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.