Friday, June 15, 2007

Move Ontario 2020

It was a long, hot friday afternoon when even the most cynical transit advocate smiled and dreamed.

Today, the Premier announced a 12-year, 17 billion dollar plan to improve transit in the GTA, Hamilton and Waterloo region. Named Move Ontario 2020, this plan promises to construct 902 km of new or improved rapid transit in the greater golden horseshoe, which will reduce greenhouse gases and pollution, reduce traffic congestion, and support sustainable urban development. Included in the plan are 52 specific projects from all corners of the GTA, which, if constructed, form a network that will serve the GTA well.

Here's the details, condensed and with commentary:

source: Ontario Government

GO Transit Commuter Rail
  • All GO rail lines will have additional tracks to improve capacity.
  • Both Lakeshore lines will be electrified, and an extension east to Bowmanville will be constructed.
  • The Bradford, Richmond Hill & Stouffville lines will be extended to Barrie, Aurora Road and Uxbridge, respectively.
  • The Crosstown line will be built, between Weston Road and Agincourt, where branches will take it through Seaton to Brock Road over the Belleville sub., and to northern Pickering on the Havelock sub.
  • The Bolton line will be built.
GO Bus Rapid Transit(BRT)
  • The GO BRT proposal will be fully implemented, which means the existing 407 bus network will see its own busways. The current destinations will stay the same, but the routing will be different.
Subway and Other Rapid Transit
  • The Yonge subway, will be extended from Finch station to Richmond Hill Centre / Langstaff GO station, while the Spadina end of the line will have its extension to Vaughan Corporate Centre completed.
  • The entire VIVA network that isn't replaced by subway extensions will be placed in private rights-of-way.
  • Toronto's Transit City proposal will be fully implemented.
  • The Hurontario Street LRT will be constructed between Mississauga and Brampton, as will the Acceleride BRT between Brampton and Vaughan. Durham region will also get a BRT line along Highway 2.
  • The James line in Hamilton will be built from the mountain into the downtown core, as will an east-west line between Eastgate Mall and McMaster University.
  • A rail link will connect Pearson Airport with Union Station.
  • The Waterloo Region rapid transit plan will be implemented.
Aside from a missing transit connection between the GTA and Waterloo Region, this plan is one of the most comprehensive transit plans proposed to date. What's more, the fact that it includes many of the municipally proposed projects shows that the province is starting to see that city planners are capable of planning the solutions to our transit problems. Though this plan does depend on the liberals being re-elected, they have definitely fired a shot over the bow of the HMCS Progressive Conservative. Hopefully, this election will be the one that cements transit expansion high on the list of government priority, regardless of who controls the legislature in the fall.

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At 6/17/2007 10:44 p.m. , Blogger Adeel Ahmad said...

I guess I'll be voting Liberal in the election.

At 9/22/2007 1:43 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. We need to make sure this plan follows. I'm disappointed that the conservatives do not support it. Shame. We need to make sure this survives and keeps going.

At 9/22/2007 12:41 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

You can be sure I'll be pressuring all my local candidates on where they stand. If you really want to know what the party is planning to do, email your local candidate - if he cuts and pastes from the website, then you have a pretty good idea how much he cares about your issue.

At 2/29/2008 12:37 p.m. , Blogger M. Colphon said...

It's a good plan, but I am disappointed to see that it makes pitiful reference to the Waterloo Region. More recent news has shown that a Peterborough MP has managed to secure funding to regain train service there, yet there is still no real solution for the mroe populated K-W-C tricity.

At 10/03/2008 4:13 p.m. , Anonymous T. Villella said...

Still no mention of service for the 430,000 people in Niagara who have been waiting, hoping and praying for GO service and/or expanded VIA service for many years. Heck, we're not even on the map...

At 10/03/2008 7:29 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

@ T. Villella

I think you'll find more recent regional plans much more friendly to Niagara. For all intents and purposes, MoveOntario 2020 has been completely replaced by the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan.


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