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Transit plan: Dramatic OneCity proposal floated by Stintz, DeBaeremaeker

 

 

Two councillors leading the TTC say it’s time to move ahead on an accumulating wish list of transit projects: 175 kilometres, including six subway lines, 10 LRTs and five bus and streetcar routes across the city.

The latest proposal would dramatically expand Toronto’s transit network over the next 30 years. And while it comes with a $30 billion price tag, it is well within the city’s grasp, say the councillors at the helm of the Toronto Transit Commission.

TTC chair Karen Stintz (Eglinton-Lawrence) and vice-chair Glenn De Baeremaeker (Scarborough Centre) believe residents can be persuaded to make the kind of transformative investment that would save Toronto from descending into a prosperity-crushing, gridlocked future.

They are calling their proposal OneCity and are asking council to approve a staff study of the plan in July. Councillors would then have until October to take the plan to their constituents before considering approval.

“What this does is it clarifies for the city of Toronto what our network is, how it fits into the regional context and how we propose to fund it,” Stintz said. “The funding, if approved, is dedicated, dependable and debt-free.”

If it flies, Stintz, who has denied she plans to run for mayor, will have engineered the delivery of two elements in Mayor Rob Ford’s election platform: A Sheppard West subway extension linking the Yonge line with the Spadina subway, and the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway along the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) route.

The timeline is critical, say the councillors, because the provincial cabinet has not yet signed off on converting the SRT to light rail transit and the new plan depends on being able to leverage the upcoming property reassessment process that begins in the fall.

“If we can create this value proposition and if we can get buy-in from council and if the public believes this is a viable plan, we are in a better position to start collecting that revenue in 2013,” Stintz said.

The funding proposal would involve getting the province to approve a regulatory change that would allow the city to capture 40 per cent of the higher property values from next year’s reassessment.

That would amount to $45 per average household annually, accumulating to $180 a year on average, which would remain on property tax bills. It would mean $272 million a year in new tax revenue for the city.

“Every penny will go into building and maintaining public transit. That’s going to be the test for council and the people of Toronto,” said De Baeremaeker.

Toronto’s property taxes would still be among the lowest in the region, Stintz said.

The $272 million would form the city’s third of an annual $1 billion transit investment, with the province and Ottawa kicking in a standard one-third each.

The plan is being proposed as the provincial agency Metrolinx rallies support for a regional transit investment strategy to raise about $40 billion. That’s the cost of implementing the rest of the Big Move regional transit plan.

The province has already committed to the first $11 billion of that plan, including $8.4 billion for four lines in Toronto: LRT on Finch, Sheppard and Eglinton, and the conversion of the SRT into LRT extending from the Eglinton line.

Queen’s Park gave Metrolinx until June 2013 to figure out how to raise the rest of the money. But with the Liberals in a minority government and close to the next election by the time the strategy is published, there are fears no party will be willing to commit to new taxes.

Stintz has said repeatedly that Metrolinx needs to be consulting municipalities on the issue of how to raise transit funds. Other politicians, including Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, are also advocating new taxes and tools to pay for transportation.

The first funds from the Stintz-De Baeremaeker plan would go toward converting the SRT route into a subway line, at a cost of about $2.3 billion. The project would have a head start from the $1.8 billion the province has already committed, Stintz said.

Although a subway would be routed somewhat differently from the SRT, it would have the advantage of not shutting down the SRT for four years — unlike the current plan, which calls for putting SRT riders on buses for that period, while the new LRT is built.

De Baeremaeker says he’s confident the six Scarborough-area MPPs would support the idea.

The second priority in the new OneCity vision would be an east waterfront LRT, at a cost of about $300 million. Waterfront Toronto has allocated $90 million toward transit on the lakefront east of Yonge St., and developers there have been bracing for a temporary transit solution such as bus rapid transit.

All the lines in the OneCity plan have been approved at one time or another, and in some cases the environmental assessments have been done for years, said De Baeremaker.

Stintz said she’s had preliminary discussions with the province and the mayor’s staff about the plan, but no commitment of support.

OneCity rebrands some potentially divisive projects such as a downtown relief subway line, which has been renamed the “Don Mills Express” line.

It also aligns with some regional transit projects, including the air-rail link, which the councillors say could be converted to public transit by adding three more stops. A second set of tracks to GO’s Stouffville line would allow for a Scarborough Express above-ground subway or train that delivers riders from Steeles Ave. to Union Station.

