Yesterday I penned some notes and observations on the TTC's initial public consultation on the Sheppard East LRT proposal. Here is more:
4. Connection to subway at Don Mills
The proposed LRT will connect to the Sheppard Subway. The TTC gives three options:
1. Surface connection at Don Mills - This would require expansion of the bridge over Hwy 404.
This is likely the least expensive option - but it stinks as a connection strategy because of the configuration of the Don Mills terminus.
2. Underground connection at Don Mills - This requires a tunnel under Hwy 404.
3. Extend Sheppard subway to Consumers Rd and build LRT connection there.
As the printed material provides suggests, this is likely the most expensive option - but the best for riders.
Note - in the original proposal, the connection at Don Mills would be underground:
Light rail service would operate from the underground transfer terminal at Don Mills Station, rising to the surface to operate the rest of the way in a dedicated right-of-way.
In option #1 above, the connection is not underground - but via stairs/elevators. This means that the TTC determined that it was not feasible to cross the 404 at surface AND have the streetcar line connect level with the subway.
As the TTC's printed material admits, going under Hwy 404 - with the subway or streetcars - is going to add even more to the project cost. (Transit City is already at $8.4 billion - on its way to $11 billion I'm going to guess.)