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Thread: Edmonton's missing Transit Hub

  1. #1

    Default Edmonton's missing Transit Hub

    I've been thinking about this a while, but Edmonton is missing a central transit hub of the sort many other cities have, serving as a gateway destination to the city as well as a single transfer point for multiple modes of transportation. With the current reorganisation of the city's public transit and various ongoing revitalisation projects, I can't help but think there is a missed opportunity to create such a hub.

    The possible modes include, but are not limited to:
    - LRT
    - Regional bus (including BRT)
    - Coach (intercity) bus
    - Intercity (Via) rail
    - Taxi / Ride-sharing
    - Automobile (Park 'n' Ride, Kiss 'n' Ride)
    - Shuttle services (airport, hotels, WEM etc)
    - HSR (potentially)

    The logical starting place would be a central rail station, as is the case in many (if not the majority) of cities the world over. Off the top of my head, there are Toronto's Union station, Ottawa's Via station, Montreal's Central Station or Vancouver's Pacific Central... in Canada alone. These hub stations are strategically located near city downtowns, offer local/regional/national/international transportation options, and have extensive TOD. In short, they are destinations as much as transfer hubs. Unfortunately, Edmonton lost its hub rail stations (but unlike Calgary, not its intercity rail service!) when CN and CPR relocated their yards away from downtown / old strathcona respectively. ETS, the major transit provider in this city, doesn't really have a central hub for its services either - Churchill station is intended to serve as such for LRT but there is no accompanying transit centre for buses. It doesn't have to be a rail station either - San Francisco's Transbay Centre was originally just a bus terminal for instance.

    Nonetheless, the creation of such a hub would require intensive coordination efforts between multiple agencies in both private and public sectors, and the state of affairs in Edmonton is that it is not even being considered at a conceptual stage. Ironically, the closest we have got to one was when Greyhound moved its terminal to the Edmonton Via station. With ETS seriously considering extending LRT/bus service at the time as part of Blatchford, there was actually a real possibility of combining rail, LRT, bus, coach and car-rental services under one roof - within the context (albeit not explicitly planned as a part) of a massive inner-city revitalisation project! Of course, this never happened - Greyhound would go on to scuttle its Western Canada operations and the Metro line opted to parallel 107 St instead.

    Is there a place for such a transit hub in Edmonton? If so, where would it be and what transit modes could it incorporate?
    Last edited by Foolworm; 08-02-2019 at 12:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    I don't see how a logical starting place would be a central rail station when there is no rail service to speak of.

  3. #3

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    If there was a need, it would exist already.

    There is no demand for what you propose.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  4. #4

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    For clarity Winnipeg and Halifax also have Central Via train stations.

    Ottawa does not have a central station. Neither does Saskatoon, or Quebec City.

    The stations that do currently continue to exist in DT locations are all beautiful, historic Train stations.


    Edmonton formerly had a DT train station in the basement of the CN tower. It was nondescript though and there wasn't enough impetus from Edmonton or Via to save that. There were also considerable time delays getting into and out of that station back onto the main line.



    There certainly is an increasing demand for Via Rail services in cities and including the West. Although Via seems to put priority on Eastern lines.

    In anycase intercity rail SHOULD be encouraged over intercity air routes. Short hop flights are an abominable waste of fuel.


    With the case of rail travel here in Western Canada its a service that pre-existed to a much greater extent when less people had cars. With less people having cars increasing now its quite possible that the demand for rail travel (affordable) would increase.

    But stations located away from the DT do a great disservice to rail usage. One of the advantages of rail travel is the potential for it to service DT to DT connections. Which saves time and hassle over transfers from out of the way airports.

    One cannot really assess current demand when the current situation (several rail stations not being located DT and poorly serviced with connections) exists. The way to increase rail usage, and we should be interested in that, is to of course increase its convenience.

    Edmontons situation is the worst, and an absolute embarrassment. This being the only city in the nation that doesn't have public transit connections to and from the Rail station. Everytime I'm on a train I feel like apologizing to the many national or international travellers that use the line and embark/disembark at Edmonton's gulag station. (which also takes interminable time to get into and out of as the train backs in from the main line and is also impeded by heavy freight use through Edmonton.
    Last edited by Replacement; 08-02-2019 at 06:48 AM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  5. #5

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    A solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. This topic has come up at least a handful of times.

