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Memorandum PP (ty Planning| Tek 16-90-0772 {Ght Planer 8 Executve Decor ty Han Fax: 4163000815 ty Peng Owezen 102 Queen rot West _heesme @lorenines 12 Rong EestTower | Wnwlornt.capianing Tororo, Grn MEH aN October 9, 2015 To: Councillor Josh Matlow, Ward 22 From: — Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner and Executive Director Re: Request for Information Underpinning Future Ridership Figures. SS Dear Councillor Matlow: ‘Thank you for your letter of September 18, 2015 requesting further due diligence on transit planning issues and specifically, requesting that Toronto residents and Council are provided with accurate, reliable transit ridership forecast information with which to assess these types of projects {wish to assure you that I share your concern on this issue. In fact, one ofthe key reasons I created @ ‘Transit Implementation Unit in my Transportation Planning Section was to provide clarity about roles between the City and TTC in terms of transit project planning. My group is responsible for project ‘assessment, network planning and community engagement, while TTC staff is responsible. for ‘engineering, costing and infrastructure design, This recent separation of responsibilities has many. benefits in terms of added clarity about roles, accountability and outcomes, and ha also assisted the City and TTC in undertaking more effective collaboration on issues with Metrolin, My commitment to improving our ability to deliver on transit projects has not sloped with these actions, The recent hiring of a new Director, Transit and Sustainable ‘Transportation ‘Transportation Planning Section is intended to consolidate and strengthen the City’s leaders these emerging key areas of transportation planning, ‘As you are aware, my Division has been leading a series of public engagements throughout 2015 that have strived to reflect a transparent, collaborative process that provides Councillors, stakeholders and the public with comprehensive information and an opportunity for genuine discussions that are intended to focus the issues and evaluation on those which are most relevant to our communities, The process applied is a new approach to consultation on complex transit projects and hus been Positively received on many fronts. For example, Steve Munro, widely respected transit blogger, has ‘noted on Twitter that “is @ good framework” and added that the framework has remained "below {re} political radar ergo and has) not {yet been] a target of (political) manipulation”. In other feedback, Councillor DeBaeremaeker commented to the study team that an event he attended earlier this year was dhe best he had experienced in 27 years. Similarly, Councillor Fletcher, having aended 4 June public meeting tweeted “again tonight your planning staff doing an excelent job..-90 glad rts have been received Irom the public and stakeholders, thoy are lending this EA". Similar eon Uroughout these processes, Notwithstanding this level of success, we are striving for continuous improvement, which is Particularly important as we move forward to the decision making stages on many of tho projects, ‘With this in mind, 1 wish to take this opportunity to comment on some of the points you have raised in your fewer, a set out below, Acces lo Information in the Decision-Making Process As noted, transit planning is now being done differently, with a specific direction on establishing a transparent, open process that provides information to inform decision-making in a collaborative Context. This is a shift from thinking about our transit projects as laying, down infrastructure to recognizing that projects are also about place-making, local investment and local econorn development. Coupled with this is a high degree of focus on “network planning” rather than planning for one project at atime withcut understanding the benefit of multiple tansit projects ‘aken together to establish 2 solution forthe greater good, ‘The Relief Line project has demonstrated the new approach to transit planning ~ having developed 4 scope of work and consultation plan that was approved by City Council, forthe purposes of providing certainty on how we undertake our work and engage with the public in a way that leads 'o decisions that represent the best Citybuilding solutions. Our public engagement refleets the network approach, by bringing forward a series of projects simultaneously, leading toa combined solution to address current priorities, AAs you know, the work undertaken for Feeling Congested is continuing to look at all 25 rapid \ransit projects within Toronto, within the context of Regional Express Rail and the TTC’ local surface transit priority work, to establish evidence-based priorities forall ofthese initiatives based ‘on a network planning approach. You will recall this work is based on the three principles of transportation for "people, “places” and "prosperity", which are further subdivided into eight ‘evaluation criteria based on Oficial Plan policy, for the purposes of undertaking a comprehensive ‘network assessment exercise. The methodology that has been developed for