OneCity's proposed lines

Six subway lines, 72 km, $18 billion

Replace the Scarborough RT with a subway from Kennedy Station to Sheppard and McCowan; extend the Yonge subway to Steeles Ave.; build a Sheppard West subway to Downsview Station; build a Don Mills Express subway line from Eglinton to Queen St.; upgrade the Bloor-Yonge subway station; build a Scarborough Express line from Steeles Ave. to Union Station; build an Etobicoke Express Line from the airport to Union Station using the air-rail link.

10 LRTs, 73.5 km, $9.5 billion

Extension of the Sheppard East line to Meadowvale, the zoo, and Malvern; build a Scarborough Malvern LRT; extend the Eglinton LRT to the airport; extend the Finch West LRT to Humber College and the airport; build a Jane LRT from Steeles to Bloor; Waterfront West LRT from Union Station to Long Branch; a Finch West LRT from Keele to Yonge St. and a Don Mills LRT from Steeles to Eglinton

Five bus and streetcar lines, 25.7 km, $1.2 billion

Waterfront East streetcar line from Union Station to Parliament St., Ellesmere bus rapid transit from Scarborough Centre to Sheppard and Kingston Rd.; Kingston BRT from Victoria Park Station to Eglinton and Kingston Rd.; extend the St. Clair streetcar from Keele to Jane; a Wilson BRT from Wilson Station to Keele St

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1217721--transit-plan-dramatic-onecity-proposal-floated-by-stintz-debaeremaeker?bn=1

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BREAKTHROUGH ORDER FOR NOVA BUS IN TORONTO

Nova Bus has secured an order valued at $143 million for up to 153 articulated buses for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Delivery of the first 27 LFS Artic is scheduled for 2013.

 

“Being selected to provide Canada’s largest transit authority with the latest generation of articulated vehicles is a tremendous opportunity and another milestone in strengthening our position in North America,” said Gilles Dion, President and CEO of Nova Bus. “We are proud that the TTC has opted to partner with Nova Bus. We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship and providing them with vehicles that contribute to the development of public transit in the Greater Toronto Area.”

 

The corrosion- and fatigue-resistant stainless steel structure of the LFS Artic, as well as its proven track record and overall design were key features for the TTC. Nova Bus vehicles for the TTC will be entirely assembled in Canada and feature a high level of Canadian content.

 

Since launching production of the LFS Artic, Nova Bus has been awarded contracts in North American cities such as Montreal, New York City, Austin (TX), Quebec City, Halifax, Saskatoon, and Niagara Falls.

 

The 62-foot LFS Artic is designed to handle high-volume routes. The vehicle delivers passenger capacity, onboard fluidity and easy maneuverability for an optimal ride.

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We have known for a little while now that TTC has decided to go with Nova for their new Artics. With Orion out of the picture for good, what all do you think this means for the future of TTC?

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BREAKTHROUGH ORDER FOR NOVA BUS IN TORONTO

 

Nova Bus has secured an order valued at $143 million for up to 153 articulated buses for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Delivery of the first 27 LFS Artic is scheduled for 2013.

 

“Being selected to provide Canada’s largest transit authority with the latest generation of articulated vehicles is a tremendous opportunity and another milestone in strengthening our position in North America,” said Gilles Dion, President and CEO of Nova Bus. “We are proud that the TTC has opted to partner with Nova Bus. We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship and providing them with vehicles that contribute to the development of public transit in the Greater Toronto Area.”

 

The corrosion- and fatigue-resistant stainless steel structure of the LFS Artic, as well as its proven track record and overall design were key features for the TTC. Nova Bus vehicles for the TTC will be entirely assembled in Canada and feature a high level of Canadian content.

 

Since launching production of the LFS Artic, Nova Bus has been awarded contracts in North American cities such as Montreal, New York City, Austin (TX), Quebec City, Halifax, Saskatoon, and Niagara Falls.

 

The 62-foot LFS Artic is designed to handle high-volume routes. The vehicle delivers passenger capacity, onboard fluidity and easy maneuverability for an optimal ride.

 

City council is to vote on taking the options as the commission wants the options. Most likely the will be all taken.

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Metrolinx Unveils Next Wave of Big Move Projects

 

 

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - At an address today to the Toronto Board of Trade Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig unveiled the next wave of projects drawn from The Big Move, the Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), that will continue Metrolinx's ongoing transformation of the region's transportation system.

