TWO MONTHS after the Canadian government allocated C$385m for expansion of the GO Transit commuter rail network in Toronto (RG 5.03 p251), the province of Ontario has agreed to provide another C$453m. Announced by Premier Ernie Eves on June 4, the money forms part of a C$645m transport spending package under the Ontario Smart Growth initiative.
Projects to be funded in the latest package include upgrading of track and signalling through Toronto Union station, adding a third track to sections of the east-west Lakeshore corridor, and capacity improvements on the Georgetown and Milton routes.
Peak-hour passenger trains will be reinstated on the Bradford - Barrie line after a five-year suspension, and Toronto - Bedford trains will operate all day. Feeder bus routes will be introduced to serve Peterborough, Cambridge, Niagara Falls and the Guelph - Kitchener - Waterloo corridor.
H On May 23 Transport Minister David Collenette invited business case proposals from four prequalified private-sector consortia for development of a rail link between Toronto’s Union Station and Pearson International Airport. Studies completed by Transport Canada with GO Transit, CN and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority have confirmed that the air-rail link would be technically and financially viable. It is expected to eliminate up to 1·5 million car trips a year. Bids are due to be submitted in the summer, allowing a preferred bidder to be announced before the end of this year.