Metrolinx confirms: No Jane St station

Mark Ostler, a Metrolinx spokesperson, confirms that there will not be a Jane Street stop on the Eglinton LRT. The LRT will end one stop earlier, at Weston.  Metrolinx is also proposing a bridge for the LRT over Black Creek Drive.

Ostler said that they want to

change the western limit of the project in this phase of the project from Jane Street to Mount Dennis/Weston Station. The route west to Jane had lower ridership forecasts.

 

Mount Dennis not getting an LRT stop at Jane St

Mount Dennis will not be getting an LRT stop at Jane Street, as had been originally planned, Steve Munro says. The last stop will now likely be at Weston and Eglinton.

Munro says the Weston station will be a ‘mobility hub’ which will be “on the northeast quadrant of the Weston-Eglinton intersection with an improved connection to the rail corridor as compared to previous plans.”

The Jane Steet station was supposed to meet a north-south light rail line, which was   scuttled years ago when the ‘Big Move’ project was gutted. Munro says “neither the Jane LRT nor the Eglinton West extension to the airport are part of the recently-announced Phase 2 of ‘Big Move'”

Metrolinx is hosting a public-information night on December 12 to explain the plans for the station and the maintenance yard at Black Creek Drive.

 

 

Eglinton LRT to be run privately

NDP MPP for Davenport Jonah Schein revealed a sharp rightward shift by the McGuinty Liberals during Question Period in the Ontario Legislature today. The TTC will not be running the new LRT service along Eglinton through York South-Weston. Instead, a private company (presumably for profit) will be handed the task by Metrolinx. In fact, all the new lines under construction will be privately operated. This marks the beginning of the privatization of Toronto’s transportation – an alarming prospect to many. This month your reporter was charged the equivalent of $6.75 to travel two stops along the privately operated London Underground; not what you would call good value for money.

No doubt the Liberals will be soon telling us that the private sector can do things more efficiently. Unfortunately, the profits for private corporations will likely be coming out of taxpayers’ pockets in the form of higher fares and subsidies. The sale of the 407 in 1999 was a painful example of the dangers of privatizing public assets.

One is left to wonder if the Premier feels his minority government will fare better when aligned with the Tories rather than with the NDP. If so, look for similar announcements in the coming months. Watch the video of MPP Schein’s question here.

Eglinton LRT line behind schedule

The contract to dig the Eglinton LRT, which end at Black Creek Drive, has been awarded, but the work is running behind schedule.

The tunnel boring machines will start digging, according to The Star, in February, but they were supposed to start in late 2012. The first machine will start at Black Creek and dig eastward.

The LRT will have a large impact on Weston and Mount Dennis. Apart from connecting us to the downtown with rapid transit, a maintenance and storage facility will be built on the disused Kodak lands. The original plans had called for a station at Jane Street, but that appears to still be in development; Black Creek is the nearest confirmed LRT stop.

 

Feedback on maintenance yard needed.

Here is a conceptual view of the TTC rail yard slated to occupy the Kodak Lands site.

The original Kodak building will be preserved on the site.

Next to the site is a proposed bus terminal to serve as a transportation hub.

The bus terminal, rail tracks and Eglinton Crosstown LRT all converge here.

Conspiracy theorists have said that the junction of the GO train line / Airport Link with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in combination with the bus terminal plans will mean that Weston Station will be temporary. They think that the ultimate plan is to build a GO station in this location and render Weston Station unnecessary.

This would be even more outrageous than claiming that electrification of the Kitchener rail line / ARL has to wait for an environmental assessment.

Residents are invited to comment on the whole document but (sorry for the late notice) get your skates on. Feedback is required by July 10.

 

Sullivan stands with Stintz on OneCity plan

Mike Sullivan is onside with Karen Stintz’s radical plan to overhaul transit in Toronto. The plan would bring much-needed improvements to transit in Weston, including extra stops and electrification of the ARL and an LRT on Jane.

Sullivan wrote an open letter to all members of City Council and several members of the Provincial Parliament. It reads:

Dear Councillor Stintz:

I am writing to lend my support to your OneCity Transit Plan and to urge you and your colleagues on Toronto City Council to take the necessary steps to bring this bold but necessary plan to deal with Toronto`s gridlock to fruition. I would like to offer my assistance as a Member of Parliament for York South-Weston – a federal constituency within the City of Toronto – in helping to secure the necessary federal funds that are needed to bring this plan into reality.

There is no argument whatsoever that Toronto needs considerable investment in public transit infrastructure in order to relieve traffic congestion, improve economic productivity, and improve the quality of life of our residents and neighbourhoods. You are all familiar with the Toronto Board of Trade estimates of the costs to Toronto’s economy as a result of traffic gridlock in our city.

Your plan reveals the necessity of investment by other levels of government in order to solve Toronto’s traffic woes. Your formula of one-third funding from Toronto taxpayers (a significant commitment at $10 billion), and one-third each from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada is, in my view, very reasonable. If we have learned anything from the previous federal infrastructure program is the necessity of federal funding in order to enable cities like Toronto to build their needed transit projects.

That is why we in the federal NDP have called for the establishment of a National Public Transit Strategy – a joint municipal-provincial-federal strategy that would develop broad principles to guide public investment into needed public transit infrastructure and assure stable, sustainable funding to enable these projects.

Lastly, I cannot help but notice your plan’s proposal to electrify the Air-Rail Link from Pearson Airport to Union Station, plus add more stops on its route. Bravo! This line is in my riding, and it makes so much sense to the community I represent that this line be electrified to avoid harmful diesel exhaust and to be accessible to the over 300,000 residents living in that corridor.

Please let me know how I and my NDP colleagues can be of assistance to you and Toronto City Council in bringing this plan into fruition.

Huge changes to TTC would include fixing ARL

With luck and a lot of political will, sweeping changes will completely revamp transit—and life—in Toronto. Karen Stintz and Glenn DeBaeremaeker have a new proposal, called OneCity, that would add 6 subway lines, 10 LRTs and 170 km of new transit lines—and completely change the Air Rail Link.

The Toronto Star says that the new plan would bring great changes to Weston:

  • An LRT along Jane from Steeles to Bloor—an idea originally in Transit City.
  • Extending the Eglinton LRT to the airport instead of having it stop in Mt Dennis
  • Adding three stops to the Air Rail Link to make it public transit
  • Renaming the ARL the “Etobicoke Express”

MPP Jonah Schein says that the plan would also electrify the ARL and calls for people to support it at a Metrolinx meeting tonight.

The new lines would be funded with $180 a year in extra property taxes. Rob Ford has already expressed his disapproval, saying “If they want to hijack the process and hike taxes I’m not supporting that.”