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    Edmonton has many smaller hubs like Strathcona, West Edmonton Mall and the International Airport, as well as downtown. It would be difficult to consolidate them into one hub. I think it’s also difficult to change our car culture.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  7. #7

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    Time to build a spaceport hub for interstellar traffic. That would surely put Edmonton on the map!
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    ^Iconically world-class.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  9. #9

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    And the Arquillians will pay for it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    If there was a need, it would exist already.

    There is no demand for what you propose.
    That's a pretty ridiculous statement. If you follow that logic, then Edmonton is currently perfect and has no need of any improvements. After all, if there was a need for any improvements, they'd have happened already, right?

    There are a lot of benefits of well integrated inter-modal transit, but I guess the question is whether it's too late for Edmonton to develop this. Most likely it is, at least when comparing us to something like Union Station. Honestly, if it was going to happen, I think Blatchford would have been our best shot at it. Via already terminates in the area, LRT is planned to pass through, it's pretty central, and it is close to the Yellowhead. If that had been a priority, and all the parties came to the table, it might have been feasible.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    A solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. This topic has come up at least a handful of times.
    Oh no problems here - Edmonton must not be located in the Province of Alberta, but the State of Denial. I suppose its not a problem if you don't want to use the rail service or don't want to stop in Edmonton, but the current arrangement is so far from world class it is embarrassingly bush league.

    Yes, apparently tourists are an afterthought and an inconvenience to this city. Every once in a while some travel writer comes from some place where people actually put some thought into these things and expects to be able to easily get from the train to downtown and instead is stuck in the freezing cold for a long time. Then he or she goes back home and writes a negative review about our city, perhaps read by millions, we are outraged for a week or two and wonder why they were so negative, but soon go back to not thinking about or dealing with improving things. Its easier to do nothing, the small minded, small city outlook is still much more alive in this city than many would care to admit.

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    It’s not all the City’s fault. Take a look at Greyhound, who chose to locate in an industrial area.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  13. #13

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    Passenger rail has been in a death spiral since the 1950''s.

    The airliner and highways killed passenger rail and the minute amount of tourist traffic from rail in a year does not amount to a days worth of passenger traffic at EIA.

    This thread is beyond the grasping of demands to keep the municipal airport.

    There is no demand for a rail hub in Edmonton.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Passenger rail has been in a death spiral since the 1950''s.

    The airliner and highways killed passenger rail and the minute amount of tourist traffic from rail in a year does not amount to a days worth of passenger traffic at EIA.

    This thread is beyond the grasping of demands to keep the municipal airport.

    There is no demand for a rail hub in Edmonton.


    This is so shortsighted. With obscene fuel expenditures theres no way in the world short hop air travel should even exist. Regional passenger traffic should occur by rail if not by highway.


    I have no idea how people can rationalize short hop air travel in the name of simple convenience. It isn't even that much more, or at all more convenient than DT to DT rail.

    Rail is a pragmatic mode that built this country, is efficient in per passenger fuel expenditure, as well as a relaxed way to travel. I actually prefer rail to air whenever I can.


    More the point with people increasingly not driving, and this being more of a factor in younger generations public modes of transit need to increase, not decrease. Just building more highways is as poor a solution as building more freeways. They just get filled by 1person per vehicle mode inefficient travel.

    For somebody so into public conveyance I find your views on this surprising.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  15. #15

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    I support transit that is effective, efficient and economical.

    Intercity rail such as HSR or adding new passenger train lines would be far more costly than adding an extra lane on heavily used highway. Trains do not solve the first mile and last mile problem. Building a train based transportation hub is simply not supported and low usage and high capital costs are serious impediments.

    Let's not revisit the whole HSR debate.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  16. #16

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    ^Not sure why you would evoke the first and last mile problem in relation to trains when Airports results in the first and last 20miles problem.


    Edmonton-Red Deer-Calgary is now enough of a population corridor (and rampantly increasing) to be feasible.


    Environmentally its obscene NOT to offer a rail line option for travellers/commuters when air travel to a location involves 10times the emissions/passenger.


    People spend all day here talking about global warming and being concerned about that but when it comes to real options that ARE more efficient than Air or vehicle traffic you say people won't use them.


    Check out the Canadian sometime at Via Rail when its 25 cars long.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  17. #17

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    Airports are already a hub with taxi, car, bus and shuttle service.

