A Faster Trip Downtown

The Downtown Relief Line will provide a faster trip downtown compared to current methods, even for those who do not live along the proposed line. Current trip times from Kennedy Station in Scarborough to Union Station is listed by the TTC as 35 minutes113. The section from Kennedy to Pape Station is 15 minutes. While Pape - Union by Bloor-Danforth and Yonge would take approximately 20 minutes, Pape – Bay and Wellington by the Downtown Relief Line would take approximately minutes. This is because while the Bloor-Danforth-Yonge trains must stop 11 times between Pape and Union, the Downtown Relief Line would only need to stop 6 times. This could result in significant time savings. For example, in terms of distance, Islington - Runnymede station is the same distance on the Bloor-Danforth line as Dundas West – St. George station. Because there are only three stops between Islington and Runnymede, however, compared to 5 between Dundas West and St. George, the travel time is projected to be 7 minutes, rather than 10. This means that a reduction in stations can have a very observable effect on travel time, and it would not be surprising to see Pape – Bay/Wellington to take anywhere between 11-14 minutes given that in addition to fewer stops the line distance traveled is more direct, almost one kilometre shorter. This would result in a savings of 6-9 minutes over the current route, or between 30-45% time savings. This means that anyone east of Pape, including those coming from the end of the line at Kennedy station, would save between 12-18 minutes round trip. That works out to a savings of approximately 2-3 days worth of travel time over the course of a year for an average 9-5 commuter. Similarly, anyone coming from the west would see a reduction in travel time by 3-6 minutes over their current 23 minute commute from Dundas West to Union Station due to a route being 800 metres shorter with 4 fewer stops, a reduction in travel time between 13 and 26%.

Even those who rely on the Yonge line and would not use the Downtown Relief Line could see a time saving benefit from its construction. Because of the Yonge line running at capacity, it means not only is it possible to not be able to get on an overly crowded train, but also loading times would be reduced due to the Downtown Relief Line siphoning off passengers. Even a few seconds at each station can add up over the course of the year to many hours saved, as well as a more pleasant, less crowded journey.

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© 2010 Phil Orr & Andrew Perry