Transit pundit has a go at DRL ARL UPX

The influential and brilliant transit blogger Steve Munro has had a crack at the barely-floated, barely-there idea to use the Metrolinx ARL line as part of a subway-lite. Karen Stintz and Ana Bailão have asked the TTC to sit down with Metrolinx and study their idea.

Munro’s analysis is, as always, deep. His conclusion, in my words: maybe in the west end.

There are many sticky issues, but the most pressing, it seems, is space: there is not enough capacity on the tracks, what, with the UP Express running every 15 minutes and all that.

Munro calls the UP Express for what it is—a turkey:

The UPX is something of an embarrassment, a line dating from the dark ages of a previous federal government, handed off to a PPP (SNC Lavalin) and finally taken over by the McGuinty government at Queen’s Park as a Pan Am Games project.  At least two chances to revisit its design as a premium fare express service have been lost thanks to the project’s charmed state, but it will be difficult if not impossible to create a local Etobicoke-Weston-Downtown service in this corridor without taking over the tracks now designated for the UPX.


Oddly, though, he doesn’t draw the conclusion I would: the UPX should be reconceived to a commuter service. He does see the need, though:

A line diagonally to the northwest would serve a travel demand that does not now have a direct route to downtown except for a few peak period, peak direction GO trains.  As it heads northwest, the Weston rail corridor goes through a widening swath of Toronto that is remote from the subway network.  Rapid transit, whatever its form, would be an addition to this part of the city.



Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.