Category Archives: Ideas
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?
What if more large concerts had closing bands? It sounds like a weird idea, and possibly taking away from the headliner, but really, it would be a great way to ensure better outflow (is that a word?) when a concert ends. Might be a big improvement from 20,000 people leaving the venue all at once.
I wonder why it doesn’t happen more often.
My friend mentioned that the most common shoe sizes on display for women’s shoes are smaller, and we were trying to figure out whether there was statistically significant research showing that smaller shoes on display results in better sales. If there are, who would have researched that? A company or a university?
I’m curious about when Canada will cease to be a constitutional monarchy and become (I think) a republic? It’s definitely some degree of ignorance on my part, but I don’t know what benefit we have from having the Queen as the head of state. I’m guessing it’s just tradition. But we’ve branched away from the UK, and it’s probably time to be fully independent.
I look forward to when we get to decide who will take the Queen’s place on all the coins, and the $20 bill. The $20 would probably be another prime minister, but so many of the recent ones have been divisive (primarily east vs. west) so it might be hard to choose one. Maybe Pearson for the peacekeeping, new flag, etc.?
For non-PMs, there are probably a lot of good choices for many different reasons: de Champlain, Banting, Secord, Fox, Thomson, Gretzky, Bondar, Bell, and Tecumseh are a few that come to mind. I would love for some famous Canadians to take the Queen’s place on our currency.
When might this happen? I don’t think we’ll have our act together for when QE2 passes on. If it happens by the bicentennial, well, better late than never.
Inspired by Mitch Hedberg, who said he didn’t get Ritz crackers to eat with toppings (“They’re not little edible plates!”) and would rather have a Ritz on a Ritz. I think that would be a great ad campaign.
Ritz crackers – so delicious, you’ll top them with more Ritz.
I made the following 3 suggestions to the Ontario Trillium Foundation in response to their question, “What would it take to transform economic opportunities for Ontario youth?”
1. Youth employment should match employment demand
Youth employment should provide experience in fields where demand for employees actually exists – so it is more likely to lead to job opportunities in the future.
2. Educate students and *parents* about the economy
Many parents believe that the only way for their child to succeed in life is to attend university, when in reality, unspecialized university degrees do little other than to provide entry-level employment. More promotion of college/apprenticeship programs would be useful. This should be done by grade 10 so students can plan ahead.
3. Universities should become more exclusive
Ontario has flooded the job market with too many young people with generic arts and science degrees. The employment demand for these people is very low and outlook is poor. Universities need to act less like for-profit corporations and more like facilities of education. Reduce the number of undergraduate spaces in generic programs, and kick out students who don’t take their education seriously. Maybe then a university degree could mean something again.
-King is a better choice for a subway, from Shaw to the Don River
-Greenwood is a decent choice for an east-end transfer, and might help connect to the Greenwood Yard
-The rail corridor is a cost-effective option in the west end
-Dundas West station is a natural transfer point in the west
-Use a curved route and keep the number of stations down to make the route efficient and cost-effective
-A couple of my east end stations (see Part 3) would probably not be cost-effective, so I removed them
-The first stages would be to build south of Bloor/Danforth, on the east side and then the west
-Building northward to Eglinton would not be as beneficial until the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is built
-In the east, the line could continue to Don Mills, possibly as light rail
-In the west, the line could follow Weston Road, at least until Lawrence
-Hopefully this would take a lot of pressure off the Yonge, Bloor, and Danforth lines
Stations, from northwest:
Shaw (at King)
Niagara (King at Bathurst)
Spadina South (at King)
Athletes Village (around Eastern at St. Lawrence)
Queen East (at Broadview)
Gerrard (at Jones)
Cosburn (at Donlands)
Thorncliffe Park (or “East York Centre”)
Flemingdon Park (Don Mills at Eglinton)
This Thought will look at the West end of a potential Downtown Relief Line.
But first: I was thinking about the Greenwood plan from part 3, and while I still support the benefits of a transfer at Greenwood, my idea for a stop at Greenwood and Cosburn was shaken a little when I biked past that intersection and found it to be amongst a scattering of bungalows, with nowhere near what is necessary to support a station. A potential solution to this: from Greenwood/Danforth, continue southwest like my original idea. But the line would then curve northwest, maybe to Donlands and Cosburn, which is a busier area and closer to apartments on Cosburn, and still fairly central in the East York area. The subway line could go underneath Greenwood station, and curving northwest might actually help connect it to the Greenwood subway yard (which is west of Greenwood Ave… remember that Greenwood station is actually a block east of there).
Okay, the west end! We left off at Niagara Station (King at Bathurst). Like I mentioned earlier, King is better than Queen, because it passes through high-density neighbourhoods. West of Bathurst, then, I would place a stop at Shaw St (2nd exit: Crawford St), to get the middle of a cluster of buildings, and also to connect to the Ossington bus.
West of there, there is some debate over the best choice. If it is possible to continue along the rail corridor, then it would save a lot of money to do so, and not serve much less than if the line had stops at King and Dufferin, and King and Jameson.
The rail corridor plan is better not just because it would be cheaper to build, but having fewer stops would be more economically efficient, and also provide a faster trip.
Continuing along King would better serve the area (after stops at Dufferin and Jameson, others might be at Roncesvalles and King, and Roncesvalles and Howard Park) but would be slower and more expensive.
I would advocate the rail corridor if possible. After stopping at Queen and Dufferin, there might be a possibility for one more stop before Dundas West Station. The rail corridor is a good continuation north of Bloor. Stops at St. Clair and Eglinton are obvious for their east-west connections, even if they don’t have supporting density. To fill in the holes (if worthwhile), Dupont/Annette would be a good midpoint between Bloor and St. Clair, and Rogers Road between St. Clair and Eglinton. Both these streets have bus connections.
It is probably less worthwhile to have these extra stops than it would be in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon neighbourhoods, because a bus connection seems less important than providing excellent transit service to high-density areas. They haven’t even built stations between major avenues on Yonge Street, so how could an Annette or Rogers station be justified?
Stations in the west end, continuing from the east:
Shaw (at King)
Earlscourt (St. Clair)
Mount Dennis (Eglinton)