Archive for the ‘call to action’ Category

King For All

Posted on: February 5th, 2018

CodeRedTO is proud to join a coalition of organizations, community groups and residents to show support for the King Street Pilot Project.

The coalition includes CivicAction, the Liberty Village Residents’ Association, TTCRiders, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto, 880 Cities, and many more.

Improved transit helps all parts of our city and region, and supporting the pilot project to ensure it works efficiently for all is part of that improving process. Show your support here: http://weloveking.ca, and by visiting business on and near King Street and telling them how you arrived!

Promising signs from the King Street Pilot

Posted on: January 19th, 2018

After 2 of 12 planned months in operation, the King Street Pilot is showing significant positive effects for riders of the 504 King streetcar, who make up a very large proportion of the users of King Street, both during and outside peak. It is also showing effects, proportionately smaller, on car drivers.

What do we know so far? (Torontoist’s Steve Munro)

  • Streetcar travel times across downtown are faster than before the pilot, although the averages reported by the City are smaller than improvements cited by riders who praise the faster service.
  • Demand on King is up as riders left behind by full streetcars can attest, but the TTC has published only one numerical before and after comparison.
  • Route capacity is limited by the number of available TTC vehicles, although larger new cars appear one by one as they arrive from Bombardier. However, the capacity actually operated is still below the level of early 2017.
  • Traffic and transit speeds on adjacent roads, notably on Queen, have not been affected much by the pilot itself, although they are still subject to the effect of construction projects.
  • Enforcement of the new traffic regulations remains spotty, after an initial blitz, and problems remain at key intersections where cross-street traffic can block King thwarting the benefits of the pilot.
  • Some pedestrian scale improvements such curb lane expansions of the sidewalk will not occur until better weather.

We also know from City traffic counts that streetcar riders make up the majority of the people moving along the full length of King Street, commonly cited as 65,000+ (TTC statistics from before the 514 was introduced), or 72,000+ (Ben Spurr, Toronto Star), as compared to approximately 20,000 cars containing on average 1.08 people.

There have been calls in the media by some business owners to make significant reductions to the pilot’s scope, due to unverified claims of significant drops in business. It is entirely possible for street changes to impact retail business, both positively and negatively. The City of Toronto is gathering credit card data from global payments operator Moneris to check impacts both within the pilot area and in comparable unchanged areas, as part of their pilot evaluation process. This evidence will be very helpful to evaluate the improved transit performance and the overall King Street neighbourhood impacts.

One commonly voiced complaint in media is a perceived lack of people. Without an official cordon count, it is very difficult to quantify this, but some have suggested other significant differences which would be a factor:

Weather (Measured high temperatures below zero degrees)

  • Dec 2016 to 18 Jan 2017: 14 days below 0 and 0 days below -10
  • Dec 2017 to 18 Jan 2018: 29 days below 0 and 7 days below -10

Theatre Activity:

  • Royal Alexandria Theatre dark twice as many November-December days as in 2016
  • 2016’s soon-to-be Broadway hit Come From Away, contrasted with 2017’s family production of The Lorax

Another commonly-cited but inaccurate concern is a lack of parking. Approximately 7,800 spaces exist within a few hundred metres of King Street, but only 180 spaces (2.3%) were removed. For comparison, the average parking space at Yorkdale Mall is about 100 metres from its nearest entrance.

CodeRedTO strongly supports improved transit in principle, and supports maintaining the integrity of the King Street Pilot such that a full year of conditions can be assessed. Road construction, TIFF, summer storms, and more are still to be evaluated. Minor adjustments to the pilot area, as the City has already completed in multiple instances, are a reasonable approach to ensuring that the overall goal of dependable and higher-performing transit 24/7 is retained.

Tell your City Councillor your opinion on making public transit faster and more reliable by calling 311, or follow these links to find contact information for your councillor and the Mayor.

Move The GTHA Report: significant progress, but large funding gaps remain

Posted on: August 17th, 2016

MTGTHA_AreWeThereYet_cover

This week Move The GTHA, a regional transit advocacy coalition co-founded by CodeRedTO, released a new progress report on The Big Move, the provincial transportation plan. “Are We There Yet?” is a discussion of the state of transit investment in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area, and the accompanying backgrounder covers all sources and details.

