Archive for the ‘Studies’ Category

Metrolinx’s interim report recommends subway over BRT on Yonge

Monday, August 10th, 2009
What a transit sign may look like at the Richmond Hill Centre with connections to a subway, YRT and Viva busses, and GO trains.

What a transit sign may look like at the Richmond Hill Centre with connections to a subway, YRT and Viva busses, and GO trains.

Last Friday, Metrolinx released its interim Benefits Case Analysis (BCA) for the Yonge North Subway extension.

The BCA was developed by Metrolinx in collaboration with the City of Toronto, the Regional Municipality of York and the Toronto Transit Commission. The analysis looked at two subway options, and a bus rapid transit option.

Here are the key findings:

  • The subway options have a far greater positive impact on the environment, economy, land development and community than the BRT.
  • The economic impacts of the subway options are considerable – creating 21,800 person-years of employment.
  • Both subway options provide better service and reliability than the BRT. The BRT is not as reliable as the subway and would likely experience substantial overcrowding in peak hours.
  • The BRT is not considered a long term solution.
  • The BRT is likely limited by technology, and would not have sufficient capacity for the long-term needs of the corridor.

The proposed subway extension will meet up with the rapidways along Hwy. 7, which will soon get under construction. The combination of the rapidways and a connecting subway on Yonge St. creates a viable alternative to driving and will make it much easier for people to travel between York Region and Toronto.

While we would like to see the Yonge Subway extension proceed immediately, we know that projects of this magnitude can’t happen overnight. We will continue to work with all stakeholders and analyze the overall network elements, such as GO electrification impacts, the TTC capacity study at Yonge/Bloor, as well as the Downtown Relief Line.

The benefits of this project are significant and long-term. We will continue to work with all levels of government to ensure the funding is in place to keep this project moving forward.

The executive summary of the interim BCA is available here.

Study shows you should expect to spend longer commuting

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Traffic slowly moving along Highway 7.

Traffic slowly moving along Highway 7 in York Region.

If you think that your commute is taking longer, you’d be right and the bad news is that you’re not alone.

A recent survey conducted jointly by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the City of Toronto and the Regions of York, Durham and Peel confirms that average speeds on highways and roads all around the GTA are decreasing. On average, a trip now takes 11% to 21% longer than the exact same trip in 2002.

While this figure applies to the entire GTA, one of the worst long sections of highway is travelled by many York Region residents every day. The section travelling southbound along Hwy. 404 from 16th Ave. to Hwy. 401 during the morning rush hour is the slowest long stretch of highway in the GTA. Motorists see an average speed of 31km/h along this stretch during the morning peak period. Driving along Hwy. 404 during peak hours takes 3.5 times longer than during times when you are able to drive at the posted speed limit.

But York Region roads are not just congested by drivers heading in to and out of Toronto. The study looked at Highway 7 all the way from Durham to Peel Region, an 88 km stretch, and found that three of the five slowest sections were in York Region.

Average speeds on Hwy. 7 through York Region are often almost half of the posted speed limit and not just during rush hours. The study found that driving on Hwy. 7 in the middle of the day is almost as slow as driving it during the morning rush.

The simple solution as we see it is to get more people out of those cars that are causing the increase in congestion and get them on fast, convenient transit.

Do you agree that traffic is getting worse? What are some solutions?