Queens Quay East light rail line

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     Queens Quay East
Overview
Status Proposed
Locale Toronto, Ontario
Termini Union Station
Parliament Street
Operation
Operator(s) Toronto Transit Commission
Technical
Track gauge 1,495 mm (4 ft 10 78 in) - TTC Gauge

There are plans for a Queens Quay East light rail line to complement existing service along Queens Quay west of Bay Street, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[1][2][3] As of January 2011 the interim end of the line loop would be east of Queens Quay and Parliament Street. Plans to place both the eastbound and westbound lanes in a dedicated right of way along the south side of Queens Quay would reduce the need for rail vehicles to stop for cars, as it would not intersect with any of the major north-south roads which connect the waterfront area with uptown. Like the westbound lines the line would terminate in the underground loop at Union Station, and proceed underground to Queens Quay. The lanes would emerge above ground 250 metres east of Yonge Street at Freeland Street.

Waterfront Toronto is building a companion line, that runs down Cherry Street, to serve the new housing developments in the West Don Lands.[3]

Development Problems[edit]

One of the issues which has delayed progress of constructing the line is the proposed redevelopment of the waterfront properties between Jarvis Street and Parliament Street, which lie south of Queens Quay. The plans initially called for 2 access streets, which would cross the proposed light rail line at signalized intersections. However, the developer has designed a third street into the plan, likely due to the expected traffic volumes from the development, which would require an additional signalized intersection with the light rail line. Some councillors have stated this will negatively affect service along the propose route, possibly adding as much as an extra 3 minutes travel to a line that would only require 10 minutes to traverse.

Currently, no advancements in planning (or funding) have been made since 2011.

Emily Jackson, of the Toronto Star, wrote in February 2012, that budget over-runs on the Queens Quay West line had not left enough funds to start the Queens Quay East line.[4][5] A bus running in the former streetcar's dedicated right of way has been considered as an alternate service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Queens Quay Boulevard (East)". Waterfront Toronto. 2011-01-19. "The new Queens Quay will feature two lanes of east-west traffic on the north side of the street with a dedicated Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in the middle." 
  2. ^ Robert Mackenzie (2010-04-10). "QUEENS QUAY TRANSIT PROJECT: WILL HELP RENEW TORONTO'S WATERFRONT". Transit Toronto. "Transit is a key component — or quay component — of the plan. Two lanes of streetcar tracks will separate the pedestrian and cycling area from the roadway. Since these tracks will line the southern side of the traffic portion of Queens Quay, streetcars will cross fewer side streets and stop only at intersections, with signals prioritizing streetcars over other vehicles. And streetcars will also start to serve eastern harbour — the area between Bay and Parliament Streets." 
  3. ^ a b Adrian Morrow (2012-05-25). "A tiny perfect streetcar line is being laid along Cherry Street". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-07-19. "Waterfront Toronto’s plan calls for the Cherry Street line to eventually extend south of the Gardiner Expressway into the Port Lands and an LRT to run from Union Station down Queens Quay east of Bay Street." 
  4. ^ Emily Jackson (2012-02-14). "Toronto LRT transit plan stalling on Queens Quay East". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. "But the LRT project meant to connect Union Station with the burgeoning lakefront community to its east seems to have gone off the rails just a year and a half after the government gave it a stamp of approval." 
  5. ^ Steve Munro (2013-02-08). "Waterfront East Update: February 2013 (Updated)". Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. "When a transit line to the eastern waterfront was first proposed, the cost estimate was considerably lower than today. Waterfront Toronto has only $90-million left in the account for this project because some of the originally intended funds have been redirected to the Queens Quay West project now underway."