Congestion on the Yonge subway line was front and centre at my Transit and Transportation Town Hall earlier this year.
I know it it is hard to constantly watch crowded trains pass by from the platform at York Mills, Lawrence and Eglinton. There is always a delay on my commute to City Hall.
At my Transit and Transportation Town Hall, TTC CEO Andy Byford addressed the issue head on and spoke to four key improvements underway to increase capacity and reliability:
- Replacing all of the trains on the Yonge line with the new “Rocket” trains, which carry nearly 10% more passengers per train;
- Upgrading to automatic train control, which will allow trains to run closer together, increasing capacity by up to 25% (this work is the cause of subway shutdowns over the weekend);
- Physical and low cost improvements to Yonge-Bloor station to reduce dwell times by guiding passengers to and from trains; and,
- The Spadina subway extension is expected to have an effect on the Yonge line, reducing demand by 5-10%.
Relief Line – The Long Term Solution
These are real and significant improvements, but we also need to think long term, and that is why I have been advocating for the Relief Line (also known as the Downtown Relief Line).
Two studies are underway exploring the options related to the Relief Line.
Metrolinx’s Yonge Relief Network Study is taking a big picture network approach and looking at how to use GO as well as suburban and city transit options to improve connectivity in the larger corridor.
Metrolinx recently hosted two public meetings for residents to provide feedback. There will be more public consultation at various stages in the process.
The city and the TTC are conducting a narrower study exploring route and station location options.
For more information on both the Metrolinx and city/TTC studies, please visit http://www.regionalrelief.ca/.