"The Big Move is our plan to tackle gridlock across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by building new transit and integrating our transportation system so that it's easier for everyone to get around," said Bruce McCuaig. "We already have over $16 billion invested in projects from The Big Move that are now in progress, but we need to keep moving forward and that's why I'm pleased to unveil the next wave of projects."

The Big Move projects in the next wave include two new subway lines: a Downtown Relief line improving access to the regional core for residents from across the GTHA, as well as a new extension of the Yonge subway line north to Richmond Hill. Light rail transit (LRT) in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton, and bus rapid transit (BRT) in Durham, Toronto, Peel and Halton, will reduce congestion and serve as a catalyst for development across the GTHA. The next wave also includes transformative investment in the GO Transit rail network, including line extensions, more two-way, all-day service, and electrification of both GO lines and the Union Pearson Express (formerly known as the Air Rail Link).

The next wave of proposed investment extends beyond major rapid transit projects to include resources for local transit, roads, active transportation and other strategic transportation initiatives.

"With our plan in place, it's now time for the big conversation about the best ways to pay for this $34 billion investment," said McCuaig. "Together, let's look to what other world class cities have done to fund their transit plans and then get the job done here in the GTHA."

The Big Move, adopted unanimously in 2008 by the Metrolinx Board of Directors, was developed through intensive public consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders, municipal leaders and professionals throughout the region. An update to The Big Move is proposed that will incorporate the findings of recent, more detailed studies to refine elements of the plan to meet emerging transit needs. The proposed updates will be posted on the Metrolinx website on December 5 for public comment.

Over $16 billion from all three levels of government has already been allocated to a first wave of projects drawn from The Big Move, the largest financial commitment to transit expansion in Canadian history. Major projects in this first wave are now under construction, including the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT, the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, the Mississauga BRT, the Union Pearson Express and new dedicated bus lanes in York Region.

See the full list of the proposed projects in the backgrounder.

Metrolinx is working to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area with a transportation system that is modern, efficient and integrated. Find out more about The Big Move, Metrolinx's Regional Transportation Plan for the GTHA. Find out more about GO Transit, PRESTO, and Union Pearson Express, divisions of Metrolinx.

Disponible en français.

 

 

Backgrounder

 

 

The Big Move's next wave of projects will continue Metrolinx's transformation of the region's transportation system by expanding the regional transit network as well as providing resources for local transit, roads, active transportation and more.

The Next Wave: Key Facts

  • 713 km of enhanced transit
  • 33 million new transit trips by 2031
  • 6,139,344 people will live within 2 km of rapid transit by 2031
  • 800,000 to 900,000 new jobs created between 2012 to 2031
  • $110 to $130 billion growth to Ontario's GDP between 2012 to 2031
  • $25 to $35 billion in total Government Revenues between 2012 to 2031

 

Rapid Transit Projects:

75 per cent of proposed investment is allocated to a transformative slate of regional transit projects:

  • Brampton Queen Street Rapid Transit: 10 km of upgraded transit along Queen Street.
  • Downtown Relief Line: New subway that will improve access to the regional core for residents from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and provide relief to the overflowing arteries of the Toronto transit system.
  • Dundas Street Bus Rapid Transit: 40 km of bus service running in dedicated lanes, connecting Toronto, Mississauga and Halton.
  • Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit: 36 km of bus service running in dedicated lanes, connecting Scarborough Centre to downtown Oshawa via Pickering, Ajax and Whitby.
  • GO Rail Expansion: More Two-Way, All-Day and Rush Hour Service: Introducing more two-way, all-day service, adding additional rush hour service across the entire network, and extending trains to Hamilton and Bowmanville.
  • Electrification of GO Kitchener line and Union Pearson Express: Upgrading diesel train service to electric propulsion for these two complementary transit services that share a substantial portion of their routing.
  • GO Lakeshore Express Rail Service - Phase 1 (including Electrification): Transforming GO Transit's backbone from Hamilton to Oshawa into a faster, more frequent and more convenient transit option by beginning the transition to an international-style Express Rail service.
  • Hamilton Light Rail Transit: 14 km LRT line stretching from McMaster University to Eastgate Square.
  • Hurontario-Main Light Rail Transit: 23 km LRT line connecting Port Credit to downtown Brampton via Cooksville and Mississauga City Centre.
  • Yonge North Subway Extension: 6 km extension that will connect the City of Toronto to the Richmond Hill / Langstaff Urban Growth Centre.

