Adding stops to ARL gaining traction

Frances Nunziata’s gambit to get more stops added to the Air Rail Link is getting some press. The National Post has a sympathetic article, which explains one  of the biggest problems with the new, very expensive, very controversial Air Rail Link and Eglinton LRT: despite coming within metres of each other, they don’t actually meet.

Councillor Frances Nunziata highlights one particular “missed opportunity”: the Air Rail Link will cross paths with or skirt the light-rail line being built along Eglinton, but there are currently no plans to connect with it.

“Wouldn’t it make sense to have a stop at Eglinton?” said Ms. Nunziata, who wants city council to ask Metrolinx to alter its plan. “If we’re building the Eglinton LRT, we want an integrated transit system in the city.”

Metrolinx is planning a ‘Mobility Hub’ terminus for the Eglinton LRT at the Kodak lands, but that will be about  2 km away from the Weston Station, where the GO trains and the Air Rail Link stop. It’s not an easy walk, even for the spry when weather is good.

Metrolinx, not surprisingly, isn’t in love with the idea of building extra stops at Eglinton or anywhere else.

The premise of the ARL project is to provide fast service to the airport with minimal number of stops. Currently, each one-way trip is scheduled to take approximately 25 minutes, adding additional stops would add to the length of each trip, therefore taking away from the purpose of the service as being direct and express,” Ms. Thomas [of Metrolinx] wrote in an email.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

4 thoughts on “Adding stops to ARL gaining traction”

  1. if they make a connection at eglinton, the GO station at weston becomes redundant. there will most likely be a push to move the GO station to eglinton because it would connect with the eglinton LRT. i don’t think they would keep two GO stations at a distance of 2KM. and if they plan on keeping the ARL an express line, it could also put the the weston ARL station at risk of closing in the future if one is built at eglinton. before any stations are built at eglinton, if there is no real plan of making the ARL into a rapid transit line, weston politicians should push for a legal guarantee that as long as the air rail link operates (no matter who the owner), weston station can NOT be closed, moved or have its service level reduced. there is a very real risk that weston station, which is the transit hub of a densely built, mature and populated community, could be closed if a station were built at eglinton, regardless that eglinton doesn’t have the density of weston and is in close proximity to a hostile highway environment because of black creek drive. it would be done just for the LRT connection and hopes of future urbanization. lets not abandon weston for “what could be” at eglinton & black creek. that would be a serious mistake in planning and destroy the already existing community of weston for a possible new community around the eglinton/ black creek/ railway area. if you don’t believe it can happen that way, keep in mind our city councilor had a vision in the 90’s, when the eglinton subway was supposed to be built, to build a “downtown york” around black creek & eglinton. does she still have this vision? if so, is it at the expense of weston?

    alternatively, if the ARL becomes a rapid transit line with subway-like spaced stops, we can possibly go without the GO station because weston citizens who commute downtown to union or bloor could take said rapid transit line. if one needs the GO train, perhaps an agreement could be made to allow people to use the rapid transit line for free to get to the nearest GO station with a purchase of a GO ticket at weston rapid transit station. in this scenario, a “new downtown york” & weston could coexist because only a rapid transit line would ensure that both communities can have a station. with express service like the ARL or GO, the inevitability is that it’s one (weston) or the other (eglinton/downtown york). don’t you forget that or else weston will slip into obscurity.

  2. Living near the Eglington and Weston intersection, I for one, would LOVE to see an additional stop nearby. It is much needed in an area that I believe has seen poor urban planning. I can’t get to No Frills without either a) walking under a poorly lit huge underpass or b) going through an industrial maze and walking on a sidewalk with a sign that reads: “no bicycles or pedestrians”. It really infuriates me that No Frills was built with the car in mind and not having the best interests of its immediate neighbours.

    It’s here I must protest in your choice of words. You mention “destroy the already existing community of weston for a possible new community around the eglinton/ black creek/ railway area”. Well, let me surprise you – there is a community! It’s not the same as Weston & Lawrence but its there. I’m not surprised you don’t see it because you’re right – we do have a “hostile highway environment”. But tucked away in nearby corners there really are some wonderful neighbourhoods with families and individuals.

    We should really be in this together however. I’m very much an advocate of Weston becoming a better place. This whole express train project just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. A few more stops, or maybe even a subway type system for your neighbourhood and mine, would do wonders. Do I really care that someone travelling from the airport might lose an extra 10 mins of travel in lieu of helping communities? No, not really – and I’m sure those that are half-smart and using the system would probably agree with us. It’s still going to be exceptionally fast to get downtown regardless.

    So, in ending – I think connecting with the Eglington LRT makes sense. Things shound connect – that’s how you build a good transportation system. Take away one piece of a puzzle to benefit a few, and your system suffers. If getting a station at Eglinton and Weston would jeapordize the urban planning near Weston and Lawrence, then I’d say, let’s not do it. I think your area has so much potential and your success can only have ripple effects – your community is just as important as ours. I just hope our politicians make the best judgements and really look at the holistic view of the area – That area being Weston – the street, it’s communities and how we connect with each other – it really needs some love (if that’s the best word to use) and smart planning.

    Let’s cross our fingers and advocate for the best solution for everyone!

    GR

  3. GR wrote:
    “It’s here I must protest in your choice of words. You mention “destroy the already existing community of weston for a possible new community around the eglinton/ black creek/ railway area”. Well, let me surprise you – there is a community!”

    my reply:

    GR, i am aware of mount dennis, i was talking about the vast area east of the railway lands. take a look on google maps.

    GR wrote:
    “I can’t get to No Frills without either a) walking under a poorly lit huge underpass or b) going through an industrial maze and walking on a sidewalk with a sign that reads: “no bicycles or pedestrians”. It really infuriates me that No Frills was built with the car in mind and not having the best interests of its immediate neighbours. ”

    my reply:

    see what i mean about a hostile environment. if they built a station at eglinton, i don’t believe the area would get the development that would make the most sense. eglinton & black creek drive needs to be urbanized like weston road and eglinton is at the very least to support a station. between the parkland, nofrills & the kodak lands, where they will build the marshaling yard for the LRT/subway cars, there is no space left for development in the immediate area. where will downtown york be built? the land needed for that vision is gone. i don’t really believe in tearing apart the intersection of weston & eglinton to add density either. alot of destruction would have to happen to get the kind of density that weston has.

    essentially, the benefit of a station at eglinton would be for the interconnection to the LRT. but like i said in my original post, that comes with real risks to weston if the ARL is built as an express line and not a rapid transit line. don’t get me wrong, i’d love to get on a train at weston and have the ability to go east or west along eglinton on the LRT but they won’t allow both station to exist together for very long because they believe it doesn’t make economic sense to have two express train stations so close to each other, regardless of what you are told. the only way to ensure the survival of weston station if an addition station is built very nearby at eglinton, is to have the ARL converted to a rapid transit line with subway-like stops. i know i’m repeating myself, but it needs to be made very clear.

  4. Transit lines need to connect whenever there is the opportunity. You have to plan these projects for 20, 30, even 50 years into the future! I support a Eglinton LRT and ARL connection. Just run an express ARL train and a regular ARL train every second train. One will not stop in Mt. Dennis and one will. Problem solved, everyone is happy.

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