Bumper to Bumper

What needs to happen to get more funding to GO Transit?  It really ought to be expanded.  This is what I was thinking about today:

1. Go Transit needs the least subsidies per ride in North America.  It’s a great investment in infrastructure and you get a good bang for your taxpayer buck. (Source: Wikipedia for the comparison, GO Transit (Background section) for the claim that it’s consistent)

2. The new GO trains hold over 1900* people each (new engines can pull 12 passenger coaches rather than 10).  How many cars is that?  Let’s do some math, and choose values that hurt my argument.  A 10-coach train could hold about 1580 people.  Metrolinx reports that “Currently the average vehicle travelling on the GTHA’s roads and highways during the morning rush hour carries less than 1.2 people” so let’s use 1.25, because the info seems like it’s from 2008.  1580/1.25 equals 1264 cars that could be taken off the road with a single GO train.  So I wondered how much space that would take on the highway.  1264 cars/3 per “row” is just over 420 rows of cars.  And I’ll estimate the length of a car to be 4 metres, which means that all those cars would fill the DVP one way from Bloor to Dundas, bumper to bumper.

*Edit (10/24/16:00) A reader noted that this is the seating capacity; I didn’t read carefully.  I can’t find an accurate figure for standing passenger capacity. Maybe an extra 40-50%?  Well, all the more reason to add trains.

I’m not even going to get into the environmental aspect (like CO2 emissions), the economical aspect (like productivity/man-hours lost in traffic), or how awesome it would be if they re-opened North Toronto Station (at Summerhill) so you could get from Kipling to Old Cummer or Agincourt in less time than it would be to drive.

How can I put this idea forward to the right people?

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Posted on October 24, 2011, in Ideas, Toronto and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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