Toronto council lacking critical transit information ahead of key decisions

Sound familiar?

Vancouver Councillors utterly clueless about subways and transit in general.

Surrey Councillors completely naive about light rail.

TransLink blunders along, without a clue what they are doing.

Bureaucrats kowtowing to political whims, with no thought about the negative effects on the taxpayer.

“We’re OK Jack, coz we all have six figure salaries.”

Yet over $6 billion has been earmarked for a Vancouver SkyTrain subway and Surrey’s LRT.

One word sums up current transit projects – fiasco!


Toronto council lacking critical transit information ahead of key decisions

Staff released 369 pages worth of studies on Thursday night ahead of requesting council endorse a new multibillion dollar plan to build out a transit grid.

Some key information is expected to be provided to Toronto council just two weeks before they are set to approve a multibillion-dollar network of new transit.

Marcus Oleniuk / Toronto Star file photo

Some key information is expected to be provided to Toronto council just two weeks before they are set to approve a multibillion-dollar network of new transit.

By: City Hall reporter, Published on Fri Mar 04 2016

Toronto city council is being asked to endorse a network of new transit lines worth billions of dollars without essential information needed to justify those plans.

On Thursday night, city staff posted 369 pages worth of studies about the new network which mostly deal with how many people are projected to ride those lines.

But the studies consider a transit map thatai??i??s already been redrawn. Updated numbers arenai??i??t expected until June ai??i?? just two weeks before council will be asked to approve building that map, to be built out over the next 15 years, and long after public consultations have already wrapped up.

Councillor Josh Matlow said itai??i??s not good enough that those numbers will be provided at the ai???11th hour.ai???

ai???Thatai??i??s not a responsible way to plan transit, to spend billions of dollars, and itai??i??s not fair to councillors or the public we serve,ai??? he said.

For the rest of the story………

Comments

4 Responses to “Toronto council lacking critical transit information ahead of key decisions”
  1. eric chris says:

    Rest assured, the yobos whose salaries depend upon more subways have not considered the fact that public transit does not reduce road congestion. Their whole argument for subway transit is that it takes drivers off the roads to reduce road congestion. Umm, doesn’t putting drivers below ground in subways free up road space to encourage other latent drivers to seize the opportunity to drive on the roads? It is probably too much for the feeble minded yobos to comprehend if you ask them.

    Then there is the nagging question of what’s the point of spending zillions of dollars on subways which are set to go the way of the Dodo bird? Car sharing has cut transit use (TransLink in Vancouver will be announcing its plummeting ridership for 2015, soon, I’m sure, after TransLink has delayed it for as long as possible). If subways are so swell, what’s the reason for the explosion in car sharing in Vancouver? Autonomous private-shuttles replacing public transit are set to make public transit (subway) largely obsolete:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodo

    “Wise believes that autonomous, driverless vehicles will so revolutionize our roads and transit systems that they will lessen the need for, or change altogether, the kind of expensive, big-ticket public transit projects governments now spend billions building. He isn’t alone in this belief: In a paper entitled Automated Vehicles: The Next Disruptive Technology, the Conference Board of Canada suggested that any government that doesn’t take the soon-to-be-felt impact of automated vehicles into its future plans could be wasting its money.”

    “When designing infrastructure projects,” the paper warned, “there is a tendency to assume that the future is simply an extension of the past. AVs are a truly disruptive technology and we cannot forecast the future by simply extrapolating from the past. (AVs) will change the forecasts for standard infrastructure and major infrastructure projects, tolling systems, revenue, etc.”
    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Pete+McMartin+Could+driverless+vehicles+kill+transit+buses/11550080/story.html

    Yobos behind subways have decreed that loons who are willing to spend hours commuting long distances in subways are somehow more important than short distance commuters on trams or LRT. Whom are they (yobos) to dictate this? Do they even know what they are doing with their ass-umption that fast transit moves more people than tram transit? No. Not a chance. They deserve to be tarred and feathered for their stupidity and ignorance:

    People typically commute 30 minutes, to or from their destination, on public transit (Marchetti’s rule). Speed of public transit only changes how far people commute on public transit.

    “How far should you live from work? I pondered that question a few weeks ago after perusing American Community Survey data compiled by Charlie Gardner. It showed that most people in most metro areas in the United States tended to commute about 30 minutes each way to work… Zahavi also noticed that even though some people could travel faster – by car rather than bus, for example, they still spent the same amount of time traveling. They just traveled farther to work.”

    http://persquaremile.com/2012/09/13/marchettis-constant/

    Traveling at 40 kph, the subway fills up with passengers commuting 20 km over 30 minutes (from outside the central business district) to preclude other commuters living near the central business district from taking public transit. Trams traveling at 20 kph on the roads in mixed traffic fill up with passengers commuting 10 km over 30 minutes. Relative to subway service, tram service doubles the turnover of passengers over 20 kilometres and doubles the number of commuters who have access to public transit over 20 kilometres.

