Introducing Metrolinx:
The GTTA gets a new look and a new name

The Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) today launched a new website, bearing the organization’s new marketing name: Metrolinx.

You can check out the new Metrolinx website here.

Metrolinx has announced that it intends to consult with the public a lot during the coming year as it develops a regional transportation plan. As part of its public consulation process, it will release a number of “green papers” to stimulate discussion on transit and transportation issues in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton. It released its first green paper today: “Towards Sustainable Transportation”.

Sean Marshall at Spacing Toronto comments on the new website and the new name: here. You can also read how Spacing Toronto readers have reacted to the name and webpage.

Regardless of whether you find the new name and website interesting or boring, the projects that Metrolinx has recommended are exciting — if the agency can succeed in encouraging the provincial government to fund them.

On August 24, the GTTA board recommended that the provincial government consider funding several projects, costing $100.1 million. These projects included:

  • expanding GO Transit’s rail fleet, including 20 new double-deck cars
  • expanding GO Transit’s track capacity, including new double-track sections on the Bradford (Barrie) and Stouffville corridors
  • expanding GO Transit’s bus fleet, including 10 new double-deck coaches
  • constructing the new Cornell Transit Terminal for York Region Transit regular and Viva buses in Markham
  • purchasing six new hybrid articulated buses for the Hamilton Street Railway’s Upper James Street rapid transit corridor.

The board also agreed to begin evaluating the feasibility of a new inter-regional bus terminal in the area of Union Station in Toronto. A possible site for the terminal is the former Ontario Provincial Police headquarters at 90 Harbour Street.

On September 25, the Government of Ontario announced funding of these first projects.

On November 23, the GTTA board identified another 14 projects for possible provincial funding.

These projects included:

  • improving service and increasing the capacity of the Toronto Transit Commission ‘s Yonge-University subway as the first phase of expanding the line to Richmond Hill. (This includes automated signals and 126 new, larger “Toronto Rocket” subway cars, increasing capacity by 15 per cent by 2012 and setting the stage for a 30 per cent increase in capacity by 2017);
  • developing a bus “rapidway” connection on Yonge Street between Finch Station and Steeles Avenue, greatly improving service for Brampton Transit, GO Transit, Toronto Transit Commission and York Region Transit passengers by 2011;
  • investing in the Ctiy of Toronto / Toronto Transit Commission Transit City Light Rail Transit (LRT), a rapid transit network on Toronto’s major streets, potentially extending to Durham, Peel and York Regions;
  • developing a new Toronto Pearson International Airport transportation hub linking Mississauga Transit’s bus rapid transit line with GO Transit, the TTC and Brampton Transit.
  • purchasing an additional 22 hybrid buses to improve capacity and service frequency on the Hurontario and Dundas corridors in Peel Region and as first steps towards future rapid transit service;
  • developing bus rapid transit service along the Highway 2 corridor in Durham Region’s lakeshore communities;
  • investing in York Region Transit’s VIVA rapid transit service improvements along Yonge Street and Highway 7;
  • developing bus rapid transit service along Dundas Street in Halton Region, linking Halton’s growing communities to GO train service, Hamilton and Mississauga; and
  • investing in Hamilton’s James and King-Main transit corridors and a new platform to accommodate future GO and VIA rail service from the James Street North (former Canadian National Railways) station to the Niagara Peninsula.