Building Transit Equity in Toronto

I am pleased to share a new research paper called Toronto Transit Choices: Evaluation of the
Downtown Relief Line + SmartTrack Options (Click to download) that I crafted for Ryerson PL8105 - Planning for Sustainability last semester.

This project is a comparative evaluation of two important options for expanded heavy rail transit service in Toronto. To accomplish this task I developed a GIS database of the current subway network in Toronto, and two custom future scenarios: the 'Downtown Relief Line' (DRL) that has been planned for many years (the DRL has no formal route maps yet, so the route shown is an educated guess based on extensive research), and new Mayor John Tory's 'SmartTrack' line based on electrification of the existing GO network. The current subway network and the proposed routes are shown below:

Additionally, the following three maps highlight the population density, median household incomes and visible minority populations living in close proximity to each current and proposed network.

In the paper I also summarized these variables within 800 metres of the current network and each proposal, in order to compare and contrast who would benefit from expanded transit service. Among other conclusions, I recommended the City of Toronto prioritize the SmartTrack plan in the short term, and also continue ongoing development of the DRL in the longer term.