TransLink Spends on Station Renovations
TransLink is renovating several stations on the Expo Line and as always, the real news is what one reads between the lines.
The Expo Line is near its life expiratory date and no, the Expo Line will not disappear in a cacophony of dust and debris, but extensive and expensive renovations and renewals must be made. One of the factors leading the TTC to replace the Scarborough ICTS Line, was that it is getting close to its life expiratory date and it would be cheaper to replace the ICTS line with LRT in the long term. Recent decision to replace the Scarborough ICTS with a subway was crack smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s driven decision.
The claim that the renovation is a; “bid to ease platform overcrowding and accommodate an increase in passengers expected when the new Evergreen Line starts rolling in 2016“, is somewhat over stated as the Evergreen Line will not generate the ridership increase that would warrant such an expense. If TransLink really was sincere in increasing capacity, they will have to lengthen the 80 metre station platforms at all SkyTrain stations and that will be a considerable cost.
The claim that peak hour capacity of the Expo Line is 14,000 persons per hour per direction is debatable, but the contracted capacity of the Expo Line was 15,000 pphpd. The often quoted 30,000 pphpd capacity of the Expo Line was based on rakes of 8-car trains of MK 1 stock, operating with stations having platforms 110 metres long. The maximum theoretical capacity of the Millennium ART Line was claimed to be 26,000 pphpd, by Bombardier literature of the time of construction.
The claim that the Broadway/Commercial stations sees; “150,000 bus and SkyTrain passengers daily“, again is debatable. What TransLink should say is that there are 150,000 boardings, which translates to 75,000 actual bus AND SkyTrain passengers a day. TransLink likes to double count SkyTrain customers transferring to buses to give the impression that more people are using SkyTrain and the Broadway B-Line than there really are.
The real story is that TransLink is spending large sums of money to renovate older metro stations, not to increase capacity or customer comfort, but because they have to and with a TransLink referendum coming soon, TransLink is trying to impress the taxpayer, with questionable statics and manipulated figures.
The preceding chart shows the ridership of all bus services going to UBC. Note Broadways bus ridership (highlighted).
As TransLink builds for a busier future, Main Street station access will be temporarily limited