    For rail, slow rail is a nonstarter. First you have to spend 10 to 25 billion dollars to build a high speed line to Calgary with zero certainty that people will use HSR.

    No one wanted to use the old slow and unprofitable Edmonton Calgary line. I have never seen a 25 car via rail and I don't believe that the Edmonton station is even that long to handle a 24 car consist. How many passengers use VIA as a Edmonton destination, ( not just passing through )? Please post your sourced statistics.

    As you can see from the sourced chart, rail efficiency is all over the spectrum and that is based on train loading.



    If you can pack every 25 car train to capacity and have multiple trips per day, trains are a winner. BUT if you just have a couple of runs per day with only a handful.of riders, rail can be much worse than other forms of transportation.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ^Not sure why you would evoke the first and last mile problem in relation to trains when Airports results in the first and last 20miles problem.


    Edmonton-Red Deer-Calgary is now enough of a population corridor (and rampantly increasing) to be feasible.


    Environmentally its obscene NOT to offer a rail line option for travellers/commuters when air travel to a location involves 10times the emissions/passenger.


    People spend all day here talking about global warming and being concerned about that but when it comes to real options that ARE more efficient than Air or vehicle traffic you say people won't use them.


    Check out the Canadian sometime at Via Rail when its 25 cars long.
    Building a whole new rail line is not efficient and very expensive. Using the exisiting frieght line is slow and unreliable. Enviromentally, a new rail corridor (especially if we are considering highspeed) requires fencing and and protection of the right of way the entire length, which causes more barriers to wildlife

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Time to build a spaceport hub for interstellar traffic. That would surely put Edmonton on the map!
    Understandably you were joking, but you are in the right track. Many of us fail to understand that model of hub system was for the 20 century travel. Cities like Edmonton or Calgary are in the crosswind where we don't fit into that model. We are still in young growth stages that, by the time we truly mature, transportation for the mass will no longer be rails, or buses. We won't need that old hub system as we're future cities. In 50 years, Calgary and Edmonton might be classified as one city as "flying cars " would get us there in 15 minutes. A day's travel might be because we're heading to the moon for a weekend, so a space pad is not so far fetched.

    I'm not really interested in building a platform thats won't fit into or becomes obsolete in the short future which long distance rail or busses are. Do we want to waste money so we can feel internal content because our city has what other major centres have. We had that as Greyhound was pretty much kitty corner to Via Station which also encompassed a transit station right in front of CN tower and an LRT central station across the street.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Airports are already a hub with taxi, car, bus and shuttle service.

    For rail, slow rail is a nonstarter. First you have to spend 10 to 25 billion dollars to build a high speed line to Calgary with zero certainty that people will use HSR.

    No one wanted to use the old slow and unprofitable Edmonton Calgary line. I have never seen a 25 car via rail and I don't believe that the Edmonton station is even that long to handle a 24 car consist. How many passengers use VIA as a Edmonton destination, ( not just passing through )? Please post your sourced statistics.

    If you can pack every 25 car train to capacity and have multiple trips per day, trains are a winner. BUT if you just have a couple of runs per day with only a handful.of riders, rail can be much worse than other forms of transportation.
    I would say YEG would make an excellent transit hub for Edmonton if it were... you know... actually in Edmonton as opposed to Leduc. The thing with airports in general is that they necessarily have to be situated far away from city cores.

    Passenger rail, at least in the Prairies, is unlikely to make a comeback because the existing tracks are owned by and therefore prioritise freight operators (and the cost for laying new track is phenomenal). Take for instance the whole 'oil-by-railcar' business - if being able to ship Alberta's No.1 product to market came at the expense of the Canadian, so be it. On the other hand, regional (as in metro region) rail is a somewhat different beast and definitely has a place in an integrated transit strategy.

    I will however note that the dismal location and transportation options available to people at the Via Edmonton station are a huge turnoff to anyone considering taking the train, all the more so because every other major stop is pretty much located in the core of whichever municipality it happens to be in. And yes, the Canadian does stretch 25 cars long in the prime tourist months.... Two years ago during the sesquicentennial, the trains were packed with people.

    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    In 50 years, Calgary and Edmonton might be classified as one city as "flying cars " would get us there in 15 minutes. A day's travel might be because we're heading to the moon for a weekend, so a space pad is not so far fetched.

