Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Toronto Pearson could become transit center

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A rendering of the proposed transit center at Toronto Pearson. A rendering of the proposed transit center at Toronto Pearson. Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) hosted provincial and local mayors to discuss its vision of a transit center to be developed at Toronto Pearson airport.

The discussion included Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and local mayors, including Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic at the April 4 meeting.

The GTAA shared new research that further supports a proposal for a "Union Station West" regional transit center located at Toronto Pearson, serving as a second major mobility hub for the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).

GTAA said the studies findings demonstrated strong demand for better transit in the West GTHA and include:

  • The West GTHA generates more than 4.5 million trips per day, representing 35 percent of the GTHA's trips. Only seven per cent of these trips are by public transit.
  • Nearly twice as many West GTHA commuters travel across the top of the GTA to North Toronto and York Region, the "Northern Arc," than to downtown Toronto.
  • Despite greater demand to the Northern Arc than downtown, greater than 60 percent of transit trips require at least one connection, with more than 20 percent requiring two or more. Only 35 percent of trips downtown require a connection.
  • Less than eight percent of "reverse commuters," those travelling from Toronto to jobs in West GTHA, commute to work using transit, compared to 42 percent of West GTHA commuters heading to downtown Toronto.

The GTAA has indicated it will fund the development and construction of the transit center at Toronto Pearson. It continues to work with all levels of government to advance plans on priority lines connecting into the regional transit center. The GTAA's proposed transit center located on airport lands will help to address the low transit mode split in the area today with only 10 percent of people taking transit. The center will potentially connect a number of transit lines that are already in development or have been proposed by various levels of government, including: Eglinton Crosstown West LRT; Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit; Finch West LRT; Regional Express Rail on the Kitchener line and the province of Ontario's High-Speed Rail concept.