Recent coverage:

Originally announced in 2008, with a 25-year project timeline, it is appropriate to review progress and assess where the province and all partners need to improve.

MTGTHA_AreWeThereYet_halfway

It is important to recognize that significant progress has been made: nearly half the planned rapid transit and regional transit improvement kilometres have been funded or completed. But key projects remain unfunded, and the regional transit network will not function efficiently and effectively with only the current projects in construction – more is needed to catch us up after decades of stagnation and political cancellations.

 

MTGTHA_AreWeThereYet_badnews

In addition to the above-noted capital (construction) funding gap which remains, the report also notes the highly-problematic lack of operations funding: there are currently zero new dollars allocated or even identified for operations and maintenance of the extensive regional rapid transit network, within any of the GTHA transit agencies or the provincial government. As public transit is a service, not a profit centre, municipalities may be on the hook for increased spending without any increased support.

By comparison, even the new York University extension to the TTC Line 1 subway, opening in late 2017, will require an additional $30 million in annual funding for operations – more than a 1% property tax increase on its own. Each new line will have subsidy requirements to be run effectively and not be simply dusty tracks seldom used.

Our report lists several specific requirements for the government:

  • Capital funding strategy and revenue sources to complete the plan
  • Operations funding strategy and revenue sources
  • A transit summit among all levels of government, regional transit agencies, and stakeholders, to ensure alignment in development, funding, and support

The report also lists requirements for the public:

  • Communicate with your elected representatives at all levels to share your support for properly-planned, properly-funded rapid transit across the region
  • Participate in the Metrolinx Big Move Review to share your feedback on projects
  • Share your ideas and information with neighbours in your community and encourage everyone to speak up about the importance of investment

Read the full report and detailed backgrounder

 

Misinformation On Council Is Putting Scarborough Rapid Transit At Risk

Posted on: July 17th, 2013

WhatsAtRisk

Motion 37.17 cancels the 7-stop, 9.9km Scarborough RT replacement & extension to Malvern, and begins the process of finding cash, starting an EA, and designing a 3-stop, 7.6km subway extension to serve about half as many Scarborough residents. It may also put at risk the 26-stop, 12km Sheppard East LRT by removing over $330M from its funding, as stated by both Mayor Ford and Finance Minister Flaherty on July 16.*
It doesn’t confirm sufficient funds for subway extension, but does cancel at least 1 line that is already funded.

Councillors putting
Scarborough Rapid Transit At Risk:

Augimeri, Bailão, Berardinetti, Colle, Crawford, De Baeremaeker, Del Grande, Fletcher, Kelly, Lee, McConnell, McMahon, Mihevc, Parker, Pasternak, Perruzza, Robinson, Stintz, Thompson

Call and email your councillor today
to protect Scarborough rapid transit.

 

* Update: The Chair of the TTC, the Toronto City Manager, Metrolinx, and the provincial Minister of Transportation all indicated on July 17 that the funds slated for the Sheppard East LRT are intended for that project only and would not be redirected. However, no written guarantee has been produced on this at this time.

How to Help

JOIN our email list to stay informed!

LEARN about Transit and why there's room for subways, light rail, and streetcars in our region, and how light rail is actually a great city-building choice for the lower-density neighbourhoods in Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

CALL your City Councillor, and tell them that you want rational, affordable, and rapid transit in Toronto to benefit everyone, not just one small section of the city. Rapid transit to Malvern, Morningside, Jane & Finch are achievable if we learn from successful transit networks around the world.

TELL your friends and family that subways are amazing - they really are! - but with limited funding we have to make rational decisions about whether to support more residents or leave people waiting for crowded buses for decades longer.

Did you know: The bus routes on Finch have over 85% of the ridership of the (much shorter) Sheppard Subway, and the bus routes on Eglinton already have over 140%! The lengths differ but the need is common in many areas of the city. We are decades behind and need better transit options for our residents now.

Contact us at info@CodeRedTO.com

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