Prioritizing the Downtown Relief Line

I ride the red rocket regularly on my commute to City Hall and observe first-hand the significant reliability and capacity issues on Line 1. I know all-to-well how frustrating overcrowding, sudden stoppages, and unforeseen delays can be for Ward 25-ers travelling to and from the downtown core. During peak hours, riders have to wait for multiple trains to pass by before there even is enough space to board the subway. These issues affect all three major transit stations in Ward 25: York Mills, Lawrence, and Eglinton. 
  
Since 2010, I've consistently advocated for the Downtown Relief Line and continue to believe that it should be City Council's top transit priority. As you may know, the Downtown Relief Line was divided into two separate projects, the Relief Line South (from Pape Station south to Queen Street) and the Relief Line North (from Pape Station north to Eglinton or Sheppard Avenue) in 2017. At Executive Committee, I moved a motion directing staff to accelerate planning of the Relief Line North.  
  
After several recent Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approvals the population of the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood is due to grow exponentially. This influx of new residents will only exacerbate the existing issues on Line 1. As part of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan, I created a motion with the Chair of Planning and Growth Management directing City staff to develop short and long-term strategies to ease crowding on Line 1. We also asked staff to report back on the feasibility of delivering the Relief Line North and South as one undertaking to improve transit connectivity across the City.  
  
Like many of you, I am very frustrated by the long delays and mounting costs associated with the Automatic Train Control (ATC) project. At City Council, I directed TTC staff to expedite the implementation of this much-needed technology. In response to the unacceptable delay, I also initiated a comprehensive review of the entire TTC organization focused on creating a more efficient, streamlined internal structure. While this process has been extremely slow, I look forward to the positive benefits of this technology. ATC will control train speed and separation automatically, without human intervention—significantly reducing travel time. When fully implemented, it is estimated that ATC will increase Line 1 capacity by cutting train headways from 2.5 to 2 minutes.  

 City Council has approved the alignment and station locations for the Relief Line South.

City Council has approved the alignment and station locations for the Relief Line South.

 City staff are currently studying the alignment and potential station locations for the Relief Line North.

City staff are currently studying the alignment and potential station locations for the Relief Line North.