Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The White Zone is for policy only

So here we are at the white pages.

Subject to board approval, these will be the three versions of the Regional Transportation Plan that the public will be asked to comment on.

As you recall, the Green Papers were discussion papers - a way to ask what ideas you feel are most important and should be retained to the next step.

I encourage everyone to read the white papers to learn what will happen with Mobility Hubs; Active Transportation; Transportation Demand Management; Moving Goods and Delivering Services; and Roads and Highways, but since transit is the soul of the plan, I'll summarize the options here.

The Linear Test Concept is based primarily on the MoveOntario 2020 projects and other proposed system improvements with the following additional services to complete connections, fill system gaps, and address growth beyond 2020.

The Radial Test Concept builds on Test Concept A by strengthening several major transit corridors radiating from Union Station. Regional Express lines providing very high levels of rail service are a major part of the Radial Concept. Regional Express lines would provide a high frequency and high speed (average 80 km/h or more) service by electrified railways or other higher-order technologies.

The Web Test Concept provides enhanced radial service to/from Union Station, as in the Radial Test Concept, but also adds major new east-west higher-order transit lines. The network for this test concept is a fully integrated, hierarchical transit system that will connect most of the urban growth centres in the GTHA.

In addition to the maps, you can find the vital statictics of each concept here, here and here.

When you're looking at these maps, keep in mind the following:

  • Metro, in the context of this study, means grade separated railway. It could be subway, ICTS or a combination of both. Station spacing has not been defined, but could involved short-spacing (500 to 700m) along designated avenues and express tracks for long-haul trips.
  • Express rail is frequent service (every few minutes), using subway-style trains. Rush hour commuter service could continue to operate along these corridors using GO-style trains.
  • Commuter Rail is frequent commuter service during the peak hours, with off peak service every hour or better. These would likely use GO-style trains exclusively.
  • Other Rapid Transit is LRT or BRT, using various possible on-street and off-street routing options.

So what is the next step?

The Draft RTP is due out in June. Until then, Metrolinx will be looking for comment on which proposal to move forward with. This is your region, and you have the opportunity to make it your regional plan.

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