    By catering to the small number of commuters hogging seats on s-train in subways over long distances, TransLink has cut access to public transit by 50%. This in turn has sharply cut TransLink’s fare revenue.

    Want to fix public transit? Go with tram service for public transit. Tell idiots who are obsessed with “speedy” commutes in subways to buy an electric car or a race bike.

    Tell them to Ducati it. It’s really fast.

    http://www.canada.ducati.com/racing/index.do

  2. Haveacow says:

    The crux of this article says that a particular City of Toronto councilor, Josh Matlow doesn’t have enough time to digest a 369 page planning report so that, he can make an informed decision by March 17. He was given the report on March 3. You have got to be kidding me, I had to read nearly 700 pages a week of long winded urban planning theory for 4 years and actually remember it. I wonder if the guy has ever been in private industry. I guess this guy has never been faced with a boss who’s idea of early notice is 2-3 hours. On more than a few occasions I have heard bosses say to me, “here is a 500 page brief, make a career expanding or killing decision by noon, or else!” Now granted, the information is a little confusing but, since I have the actual report I can honestly say its not that big an issue. Yes, the new one stop express Scarborough subway extension between Kennedy and Scarborough City Centre, will loose some riders because of the Smart Track Line. It is about half the cost of the previous line and includes 2/3 of the originally planned Scarborough Malvern LRT line, from Kennedy to U of T’s Scarborough College Campus (about 15,000 full and part time students). The point is that, unless Toronto figures out how it is going to pay for its share of the project it won’t happen. Metrolinx will not 100% fund this one. The Feds and the province has its funding lined up already. The provincial/Metrolinx portion of the Smart Track funding will come from the expansion of the existing GO rail lines that Smart Track will share with the RER Project (Regional Express Rail) plan. The RER program has already started construction on some of the lines and will be building it for 10-12 years. Its up to the city to fund its $2-3 billion portion over that time. This is also not counting the possibility of a Downtown Relief Subway line being constructed at the end of this project, sometime after 2031.

    The goal in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region (The outer commuting area of Toronto) is to have no fewer than 5-6 major area rapid transit projects being constructed at the same time. The plan is to continue this construction pace from now to the mid 2040′s until, the area has finally caught up after building almost nothing during the 80′s & 90′s. This area presently has a population of 9.5 Million and is expected to be at a minimum of 11.5 Million by 2031. The area has including GO Transit, 31 transit agencies. One of the main goals in this region has been the need for amalgamation of the many local lower tier transit services (village, townand small city based services) into at the least, upper tier (regions and counties) transit services. Some consolidation of the many lower tier Municipal Transit Services into upper tier Regional Transit Services has taken place and more is expected. This is similar to what happened in York and Durham Region, the upper tier municipalities located north and east of the City Toronto. YRT/VIVA or York Region Transit was created in the year 2001, from the 5 local transit agencies in Markham, Vaughn, Richmond Hill, Aurora and New Market. Durham Regional Transit was created in 2007 and 2008 from the 4 local transit agencies in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa. The new DRT service has started a lite BRT system called Pulse, that will follow the development trail led by VIVA in York Region and transform into full BRT system with a segregated right of way. The busway expected to be funded in the next round of Metrolinx funding in 2017-2018 will go into Toronto from central Oshawa in Durham Region, to U of T’s Scarborough College. The existing all day express service to Ontario’s newest University, The University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Northern Oshawa will also be improved. Both YRT and DRT have shown dramatic passenger increases compared to the local services that they replaced. Niagara Region already has 6 local systems and a tiny region wide link transit system that, has been operating since 2012. There is finally evidence that the Niagara Region wants to amalgamate all of them into a single service, serving its entire 450,000 residents. This has been aided by the fact that, the province wanted them to improve the local transit before it would give them the promised all day GO Train and Bus service (expected in 2018) it desperately wants. The current GO rail service is seasonal and only a single peak hour GO Bus currently goes to St. Catherines and Niagara Falls. It is expected that Halton’s Region’s 3 local transit services will eventually amalgamate into a regional one by 2031 as well. Given Peel Region’s 2 big local transit services and the near impossibility of getting Mississauga’s and Brampton’s City Council’s to work together, the Hurontario-Main Street LRT line is a good example, I don’t see an amalgamation into a Peel Regional Transit Service coming soon, but I could be wrong.

