Finch Ave. West LRT is a go!

Finch Ave. West LRT is a go!

With thanks from Mr. Haveacow!

In the latest of a flurry of transit infrastructure announcements before and since last weekai??i??s launch of Ontarioai??i??s 2015 budget, the government of Ontario says itai??i??s finally going to start building a light rail transit line along Finch Avenue West.

At a media event on Humber Collegeai??i??s North campus ai??i?? the western terminal for the line ai??i?? Ontario Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca and Metrolinx president and chief executive officer Bruce McCuaig declared that ai???Ontario is working with its agency, Metrolinx, and the City of Toronto to move forward on next steps to building the newai??i??ai??? $1.2 billion line.
The 11-kilometre (6.8-mile) line includes 18 surface stops and one underground station between Humber College and the future Finch West Station on theAi??TTC’s 1 Yonge – University line. The underground station would be at the future subway station, which the TTC is currently building as part of a project to extend the subway to Vaughan. It expects to start construction next spring (2016) and finish the project in 2021.
The Finch Ave. West corridor currently moves 53600 (2013) per day using a total of 44 buses standard and articulated buses at peak. The peak hour passenger volume of 2800 p/h/d is misleading because it is able to maintain peak or near peak passenger loads most of the operating day and well into the late evening .Ai??Many of Toronto’s busiest routes do this causing a long term drag on bus resources, hence the need of LRT linesAi??to reduce driver and vehicle operating costs. The LRT line will have 60 metre on street platforms and up to 14, 2Ai??vehicleAi??consists operating at peak.Ai??The LRV’sAi??on the Finch West LRT line will be the Bombardier Flexity Swift Model, equipped with standard gaugeAi??trucks and willAi??be the same vehicle as the ones which thatAi??will be operating on the Eglinton LRT Line. The Eglinton line will use 3Ai??vehicleAi??consists instead of the 2Ai??vehicle LRV’s on Finch. The Flexity Swift is a 5 section (4 articulations) 30 metre longAi??LRV, similar toAi??it’s sister model, theAi??BombardierAi??Flexity Outlooks operating on Toronto’s legacy Streetcar lines. The Flexity Outlook’s use the non standard TTC streetcar/subway track gauge and can’t be coupled with other LRV’s on most of theAi??streetcar lines because of the very tight on street curves. I have included a line map more information regarding transit projects in Ontario and graphic material.

The Finch West LRT is an 11-kilometre light rail transit line that will run along the surface of Finch Avenue from the new Finch West Subway Station on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension at Keele Street to Humber College.

It will provide rapid transit to neighbourhoods that need it the most; it will travel through two of the City of Torontoai??i??s 13 identified priority neighbourhoods ai??i?? Jamestown and Jane/Finch.

The Finch West LRT is a $1 billion (2010$) investment from the Ontario government to expand transit in Toronto.

Construction is currently estimated to begin in 2017.

High Capacity

The projected ridership of the Finch West LRT corridor is 2,800 passengers per hour in the peak direction by 2031. The capacity of an LRT is 15,000 passengers per hour per direction. LRT cars can be removed or added easily, thus providing the flexibility to accommodate ridership demands.


The Finch West LRT will carry passengers in dedicated right-of-way transit lanes separate from regular traffic, as well as priority signaling at intersections. These two components ensure that the Finch West LRT is reliable and that travel times are more certain.


The Finch West LRT will have up to 18 surface stops along Finch Avenue and will have rapid transit connections: Finch West Station to the new Toronto-York subway extension.


The Finch West LRT will have multiple entrances and low floors to ensure fast and accessible boarding. In addition, each vehicle will use the PRESTO proof-of-payment system.

Proven Technology

LRT is a proven technology that is used around the world, including cities with variable temperatures such as Edmonton, Calgary and Minneapolis.

