The BIGGEST Thing in Canadian Transit Since 1986! | Opinions [CC]
The BIGGEST Thing in Canadian Transit Since 1986! | Opinions [CC]

Hey guys, welcome back to the channel! So, some of you had asked: We are going to
Ottawa for the Line 1 Confederation Line opening on September 14th — We posted in the community chat on our channel, which is something you should check out here and there. You should see it in your sub box, but if
you don’t, we post kind of updates and messages there sometimes. We’re going to be going, so stay tuned, there’s going to be a lot of content on the OTrain Confederation Line. [Music] Now, before we get started, I just wanted
to say: If you aren’t already, consider supporting
us on Patreon, and following us on our two Instagram accounts @reece.m.martin and @texturesoftoronto, as well as following us at @RM_Transit on Twitter. Now, the astute among you may have noticed
that “hmm, 1986, that’s when the SkyTrain opened!” So what does the SkyTrain have to do with
anything these days? Well, the OTrain Confederation Line, much
like the SkyTrain, as well as the Montreal metro and the Toronto subway, is a proper
metro/rapid transit system/subway. It’s fully grade-separated, meaning that no
people can walk across the tracks — I mean, unless they jump on the tracks — Cars cannot drive across the tracks, so the
trains are pretty much in their own dedicated track and right-of-way. Whereas other train systems, for example,
GO trains, have level crossings, and there are places where pedestrians can walk across
the tracks, That’s not the case with a system like the
Confederation Line. Now, the Confederation Line has been very
deceptive — See, it’s often referred to as an LRT because
the vehicles they use are LRT vehicles — They’re essentially just low floor trams,
which are the same as LRT vehicles. The thing is, I think LRT is a terrible term
to describe any transit system because the term LRT is really a blanket term that actually
primarily just describes these tram-type vehicles connected together in a longer train set. You can really notice this because there’s
a ton of different LRT systems all operating in really different ways. For example, the Waterloo ION system (which
we’ll link to here) is an LRT system that operates much like a tramway. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s
much better suited to lower density areas and less demand. Tramways have pedestrian crossings and often
run in roads or those sort of right-of-ways. The Toronto streetcar is technically an LRT
— it operates the same sort of vehicles. It’s even further down because it actually
operates in often the same lanes as cars. Going up, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which
hasn’t opened but is currently under construction in Midtown Toronto, is a mix, so part of the
line operates underground. This is also the case for a system like Seattle’s
Link light rail where part of the system operates above ground. Now, I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of this design
choice, because when you mix different kind of right-of-ways, you have one section of
the line which operates really quite fast and has certain station spacing, and you have
another section of the line that operates slower and has a totally different kind of
style. I almost think it would be better to have
the line have a linear transfer in the middle, because then the systems are operating independently,
and the fully grade-separated system can operate at max tilt all the time, while the system
operating at surface level can still operate frequently, but if it’s a little less regular
or there’s delays here and there or trains operate a little out of schedule, that’s okay
and it doesn’t affect the trains in the grade-separated portion. So we’re gonna have to see how a system like
Eglinton operates. Anyways though, the OTrain Confederation line
is really awesome and unique in terms of LRTs in North America, and as well as much of the
world, because it’s fully grade-separated. Just like the SkyTrain or the Toronto subway
or the Montreal Metro, you cannot walk across the tracks. The stations are large and significant — unlike
many kinds of traditional tramway style LRT stations, which are basically just different
levels of bus shelters and that sort of thing — they’re proper stations. They have fare gates and other things like
that. Now, beyond having this really nice segregated
right-of-way, the OTrain Confederation line has a lot of other really nice features. Some of those features include ATO, which
essentially means trains operate automatically. Now, unlike a system like the SkyTrain or
the REM in Montreal, the trains will have drivers, however, they wouldn’t need drivers. I’ll actually be curious to see if there’s a low floor system operating somewhere without drivers. If you guys know such a system, I’d be interested
to see it. Because the system is built with ATO, adding
something like platform screen doors in the future is really simple, especially because
the platforms are really low and they’re basically built on solid concrete, so there’s not going
to be a huge structural issue. That’s something that they’re actually dealing
with on the TTC if they want to add in platform screen doors. Another fantastic feature is the awesome fare
gates. They’re quite similar to Toronto’s, which
I know have some issues, but I think the system will probably have become a bit more refined
over the years and the kinks will have been ironed out. In addition to taking Presto cards, a really
awesome feature is that all the fare gates on the Confederation, as well as the Trillium
Line (which has been renamed to line 2) all operate with a QR code reader/barcode reader
as well. Now, this may not seem super exciting, but
it really is. The awesome thing about a QR code reader is
it means you could have, for example, a transit app where you get all your tickets, and since
you could just scan your phone, you operate that way instead of using your Presto card. This wouldn’t be awesome if it weren’t for
the fact that Presto doesn’t work currently on mobile phones, but it also opens up kind
of other opportunities. For example, say you have a university student
card, it could have a barcode or QR code printed on the back and you could scan that to use
your U-Pass. Another option is if you have a concert ticket,
and the concert kind of event company wants to sponsor or users to have discounted or
free transit, then they could scan their ticket and use transit that way, which is a really
awesome feature in my opinion. Finally, the trains have awesome announcements. Now, this might not seem like a huge thing,
but if you’ve been on the Canada Line in Vancouver, one of the most awesome features is that frequent
announcements happen within the stations. This is also something you’ll notice in
the New York subway, where announcements happen when trains are entering the station, when
doors are opening, doors are closing. Now, for people who aren’t kind of hard of
seeing, this may not seem like such a big deal, but for people who need it, having these
announcements are absolutely fantastic. It’s also great for people who are just generally
distracted. Perhaps you’re kind of looking at your phone
and you hear “Oh, the train’s coming, I should put away my phone and get ready to
board”. Things like this are just the little details
that make the experience just that much better and allowed boarding to happen faster as well,
meaning that delays are slightly less likely. Anyways, it’s super exciting to see that Canada
is finally going to have four metro systems. Honestly, when you look at the countries of
the world, there’s not actually that many that are at the level that they have four
different metro systems. Of course, countries like Japan, China, and
the US do because there are giant countries with hundreds of millions of people — in
China’s case billions of people, but there are many medium-sized countries like Canada,
which is going on 40 million people, that maybe have one, maybe two metro system. So the fact that we have four now is fantastic. It’s also awesome to see that a lot of money
is being put now into the Montreal, Toronto metro system/subway systems to upgrade them,
adding new extensions, new lines, new trains, and just upgrading the legacy equipment so
it’s up to the standards of a brand new beautiful line like the OTrain Confederation Line. Anyways, guys, I think that’s it for today’s
video. We’re going to be in Ottawa on September 14th
so if you see us, make sure to say hi. Of course, don’t say hi too much because we
do need to film videos for you guys to watch, so disclaimer there. That being said. We also will be doing our
fourth Q & A sometime in the next few weeks, so we’ll leave a link to that down in the
description. Make sure to get your questions in because
we’ll be answering those again soon. I think that’s it guys, so thanks for watching,
and as always, have a nice night. [Music]

