East Bayfront LRT
||This article's introduction section may not adequately summarize its contents. (July 2012)|
|East Bayfront LRT|
|Operator(s)||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Track gauge||4 ft 10 7⁄8 in (1,495 mm) - TTC Gauge|
East Bayfront LRT is a light rail line planned for Queens Quay East, to complement existing 509 Harbourfront service west of Bay Street, in the East Bayfront area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of January 2011[update] 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.
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 called for two 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.
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. A bus running in the former streetcar's dedicated right of way has been considered as an alternate service.
On August 29, 2014, the Globe and Mail reported that senior Toronto officials had gone over the head of City Council, and made an appeal for funding for the line right to more senior levels of government. TTC General Manager Andy Byford, and City Manager Joe Pennachetti had made their proposal to their opposite numbers in the Provincial bureaucracy. According to the Globe and Mail they had not yet approached Provincial and Federal politicians.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steve Munro (2013-02-08). "Waterfront East Update: February 2013 (Updated)". Archived from the original on 2015-03-04.
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.
- Oliver Moore, David Hains (2014-08-29). "Toronto bureaucrats bypass politicians to make waterfront transit pitch". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2014-08-29. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
Two of Toronto’s top bureaucrats are pushing for a new light-rail line right across the city’s waterfront, taking to higher levels of government their pitch for a route expected to cost hundreds of millions.
- Sarah Sweet (2014-08-29). "Bureaucrats Take the Fight for Waterfront LRT Straight to Higher Levels of Government". Torontoist. Archived from the original on 2014-08-29.
The route they’re championing would involve the East Bayfront LRT—mentioned in the last provincial budget but by no means a done deal—and the Waterfront West LRT, part of former mayor David Miller’s now-defunct Transit City plan. It would create an east-west transit option that could relieve congestion on the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard and provide an easier way for those in Liberty Village to get downtown.