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Friday, October 19, 2012

Spend billions for one DRL someday, or flip switch on seven existing lines today?

This article commenting on the need for a downtown relief line (DRL) is utterly maddening.

This one line would cost $3.2 billion (and rising) and would be completed...um...someday - the article says "currently there is no money set aside for a downtown relief line."

Yet, right now, today, as I type, there are not one, not two (I feel like LeBron James here), not three, not four... but seven existing rail lines, like spokes, out from the Union Station hub (three east of Yonge Street and four west of Yonge Street). Yes, I said seven. These lines are in operation, by GO Transit. 

In response to that CBC article, one commenter said "My cousin from London England visited our family in Toronto recently. He went to NYC beforehand. He laughed at our pathetic transit system, and I cried a little inside.

I've written to TTC and GO Transit that the points of overlap between TTC and GO Transit are bad, and not even discussed. For example, TTC's Main Stn., and GO Transit's Danforth Stn. on the Lakeshore East line appear to be connected, but they're not practically connected at all for smooth transfer purposes. Or, most people don't realize that there's a GO Train station (Kennedy, on the Stouffville line) at TTC's Kennedy Stn. partly because there's little if any signage directing people to make use of the line.

Would adding more scheduled service to GO Trains cost anywhere near $3.2 billion? And, even if it did, would it not make more sense to invest $3.2 billion for seven lines that would be ready for service "now" than to spend the same money plus the costs due to traffic disruption for one line...someday...?

Can someone, anyone, tell me why TTC and GO Transit can't integrate?

Anyone? Bueller?

To be fair, recently I read that TTC and GO were testing the ability for riders to transfer between Rouge Hill GO Station and TTC buses going to University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.

But, why "testing"? Is there any fear that the transfer capability would not be useful? Be this as it may, GTA-wide integration is what's needed for daily commuters to the biggest city in the country, not some pilot test in the corner of the city for a relatively small group.

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