Environmental Approvals For Transit Fast-Tracked
McGuinty Government Move Means Transit Projects Will Be Completed Faster
A new six-month environmental assessment process means transit projects will be built faster.
This new process gives GO Transit, Metrolinx and municipal and provincial transit authorities a six month window to consult with the public, undertake an assessment of the potential environmental effects and identify mitigation measures.
GO Transit has announced that the first two projects moving forward under the new rules will be the expansion of all-day GO Train service to Milton and the extension of GO Train service from Oshawa to Bowmanville.
The province has also finalized a Transit Priority Statement setting out the rationale and urgency for the new six-month process for public transit. It identifies the important links between public transit and achievement of provincial priorities such as the Greenbelt Act, Ontario's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other provincial land use goals and objectives.
Transit projects play an essential role in a strong economy, reducing gridlock and fighting climate change.
- Since 2003, the province has invested $6.2 billion in public transit, including over $1.8 billion in GO Transit.
- The EA process for transit projects used to take between two and three years to complete.
- Move Ontario 2020, the government's 12-year transit plan, will result in 800 million new transit trips per year, taking 300 million car trips off GTA roads and will create 175,000 new construction jobs.
“The six-month process helps get transit projects up and running as quickly as possible and people onto public transit sooner.”
“Our environment and our quality of life depend on an efficient transit system - it's key to combating climate change. More transit more quickly means we are getting single-occupant cars off the road sooner, improving air quality and reducing commuting times.”