  3. Haveacow says:

    Eric, that example of a subway filling up after 20km might work for Boston’s, Baltimore’s, Cleveland’s, Atlanta’s or even LA’s system. The problem using a metric of a subway filling up at 20km distance given a specific speed and travel direction is that, this metric fails dramatically in cities like New York, London, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto and Montreal, especially at peak. In just Toronto for example, 8-10 km for the Yonge-University Spadina Line (Line 1) and 12km at the most, for the Bloor-Danforth Line, either east or west bound, both lines are full.

    You must also consider using average distance traveled might work as a limiting factor for the type or mode of rapid transit, if the city is small geographically or has a smaller population. It becomes just a little bit comical and unworkable when you consider a city or a city region of even just 4 million people. Which there are depending on the year chosen, 14 or 16 in North America alone(Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul have just peaked over this level, 2 in Canada). When you have 50% of a population travelling beyond a certain average distance thus, at those population levels and commuter numbers, limiting the amount of rapid transit service they get, with that line of thinking, you are limiting a huge amount of people to nothing but car travel. We also know from experience that once a city region is beyond the 4 million people mark, highways and expressways become functionally useless at moving a large proportion of these area’s commuters, due to the tremendous cost of operations and maintenance of the expressway system, unless many of its lanes are handed over to transit only use. Far more than most drivers and road warrior politicians would allow.

  4. Graham Evan MacDonell says:

    Son,

    And I can call you son, as you are young enough to be my son, but you are getting to the point where I will put you to shame both personally and professionally at UFV if you continue this tirade……

    Going through your latest piece of garbage…..

    TransLink’s CEO, Kevin Desmond is an ignorant man and as such, makes a perfect CEO of TransLink, where ignorance is a prerequisite for employment.

    DON’T START DENIGRATING PEOPLE, SON, AS I WILL START DENIGRATING YOU….EVERYTHING FROM YOUR APPEARANCE TO YOUR CAREER TO YOUR IDIOTIC RAMBLING ABOUT TRANSIT.

    I KNOW FAR MORE ABOUT TRANSIT THAN YOU COULD EVER ACQUIRE IN THE WAY OF KNOWLEDGE AND I AM FAR MORE POLITICALLY ASTUTE THAN YOU ARE AS YOU SEEM TO THINK YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS WHEN PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT CIRCLES AT THE MUNICIPAL, PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL LEVELS AS WELL AS AT ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS TRANSLINK, LAUGH AT THE MERE SIGHT OF YOU LET ALONE YOUR RANTS ON THIS SOMEWHAT STUPID WEBSITE.

    JUST REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE, BOY, A LITTLE CHEMISTRY LAB ASSISTANT WITH A PHD……WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION, I HAVE THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU DO AND HAVE ATTENDED FAR MORE UNIVERSITIES THAN YOU HAVE AND AM FAR BETTER SELF-EDUCATED.

    I have kept silent about Mr. Desmond for over six months, just to see how he would fit into TransLink, but when I heard him on CKNW recently, he demonstrated that he was nothing more than a worm tongued bureaucrat, doing what worm tongued bureaucrats do best, deceive the public.

    KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF FOR YOU DO NOT HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY WHAT YOU HAVE JUST SAID TO MR. DESMOND IN PERSON, IF THAT WERE EVER TO HAPPEN, WHICH, OF COURSE, WE KNOW WILL NEVER HAPPEN. THIS STUPID ATTITUDE OF YOURS IS WHY YOU ARE NOT LISTENED TO; NOT RESPECTED AND ARE LAUGHED AT.

    In other words he fits into TransLink very well.

    PLEASE DON’T BE SO INSOLENT, AS I CAN OUT DO YOU IN THAT DEPARTMENT.

    He suffers from the American “Metro” disease, which is the philosophy that “the more money one spends on transit the better it must be.”

    YOU, IT SEEMS, SUFFER FROM ILLUSIONS OF GRANDEUR….THAT YOUR PEA BRAIN THINKING ABOUT TRANSIT IS “THE WAY AND THE LIGHT”…..YOU MUST BELONG TO SOME FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIAN BUNCH OF WEIRDOS OUT HERE IN THE FRASER VALLEY.

    His stand on SkyTrain to Langley is bizarre and underlines the fact he hasn’t a clue, but what is even more bizarre is his plan for LRT from Arbutus to UBC. His actions belies his ignorance of transit mode, which seems almost universal with those who come from south of the boarder where LRT is regarded poorly and streetcars are in the vogue.

