What Else Would Light Rail Be Like?
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.

Torontoist

11 Comments

news

What Else Would Light Rail Be Like?

20101214lightrail.jpg
Cross-section of an intersection along the proposed Sheppard East LRT. Image taken from the Sheppard East Environmental Project Report Summary [PDF].


After our previous post comparing some of the light rail lines proposed under the embattled Transit City plan to systems in other cities, several commenters chimed in with other examples, some of which hew even more closely to Toronto’s plan than the ones we initially put forward. These other examples are, in other words, cities with light rail systems that entered service within the past decade, using technology and road layouts very similar to those Toronto would be employing if its own light rail scheme were to go ahead as originally envisioned. After the jump, brief rundowns of the setups in two of those cities, both of them real-life glimpses at what Mayor Ford is trying, for good or ill, to trade for a subway to Scarborough.


Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit Link Light Rail

First Entered Service:
In 2009.
Speed:
The system’s scheduled average speed is about forty kilometres per hour.
Total System Length and Number of Stops:
About twenty-five kilometres, thirteen stops.
What it has in common with the proposed Transit City light rail lines:
Seattle’s light rail tracks run both through tunnels and along surface streets. Where the light rail vehicles run along surface streets, they occupy exclusive lanes along centre medians with two lanes of traffic on either side, just like Transit City light rail vehicles would under the existing plan.
How it differs from the proposed Transit City light rail lines:
Link’s downtown Seattle tunnel is shared with buses, while Transit City’s Eglinton Avenue tunnel would be for the exclusive use of light rail vehicles. In addition to its underground tunnels, Link Light Rail has a section of elevated track about eleven kilometres long. The Eglinton Avenue tunnel, for comparison, would be about ten kilometres long. The existing plan calls for the rest of Toronto’s system to be at street level, in separated median lanes.

Phoenix, Arizona: METRO Light Rail

First Entered Service:
At the end of 2008.
Speed:
About twenty-nine kilometres per hour, on average.
Total System Length and Number of Stops:
About thirty-two kilometres, twenty-eight stops.
What it has in common with the proposed Transit City light rail lines:
Like Transit City would, the majority of METRO’s tracks run at street-level, primarily in median lanes separated from auto traffic by a curb.
How it differs from the proposed Transit City light rail lines:
METRO has no underground stretches of track, but achieves its fairly high average speed by picking up and dropping off passengers relatively infrequently. The average distance between stops is about a kilometre, whereas Transit City’s surface routes would have stops approximately every five-hundred metres.

For similar information about the proposed Transit City lines (and light rail systems in four other cities), see our original post.

Comments