Study Approach

A Consistent and Transparent Approach to Evaluating Transit Proposals

We looked at Metrolinx's overall strategy, its policies, and how they are being implemented, and at each individual scheme. We used Metrolinx and TTC estimates of cost, ridership and benefits in our analysis, wherever available. We have drawn on international best practices to suggest ways to improve schemes.

For each scheme we considered:

  • Capital and operating costs, including offsetting savings to existing transit operations
  • Traffic and fare revenues for 2023, mostly using elasticities applied to existing traffic.
  • Road congestion relief benefits: These are assumed to range from $2 to $20 for each new transit rider as indicated in the Metrolinx BCAs for each scheme. We also consider disbenefits to road users, where LRT schemes reduce road capacity.
  • Passenger benefits not captured by fares: Metrolinx uses the rate of $13.52 to value passenger time savings per hour for existing riders; half this rate is applied to new riders. The figure of $13.52 is an average and the value of time would be lower or higher for different groups of riders.
  • How changes to fares, including use of the full capabilities of PRESTO, could maximize revenues without deterring ridership.

We have sought to explain our methodology, results, and conclusions in a transparent form that can be understood by non-specialists.