    A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT THE ALRT / SKYTRAIN SYSTEM EXTENDED TO LANGLEY, BUT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AS IT SEEMS THAT NO ONE OF NOTE UNDERSTANDS THE SUBSTRATA BETWEEN 170TH STREET AND 182ND ALONG THE FRASER HIGHWAY…..AS THE COST OF BUILDING A SKYTRAIN SYSTEM FOR THAT NEARLY TWO MILE STRETCH WOULD BE TRIPLE IF NOT QUADRIPLE THE COST…

    As mentioned before, Desmond comes from the Seattle area and Seattle is building light-metro, using light rail vehicles and it is Seattle’s adherence to light metro that opened the door for Desmond to be CEO of TransLink, no others had needed to apply.

    I WONDER WHY SEATTLE WENT LIGHT-METRO. WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON THEIR SYSTEM…..AS MANY BINDERS AS I DO? AS MANY STUDIES AND REPORTS AS I DO? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THEY INVITED YOU TO SPEAK TO THEM OR SUBMIT A REPORT TO THEM ON YOUR THOUGHTS ON THEIR SYSTEM.

    Let us hearken back to the era of Tom Prendergast, former CEO of TransLink, before he was “sent to Coventry” by TransLink management.

    From 2008:

    Prendergast is a consummate transit professional, as his more than 30 years in the business suggests. His previous posts include senior vice-president of New York City’s subway system and president of the Long Island Rail Road, which is the largest commuter railroad in the U.S.

    Yes, the man knows his rails and, as he said yesterday, he’s not about to dismiss either light rail or the existing Interurban right-of-way options as TransLink plans its options for south of the Fraser.

    AND THAT WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER HAPPEN. DO I NEED TO HOLD YOUR HAND WHEN I TAKE YOU TO CHAT WITH CPR SENIOR EXECUTIVES TO HAVE THEM EXPLAIN TO YOU IN KINDERGARTEN LEVEL LANGUAGE THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THE OLD BCER / BC HYDRO LINE FROM NEW WESTMINSTER TO CHILLIWACK WILL NEVER BE USED FOR ANY FORM OF PUBLIC TRANSIT. HE MAY HAVE HAD TO OPEN A MIND THAT RESULTED IN PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND TRANSIT BETTER THAN HE DOES TO LOSE THEIR RESPECT FOR HIM….HENCE, THE HEAVE HO……

    Nor is he convinced that SkyTrain’s extension in Surrey has to be a continuation of the elevated system.

    AGAIN, A DREAMER, WHO NEEDS A DOSE OF REALITY.

    In fact, when TransLink announces today that it’s embarking on two new major studies — one covering a westward, rapid-transit extension to the University of B.C. and the other focusing on Surrey — the latter study will look at all options, Prendergast told me yesterday.”

    IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN POLITI-TALK. HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CAREFUL IN SPEAKING TO YOU, FOOLISH THAT HE WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Prendergast’s last words as he was forced out of TransLink, because he knew and understood LRT, was a question on the potential to extend LRT up the valley.

    WHICH WILL NEVER HAPPEN AS WE REPEATEDLY TELL YOU.

    “There’s really no impediment,” Prendergast responded. “It’s overcoming the cultural embracement of SkyTrain that has existed to date.”

    WELL, HE DID HAVE ONE SUCCINCT INSIGHT. TOO BAD HE DID NOT SEE PAST THE END OF HIS OWN NOSE.

    He said TransLink is seeking to cut through the pro-SkyTrain “cultural bias” as it embarks on a careful examination of rapid transit technologies for line extensions west along Broadway and south of the Fraser.

    WASTING TIME….AND AT HIS SALARY!!!!!

    Prendergast predicted the first light rail line that comes to the Lower Mainland will lead to much greater appreciation of its potential.

    A TOTAL DREAMER. HE MUST BE SMOKING THE SAME GRASS AS YOU.

    It seems that Mr. Desmond, knows how to embrace the cultural of SkyTrain at TransLink as he tows the line line as he blunders along in willful ignorance.

    MR.DESMOND HAS HAD THE COMPLETE SITUATION EXPLAINED TO HIM, IN DETAIL, AND HAS SEEN THE LIGHT.

    TransLink just didn’t rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic, but they seem to have hired the Captain of the Costa Concordia to run the show and I hope his tenure at TransLink is a short one.

    IT WILL BE LONGER THAN YOUR WEE STAY AT UFV, PUSHING TEST TUBES AROUND.

    PACK IT IN SON, AS YOU ARE BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE A TOTAL FOOL

    MAC IN ABBOTSFORD