Thursday, September 18, 2008

Viva le subway

Despite my recent subway woes, today something exciting arrived in the mail. It was a postcard-sized advertisement informing us of a public meeting for a subway extension into York Region. Now, most York Region residents are aware of the plans to extend the subway from Downsview Station to York University. This doesn't really excite me though, since I don't attend York, and frankly, I don't use the University Ave. arm of the Yonge-University-Spadina line very often. This particular ad, though, had quite a number of items to get excited about included within its minimalist offerings:
  1. A new subway line being extended from Finch to Highway 7: There are a number of reasons why this is exciting. First of all, it will mean the subway will make it all the way up to where I live and beyond, making it way easier to catch. Second of all, when I want to get together with people I almost invariably go uptown (to Highway 7 in Markham) rather than downtown (where the subway goes). With a new line, this trek would be really easy to do by transit, which will be great for a lot of people.
  2. Fast public transit will finally be making its way into the suburbs: It was once explained to me that the purpose of Viva (the recently minted express arm of York Region transit) was to drum up enough ridership for major routes in order to make it feasible to install genuine rapid transit, such as LRV (light-rail vehicles). Subways are even better.
  3. Viva-branded: The ad came with the Viva brand on it rather than TTC. This is exciting for me, because Viva and YRT have really done a good job putting together a pretty effective and modern tranist system despite limited ridership (and probably funding). The bus stops for the Viva buses, which indicate the time of arrival of the next bus are a great example of this. This is hardly a modern marvel (for instance, I've seen it for the MTR subways in Hong Kong), but it's definitely a step up from the TTC, whose administration runs things a little backwards.
  4. Utilization of new trains: When I was working at Princess Margaret Hospital after third year, I was excited to hear news of 30 new trains being procured for the aging TTC subway fleet. These would be fully modern trains after Asia's own heart including digital route maps and walk-through car coupling (i.e. you can walk from one end of the train to the other). The Viva advertisement sports a stylized cartoon of these trains, slated to arrive before the end of 2011.

1 comment:

sandlot said...

I hate wearing shorts/skirts when I ride the TTC. I feel like I'm thismuch closer to acquiring an STD or something.