Feeling Congested ‘emphasizes the strength of network evaluation, versus proceeding with “one off" projects tha in ‘the past have occurred largely in isolation of each other ‘This, in effec, is good transit pla ‘AS part of this work, ridership forecasting. is an important measure in the evaluation process. However, while ridership is important, there are many other very important non-idership measures that will typically be applied in a rapid transit project to evaluate possible solutions ‘These have been discussed at our public engagement sessions, and are documented in material on ‘our project websites. Many of these measures relate directly o City-building policies embodied in the Official Plan. ‘Transit planning decisions must be made based on a solution that best performs in consideration of all of these measures, nat just a focus on ridership alone, Recognizing that forecasting of ridership isan important task in our decision-making, the City is ‘embarking in partnership with the University of Toronto to develop a new model application to forecast transit ridership. To support the SmartTrack planning analysis, a team at the University ‘9f Toronto directed by Professor Eric J. Miller was retained to undertake the ridership demand forecasting, Professor Mille’s work includes expediting the completion of a new Regional Travel Demand Model (GTAMOodel V4) which improves upon the existing GTAModel V2, and testing the SmartTrack proposal New features ofthe model which will be pa comprehensive assessment of forecast cont larly beneficial in the context of providing a mone jons include: + Calibration of the model to most recent travel survey data; * Model coverage of the full day travel demand instead of only the morning peak period, thus allowing review of morning and evening peak periods, as well as off peak periods ‘occurring throughout the day; +. Improved representation of outbound commuter flows compared tothe previous model; * Flexibility to model alternative fare structures and fare integration; and ‘+ Incorporation of transit network capacity limits which was not a featrure of the previous ‘model version, ‘The model development will be subject to a validation process, as well as a peer review ‘evaluation, 10 ensure the final product is robust and significantly advances our forccasting capabilities. In many ways, this new application represents a "best practice” in uavel demand forecasting, and will be used to develop network ridership forecasts Tor all of the City's ansit projects currently under review, ‘The intent is to make our network evaluation results available through our public engagement Process. In doing so, a level of detail wil be provided, and certainly if more specific questions are received that require more specific detail, my team will endeavour to respond to those inquires Furthermore, 1 ean commit that ridership figures will be expressed in passengers per hour per direction for the peak hour(s), as requested in your letter. | have attached additional information further describing the City’s transit planning process, our decision making framework and the role of ridership assessment in making decisions (Additional information, lems 1-3) Previo rough Subway Extension Ridership Numbers Your letter also makes reference to previous Scarborough Subway Extension ridership data, Suggesting that I referred 10 some ofthe data as "problematic". I want to be clear at this potnt that this is not accurate, and is not my stated position ‘My stated positon is that the process in which tis item was considered and in which a motion was introduced on the floor of Council without any staff report and without an extensive duc. diligence process, and in which decisions were made in absence of an appropriate level of information, was problematic ‘The ridership figure of 14,000 riders provided at that meeting was accurate based on the ‘assumptions and information availabe atthe time. However, there was no fulsome process on the floor of Council related to the decisions that were made, and that's problematic. | want to take this opportunity to also further clarify that staf have not reverted to using the 9,500 ‘idership figure developed by the TTC in the Terms of Reference for the SSE environmental ‘assessment as you have sated. The Terms of Reference you are refering to was infact developed bby my staff, and specifically state: “Analysis to dite has shown it the SRT were replaced by a continuation and extension of the Bloor-Danforth Subway north to Sheppard Avenue, it would carry passengers volumes of ‘epwards of 9.500 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) in the busiest hour of travel” The reference 10 “upwards of 9,500 passengers" reflects the fac that there is a range with a ‘ported lower limit, However, the updated ridership forecast must be esablished using the Citys new forecasting mode!, and is work that has et to be completed, For your information, Ihave attached some further detail that sets out the assumptions applied by the TTC and City in the development ofthe quoted ridership figures, including a usclul chart thet details the different assumptions that have