    I'm not really interested in building a platform thats won't fit into or becomes obsolete in the short future which long distance rail or busses are.
    That was the vision bandied about 50 years ago and here we are. The logistics of air travel (to say nothing of space travel) make it completely unfeasible for transportation on the personal level (it's not so rocket science as it is the notion of strapping oneself in an oversized, slowly exploding bomb).



    To be honest, Northlands isn't a bad location to re-purpose as a transit hub. With the demise of Greyhound, replacement coach services are needed fast and the government could do worse than provide an incubating space for companies (that is if they don't start one themselves out of sheer necessity).
    Last edited by Foolworm; 11-02-2019 at 01:31 AM.

  21. #21

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    I get the argument, but sooner than later it will change. It was only ten years ago smartphone was released, and we are about to enter 5 G... just food for thought regarding that.

    The reality is, by the time we reach a population to advance rail into self sufficient level, rail would be in the museum. You must have been seeing too much Chinese bullet train developments on YT and feel left out, but they have a population of 1.4 billion that requires current transit modes hence their push. That is pragmatic and respobsible sense. That said, it wouldn't work for us. Canada now has 37 or so million resident in the largest land mass in the world. The area around Hong Kong/Shen Shen/ Macau/ ... alone has a population of over 100+ million residents all within 1.5 hours drive. That is what you compare us too. We fall into the next cusp of transport development mode as by then population can support and stimulate it. Greyhound failed for a reason.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    I get the argument, but sooner than later it will change. It was only ten years ago smartphone was released, and we are about to enter 5 G... just food for thought regarding that.
    Agree

    Making a train based transit hub makes no sense since Uber does not need a hub.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  23. #23

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    We just don't have the population to warrant this financially or functionally , and I don't care to waste money on a system that will soon become outdated. There will be a different wave and form of hub soon, so wait to build for that instead.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    We just don't have the population to warrant this financially or functionally , and I don't care to waste money on a system that will soon become outdated. There will be a different wave and form of hub soon, so wait to build for that instead.
    It doesn't matter - the point is a central transit hub is still needed. That need will exist even if rockets, teleportation pads, or Floo powder become commonplace. Don't hijack the thread and turn it into a referendum on the viability of passenger rail - that's a separate discussion altogether.

    Here's a master thesis on what such a hub could look like in Edmonton, using the land around the current downtown terminus of the Ligh Level Streetcar:

    https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/hand...3202?show=full

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    it's incredible that people still think cars as they look now will still be a thing in 30 years. there may be some single or double seater personal vehicles, but everything outside of that is toast.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foolworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    We just don't have the population to warrant this financially or functionally , and I don't care to waste money on a system that will soon become outdated. There will be a different wave and form of hub soon, so wait to build for that instead.
    It doesn't matter - the point is a central transit hub is still needed. That need will exist even if rockets, teleportation pads, or Floo powder become commonplace. Don't hijack the thread and turn it into a referendum on the viability of passenger rail - that's a separate discussion altogether.

    Here's a master thesis on what such a hub could look like in Edmonton, using the land around the current downtown terminus of the Ligh Level Streetcar:

    https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/hand...3202?show=full
    Thanks, it is a thoughtful and thought provoking document. I notice most of the examples are from outside North America. While I think they provide some good ideas, I think it would also be useful to consider other cities in Canada and the US.

    I didn't read all in detail, but tried to get a good idea of the essence of it. I note on page 21 it says " ... Edmonton currently has a difficult time harmonizing its modes of transportation" and I think that is a very accurate assessment of the current situation. Also, on page 25 it refers to a potential High Speed Rail Station as part of the hub. I get the sense having the hub located near 109 Street downtown would allow it to incorporate this in the future, which makes sense. I am thinking this hub would need to be near or include a LRT station, either existing, expanded or new. I think it would also be good to integrate inter city bus service if possible, maybe not on the scale of Greyhound but there are other inter city bus services still here and some do already operate downtown. It's unfortunate passenger/commuter rail wouldn't work with this location, but I think in the long term it makes more sense for our passenger rail service to be located near an LRT station, even if it is not the hub. I hope the city keeps this in mind and can eventually help bring it about.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foolworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    We just don't have the population to warrant this financially or functionally , and I don't care to waste money on a system that will soon become outdated. There will be a different wave and form of hub soon, so wait to build for that instead.
    It doesn't matter - the point is a central transit hub is still needed. That need will exist even if rockets, teleportation pads, or Floo powder become commonplace. Don't hijack the thread and turn it into a referendum on the viability of passenger rail - that's a separate discussion altogether.

