TTC re: expansion plans? It seems to me that Metrolinx's subway plan is on a collision course with Transit City. Then, provincial funding for Transit City is being filtered through Metrolinx. Should be an interesting dance...
 

DENTROBATE54

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What's the chance of such craziness becoming Metrolinx policy?

That's the kind of crazy we should embrace. Only in Toronto, conventional wisdom gets side-tracked for a 19th Century notion of citywide streetcar trams :eek:.

Is it odd that Metrolinx is coming to very different conclusions than the TTC re: expansion plans? It seems to me that Metrolinx's subway plan is on a collision course with Transit City. Then, provincial funding for Transit City is being filtered through Metrolinx. Should be an interesting dance...

Transit City as a policy isn't necessarily a bad thing as it at least sparks some public interest regarding transportation infrastructure. Who knows, that 'dance' might transpire in some of the TC lines (Eglinton Crosstown and parts of Lakeshore West/Sheppard East in particular) becoming subway lines after all.
 

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