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Distance between LRT stops criticized

DEDICATED STREETCARS

The TTC wants to build seven new dedicated streetcar lines as part of a plan to bring rapid transit to more of Toronto. The lines will run from Steeles Ave. to the Bloor-Danforth subway, Kennedy station to Pearson airport, Yonge St. to Highway 27, Jane station to Steeles West station, Kennedy station to Malvern/Morningside, Don Mills station to Morningside Ave. and Union station /Exhibition to Long Branch.

Transit City light rail will cost $6 billion and will run on its own right-of-way, with a priority green at signals. That will make it swifter than streetcar lines that run in mixed traffic. It will require construction of 120 kilometres of rail line, with a planned capacity of 175 million riders a year.

Planned Eglinton line’s wait areas much farther apart than bus stops

Aug 09, 2008 04:30 AM
John Spears
City Hall Bureau

Passengers on the planned Eglinton light rapid transit line will have to walk farther to get to and from their stops, according to information to be presented at public consultation meetings this month.

Existing bus stops along Eglinton Ave. are about 300 metres apart, according to the TTC.

But the stops on the planned LRT line will average 850 metres apart for much of the route, according to the public consultation material, which was presented to City Hall staffers yesterday by TTC officials at a closed-door briefing.

That’s similar to the distance between subway stops on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, which average 875 metres apart.

That’s too far, says Councillor Michael Walker (Ward 22, St. Paul’s). Eglinton runs across the top end of his ward, from Bayview Ave. to Spadina Rd.

“Is that going to make transit more friendly for commuters?” he asked in an interview. “I don’t think so.”

For example, there will be no stops between Bayview and Mount Pleasant Rd.; the existing buses stop several times. Farther west, there will be no stops between Dufferin St. and Caledonia Rd.

The advantage of having stops farther apart is faster service, the TTC material says. Existing bus service on Eglinton averages 16 to 18 kilometres per hour, while the Bloor-Danforth subway averages 32 kilometres an hour.

The Eglinton LRT won’t be as fast as a subway. One person who was at the briefing said TTC officials estimate the speed of the Eglinton LRT at 22 kilometres an hour.

The LRT will use electric-powered streetcars that are about twice as long as Toronto’s current streetcars.

The Eglinton LRT, part of Mayor David Miller’s Transit City network, will replace buses on Eglinton from Kennedy subway station to Renforth Dr. The service could go as far as the airport.

The LRT will dive underground from Brentcliffe Rd. in the east to a point to be determined between Keele and Jane Sts. in the west.

“While the distance between stations is longer than the distance between (surface) stops, stations are more expensive to build,” the material says. “Therefore the 850 metre distance is an acceptable compromise between cost and access.”

On surface portions of the route, the distance between stops will average 500 metres.




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