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One Response to “Finch Ave. West LRT is a go!”
  1. eric chris says:

    This LRT line is fantastic and has the correct spacing between stops, about 600 metres, to reduce “feeder bus” costs. In Vancouver, feeder bus routes are added to fill the s-train lines with unwilling commuters and bus routes are eliminated into downtown Vancouver from Delta, to fill the subway line under Cambie Street in Vancouver. Here are some related thoughts:

    In a nutshell, the cost to maintain the s-train and subway lines is overwhelming for TransLink. It is analogous to investing in high risk stocks in your RRSP and having the stocks plummet right before you retire. You’re in deep pooh-pooh which is what the buffoons at TransLink find themselves in now.

    In the real world, if you plan poorly, you live in a shoebox and cut back on expenses. Fat cat employees at TransLink are not in any way interested in this and are out scamming taxpayers for more money to keep the good times rolling at TransLink. They really ought to be rounded up and shot, in my opinion.

    “Urban sprawl and concomitant road congestion brought to you by the idiots at TransLink”

    What’s more bothersome is the fact that TransLink’s fast transit intended to reduce road congestion is worsening urban sprawl resulting in more road congestion. It is due to the Marchetti effect. Urban sprawl is induced through the increase in travel speed, as explained by the Marchetti. “Marchetti showed that Berlin’s expanse grew according to a simple rule of thumb: the distance reachable by current technologies in thirty minutes or less. As travel speeds increased, so too did the distance traversable and the size of the city.”

    All the “fast” FTN service (96 and 99 B-Line, s-train and subway) results in more development in Delta, Coquitlam and Surrey (surrounding Vancouver) as well as longer commutes and more cars on the roads! Mode of fast-transportation is not relevant – whether it is freeways for drivers of cars or fast FTN for users of transit, the result is the same – urban sprawl which is what we have here in Metro Vancouver, thanks in large part to the fools who don’t understand what they are doing at TransLink.

    In effect, TransLink trying to reduce road congestion with subways, s-trains and B-Lines (BRT) is the same as the fire department showing up to put out the blaze with gasoline. Our worsening road congestion (worst in Canada) is no surprise and is due to the feckless, mediocre and ignorant transportation staff at the City of Vancouver and TransLink (Jeff Busby at TransLink and Jerry Dobrovolny at COV, for instance).

    Fast transit was the impetus for the Port Mann Bridge and has accelerated the need for the new bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel in Delta. When the new s-train line starts in Coquitlam for development to mushroom in Coquitlam and Poco, road congestion will explode here.

    While trunk lines for transit (s-train, b-line and subway) combined with very high urban density increase transit use along the trunk lines, they also increase driving, much-much more to increase road congestion much-much more. Most people moving into the dwellings in the new developments in Surrey, Delta and Coquitlam along transit corridors are drivers who are making the need for more freeways, more acute.

    “P-3 financial disaster for taxpayers”

    Everyone involved in the fast transit blunder was seduced by the federal grants to go into P3 agreements with SNCL awarded long term contracts to build and maintain the s-train and subway lines. In Metro Vancouver, SNCL and Bombardier bribing politicians in other countries to win transportation contracts (but not in Canada, surely) are not in any way interested in what’s right for taxpayers and transit users. What we have ended up with here is the bloated and useless bureaucracy at TransLink managing the work by one very high priced contactor, SNCL.

    Rather, what we want to do is live within our means for transit. Dump the expensive and corrupt contractor (SNCL) to: hire ethical electrical, structural and mechanical engineers working for Metro Vancouver to build inexpensive tram and LRT lines with many stops to replace the costly to operate and polluting diesel buses. Use tram and LRT lines to make long distance commuting less attractive, to cut down on the urban sprawl. Finch Avenue West LRT in Toronto with stops every 600 metres epitomizes this. It is good transit planning.

    Improved transit requires good and honest politicians to implement. This isn’t going to happen with Gregor Robertson and Greg Moore funneling more money to SNCL. Voting no is what we have to do to break free of the dirtbags at TransLink. Just do it. Be smart. Vote no.

    Zwei replies: The 600 metre stop spacing is interesting. The Haas-Klau Study (Bus or Light Rail Making The Right Choice) found that the optimum diameter around each transit stop to collect the maximum amount of patronage was 300 metres, thus transit stops 600 metres apart were the optimum distance between stops.