 

Local transit, roads and highways and other projects

The remaining 25 per cent is allocated to local transit projects, as well as roads and highways, active transportation and transportation demand management throughout the region.

SOURCE: Metrolinx

 

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1080785/metrolinx-unveils-next-wave-of-big-move-projects

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TTC report threatens to reopen Scarborough subway debate

 

Just when commuters thought the Scarborough subway-versus-LRT debate was settled, the issue that bitterly divided city council last year has re-surfaced.

 

Metrolinx immediately dismissed the idea of revisiting the transit plan for Scarborough, but that didn’t discourage one city councillor on the Toronto Transit Commission.

 

Glenn DeBaeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) said the latest TTC report gives him new confidence that there will be a subway underway in Scarborough within a decade.

 

He called the report fresh proof that Mayor Rob Ford’s plan to build a subway on Sheppard “is a stupid idea.”

 

But more important, he said, it suggests that the city can afford to build a subway in Scarborough by extending the Danforth line from Kennedy to Sheppard Ave. E. It would cost about $500 million more than converting the SRT to LRT, the Metrolinx plan the city and TTC signed off on late last year. That’s the same amount of money the city has just approved for repairing the Gardiner Expressway.

 

Extending the Danforth subway was a cornerstone of the OneCity transit scheme that DeBaeremaeker and TTC chair Karen Stintz floated last year. It was rejected by a majority of city councillors, who chastised the pair for failing to consult before floating a $30 billion transit plan of their own.

 

“I’m thrilled” by the TTC report, said DeBaeremaeker. “I am 100 per cent certain Scarborough is going to get a subway — the intelligent subway, the one that actually carries a lot of people, the one that costs the least amount of money.”

 

Metrolinx, the provincial agency that is funding and building the SRT replacement as part of the Eglinton Crosstown line, immediately dismissed suggestions it might consider a subway.

 

“No, we have a plan, actually the city council approved that plan, the master agreement approved the scope — replacing SRT with light rail — and we are very rapidly moving forward,” said Metrolinx vice-president Jack Collins.

 

The report makes comparisons that have been published before by the TTC and a city-appointed expert panel last year, he noted.

 

The TTC estimate of $2.3 billion to replace the SRT with LRT is higher than the $1.8 billion Metrolinx has assigned the project. The report puts the Danforth subway extension at $2.8 billion.

 

The length of the two proposals is different: A subway would add only 7.6 km of transit, compared with 9.9 km for light rail and it would have only three stations rather than seven, according to the TTC report. It would, however, run slightly faster than light rail and would have the capacity to carry 36 million people a year, 5 million more than LRT. The LRT would, however, put twice as many riders within walking distance of a station and serve more priority neighbourhoods.

 

Although the 4 km/h speed differential wouldn’t significantly alter trip time, riders would save time on the transfer between light rail and subway at Kennedy Station, Collins said.

 

Converting the obsolete SRT system to modern light rail means closing the line down for about four years, shunting riders onto buses during the construction expected between 2015 and 2020.

 

“But then you have to look, on balance, at the lower cost and the bigger area that gets served … the disruption of building an entire new subway line versus repurposing an existing line. There’s trade-offs,” Collins said.

 

With Metrolinx ready to begin tendering on a massive contract for the Eglinton LRT, including the SRT conversion project, he said, changing plans mid-stream would cause an unacceptable delay.

 

 

http://m.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/article/1316671--ttc-report-threatens-to-reopen-scarborough-subway-debate

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Five TTC enforcement officers face criminal charges in ticketing probe

 

 

TORONTO, Ont. – Eight TTC enforcement officers have been fired, and five are facing criminal charges after a four-month investigation into the alleged falsification of provincial offence tickets.

 

The transit agency alleges that five officers had issued tickets for provincial offences — including panhandling, loitering and trespassing — to individuals of no fixed address.

 

The TTC alleges that the officers were not at the locations where the falsified tickets were supposed to have been issued. Those tickets were never served to the people named, so no fines were collected, according to the transit agency.

 

“[The officers] would show up for work, they were in uniform, they would be in their vehicles, but they would not be where they said they were,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said.

 

TTC chair Karen Stintz said the news was a blow to the agency’s efforts to revamps its culture.

 

“To have this type of action happen is really disappointing for the entire organization and really a slap in the face to all those employees who go to work every day and want to do a good job,” she said.