    Here's a master thesis on what such a hub could look like in Edmonton, using the land around the current downtown terminus of the Ligh Level Streetcar:

    https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/hand...3202?show=full
    I don't disagree that we need a hub; the question is, what is that hub? I'll repeat: planes, trains, and automobile are for yesterday for cities the size like Edmonton. Understandably, some cities are still forging with this system such as Beijing and Shanghai,to name a few. The differenc with these centres to our's is that these major populous cities were under developed with massive population that need traversing back and forth immediately such as high speed, buses, transits, and trains because it is impractical to have 30 million people all on the roads at once. No cities can sustain such highway networks. We are lightyears from becoming major league status, so by that time we would have entered flying saucer days. Why are we focussing on planes, trains and automobiles if that is the argument? This is one of the reason why I don't support highspeed rail as it has reached the mature precipices. Even LRT or similiar is the wrong investments for any city small than Edmonton. I'm OK with us expand the LRT as it is an immediate need and a system we have invested already. all level of government need to make concerted effort to ensure this for Canadian major cities imo. Going forward, we all better ruminate together and carefully how and what we need to do for our future city. What does this hub curtail for our future city?
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I notice most of the examples are from outside North America. While I think they provide some good ideas, I think it would also be useful to consider other cities in Canada and the US.
    I think the author was looking for examples for completed transit and hub projects, of which there are limited examples in North America (a rather damning statement).

    At a national level, I think Ottawa's efforts to redevelop their rail hub and Kitchener's attempt to build one from scratch are the most interesting examples. In particular, Kitchener is worth following, because they are like Edmonton in that they don't have an existing monumental transit node to develop: They essentially prepared a big chunk of land, routed their LRT through it, and plan to move their passenger rail, bus terminal, and intercity coach service to the site. They are also looking for private buy-in with associated TOD developments and have set their sights high - they actually rejected the preferred bid after concluding it didn't meet their standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    I don't disagree that we need a hub; the question is, what is that hub? I'll repeat: planes, trains, and automobile are for yesterday for cities the size like Edmonton. Understandably, some cities are still forging with this system such as Beijing and Shanghai,to name a few. The differenc with these centres to our's is that these major populous cities were under developed with massive population that need traversing back and forth immediately such as high speed, buses, transits, and trains because it is impractical to have 30 million people all on the roads at once. No cities can sustain such highway networks. We are lightyears from becoming major league status, so by that time we would have entered flying saucer days. Why are we focussing on planes, trains and automobiles if that is the argument? This is one of the reason why I don't support highspeed rail as it has reached the mature precipices. Even LRT or similiar is the wrong investments for any city small than Edmonton. I'm OK with us expand the LRT as it is an immediate need and a system we have invested already. all level of government need to make concerted effort to ensure this for Canadian major cities imo. Going forward, we all better ruminate together and carefully how and what we need to do for our future city. What does this hub curtail for our future city?

    It's interesting that you keep referencing the future, but in a very retro, Jetsons-ish way with rockets and flying saucers and such. Given the normal planning horizons and scopes of infrastructure projects, do you really think those modes are feasible in a regional transportation context? I'm talking about moving people distances in the tens, maybe hundreds of kilometres. Are you proposing that people take a rocket from Downtown to Wetaskiwin?

    You bring up Chinese megaregions as well to highlight the disparity in population densities - but what point are you trying to make with it? There is an entire spectrum of examples to pick from between us and them - for instance, why not look to Australia with their intensely centralist model of highly urbanised state capitals with effectively uninhabited hinterlands? Or Southeast Asia with their archipelago geography driving budget air travel as the regional medium of mass transit?

    Finally, you say that planes, automobiles, and trains are 'the modes of yesterday', but what you backing that up with? Are you postulating some new energy source that launches us into an energy utopia? Or some social development where people end up living in gigantic spacescrapers separated by continents? Because yes, we design for the needs of tomorrow, but even more importantly we have to build for the needs of the present. And the lack of a transit hub is a very real problem at the current time, in the current regional context.

    Finally, I would note that smartphones, for all their fancy functions and 5G capability, still retain their primary function of making calls and text messages. Just as some modes of communication are optimal for certain functions, so do modes of transit fulfill different needs and purposes of the transit user.
    Last edited by Foolworm; 01-03-2019 at 09:53 PM.