13 thoughts on “The BIGGEST Thing in Canadian Transit Since 1986! | Opinions [CC]”

  1. Paul Devey says:

    The Confed trains come into to the station and accelerate out very fast. Many good spots for doing videos.

  2. tobeapirate says:

    U-passes in Ottawa are actually smart-cards, which use the STO's Multi-card tech. Though the QR/Bar code readers are mainly used for bus transfers, both from OC Transpo and STO. And for events that come with transit access, you can scan your ticket's barcode (though i'm not sure how implemented that part is as a whole, I know it's something they want to do)

  3. Justin W says:

    I feel like Calgary's C-train deserved a mention, even though it's not grade separated.

  4. Rational Raven says:

    Very exciting, I'll have to go to Ottawa soon and check it out!

  5. Uchenna Okorie says:

    ION light rail: Am I a joke to you!
    Edit: You were talking about Metro systems lol.

  6. T D says:

    I agree with you that Ctrain and Edmonton LRT are just not in the same class. Feels like Ctrain and Edmonton LRT were conceived by folks who don’t like rapid transit. Both systems have so much going against them and ironically they’re pretty car centric. All things considered, I’m happy they still gets decent ridership. Edmonton and Calgary could support one or maybe even two metro grade line, but unfortunately with the planned cuts in mass transit at the provincial level, we could actually see both cities fall into a transit death spiral. Yikes

  7. Ian Mckenna says:

    Tip for when you come down – pick up a family day pass. It’s the same price as an individual day pass on the weekend. I think it’s 10.50. You can buy them at the stations. Also note that they are open to the public only at 2pm. The politicians get to ride first!

  8. Toronto Transit Channel says:

    Totally agree that the mixed design of the Crosstown and the CTrain/ETS is a recipe for disaster. Great video as always.

  9. James Williamson says:

    I'm also happy that the Trillium Line is becoming almost an RER-style line

  10. The7575thTransitFilmer says:

    The next city could possibly be Winnipeg or Quebec City. Who knows what can happen with the population? We need to wait at least about a decade to find out.

  11. Thomas Little says:

    You're right on with your criticism of the "mixed" operations model. The WR LRT has that problem moving back and forth between different ROWs. For downtown Kitchener I think that's an unavoidable model but it's really egregious in south Kitchener, where the LRT follows the street grid between stations for no reason, there could (with more budget) have been a few expropriations that would have resulted in a shorter line and higher operating speeds, something I think you pointed out in your video on it before the system launch. I'm glad the Ottawa system is more of a "light metro" since I think that's a more reasonable design for urban Canadian cities going into the 2020s now that densification seems to be rapidly occurring and systems can be planned more "Toronto-style", to expect dramatically increased ridership and actually be future-proofed, rather than like like the Central Transitway BRT scheme the Confederation line is replacing.

  12. wl03bu says:

    You re positively giddy in this video!

  13. wclifton968 says:

    Canada should take their public transport ideas from us guys here in the UK where almost every public transport is privately owned with the exceptions being the UK Railway infrastructure owned by Network Rail, the London underground owned by Transport for London (TfL), Reading Buses owned by Reading borough council, Blackpool Transport owned by Blackpool borough council, etc. so what Canada needs is full privatisation and FULL deregulation of public transport although here in the UK buses are regulated by the Traffic Commissioner.

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