 

“Their job is to protect the public trust within the transit system and that trust has been violated by their actions”

 

“I am profoundly disappointed in today’s news,” TTC CEO Andy Byford said in a statement. “The public should have absolute confidence and trust in all that we do.”

 

Stintz said the TTC will cancel all falsified tickets and ensure the individuals named will not face future prosecution for failing to pay the fines.

 

The TTC says a review will be conducted to strengthen its controls and procedures for issuing provincial offences tickets.

 

The transit agency also fired three other officers due to “misconduct.” However, the TTC says there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

 

Stintz said the TTC is trying to have special constable status reinstated to its enforcement officers by the Toronto police.

 

“We need to be able to demonstrate to the police that we have a solid unit that is able to do the job that they’re being paid to do,” she said.

 

The five officers are each charged with attempting to obstruct justice and fabricating evidence: Michael Schmidt, 44, of Barrie, two counts each; Svetomir Catic, also known as Tony, 45, of Oakville, two counts each; Jan Posthumus, 44, of Toronto, three counts each; James Greenbank, 48, of Milton, one count each and Neil Malik, 38, of Ajax, one count each.

 

They are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 26

 

 

http://www.680news.com/2013/01/15/8-ttc-transit-enforcement-officers-dismissed-5-face-charges/

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ON-STREET TEST OF TTC'S NEW STREETCAR: The Toronto Transit Commission has
begun on-street testing of its new streetcar fleet, having successfully run its
test vehicle last night from the TTC’s Hillcrest facility at 1138 Bathurst St.
to Bathurst Station and back. The plan is for the TTC to test the streetcar on
Toronto streets again this evening, though that is subject to change and/or
cancellation. There will be no onboard photos or rides for media – this is a
photo opportunity from the street only. The streetcar will depart the TTC’s
Hillcrest facility and travel south to Exhibition loop, returning to Hillcrest.
This will occur tomorrow morning (Friday, March 15) after 2:30 a.m. at the
conclusion of streetcar service on St. Clair Ave. W. and Bathurst St. Please
call the TTC media line at 416-981-1900 to confirm. Since the first test
streetcar arrived in Toronto last fall, TTC and Bombardier engineers and staff
have conducted static tests on functions such as air conditioning, heating,
lighting, CCTV cameras, stop announcements, ergonomics and many other components
of the vehicle. The next phase of testing moves to Toronto streets and includes
power, braking, coupling/towing, clearance, cameras, doors and much more before
the streetcar can be commissioned for service, scheduled for the first quarter
of 2014. Testing locations and times will broaden and occur across the city over
the next several months. Plans call for the new streetcar to serve the 510
Spadina line first. As production vehicles arrive and are commissioned by the
TTC, more streetcar routes will begin to be serviced by the new car. Full
deployment across the streetcar network is expected by 2018. TTC staff will
update the TTC Board and public later this spring with its deployment plan. For
more information about the TTC’s 204 new low-floor, accessible, air conditioned
fleet of custom-designed and engineered for Toronto streetcars, visit TTC's New
Streetcars
pages. (TTC, Alex Mayes - posted 3/15/13)

 

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Yesterday, a local transit fan organization in Toronto chartered a TTC 1996 Orion V (7000-7134) for a photo trip. At 18 years old and over a million km's travelled, these buses are being phased out by the end of the year with the continuing arrival of 153 Nova LFS articulated buses. Of the 135 buses, only around 70 are still active. There is another batch of 50 1996 Orion Vs (9400-9449) that were originally CNG but converted to diesel in the mid 2000s and they will also be phased out. Starting next year, the 52 Nova RTS buses from 1998 will be phased out, replaced with a order of 55 Nova Bus LFS 40' buses.

A few shots from the photo trip yesterday:

15069698656_1167a1accd_c.jpg
15069699796_42d5030d26_c.jpg
14906122998_7999bf721b_c.jpg
15089685421_205c3a21a3_c.jpg
14906048330_afe20a9a85_c.jpg
15069700526_26f7db72c0_c.jpg 

  • Upvote 4

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Since this hasn't been updated in a while...

 

The TTC is unveiling 5 new express bus routes that are coming out next month.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/ttc-express-bus-routes-1.3419858

 

Also, 55 of the Flexity Outlook's will be expected to be rolling on Toronto's streetcar routes by the end of this year.

http://m.torontosun.com/2016/01/21/55-new-ttc-streetcars-expected-by-end-of-year

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