Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eglinton Light Rail

A funny thing happened to me while riding the 63 Ossington Wednesday afternoon. I got stuck in traffic, and when you consider the traffic along Eglinton Avenue, it's no surprise. From a ridership standpoint, Eglinton Avenue deserves rapid transit in some form. Building such a line will not only move people faster along the street, but it will also benefit every corner of the city. Why? Because buses currently running along Eglinton will be re-deployed elsewhere, improving service on crowded routes and under-serviced areas.

For information on what I've proposed for the Eglinton Avenue corridor, click here. If we build a line to that alignment, we'll be able to remove buses from a number of routes to be used elsewhere in the city. Of course, we will need to run service in between light rail stops to maintain the local service like the 97 Yonge does, but even at 10-15 minute frequency (comparable to 97 Yonge), the savings are significant.
  • 32 Eglinton West - 44 buses can be reduced to 11 buses between Eglinton Station and Renforth & Skymark.
  • 34 Eglingon East - 21 buses can be reduced to 9 buses between Eglinton Station and Kennedy Station.
That's a savings of 45 peak hour buses, but there's more:
  • 86 Scarborough - Uses 21 peak hour buses. Resources can be moved elsewhere or reinvested in the route if service between Kennedy Station and Lawrence Avenue is reduced to the 10-15 minute service I discussed above.
  • 51 Leslie - Uses 7 peak hour buses. Resources can be moved elsewhere or reinvested in the route if service between Eglinton Station and Eglinton & Leslie is removed.
  • 54 Lawrence East - Uses 33 peak hour buses. Resources can be moved elsewhere or reinvested in the route if service between Eglinton Station and Eglinton & Leslie is removed.
  • 56 Leaside - Uses 5 peak hour buses. Resources can be moved elsewhere or reinvested in the route if service between Eglinton Station and Eglinton & Laird is removed.
  • 100 Flemingdon Park - Uses 18 peak hour buses. Resources can be moved elsewhere or reinvested in the route if service between Eglinton Station & Don Mills & Eglinton is removed.
In addition to all these savings, trip times are reduced because people get to rapid transit faster. Also, in the case of 56 Leaside, 70 O'Connor and others, passengers will have a choice of which direction to travel, as rapid transit would be at both ends. This helps reduce crowing by splitting the passenger loads over both directions.


Could this be the Eglinton Avenue of the future?

While some people believe that rapid transit only benefits those living along the line, but I hope I've shown that it's just the opposite. We should build a rapid transit line along Eglinton because it will benefit the riders of the various bus routes, but also because it will benefit the city as a whole.

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