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Determining the Best Route for a New Toronto Transit Commission Subway Line using Spatial Analysis
Kelsey Guerette, Tiana Kowal, & Gillian Harries
The City of Toronto and surrounding area is experiencing a rapid increase in population. To facilitate this, enhanced public transportation is necessary. Subway systems are recognized as one of the most effective forms of transportation within urban centres, which can be attriubuted to their subsurface location and efficient operation (Urban Transportation Council, 2007). Based on the results of a study focused on expanding Toronto’s transit network completed by Bernardo, Kiralyfalvy & Smith (2015), three potential extensions of the existing Toronto Transit Commission Subway System were identified, which included a Humber extension, a Scarborough extension, and an Etobicoke extension. The most important factors related to subway line siting include population, average income, cost of construction, proximity to existing transit, proximity to points of interest, and proximity to busy intersections (Burda & Haines, 2011). Exlcuding cost of construction, all of the aformentioned factors were applied to a Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) which produced a final suitability map depicting areas of highest and lowest suitability for the location of a new subway line. Cost of construction was examined outside of the MCE, but was taken into consideration while determining the most suitable extension. Visual interpretation and quantitative analysis concluded that the Eastern Scarborough extension proved to be the most suitable extension. The strengths and limitations of the model were identified, and recommendations were provided regarding possible future research into subway line siting.