Tag Archives: streetcars

Ashbridges Bay streetcar storage yard

TTC moving forward with construct of new site
It will be used to maintain and store light rail vehicles
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 3)

Leslie Street resident Caron Court, with son Owen, questions need for Ashbridges Bay LRV storage yard. Photo by Kelly Gadzala/Town Crier.

It’s full steam ahead for a new streetcar maintenance and storage facility at Ashbridges Bay, but area residents and the local councillor are still hoping the TTC will put the brakes on the project, and move it elsewhere.
On Feb. 2, the TTC approved a contract to remove contaminated soil from a site at Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.
This is the first construction step toward building the $435 million Ashbridges Bay light rail vehicle yard.
A new storage yard is needed to make room for 204 new 100-foot, low-floor vehicles, which are replacing an aging fleet of streetcars.
At the TTC meeting, local councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon requested a 90-day delay on soil removal, in order to explore whether the Ashbridges site is needed at all.
The TTC voted to proceed on schedule.

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Fighting for Transit City

Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier Dec. 15)

TTC's new light rail vehicles.

Several residents refuse to believe Transit City is dead.
In December, days after Mayor Rob Ford announced that Transit City is no more, local activist Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler organized a grassroots campaign in North Toronto to save Transit City, including the Eglinton light rapid transit line.
Chaleff-Freudenthaler took his “save Transit City” petition to the streets in North Toronto’s Ward 16. In December, he continued to canvass every ward affected by the Finch, Sheppard and Eglinton LRTs.
“The goal is to bring high quality, accurate information to people at their doors and communities,” he said.
On Dec. 1, the day he announced Transit City is dead, Ford met with TTC general manager Gary Webster and asked staff to look at costing of various underground options for transit including having the Eglinton LRT completely underground.
Webster will report back in January.
Councillor Karen Stintz, now the new TTC chair, has told the Town Crier on four occasions since the Oct. 25 election she expects light rapid transit along Eglinton to proceed underground.
“I expect when the plan is reviewed, that there won’t be any changes to Eglinton,” she said Dec. 10.

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Toronto a day in the life 14

Why people love Rob Ford, or think they do
Kris Scheuer

So mayor-elect Rob Ford was voted in. I talk politics all day at work as a reporter with my colleagues and other journalists. I interview politicians, residents, business people about the decisions at city hall. Then I talk with friends and loved ones more about this city, life, news, politics. I listen, read and watch politics. Ahh…
But I can always use more of a reality check into what people I don’t know think about politics and the election. I’d love to hear what you think: what are you excited about, confused about, fearful of with a new mayor Rob Ford about to take the helm?
Let me share with you some comments I overheard from strangers having conversations about Rob Ford’s policies post-election.

First up: Tuesday Oct. 26 the day after the election. It was raining. The streetcar took 15-20 minutes to arrive. It was standing room only with very little room for any more passengers when I overheard a woman ask the streetcar driver about Rob Ford’s policy to get rid of Toronto streetcars.
I could not hear well enough or get close enough to hear their 15-minute discussion on the likelihood of streetcars being shelved. But it was interesting to hear her raise this concern about what she heard regarding Rob Ford’s intentions.
During the mayoral campaign, Rob Ford spoke often about getting rid of some streetcars and replacing them with buses.
In his transit plan on page 2 he writes, ” We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars. Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes.  This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users.”
“It will also improve traffic flow,” Ford’s transit plan states.
“Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reducedpurchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.” Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 5

What I learned about the city in the past 24 hours
Transit isn’t perfect especially when it breaks down
By Kris Scheuer

Streetcar rolls along College St. Love them when they are working. Photo by Kris Scheuer.

Streetcar rolls along College St. Love them when they are working. Photo by Kris Scheuer.

Here’s what happened on my way home tonight.
First of all, you need to know I am a TTC kind of girl. In fact, I don’t drive at all.
I have lived in downtown T.O all my life and never really needed to drive to get around the city.
While I have taken driving lessons, I never did book a road test.
The main reason I would get a license, to be honest, is as a journalist it can come in handy for the job.
So back to my story about transit. After waiting 20 minutes for a College streetcar to get home this evening, I was stranded. Okay, that’s a stretch but the transit driver did kick all of her passengers off her vehicle. Continue reading