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Towered

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Let's peek into the future of transit in Toronto. By 2031, the following major transit projects will be fully operational or near completion:

Eglinton Crosstown LRT
GO RER (electrified)
SmartTrack
Finch West LRT
Scarborough subway extension
Eglinton West LRT
Eglinton East LRT
Relief Line (south)
Yonge North extension
Waterfront LRT

It's almost mind boggling to think of how dramatically the rapid transit system in this city will be improved, but even with that impressive list complete, it's not nearly enough. What should the next waves of major transit projects be in order to not only maintain this incredible momentum, but to truly revolutionize how Torontonians travel within their city?

There are some obvious choices that are already in the early proposal/planning stages:

Relief Line North (ideally as far as Sheppard, along Don Mills)
Sheppard subway extension (east and west)
Jane LRT
Finch West LRT extension to Pearson
Steeles BRT/LRT

Even after that round is complete, there are still many worthwhile transit projects that should be invested in:

Relief Line West (from Osgoode to Dundas West - this absolutely should be bumped way up the priority list)
Relief Line North-West (Beyond Dundas West station)
Bloor subway extension to Sherway/Mississauga
Queensway LRT (West from Humber loop to Sherway)
Kingston LRT/BRT (There was an EA done over a decade ago that mysteriously seems to have vanished)
Finch East LRT
Lawrence West/Scarlett/Dixon/Airport Rd LRT/BRT
Lawrence East LRT/BRT
Wilson/York Mills/Ellesmere/Albion LRT/BRT
Kipling LRT/BRT (Lakeshore to Steeles)
27/East Mall/Brown's Line LRT/BRT
Front LRT/BRT (Cherry to Bathurst)
Commissioners LRT/BRT (Among other port lands transit)
Keele LRT/BRT (Bloor to Steeles)
Dufferin LRT/subway (Exhibition to Steeles)
Bathurst North LRT/BRT (Eglinton to Steeles)
Jarvis LRT/BRT
Victoria Park LRT/BRT
McCowan LRT/BRT

I would also love to see significant additions to the legacy streetcar network in mixed traffic:

St. Clair (West from Keele to Kipling station)
College (North from High Park loop to Keele station)
Dundas (North from Dundas West station to Jane)
Ossington (South from Bloor to Queen)
Bay/Davenport/Rogers (Union to Keele)
Church/Dupont (Front to Dundas West)
Broadview (north of Danforth along Cosburn)
Parliament (Castle Frank station to Waterfront LRT on Queen's Quay)
Coxwell (Bloor to beaches)
Harbord (Spadina station to Ossington station)
Richmond (Parliament to Bathurst)
Adelaide (Parliament to Bathurst)

What say you?
 

mdrejhon

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We're only in year ~10 out of a 25-year Big Move plan (albiet continually refined as it is).

Due to delays, I think it's more like ~2035 for some of these projects (e.g. Yonge North might get delays due to funding shortages).

Also, throw in Hurontario LRT and Hamilton LRT -- about $120M has been committed in Hamilton alone and the expropriations have already been mostly completed to make way for the new LRT; Construction on Hamilton LRT begins next year if our next mayor doesn't get cold feet.

Check out my 25-Year Masterplanning Thread -- the shovel success percentage seems to be going up now (finally), ending the very disastrous 20-year transit drought between the 1995 Eglinton Subway cancellation (tunnel-refilling) and the 2015 opening of the Union-Pearson Express.

Ever since the Big Move started off a little more than a decade ago, more than half of its projects already have funding and/or construction.

We obviously aren't seeing many benefits yet, but that's because not many ribbon-cutting ceremonies are happening yet. It's only year ~10 out of ~25.

Yes, some projects are meh or dissapointing - needs more tweaks, more/better connections, waiting for pre-requisite before becoming useful, project scalebacks, inefficient use of funds (*ahem* SSE *ahem*) and we disagree on which elements are worth it or not, but many projects (i.e. Crosstown and DRL) are so spectacularly important.

To be fair, I also shake my head at certain past road projects that are now up to the brims to the limit (*ahem* 407 *ahem* 401 *ahem*) - yet few even bat an eye to a lot of the stupendously huge megaspends on barely trying to make my car drive better. Let's spend more efficiently to future infrastructure by keeping up the transit project progress thru 2041 and beyond.
 
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innsertnamehere

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Openings are only going to be increasing. GO service is increasing by 25% annually - Waterloo gets an LRT this year, Line 1 gets increased service and reliability in a little over a year, Crosstown is now only around 3 years off, etc.

Even today, transit in this city is a lot more usable and is of far better quality than even 5 years ago. We are out of the dark ages, it only gets better from here.
 

TheTigerMaster

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Even today, transit in this city is a lot more usable and is of far better quality than even 5 years ago. We are out of the dark ages, it only gets better from here.

That's an optimistic take. Let's not get complacent. It can always get worse. Project cancellations, service cutbacks, increased population, etc
 

mdrejhon

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Let's not get complacent.
Agreed. Election year. And delays, delays. Budgetting all the projects.

increased population, etc
That is the big factor. The current plans runs stationary on the treadmill -- same ridership percentage of population wise - due to the growth in Ontario population over the next 25 years.

No party is able to scale back too much because of that. Even Ford's cancellation of Transit City only did much less damage to a 25-year timescale compared to 1995 massive scalebacks.

There doesn't seem to be a reverse gear anymore like '95, but a choice between scaleback to crawl speed (e.g. diesel-only RER, 4 year postponements of some not-yet-shovel-in-ground LRTs, maybe one LRT cancelled), or accelerate to nearly China-style rapidity (pulling many 2041 plans to 2031) by cramming more concurrent EA's through to begin more simultaneous shovels. It probably will be in between, like two-thirds of a 25-year masterplan successfully built -- an envious number by North American standards even if delayed 10-15 years.

We are already seeing some projects get some potential/conditional acceleration. Kitchener. Freight Bypass. DRL. HSR. Formerly some "Not In My Life" projects! Etc.

It will mainly be fiscal pressures and labour shortages that drags timelines longer, but we will suffer more economically if several projects are cancelled, much moreso today thanks to now greater population densities involved today.
 
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TransitBart

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That's an optimistic take. Let's not get complacent. It can always get worse. Project cancellations, service cutbacks, increased population, etc
Balance is important. Complacency is bad. So is negativity. The point is to see the progress without bemoaning every hiccup. For a bunch of pro-transit nerds and (thanks Streety) formers, there sure are a lot of gloomy Gusses in the room.
 

WislaHD

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Toronto and surrounding region is drunkenly getting more-or-less to where it is supposed to be.

I'll feel better when shovels are on the ground on the Relief Line, but the opening of Eglinton alone will be huge for the city.
 

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