Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearson High Speed Link Stupidity at the Highest Level

Einstein said the biggest difference between genius and stupidity is that there's a limit to genius...

It's an embarrassment that Canada's busiest airport still isn't linked to Toronto's downtown core by public transit, and getting it done should be a priority, federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said today.

It's an embarrassment that a federal minister should have this opinion (unless he has friends in railroad companies, of course,or wants to do more economic development in other parts of Canada and get Toronto residents to pay for it).

There are only a few really stupid things about a rapid line from downtown to the airport...

All of them.

1/ There are about 60,000 travellers at the Pearson Airport. About 10,000 of them leave from or go to downtown. Even then, for most of those travellers, it will continue to be more convenient (and as we will see cheaper) to take a limo.

2/ A heavy rail gauge system requires about 100000 riders a day. This won't be covered off even if all the commuters from Peel Region that work downtown use it to commute (traffic patterns have way changed - those people don't work downtown anymore - and never did).

3/ Residents along the entire route will be incredibly convenienced for the benefit of visitors.

4/ Downtown ain't where it's at anymore - the downtown area's labour force is the same as it was 15 years ago and more than half the population lives in the burbs. The Downtown ain't what it was and never will be.

5/ What will be the scale of service - every 10 minutes? 15 minutes? half hour? Problem is that the heavy traffic to the airport is rush hour, so the system will ultimately scheduled the same as GO Transit. Hardly a schedule that will meet the needs of airport travellers.

6/ Fares are projected at $30 pp. Think a family is gonna use the service?

7/ Ya think that people are gonna take a subway or taxi from Y&B to Union to wait for a train? Well. No. They won't.

Stupid thought 20 years ago, way stupider today.

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