  29. #29
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    Why do you need a hub for intercity rail service and intercity bus service that barely exist? The previous Greyhound stations would have pretty much been that hub and it wasn't too popular.

    If there was a need for such a hub there would be one.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Why do you need a hub for intercity rail service and intercity bus service that barely exist? The previous Greyhound stations would have pretty much been that hub and it wasn't too popular.

    If there was a need for such a hub there would be one.
    What sort of logic is that? Just because something doesn't exist doesn't mean there isn't a need for it.

    I guarantee you that the horrible locations of the Greyhound and Via stops were an active deterrent to potential riders.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foolworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I notice most of the examples are from outside North America. While I think they provide some good ideas, I think it would also be useful to consider other cities in Canada and the US.
    I think the author was looking for examples for completed transit and hub projects, of which there are limited examples in North America (a rather damning statement).

    At a national level, I think Ottawa's efforts to redevelop their rail hub and Kitchener's attempt to build one from scratch are the most interesting examples. In particular, Kitchener is worth following, because they are like Edmonton in that they don't have an existing monumental transit node to develop: They essentially prepared a big chunk of land, routed their LRT through it, and plan to move their passenger rail, bus terminal, and intercity coach service to the site. They are also looking for private buy-in with associated TOD developments and have set their sights high - they actually rejected the preferred bid after concluding it didn't meet their standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    I don't disagree that we need a hub; the question is, what is that hub? I'll repeat: planes, trains, and automobile are for yesterday for cities the size like Edmonton. Understandably, some cities are still forging with this system such as Beijing and Shanghai,to name a few. The differenc with these centres to our's is that these major populous cities were under developed with massive population that need traversing back and forth immediately such as high speed, buses, transits, and trains because it is impractical to have 30 million people all on the roads at once. No cities can sustain such highway networks. We are lightyears from becoming major league status, so by that time we would have entered flying saucer days. Why are we focussing on planes, trains and automobiles if that is the argument? This is one of the reason why I don't support highspeed rail as it has reached the mature precipices. Even LRT or similiar is the wrong investments for any city small than Edmonton. I'm OK with us expand the LRT as it is an immediate need and a system we have invested already. all level of government need to make concerted effort to ensure this for Canadian major cities imo. Going forward, we all better ruminate together and carefully how and what we need to do for our future city. What does this hub curtail for our future city?

    It's interesting that you keep referencing the future, but in a very retro, Jetsons-ish way with rockets and flying saucers and such. Given the normal planning horizons and scopes of infrastructure projects, do you really think those modes are feasible in a regional transportation context? I'm talking about moving people distances in the tens, maybe hundreds of kilometres. Are you proposing that people take a rocket from Downtown to Wetaskiwin?

    You bring up Chinese megaregions as well to highlight the disparity in population densities - but what point are you trying to make with it? There is an entire spectrum of examples to pick from between us and them - for instance, why not look to Australia with their intensely centralist model of highly urbanised state capitals with effectively uninhabited hinterlands? Or Southeast Asia with their archipelago geography driving budget air travel as the regional medium of mass transit?

    Finally, you say that planes, automobiles, and trains are 'the modes of yesterday', but what you backing that up with? Are you postulating some new energy source that launches us into an energy utopia? Or some social development where people end up living in gigantic spacescrapers separated by continents? Because yes, we design for the needs of tomorrow, but even more importantly we have to build for the needs of the present. And the lack of a transit hub is a very real problem at the current time, in the current regional context.

    Finally, I would note that smartphones, for all their fancy functions and 5G capability, still retain their primary function of making calls and text messages. Just as some modes of communication are optimal for certain functions, so do modes of transit fulfill different needs and purposes of the transit user.
    Look at what musk is doing. Keep building our LRT. Keep 7nders5and ingredients east the future trends and start preparing for those trends. The fact you mentioned West aspirin and rockets is kind of on line with Musk no? That is what I'm talking about Guess what? The man is testing it out as we speak. There are sesearches on sram jets for passengers that will take a liar from Beijing to New York in 20 minutes. That is just being tweaked out as the concept is studied, tested, and known. Imagine then , what another 10 or 15 years of knowledge will lead us. Should that apply to all realms of transport? If you think I'm that crazy, less than 120 years ago, people were still riding horses and wagons, now we're about to race to Mars literally. Our population by the time it truly builds out will not need thus current system.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foolworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Why do you need a hub for intercity rail service and intercity bus service that barely exist? The previous Greyhound stations would have pretty much been that hub and it wasn't too popular.

