June 4, 2016 – Highlights Report
Toronto Transit Consultation Meetings
Saturday, June 4, 2016
This concise Highlights Report has been prepared to provide the City of Toronto, TTC, Waterfront Toronto and Metrolinx with a snapshot of the feedback captured at the public meeting held on Saturday, June 4, 2016. A more detailed report of the feedback captured during this phase of consultations will be prepared in the coming days.
On June 4, 2016, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on a series of key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at York Humber High School, 100 Emmett Avenue.
The public meeting presented the various transit projects being studied as part of a network approach to transit planning undertaken by the City, Waterfront Toronto, TTC and Metrolinx, including:
- SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Integration of SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail to improve rapid transit service on three GO corridors in Toronto.
- Relief Line: Preferred alignment as well as proposed station locations.
- Scarborough Transit Planning: Evaluation of options for the Scarborough Subway Extension.
- Eglinton West LRT: Evaluation of options extending westward from Mount Dennis along Eglinton Ave to Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- Eglinton East LRT: Evaluation of options connecting Kennedy Station and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.
Following an introductory presentation on Coordinated Network Transit Planning given by James Perttula (Acting Director, Transit and Sustainable Transportation, City of Toronto), participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.
Approximately 26 individuals attended the public meeting, including Councillors Frances Nunziata (Ward 11), Doug Holyday (Ward 3) and a representative from MPP Yvan Baker’s Office.
Highlights of Participant Feedback
Questions of Clarification
The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by James Perttula (Acting Director, Transit and Sustainable Transportation, City of Toronto), unless noted otherwise.
Q: Which population groups are currently being served in Etobicoke and how will the Eglinton West LRT benefit them?
A: In general, there would be improvements for anyone in the local vicinity (i.e., all groups of people). The Eglinton West LRT will enable transit riders to travel further within 45 minutes compared to the existing transit system. The Eglinton West LRT will also improve service to Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
Q: Will the proposed Eglinton West LRT extension continue past the airport to the Malton GO Station, providing a direct connection to individuals travelling from Kitchener?
A: The end point of the Eglinton West LRT has not been confirmed as the route into the airport precinct is still being determined. There has been some discussion about creating a transit hub at the airport. A direct link to the Malton GO Station is not part of the planned Eglinton West LRT extension; however a transit hub would provide multiple options to connect to other transit systems.
Q: Will the Relief Line be a direct route from Kennedy Station to the downtown core?
A: No, it will require a transfer.
Q: The concept of “labour mobility” should be added to the affordability and social equity objectives of the transit studies. I am concerned that the different fare models proposed by Metrolinx (e.g., different fares for rapid transit vs. buses, distance-based fares, etc.) will lead to a two-tier transit system (e.g., lower income individuals will only be able to afford to ride buses). Labour mobility will become problematic as a result. Metrolinx has been less than honest with the community on a number of things (e.g., timelines for electrification, UP Express vehicles). How is the City/TTC dealing with Metrolinx?
A: There is a lot of work underway regarding fare integration at Metrolinx and at the City. The Metrolinx Board will be discussing fare integration at its meeting scheduled for June 28th, 2016, but will not be making any decisions. We currently do not have a co-fare arrangement with GO Transit within Toronto, which is why it is more expensive for Toronto residents to transfer from the TTC to GO Transit. The City is also undertaking work on fare integration and will be reporting to Council in the summer. I can assure you that we are considering all the points you raised in partnership with Metrolinx.
Q: What is the timeline for SmartTrack to begin operation?
A: When SmartTrack was introduced the target was to begin operation within seven years, or 2022. Much of that will depend on Metrolinx investments in the GO corridors. Metrolinx has prioritized work on the SmartTrack corridors.
Q: The SmartTrack / GO RER analysis recommended eliminating Options A and B. Was that based on the 15-minute headway time? Is there any consideration to re-examine Options A and B, specifically north of Mount Dennis? Will the completed analysis be made available to the public and members of Council, specifically regarding the infrastructure challenges?
A: The analysis considered the headway time and the amount of infrastructure that would be required to make it feasible. There were challenges associated with the additional infrastructure requirements for Options A and B. This will be discussed in the SmartTrack/RER business case to be presented to Council.
Q: An airport hub is based on a network. Why does the Finch West LRT not continue to the airport? There is already a business case to support the extension.
A: The Finch West LRT is currently planned to Humber College. City Council has directed planning staff to study a connection from Humber College to the airport during the next phase.
Q: Can you speak to the jobs program (e.g., construction, etc.) for these transit projects?
A: Metrolinx has included community benefits considerations in the construction of the Finch West LRT; more information will be available before construction begins. We are not at that stage of planning for the other transit projects.
Q: We have seen the inability of Bombardier to deliver transit vehicles. Is there a backup plan to source transit vehicles? Who will be paying for the operation and maintenance costs once the vehicles arrive?
A: I am unable to answer your first question, but I understand your concern. Operation and maintenance costs are factored into the projects during the planning phase and will be reported to Council.
Q: Will operating hours for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension be coordinated with GO Transit and the UP Express schedules?
A: The same basic schedules for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT would be continued.
Q: Will the new transit vehicles be parked at Mount Dennis or in the east end?
A: That will be determined in consultation with Metrolinx.
A more detailed report of all consultation activities will be made available after this phase of consultation. Comments must be submitted by June 10, 2016 to ensure inclusion in the broader report.