I’d to discuss how I would improve the Toronto Transit Commission (T.T.C.) I have spoken about some improvements already with a Downtown Relief Line (D.R.L.), and improved streetcar services. Today, I would like to discuss other improvements as well.
The T.T.C. has a commitment from the Province of Ontario to extend the Bloor-Danforth Line east from Kennedy station to Scarborough Town Centre, replacing the Scarborough Rapid Transit (S.R.T.) line. I would not change this at this point. Queen’s Park is paying for this, so the T.T.C. should take advantage of the situation.
Metrolinx is building a light rail line along Eglinton Avenue West. The current route runs from Mt. Dennis in the west to Kennedy station in the east, partly underground. I would recommend extending the line the rest of the way west out to Pearson airport as originally intended. This would provide for three transit options from Pearson: the 192 Airport Rocket to Kipling station, the Eglinton Crosstown, and the Union-Pearson Express train link to Union Station.
I would recommend the following Light Rail Transit (L.R.T.) Lines:
1) Finch. I would recommend a line long Finch Avenue from Humber College in the west to the Warden Avenue area in the east.
2) Sheppard. I would convert the Sheppard subway into an L.R.T. and then extend it west to Jane Street. I would send it east to the Scarborough Town Centre to connect with the Bloor-Danforth Line.
3) Jane Street. I would operate a line up Jane Street from Jane station on the Bloor Danforth line up to the Spadina subway at Steeles Avenue. This would connect with both the Finch, Eglinton, and Sheppard L.R.T. lines, which would also allow connections for moving vehicles to and from the barns.
4) Dufferin Street. I would recommend an L.R.T. along Dufferin Street from the Exhibition grounds up to Eglinton to allow for a good connection to the activities on the Exhibition grounds, especially if the Argonauts end up moving to BMO Field.
5) Steeles Avenue. This line would run from Steeles West station on the Spadina Line (which will open as part of the Spadina extension) east to Yonge Street. If the Yonge Street subway was extended one stop north to Steeles then this would provide a good connection along Steeles.
The first three proposals are based on the Transit City plan proposed during David Miller’s tenure as Mayor of Toronto. The last two are my own suggestions.
Some other initiatives include:
1) Extend the Yonge Line one stop north to Steeles. This allows the line to end at the northern end of the city of Toronto, but would still allow most consists (i.e. every other one) to short turn at Finch. And this could connect to a Steeles L.R.T. suggested above.
2) Extend the D.R.L. proposal in the east end north to connect to Finch to connect with the L.R.T. there, possibly ending the Finch L.R.T. there. This would take some pressure off the Yonge line, and should a subway extension north of Finch be implemented in the future, the D.R.L. could handle the extension up to Richmond Hill. The western end could run up to the Spadina Line as well, depending on demand for that connection.
3) Improved bus services. As buses are no longer required on routes that are converted to L.R.T., these buses could be reallocated to routes to improve routes on those lines, especially those connecting to L.R.T. or subway lines. Also, these extra buses could be used to create new routes, especially those that would connect to these new lines.
So let’s hope things change and that the T.T.C. sees improvements that would benefit Toronto as a whole, as well as the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (G.T.H.A.) Reduced travel times from improved transit services will also help the economy as people will have reduced commuting times.