    If there was a need for such a hub there would be one.
    What sort of logic is that? Just because something doesn't exist doesn't mean there isn't a need for it.

    I guarantee you that the horrible locations of the Greyhound and Via stops were an active deterrent to potential riders.

    Im uncertain of your age and your history of of Edmonton. Here is the story, where tower B and it's entire podium will be is where Greground used to be 3 years ago. That station commenc ed operation in 1982ish; where CN tower is, was where Via Station was located.; where the loop road into CN/RAM is transit bus station; the LRT commenced in the late 70s with its central hub at City Hall next to Via. We had the system you wanted but they failed. Greyhounds demised is not isovate to Edmonton, or Alberta. Theyr losing money in Canada and the US to my understanding. I'm sure there are isolated routes that are quite reward able but in general...
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  33. #33

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    ^100% agree. Built it and they came.

    Then the automobile became the favored mode of transportation.

    There was no longer a need for a transit hub. They closed the DT railway, airport and intercity bus links.

    End of story.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foolworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Why do you need a hub for intercity rail service and intercity bus service that barely exist? The previous Greyhound stations would have pretty much been that hub and it wasn't too popular.

    If there was a need for such a hub there would be one.
    What sort of logic is that? Just because something doesn't exist doesn't mean there isn't a need for it.

    I guarantee you that the horrible locations of the Greyhound and Via stops were an active deterrent to potential riders.
    How was the Greyhound location horrible? It was right downtown.

  35. #35

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    and VIA was right behind City Hall and next to Churchill Station.

    What more did you want?
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  36. #36

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    Don't forget the closed airport being 10 minutes away from downtown and Via still failed. Greyhound's days were already in the decline even when that airport was still opened... I get the comparative angle to Europe or Asia. The plane/train/bus alignment was a system designed for mature built up areas. North America is different with wide real estate and spread out. Car is still king no matter how we look at it. Unless, we reversee expansion and revert back contraction( build up )... Every aspect of our living is dependent on vehicles. Unless we change the habit, style, and fashion of living, we keep expanding the same model. I have stated somewhere else before. New York City is one 1/3 bigger area wise than Edmonton, yet that city housed up to 25 million people. Our population mat not have yet to reached 1 million ( City only). By the time we reach NY's population, we might connect with Calgary. Imagine that and who's paying for the museum? North America is set for the next cusp onf innovation.
    Last edited by ctzn-Ed; 02-03-2019 at 11:51 PM.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    How was the Greyhound location horrible? It was right downtown.
    You consider the Via station downtown? Because that was where it was when they pulled out. The previous Greyhound terminal connected to nothing, not to LRT, not to buses. They let the place run down to the point of decrepitude then sold it for the arena and buggered out.

    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Don't forget the closed airport being 10 minutes away from downtown and Via still failed. Greyhound's days were already in the decline even when that airport was still opened... I get the comparative angle to Europe or Asia. The plane/train/bus alignment was a system designed for mature built up areas. North America is different with wide real estate and spread out. Car is still king no matter how we look at it. Unless, we reversee expansion and revert back contraction( build up )... Every aspect of our living is dependent on vehicles. Unless we change the habit, style, and fashion of living, we keep expanding the same model. I have stated somewhere else before. New York City is one 1/3 bigger area wise than Edmonton, yet that city housed up to 25 million people. Our population mat not have yet to reached 1 million ( City only). By the time we reach NY's population, we might connect with Calgary. Imagine that and who's paying for the museum? North America is set for the next cusp onf innovation.
    I can't be the only one seeing the irony of you saying I'm feeling left out when looking at Chinese bullet trains, then bringing up Elon Musk and Scramjets instead...

    Anyway, I think I've made my point clear enough - we can plan for the needs for tomorrow, but must build for the needs of today. A transit hub is needed now;at most it could be argued that space be left for whatever you think people will take in the future, but it does not justify waiting until the 'next cusp of innovation'.

  38. #38

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    I will repeat, VIA was right behind City Hall in the CN building and next to Churchill Station. I remember my brother using it a couple of times. I will add that the CPR station was on 102nd Ave and 109th street and the only time my family used it was when my parents immigrated to Edmonton in 1954. I ask you how often have you taken a train to anywhere from Edmonton?

