Friday, November 30, 2012

Metrolinx unveils next wave of "Big Move" projects

In Toronto, ON, Canada, Metrolinx unveiled the next wave of projects drawn from "The Big Move," the Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), that will continue Metrolinx's ongoing transformation of the region's transportation system.

"The Big Move is our plan to tackle gridlock across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by building new transit and integrating our transportation system so that it's easier for everyone to get around," said President and CEO Bruce McCuaig. "We already have more than CA$16 billion (US$16.1 billion) invested in projects from The Big Move that are now in progress, but we need to keep moving forward and that's why I'm pleased to unveil the next wave of projects."

The Big Move projects in the next wave include two new subway lines: a Downtown Relief line, improving access to the regional core for residents from across the GTHA, as well as a new extension of the Yonge subway line north to Richmond Hill. Light-rail transit in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton will reduce congestion and serve as a catalyst for development across the GTHA. The next wave also includes transformative investment in the GO Transit rail network, including line extensions, more two-way, all-day service and electrification of both GO lines and the Union Pearson Express (formerly known as the Air Rail Link).

"With our plan in place, it's now time for the big conversation about the best ways to pay for this CA$34-billion (US$-34.2 billion) investment," said McCuaig. "Together, let's look to what other world-class cities have done to fund their transit plans and then get the job done here in the GTHA."

The Big Move, adopted unanimously in 2008 by the Metrolinx Board of Directors, was developed through intensive public consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders, municipal leaders and professionals throughout the region.

More than C$16 billion (US$16.1 billion) from all three levels of government have already been allocated to a first wave of projects drawn from The Big Move, the largest financial commitment to transit expansion in Canadian history. Major projects in this first wave are now under construction, including the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT, the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, the Mississauga BRT and the Union Pearson Express.

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