Relief on the Way for Canada’s First Subway Line

(Photo by Anil Mohabir)

Our weekly “New Starts” column on new and newsworthy transportation projects worldwide.

Toronto Begins Preparations for Subway Line 5
Plans for a “Relief Line” to ease congestion on Canada’s oldest subway line got another nudge forward with a pledge of C$27 million ($19.54 million U.S.) toward planning and design work on the line, Railway Track and Structures reports.

The federal commitment comes on top of C$150 million ($111.14 million U.S.) from the Ontario provincial government and C$27 million ($19.54 million U.S.) from the city of Toronto, which has already spent C$4 million ($2.96 million U.S.) on preliminary planning work.

As approved by Toronto City Council, the Relief Line would run from Pape Station on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth to downtown via Queen Street East, connecting there with Queen Station on the original Yonge subway line.

Toronto Mayor John Tory praised the federal commitment to advancing the line but added that a long-term commitment from the province was needed to make the line a reality. “We need them to commit to partnership on the construction of the transit project and the continued expansion of our network across Toronto,” he said. “I am asking for a steadfast commitment from the province that they will be financial partners in the building of the Relief Line.”

Current traffic forecasts project that Line 1 Yonge-University will reach its capacity of 36,000 passengers per hour per direction by 2031, by which time the city and the Toronto Transit Commission hope to have the Relief Line in service.

Another Subway Tunnel Breakthrough in L.A.
Angeli is still digging away under the streets of downtown Los Angeles, hollowing out the tunnels of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (LACMTA) Regional Connector Transit Project, which will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold light-rail lines.

Railway Track and Structures reports that Angeli reached a milestone on June 5, when it broke through the wall of the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill station on its way from Little Tokyo/Arts District station to Metro Center station.

The station at 2nd Place and Hope Street is one of three new subway stations being built in connection with this project. The Little Tokyo/Arts District station is being buried and relocated, and a third new station is being built at 2nd Street and Broadway in the heart of L.A.’s historic downtown.

The 1.9-mile, $1.75-billion tunnel is projected to carry 88,000 daily riders, 20,000 of them new passengers, when it opens for service in 2021. It will also cut commuting times by up to 20 minutes for those riding through Downtown Los Angeles by reducing the need for riders to transfer between lines.

BRT Comes to Inner Boston Suburb Next Year
Chelsea, Massachusetts, a working-class community at the north end of the Tobin Bridge across the Mystic River, is notable for being the only one of the communities that touch Boston that has never had light rail or rapid transit service.

(Photo by Adam E. Moreira)

That will change soon, reports WCVB-TV, when the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) extends the Silver Line bus rapid transit route from Logan Airport into the city.

The Silver Line extension will cost $82 million and begin service in April 2018. A map produced by the MBTA shows that the new BRT line would run from Logan Airport via Airport Station on the Blue Line to a new commuter rail station at Mystic Mall in Chelsea via a mix of dedicated rights-of-way and local streets. Intermediate stations would serve downtown Chelsea, the Box District and Eastern Avenue.

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