Transit changes coming

Thanks to DECA’s Visioning Committee for this important transit update & meeting notice. Please help us spread the word!

Photo Credit: Bruce Reeve

Photo Credit: Bruce Reeve

Most of us live near the subway and many paid extra for their homes as a result. But if you’ve ridden the subway downtown in the morning rush hour in recent years, you know it’s getting hard just to squeeze onto a train. With ridership on the Bloor-Danforth up more than 25% over the past three decades, lots of people in the DECA area are finding that trains are already full when they get to stations such as Main Street, Woodbine and Coxwell. And the situation may get worse if the new subway extension from Kennedy to Scarborough Centre succeeds in attracting more passengers.

Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency that operates GO commuter trains on the rail corridor south of the Danforth, is planning upgrades that would increase train frequency to every 15 minutes, as well as a switch to quieter electric trains and the addition of a kiss-n-ride facility at the GO Danforth station. It might be part of a solution for us, especially if the mayor’s SmartTrack plan can further enhance the improvements by piggybacking onto Metrolinx’s so-called Regional Express Rail plan.

But will RER and SmartTrack be enough to adequately serve our neighbourhood’s transit needs, especially since the city’s proposed Downtown Relief Subway line won’t come east of Pape? To what degree might the addition of a fourth track to the current three-track corridor create the need to expropriate land or produce disruptions from things such as bridge reconstruction? If the new electric trains allow us to increase the frequency of stations, why is the DECA area not being considered for an additional one?

Construction may still be a few years off, but your local chance to ask important questions is this coming up fast:

Monday, Nov. 7, at Hope United Church, starting at 6:30. (A second east-end public meeting will be held on Wednesday Nov. 16 at Riverdale Collegiate).

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0 comments to “Transit changes coming”
  1. This should be an interesting meeting and great to have a chance to give our input early on in the planning process. BTW, Hope United Church is located at the corner of Danforth and Main.

  2. Are you posing this question rhetorically: “If the new electric trains allow us to increase the frequency of stations, why is the DECA area not being considered for an additional one?”

    The positioning of station proposed by Metrolinx has already been decided and was announced in this report to the board in June. Similarly,

    John Tory announced his additional Smart track stations to the line a few days earlier — six, down from the 22 he proposed during the campaign. And nor is our neighbourhood among those.

    Someone at DECA is being facetious with us. To suggest that this meeting is an opportunity to lobby for a station is misleading.

    These meetings are dealing only with impacts of the construction, long-term expansion of the corridor, and 15-min two-way service. In other words, we are a pass-through neighbourhood, with all of the headaches of construction and noise for someone else’s improved service

    The only opening at this point is that — per announcements made in the staff report to the executive committee earlier this week — the city has to settle on details of the construction of the various stations. The Gerrard/Logan site is on a curve in the track and presents construction problems. So it might have to be shifted slightly. But that’s the only latitude for movement.

    I agree we need the station (as well as a fairer fare structure on GO for city residents), but these meetings are not an opportunity to lobby Metrolinx.

    Perhaps Arthur Potts and Mary-Margaret McMahon should be present to explain why they have not been more effective at lobbying their respective governments on behalf of their constituents.

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