I am a bit mystified about the mini-controversy about how many stations should be in the downtown core. The DOTT plan calls for two, as was shown in the Feb. open houses.
I have heard a number of suggestions we might need 3. I disagree.
Each station will be a entire block long – the “long” blocks in the downtown, ie the east – west blocks (the north south blocks are much shorter). Each station will have at least two exits, most likely near each end. The stations themselves will be very deep down. Unlike Toronto, where the subway is just below the street, ours will be at least six stories deep. Some elevator access will be straight up to the surface, which means there will be two access points to each station, about a block apart. So in the downtown there will be at least four access points to the LRT stations (ie, two per station). From a pedestrian point of view, its like having four stations.
But not all access to the stations need be elevator. Escalators go up at an angle, and from the start point at the station can drift a considerable block or more in any direction as they ascend to building level. Thus there might well be two elevator accesses on say, Albert St, each a block apart, and there might also be another access point or two from Slater or Queen or even further away depending on where the escalators come up. If they come up in a building complex, it will be possible (at least during business hours) for users to travel through the buildings for at least another block indoors.
In sum, two stations, with four access points or more, should be offer frequent enough entrances throughout the downtown core. Each station costs about $70 million.