led to diferent ridership forecasts (Additional Information, lem 4) In losing, 1 wish o thank you for your letter and the opportunity to clarify a numberof points related ‘o transit planning. I wish to also thank you for demonstrating an avid interest in our rapid transit projects and encouragng your constituency and other members of the public to be involved in our City-buiding processes. Finally, 1 wish to emphasize that I share your concerns regarding the need to develop and share a robust level of evidence-based data to inform the decision-making process for all our rapid transit projects in a transparent manner. If you wish to meet to discuss any aspect of this letter othe attachments in further detail, I would be pleased to do so, Sincerely, Jennifer Keesmaat CChiet Planner and Executive Director City Planning Division ‘Autachment Additional Information 1. The City's Transit Planning Process ‘Transit planning inctades bath network planning, the technical process that uses the analysis of {quantitative data to decide how to best plan new and adapt existing infrastructure, and service Planning, which is the continuous monitoring and optimization ofthe existing network, In Toronto, the City Planning Division (hrough the Transportation Planning Section) and Metrlinx are ‘responsible for network planning, while the TTC and GO Transit are responsible for service planning. The remainder ofthis section discusses network planning. “Major investments in new inizastructure typically need tobe strategic in nature, considering how the {ntre regional transit network will Function in the future and how the network wil shape the city, ‘This long-term view considers how transit can facilitate economic growth and development by improving access to certain areas. Key objectives of network planning include: + Providing connections ans fr everyone: Enabling asi o be ear competitive sping to reduce cr depenncs: "Esorng trast ia good seighbour ia ems of environmental pac, Consibating to the creation of sabe paces and neighbourbond Weighing up the competing oaks of dership maximization ad seve coverage; ‘ishing op the competing goal of loal comet and fast eon connect vi Providing demonsrbl value fr money and Working within the Cis sel framework, Matching investment in transit with economic development and grow is consistent with and ‘supports the City’s Official Plan. The Otfical Plan articulates a eity-building vision which {emphasizes the need to integrate land use and transportation planning. It implementation is resulting in growth being managed in a sustainable manner and the creation of more vibrant, walkable, mixeds tse neighbourhoods tht are pat of complete communities. ‘The Official Plan's growth management strategy rests on the key concept of directing development to laegeted growth areas making up 25 percent of the city’s area, namely: the Downtown and Central ‘Waterfront; the designated Centres and Avenues, and employment lands. While these areas are ‘ypically served well by roads and transit, further investments in transit are necessary to ensure th Toronto's future growth can be accommodated in these areas while preserving the character of existing stable residential neighbourhoods elsewhere. Without these investments, it will become increasingly difficult for Torortonians to access jobs and educational opportunities, and for goods to move around the city, ‘Not only is transit investment needed in growth areas, but the type of transit serviee provided should ‘match the economic development and growth thatthe City wants to seein various areas, Locel buses ‘we usually the most appropriate type of service for inside stable residential neighbouthwcods because ‘smaller vehicles are able to meet the demand. Larger and more frequent buses, steetears or light cal vehicles are appropriate along major arterial roads especially Avenues because they can ‘accommodate high volumes of people living i, working in and visiting vibrant, mixed use ares, ‘High capacity subways ard regional rl are most appropriate to bring people into and out of ures ‘where the City is seeing the greatest economic growth and development because they can bring arse ‘numbers of people seross longer distances to and from jobs and dense reside 2. The Rapid Transit Decision Making Framework (Once a project has been identified as part of the comprehensive transit network, further detailed work 's required to determine the details of the project. Several siages of study and design are needed 10 ‘ensure that projects meet their objectives, Each stage builds on the previous one; in order to advance through the process, it must be shown that a project satisfies each stage, This is shown in Figure | ‘The figure shows some typical timelines, but timing is highly dependent on the scope and complexity ‘of the project and is always contingent onthe availability of Funding. Project phasine can help expedite projects by advancing some elements through the process ahead of others. For example, the tunnels forthe Metolinx Eglinton Crosstown LRT ave currently under construction while the detect

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