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DavidBellerive

Ontario Line / Relief Line - Toronto (TTC or Metrolinx, depends who you ask.)

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This is the proposed alignment for the Ontario Line, meant to replace the proposed Relief Line from the TTC. It will be operated by Metrolinx, and should be fully integrated with the current public transit offering in Toronto.

Assuming construction starts as planned in 2021, it would open in 2027, making it the largest extension to the Toronto subway in decades.

What do you all think of this plan? Given the previously released plans for the "Relief Line" and case made for its alignment, I find this proposal a bit weird, as it doesn't really "relieve" anything, but actually extends the network. Also loads of question regarding the elevated alignment East of Corktown. It is probably gonna share some of its alignment with existing GO Trains, which might still be a quicker way to reach downtown (Science to East Harbour on OL, East Harbour to Union on GO).

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Not a fan of the Doug Ford alignment. Like you said, it doesn't do much to relieve anything.

It mostly duplicates GO (and planned RER) service by making an unnecessary detour east of downtown that will make the trip longer, and again runs parallel to GO/RER at Exhibition Place making it impossible, or very complicated, to return north in order to make that second connection to the Bloor Subway. It is a very inefficient alignment that will encourage people to continue using the Yonge-University Line. Better to stick with the original wide "U" that has been planned for decades. The one thing I do like better than the previous phase 1 plan is the extension north, connecting to the Eglinton LRT. Honestly though, it would be better to invest that extra money to make the full "U" downtown, relieving Yonge-University at both ends.  

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When you look at the current TTC Subway routing, it is shocking that things have lasted as long as they have. The downtown U to Union Station is very narrow and is the only part of the subway network to reach the core business area. It's non wonder that they are looking to build a relief line, which very likely may actually serve the area in a much better way.

In looking at Montreal's Metro, both the Orange Line and the Green Line run parallel to each other between Berri-UQAM and Lionel Groulx. This has pretty much been the case since the beginning (although the Orange was extended west from Bonaventure later on). Both lines compliment each other quite nicely serving the core downtown area.

Coming back to Toronto, it seems like the service is geared to people transferring to streetcars or bus to complete their trip to their destination, whereas in Montreal you can come really close or arrive by Metro only.

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So, I looked more in details at the initial business case for the OL, and I am far from impressed. Steve Munro did an excellent analysis on his website. https://stevemunro.ca/2019/07/27/the-ontario-line-metrolinx-initial-business-case/

Metrolinx clearly wanted to make the case for it more appealing than the RL, with no real explanation of how it will actually improve service.

In addition, the case compares a fully-built OL to a "phase 1" RL, which is such a flawed analysis. As Shane said,

On 8/4/2019 at 9:50 PM, Shane said:

The downtown U to Union Station is very narrow and is the only part of the subway network to reach the core business area. It's non wonder that they are looking to build a relief line, which very likely may actually serve the area in a much better way.

Toronto has boomed relatively quickly compared to other cities, though its transit never really followed-up with the boom. The definition of downtown Toronto changed a lot in 20 years.

While the OL seems to be an exercise in cost-cutting, it does so at the expense of any future increase in capacity or headways, as it will already max-out the current capacity of CBTC. Since ATO is being pushed to later on Line 2, and the TTC is already maxed-out on their storage capacity until at least 2030 (per their capital expenditure plans for the next 15 years). In short, it doesn't look good for the future.

The OL doesn't solve any problem, and adds even more operational restrictions for any future increase in service, both for GO and the TTC. To me, the solution remains a phased relief line, which is more flexible and still has room for growth. The OL might be cheaper, but building it twice is more expensive than doing it right the first time.

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On 2019-08-12 at 7:35 PM, DavidBellerive said:

Toronto has boomed relatively quickly compared to other cities, though its transit never really followed-up with the boom. The definition of downtown Toronto changed a lot in 20 years.

Just as a reference.... I was watching a documentary about the London Crossrail project that was recorded a few years ago......it was when two sections of the main tunnel portion joined up and the Crossrail General Manager said that since the War, this would be the first time that there would be no active tunneling going on in London, digging or getting ready to start.  They literally were digging tunnels for 70 years straight. Of course there is now more going on as well.  But think of that.  If Toronto had done the same thing, how awesome the metro area would be...well it would be like London!

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In many ways, this current alignment of the Ontario Line makes me hopeful, since this serves a great deal of people and makes great connections all around...but I do feel the cost cutting measures, while helpful in bringing this transit line to a more reasonably quick pace of completion hypothetically, do create their own issues. This is a complicated line in terms of engineering anyways....especially in terms of digging below established neighbourhoods in the downtown, east of there, and in East York. This is something that needs to be built with the future in mind...something like the Eglinton Crosstown will not be very helpful, even if they did make it half LRT, half subway...which would be impossible in terms of the plan. 

 

There's some great opportunities made in this alignment, but I don't see much to look by with the way the government/Metrolinx is proposing this.

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Welcome to the forum DreamMachine!

I agree with you that a Crosstown type LRT would not be helpful, even disastrous. Many people seem to think they will use something similar to Montreal's REM technology, which could work quite well. 

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I have been looking alot at the TTC Subway map lately due to setting up the related site...

For the Yonge-University line U that comes into the downtown core, it is clear that the Streetcar routes are essential for transit in that area. When you look at how narrow the U portion of the line is and then consider the streetcars it makes since how they can operate and get away with this type of design. Still I much prefer and like Montreal's metro downtown better, with two lines running parallel about 5-7 blocks apart... that's good service. Still, the streetcars in Toronto do get the job done, just not quite as smooth as an underground rapid transit system could.

While I can't say I am for or against the Ontario Line proposed above, I do like seeing more East-West service added between the south and the existing Bloor-Danforth line.

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