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SmartTrack (Proposed)

* Cross Post from Davenport Diamond thread *

A report to next week's Executive Ctte says this

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Link:

 

So the province has come through with $225 million, leaving the city just $9 million short. Hopefully this means Bloor-Lansdowne is saved and construction can start soon?

The details are in this report before Council.


The gist is this.

The City has not been shorted; instead, when the City came up with that number, they took Mx's initial ask, and also topped up the contingency (10% of total budget) to reflect that.

What the province has done is agreed to cover Mx's direct ask; but not the City's added contingency.

Mx has told the province they feel comfortable with a 9% contingency.

So that's where the numbers are......

This delay, however, did cost money, as the preferred bidder for Bloor-Lansdowne had contract inflation built into their bid if the contract wasn't signed by April 5th, and it was not.

But that, I gather is already in the funding ask.

Bloor-Lansdowne has a preferred proponent, and if the City votes for this, the contract will be signed forthwith to avoid another increase if the contract isn't signed by August 3rd.

The terms sheet btw the City and the province also states that are if there any further overages, neither the City nor the Province will be on the hook, it must first come out of contingency and then by scope reduction.

However, the latter may not result in any of the stations not being built.


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There's also some other curious wording.......in there......but I'll stop here for now.
 
The basic concept of subway style service along the rail corridors doesn't seem bad to me. Why did that concept fall apart? We're essentially just getting a few GO stations within the city limits now, correct?
 
The basic concept of subway style service along the rail corridors doesn't seem bad to me. Why did that concept fall apart? We're essentially just getting a few GO stations within the city limits now, correct?
I mean the subway style service that SmartTrack is premised on essentially was simply displaced by GO RER. The SmartTrack program is now just the 5 stations, served by GO RER which will run about every 3.5 to 7.5 minutes. It is a net win for the City, despite being quite expensive.
 
The basic concept of subway style service along the rail corridors doesn't seem bad to me. Why did that concept fall apart? We're essentially just getting a few GO stations within the city limits now, correct?

The concept was sound, but it would have preempted GO’s plan (already under design) for the same corridor - which, ironically, was for a near-subway-like service but with different station configuration. The two systems just didn’t fit in the space available.
The premise behind Tory’s plan - ie- that the GO corridors should serve transit needs of the 416 and not just commuting needs to the 905 - was eminently sound. And the addition of the few new stations in the 416 does accomplish that.
The stupidity was that Tory’s plan was hatched by communications types who had no understanding of the technology of trains and transit - so they spent a lot of time espousing a plan that was technically deficient and had to be pried away from that - and once their plan was made public, Tory lost a lot of face when its faults were laid bare.
In fact, he ought to be celebrated for fighting a winning battle to make GO a 416 service…. But his lack of research and ignorance of the facts was embarrassing. It became obvious that he had no idea what he was talking about - it was a plan on a napkin.

- Paul
 
The concept was sound, but it would have preempted GO’s plan (already under design) for the same corridor - which, ironically, was for a near-subway-like service but with different station configuration. The two systems just didn’t fit in the space available.
The premise behind Tory’s plan - ie- that the GO corridors should serve transit needs of the 416 and not just commuting needs to the 905 - was eminently sound. And the addition of the few new stations in the 416 does accomplish that.
The stupidity was that Tory’s plan was hatched by communications types who had no understanding of the technology of trains and transit - so they spent a lot of time espousing a plan that was technically deficient and had to be pried away from that - and once their plan was made public, Tory lost a lot of face when its faults were laid bare.
In fact, he ought to be celebrated for fighting a winning battle to make GO a 416 service…. But his lack of research and ignorance of the facts was embarrassing. It became obvious that he had no idea what he was talking about - it was a plan on a napkin.

- Paul
I mean he was running for the mayor of Toronto not the surrounding area. He needed a plan that would appeal to his market.

In theory all they had to do was integrate existing corridors and build stations where is makes sense.

All you need is a small platform, a shelter and pay stations.
 
This item is currently before Council as I post.

A question from Paula Fletcher and an answer from staff may be of interest:

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If these stations get build, there will be more public pressure for fare integration. Without them, the province might get away with delaying it again.

Look at what happened with UP Express: the initial service plan was terrible, but public pressure made them adjust it once the line had been built.
 
Smart Track funding deal approved with the lone dissenter being Perks.

Perks wanted to 'suspend' negotiations w/the province in an attempt to leverage a better deal, he had 4-5 votes for that (not enough); so at the final vote, everyone else lined up.
 
If these stations get build, there will be more public pressure for fare integration. Without them, the province might get away with delaying it again.

Look at what happened with UP Express: the initial service plan was terrible, but public pressure made them adjust it once the line had been built.
Good thing Ford/Stan Cho already promised fare integration across the GTA by the end of the year. These stations should be designed with this in mind like the new Ontario line renders that show fare gates for Lakeshore West at Exhibition. The interchange stations should have fare gates too (Bloor-Lansdowne, East Harbour, even St Clair Old Weston and King Liberty could have some sort of better integrated streetcar connection)
 
Good thing Ford/Stan Cho already promised fare integration across the GTA by the end of the year. These stations should be designed with this in mind like the new Ontario line renders that show fare gates for Lakeshore West at Exhibition. The interchange stations should have fare gates too (Bloor-Lansdowne, East Harbour, even St Clair Old Weston and King Liberty could have some sort of better integrated streetcar connection)

There's no question that the intent is to deliver some form of fare integration; the details on what form/extent that is, is what's still being discussed.

I can assure you the deal is not done.

Its taking shape; but its a potentially massive expenditure, there are lots of details to refine.
 
At the end of the day we can play politics and say this and that about how dumb the original Smarttrack plan was and intended to do, who should have paid for what and whether GO would have built these stations anyways without pressure from the city (I personally see no evidence of it) but what we are getting at the end of the day is really beneficial to Toronto. Fare integration is committed by the province at some level, we will see how that plays out. Its not like these stations will be underused or a bad deal for Toronto, it was just stupid and wasteful how we got here.

Thankfully the province fully funded the Eglinton West LRT extension after the meddling with the city to first do Smarttrack along it, and then offering to pay for the Eglinton West extension. That was the real issue that thankfully turned out relatively ok in the end (I still think tunneling there was a waste of money but whatever)
 

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