Congestion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is becoming a more serious problem as the region grows. The existing infrastructure is not serving all of the people currently traveling in and out of the GTHA and will not be able to support the projected future growth in the region. One part of moving toward improving this situation is a greater coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the region.
Metrolinx supports a mission to champion and deliver mobility solutions for the GTHA through its operating divisions and transit initiative partnerships.
GO Transit is an operating division of Metrolinx. GO Transit is Canada’s first, and the Province of Ontario’s only, interregional public transportation service for the GTHA.
On May 14, 2009, GO Transit officially merged with Metrolinx. The merger maximizes the two organizations’ strategy and planning expertise and implementation and operations know-how to build rapid transit projects faster and improve customer service.
Union Pearson Express
The Union Pearson Express will provide a high-quality, express rail service connecting Union Station in downtown Toronto with Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The Government of Ontario asked Metrolinx to build, own and operate the Union Pearson Express in July 2010, and since then, considerable progress has been made to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget, while leveraging existing infrastructure improvement initiatives. Infrastructure improvements currently underway along GO Transit’s Kitchener line (formerly the Georgetown line), and upgrades being undertaken at Union and Bloor stations will support both GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express. In the spring of 2012, construction began on a new three-kilometre rail spur which will branch off from the Kitchener corridor near Highway 427 and connect the Union Pearson Express to a new passenger station at Toronto Pearson Terminal 1.
The Union Pearson Express is part of an integrated transit strategy for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that will create jobs, enhance the quality of life by easing traffic congestion and fuel economic prosperity. The Union Pearson Express will address a significant transportation gap in airport-to-downtown travel in Toronto, and is a critical first step in executing other vital projects outlined in The Big Move – Metrolinx’s forward-looking, regional transportation expansion plan. Each year, more than five million cars travel between downtown and the airport and that number is expected to reach nine million by 2020. The Union Pearson Express is expected to remove 1.2 million car trips from the road within the first year of operation.
In May 2010, GO Transit began rolling out the new PRESTO fare card. PRESTO allows commuters to travel between multiple transit systems in the GTHA using a single card eliminating the need for exact change, tickets or transfers to get on a bus, GO Train or subway.
In March 2011, as part of the new Toronto Transit Plan, the City of Toronto and TTC have agreed to work together with Metrolinx on mutually agreeable terms to implement PRESTO across the TTC system as well.
Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown Project
In March 2011, the Government of Ontario and City of Toronto reached a deal on a revised transit plan for the city. Through the agreement, Metrolinx will be responsible for building the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown – a single Light Rail Transit line running about 25 kilometres from Black Creek Drive to Scarborough Centre. The Crosstown line will run underground from Black Creek Drive to Laird Avenue, then above ground to Kennedy Station.
Under the plan, the City of Toronto would extend the Sheppard Subway to Downsview station in the west and Scarborough Centre in the east, incorporating the project into the TTC subway system. Toronto would also introduce and operate an enhanced bus service between the new Finch West subway station and Humber College.
York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
In partnership with The Regional Municipality of York, Metrolinx is improving rapid transit through the construction of dedicated lanes in the centre of the road – rapidways – that will allow rapid transit buses to move out of congested traffic. The more than 34 kilometres of planned routes will provide more reliable and more frequent service, connections with GO Transit, regional transit and future extensions of the subway system.
In December 2009, construction began with the first segment along Highway 7 from Markham Centre to Richmond Hill Centre. The first BRT station – Warden Station – opened at Warden Avenue and Enterprise Boulevard in Markham in March 2011. Warden Station is the first of 11 new vivastations to be built along Highway 7 in Markham and Richmond Hill in the next phase of Viva service.
Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
In partnership with the City of Mississauga, GO Transit is building new, exclusive bus lanes on roads in Mississauga along Hwy. 403.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will be a high-efficiency transit corridor running east-west across Mississauga. The BRT will support all-station stop and extensive express bus service for thousands of riders per day, making it faster and easier for you to travel to, from and through Mississauga and the GTHA.
In August 2010, construction began on the 18-kilometre east-west busway across Mississauga between Winston Churchill Boulevard and Renforth Drive. A total of 12 stations will be built along the route, with one existing station being incorporated into the busway.