Mar. 18, 2016


Richmond Hill Knows the Better Way!

“James: Richmond Hill knows the better way to get a subway
Political moves, not merit, leads to subway extension of the Yonge line” – Good for him – I wish him the best – Subways are long overdue for all of us!

“Extending the Yonge line to Richmond Hill faces many issues, including riders. There may be too many of them, writes Royson James. They are expected to swamp the Yonge line, already challenged at Finch and at Sheppard, already over-crowded at Eglinton, already beyond capacity south of Bloor. In other words, this will be a successful extension piled on top of a very successful line. Success piled on success may be too much to handle.” – By: Royson James Toronto Politics Columnist, Published on Tue Mar 15 2016
- Not an issue once the DRL is extended up to Don Mills and Sheppard, and the Sheppard subway is connected with Scarborough Centre by subway – See my SmarterTracks plan at – I believe these lines will free up for the following reasons:
- Based on studies elsewhere in the GTA (in round numbers), transit users outside the downtown area travel; about 45% within their own community, about 25% to and from the downtown area, about 25% to and from other parts of the city, and about 5% to and from destinations outside of the city
- Based on the assumptions above and my own guesstimate; approximately 75% of users north of the 401 and west of Yonge Street will take the DRL or the Scarborough subway – This will result in an approximate reduction of to 9 to 10% ridership on the Yonge Street Line – This together with conservative guesstimates of about a 5 to 6% reduction in local rides, and 4 to 5% for other areas of the city; would mean 18 to 21% less riders on the Yonge Line – Lots of stand-up room for those spoiled North York folks once the Richmond Hill riders take up all the seats

“the advocates are following a well-worn path that has proven successful”, “The playbook of transit approval reads thusly: make a project as political as possible and you have a good chance of success. The political stars will align over a 20-year cycle. And strident advocacy increases your chances of not being overlooked or eclipsed by some other big-mouth advocate.” – Not so successful – We in Scarborough have been waiting over 30 years, and we’re not sure we’re going to get there yet

“The Sheppard subway will never in your lifetime carry as many passengers; neither the Bloor-Danforth extension as proposed. The Spadina extension is headed into near green fields at Highway 7. So, Richmond Hill asks, reasonably, “What about us?”” – The full potential of these lines has been greatly underestimated!

“So, the TTC has said that before the Richmond Hill extension proceeds, other features (improved signaling and automatic train control which increase capacity) and projects (Richmond Hill GO line and construction of the Downtown Relief Line that divert demand) must be in place. That is a reasonable approach.” – Reasonable, but long past due – If the Richmond Hill subway extension is started and completed shortly after the DRL is built, and the Sheppard subway is connected to the Scarborough subway, there should be no issue for a while – The other improvement that woul help, would be to extend the Sheppard subway to the University-Spadina line at Sheppard West (Downsview)

“When Premier Mike Harris set about killing subway lines in the 1990s” – Boooo!

“he chopped the Eglinton subway headed to NDP Leader Bob Rae’s ward” – Boooo!

“he ignored the Spadina extension heading into Liberal Greg Sorbara’s territory” – Boooo!

“and he backed the Sheppard subway that Mel Lastman demanded” – Yeaaah!

“Sorbara, when he became a big wig in the Liberal party, was able to help deliver the Spadina extension to Vaughan” – Yeaaah!

“Rob Ford changed the channel on the LRT to Scarborough” – Yeaaah!

“four years later John Tory could not change it back from subway to LRT without paying a political price” – Yeaaah!

“Tory is tied to his vigorous branding of SmartTrack.” – Boooo!

“So, when SmartTrack is exposed as being too close to the Scarborough Subway, the logical conclusion is to kill one or the other. He can’t sacrifice his own political baby without affecting his re-election prospects. And the provincial government won’t allow him to slay the Scarborough Subway because that might lose them some seats in Scarborough.” – John Tory made a mistake – He needs to own up to it, and cancel the SmartTrack!

“So we get both lines – even as Eric Miller, the University of Toronto guy crunching the ridership numbers says out loud, this doesn’t make sense.” – SmartTrack doesn’t make sense – It’s a stupid track – Cancel the stupid thing!

“And you wonder why Richmond Hill politicians are running up to the federal government Ottawa and now launching a public campaign to promote their subway?” – Go for it!

“The Richmond Hill subway, at least, is supposed to pay for itself.” – So will Scarborough if the Bloor-Danforth line is extended and looped back to connect with the Sheppard subway line – It’s so obvious – I guess that’s why they don’t see it!!!

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Also visit for complete details on my SmarterTracks plan

And finally; STAY TUNED to - My next step is take a look at the west portion of the GTA - I will start posting my ideas over the next few weeks and months