Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dispatches from Vancouver: A Canada Line for Toronto - Torontoist

Over at Torontoist, you'll find an article on Vancouver's rapid transit line connecting the airport with the downtown core. In the comment section, though, I wasn't surprised to find comments that oppose our under-construction airport link, the Union-Pearson Rail Link (UPRL).

It's easy to rally against the project, but lets not forget that the corridor upgrades necessary to accommodate the line will give us frequent GO Trains that will eventually stop at a station near Woodbine Racetrack. From there, the Finch West LRT is to provide the last leg of the trip to the airport. This combination could adequately serve those who aren't served by the UPRL.

Personally, I'm indifferent to the UPRL. I might not want to pay a premium fare to get to the airport, but I can think of many people who will. It has been argued that airport employees won't be able to afford it, but what's stopping the Greater Toronto Airport Authority from negotiating a discount rate for the workers? Either way, one under-performer shouldn't torpedo the implementation of improvements to a handful of well-used corridors.

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At 2/21/2010 11:54 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would the fare be? I believe that there is an airport shuttle (coach bus) from downtown Toronto which costs about $25. I would assume/hope that the cost would be a little less and integrated into the GO fare system

At 2/22/2010 12:02 a.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

It's expected that the fare for Union-Pearson express train will be in the same range, and probably won't be integrated with other services - that's why I understand why people aren't too happy about it.

But, the upgrades that we need to make to get the premium train running will also improve GO Transit service on the Milton, Barrie, Georgetown and Bolton lines and will open the door to the GO + LRT option I mentioned. The fare for the GO + LRT option would be whatever the GO + TTC integrated fare happens to be at the time.

At 2/22/2010 12:28 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually quite surprised that it would be at a premium. I understand that they would need to cover costs, however will this attract the riders who would have normally taken the bus, cab or the who have time to take the TTC?

At 2/22/2010 12:36 a.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

It's going to be completely privatized. Depending on how you feel about private transit, you can thank the federal government. My policy has always been not to poke the bear. If the feds come with money, we're foolish not to take it.

It will provide those who take taxi cabs with better value, as it will get there faster. Those who don't want to pay will probably continue taking the TTC. For the very specific trip of Pearson Airport to the central business district I think it will be very well used. But, that's the only market it will serve.

That's why I've been advocating for regular fare option along the same route - those who want to pay a premium to get there faster are free to do so, and those who don't mind having it take a little longer pay a normal fare. London is a very good example of this. I don't support cancelling the entire project.

At 4/10/2010 8:22 p.m. , Anonymous Mike Sullivan said...

GO Transit announced at a public forum two weeks ago that they will NEVER run frequent service along the Georgetown corridor. The maximum number of trains they will run is 40, which can be handled without any new infrastructure, according to their EA.
The real reason for the billion dollar upgrade to the toronto section of the corridor is to support the private UPRL. It will carry, on average 200 passengers an hour. And the fare will probably be 30-35 dollars. It is set to maximize profit, not ridership.
I wish the government would come clean and admit that is where our tax dollars are going. Then we could have an honest debate about whether this is the single most important transit project and therefore be built on a priority basis.

At 4/10/2010 8:30 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

What GO has said about their plans aren't really relevant to me. These updates are necessary to support what I would like to see on the corridor - and that is service every few minutes on par with regional rail operators in other countries. It is called Visions for the GTTA, after all.

At 7/07/2010 10:26 p.m. , Anonymous Andrew F said...

PRT can do it for ~$200 million. PRT along the rail corridor could work decently. Heathrow has already implemented a system.


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