    Only you say that a transit hub is needed now.

    Remember that I advocate a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit. Your idea does not meet a single criteria. I did not support HSR either for the same reason. HSR or Hyperloop or Scramjets will never be viable here nor will your transit hub.

    I have seen no evidence, economic argument, cost/benefit analysis or any facts that support your demands.

    Where would you put this hub? Please name a location and address. Where would be the parking garage for 2,000 cars? Where would you place the 1,800 foot long platform for a VIA train? Underground with diesel exhaust from locomotives?? Where would you put the connecting rail lines for this hub; to Jasper, Lloydminster, Calgary, New Sarepta, and put Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook on the map?

    It has been clearly demonstrated by multiple posters that we had trains, planes, buses, LRT and automobiles all converging downtown and three of those modes failed to be supported by users, business and economic factors. Greyhound is going out of business as we speak. Rail passengers are in a serious decline and other than tourist trains, are not financially viable. Few cities can support two airports let alone two international airports in the same province. Consider ourselves lucky that YEG isn't dropped to a regional airport status with no US direct connections during this economic downturn because we would never get that back.

    Face it; your transit hub idea is a nonstarter.

    The train has left the station,
    you missed your bus and
    your flight has been rerouted.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 05-03-2019 at 07:06 AM.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  39. #39

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    I forgot about that CPR over on 109st ( Railtown/Savon).
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  40. #40

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    Yeah. We had two passenger train stations in the downtown that were economic failures. Really, does anyone want to go to Calgary of all places?
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  41. #41
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    Do the Red Arrow buses to Fort Mac, Calgary and other Alberta centres still leave at 104 Street?
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  42. #42
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    Lots to chew on in here.

    Greyhound: why is it failing while Red Arrow is expanding? Part operational model, part people can drive point to point faster than take the bus.

    VIA Rail: why has pax rail declined? VIA doesn't own the tracks, and does not get priority over freight. Capital investment in rail for higher speeds is lacking, ergo, if it is faster to drive or cheaper to take the bus, that is what a person will do. Rail could be faster than driving, and when it is, people will take it. But it is the decision to make that capital investment, and there are complex economic models to determine benefit versus cost and that benefit has to outway the cost on the route being considered.

    People will complain: pax rail needs to pay its own way. Oh?
    Buses don't pay their own way. Red Arrow doesn't own Highway 2. Gov't subsidizes the bus with the highway, the snow plowing, the repairs. In return the bus pays taxes and registration.
    Airlines initially don't pay their own way. Air Canada and WestJet do not own the airports.
    CN and CP didn't just build a railway. They were paid by the taxpayers initially to lay out that network.

    Edmonton's long-range planning omits commuter rail to the exerbs. This is a long-term mistake.
    HSR has been covered in too many other threads.

    So the concept of a downtown transit hub. While this made sense when the Greyhound debate was on, things have changed. Here are some existing options:
    1. Bay/Enterprise Square + Red Arrow on 104 Street kind of are. Mind you it is a 1 block walk. In cities with proper transit maps Red Arrow would get its own circle and a walk line connecting it to Bay/Enterprise Square.
    2. Central Station kind of is if you take the long walk through the basement of the Telus Towers to the Bus stop on 101 Street. Someone said great place to bring the gondola from Old Strathcona.
    3. Churchill - LRT and Buses and more LRT and walking tunnels that are well marked or mapped out. Who knew you could get to Canada Place and the Conference Centre via Citadel? Too many fire doors closed all the time.
    4. RAM - designed to have a train station added on. Adjacent to the existing ROW and LRT. Roughed in LRT Station under Brownlee Building.
    5. 109 Street/Government Centre - Underutilized Transit Station, tunnels to Grandin LRT, ROW for future HSR/Commuter Rail/bus pull in/LRT and oh, 25 years life left on the High Level Bridge. There are going to be big changes in the next 25-30 years over here.

    Let's also look at the demographics. Alberta has a population of 4.3 million forecast to rise over 25 years to 6.4 million. Where are they going to live? Will they all be drivers?
    Next, Millenials and their children. They are not getting their drivers licence like they used to. Costly, delaying until later. Can't afford car. Want to be texting and smart phoning to be connected. Want to move but not drive.

    I've give a lot to mull over here. Break out the economic formulas and run those benefit/cost analysis.

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