Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Georgetown South Service Expansion Approved

As you may have heard, the Georgetown South Service Expansion project has received environmental assessment approval, subject to conditions that are strict but reasonable. I've made my position on this controversial project quite clear in the past so I won't repeat it, but I do believe that moving forward on this project will improve transit for much of the west end of the GTA. Love it or hate it, it will give us multiple local trains every hour, express trains serving the highest ridership stations, a doubling of VIA rail service to London via Kitchener, a much-needed rail link to the airport, and it will get some of those services moving sooner rather than later. The bottom line is that, in the opinion of this transit user and resident of the corridor, getting people out of their cars and onto trains is a good thing.

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At 10/07/2009 10:32 a.m. , Blogger z said...

A good first step, indeed, but not a complete story by any means.

I'm finding it hard to explain Metrolinx's bias against electrification.

Shouldn't they be neutral until the outcome of their own study is complete?

At 10/07/2009 10:37 a.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

I don't think it's a bias against electrification. It's more of a desire to get the tracks in place and get trains running as soon as possible. Compare it to wanting to improving bus service on Yonge Street today while we wait for the subway extension tomorrow.

If the funding for electrification came along today and it didn't jeopardize other transit projects then they would do it.

At 10/07/2009 11:29 a.m. , Blogger z said...

Even the most narrow-minded bean counter can figure out that once a certain service frequency is reached, electrified system is cheaper than diesel.

Mr Prichard of Metrolinx is pre-emptively declaring in todays Globe & Mail that it is just "too expensive," which he can't even back up with a proper study into the matter.

That's what I meant by a pre-existing bias.

At 10/07/2009 11:43 a.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

I have always felt that the rails and the wires are two separate project and adding wires later does not qualify as "building it twice", especially because cantenary heights are being factored into the detailed engineering design.

The electrification study may reveal that it is a worthy expenditure, but why wait to put the tracks in? Why not get a head start?

At 10/07/2009 11:49 a.m. , Blogger z said...

You're absolutely right on that. But pulling numbers out of thin air and calling diesel a "better choice" is a problem.

I'm also under the suspicion that the year-long study is reminiscent of hiding something in the closet for convenience purposes. Think about the municipal downloading study which was conveniently undertaken during the last provincial election.


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