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Improving GO Transit Service in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton

Archived Backgrounder

Improving GO Transit Service in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton

Ministry of Transportation

Investing in infrastructure creates jobs, stimulates economic growth, supports a cleaner environment and enhances the overall quality of life for all Ontarians.

On February 17, 2009, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced a joint investment of $500 million for the GO Transit revitalization project, which will improve GO Transit service and reliability. The initial announcement included $249 million towards a series of parking expansions throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Today's announcement confirms an additional $213 million federal and provincial investment, which will support the following GO service improvements:

Milton Corridor

  • Streetsville Bus Storage:
    • The expansion of facilities to accommodate future bus service expansion. Construction will begin fall 2010 and be completed by spring 2012.

Lakeshore West Corridor:

  • Exhibition Station:
    • A pedestrian tunnel extension and new north tunnel entrance will be built, an elevator will be installed, the platform will be widened and a snowmelt system installed. Construction is expected to begin spring 2010, and be completed in winter 2011. These improvements will allow for improved customer access to train platforms with new and extended tunnels, as well as improved customer comfort with wider and snow/ice/salt-free platforms.
    • The track will be extended and realigned to create a fifth track through Exhibition Station to provide for improved reliability and peak period service. Construction is expected to begin fall 2009, and be completed by spring 2011.
  • Clarkson Station:
    • The south platform at this rail station will be removed and reconstructed to include a snowmelt system and canopy. This project will begin once the north platform has been completed and track installed. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2009, and be completed in spring 2011.
  • Burlington Station:
    • A new pedestrian bridge will be built at this station to connect the parking structure to the centre platform. This will provide direct access in an enclosed, weather protected structure. Construction will start in summer 2009, with completion in winter 2010.
  • Train Fuelling facility at Aldershot:
    • A new fuelling facility at Aldershot will reduce the need to divert trains to the main maintenance facility at Mimico for refueling, thereby improving reliability and adding operational flexibility. Construction is expected to begin in April 2009, and be complete in November 2009.

Lakeshore East Corridor:

  • Ajax Bus Satellite Maintenance facility:
    • The new facility will feature combined indoor and outdoor refueling, bus washing, light maintenance and bus driver lay over areas, as well as office space. Construction is expected to start in spring 2010, and to be completed in spring 2011. This facility will improve operational efficiencies to meet existing and future growth.

Richmond Hill Corridor:

  • Oriole Rail Station:
    • The existing pedestrian bridge, which connects the rail platform to the community to the west of the station, will be rehabilitated. Construction is expected to start in summer 2009, with completion in fall 2009.
  • Richmond Hill Centre Bus Terminal:
    • A third platform and two shelters will be built for the Hwy 407 East service within the York Region Transit Terminal at the Richmond Hill Centre. Design is scheduled to begin in April 2009, with construction from May 2009 to October 2009. This will improve the integration of bus services between GO Transit, VIVA and York Region Transit.

Barrie Corridor:

  • Allandale GO Rail Station:
    • A second GO Transit rail station will be built in downtown Barrie to provide more travel options for GO customers in Barrie. Design is expected to begin in summer 2009 and construction will run from 2010 to 2011.

Georgetown Corridor:

  • Credit River Bridge:
    • The bridge over Credit River will be widened to expand capacity on this crossing and improve the efficiency of trains, particularly between Georgetown and Mount Pleasant stations along the Georgetown Rail Corridor. This upgrade will add a second track and provide for a third track. Construction is expected to start in summer 2009, with completion in fall 2010.

Growth Projects outside the GTA:

  • GO Bus storage facility at Aberfoyle:
    • A new covered bus storage facility will be constructed at Brock Rd. South and McLean Rd in Aberfoyle. Phase I of construction will build a bus garage that will provide overnight storage for twelve GO Buses. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2009. Phase II will build a joint-use bus terminal building for Greyhound and GO Transit. Subject to the negotiation of a service agreement with Greyhound, this phase of the project should be complete in 2010.

Rail Projects:

  • Bridge Rehabilitation on GO-owned Rail Corridors:
    • The Yonge Street Bridge in Aurora will be improved this year, with additional bridge repairs throughout the GTA the second year.
  • Track Rehabilitation - GO Owned Rail Corridors:
    • Starting in 2009, track maintenance and improvements throughout the GO Rail network will be undertaken over the next five years.

Rail Equipment:

  • Locomotive Refurbishment:
    • Over the next four years, while GO Transit is waiting for the delivery of new locomotives, GO will refurbish its existing locomotives. This refurbishment will improve the reliability of the 45 older locomotives to ensure they are kept in a good state of repair.
  • Bi-level Coaches:
    • GO Transit will purchase 20 bi-level coaches over the next two fiscal years. These additional rail coaches will allow GO Transit to accommodate more customers.

Station Projects:

  • Platform Snowmelt System:
    • Installation of snowmelt systems at GO Transit's Ajax and Bronte GO Rail Stations during the 2010-2011 construction season. Snowmelt systems ensure snow- and ice-free platforms, which enhance customer comfort.
  • GO Station Bicycle Shelter Program:
    • In the summer of 2009, 56 bicycle shelters included in this GO Rail network program will be built. These shelters are in addition to the 46 shelters already built through the program.
  • Computer Aided Dispatch / Automatic Vehicle Location System:
    • Installation of GPS systems on all GO Buses with connections to a central common server. This will provide more timely and accurate information to GO Transit's control centre staff and provide for more efficient allocation of resources to buses/trips/routes as needed. It will result in improved bus service and reliability and will begin in the summer of 2009. Implementation of this system is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2011.

GO Transit revitalization:

On February 17th, the Governments of Canada and Ontario announced funding to support the construction of 6,800 additional parking spaces and structures at twelve GO Transit stations.

The parking improvements will be done at the following locations:

  • Ajax
  • Aurora
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Bramalea
  • Centennial
  • Unionville
  • Cooksville
  • Erindale
  • Oakville
  • Markham
  • Pickering
  • Rouge Hill

Also announced was a rail-to-rail grade separation project that will increase reliability and improve GO train service at the Hamilton Junction.

Ontario-Canada Building Canada Fund Agreement

In the summer of 2008, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario signed the Canada-Ontario Building Canada Plan Framework Agreement. Under this agreement, $6 billion is available for investment in the province's infrastructure. The federal government will be providing up to $3.09 billion and the provincial government will be providing up to $2.91 billion.

Further, under the Plan, the Government of Canada will provide $25 million in base funding annually, for a total of $175 million through to 2014 for core infrastructure priorities in Ontario. A further $2.98 billion will flow to Ontario municipalities through the extension of the federal Gas Tax Fund agreement from 2010 to 2014.

The Canada-Ontario Agreement outlines how the Building Canada Plan will operate in the province. It also establishes a governance framework through which the two governments will work together, in the spirit of open federalism, to identify and address further infrastructure priorities. Federal funding is conditional on the projects meeting all federal eligibility requirements and the signing of a contribution agreement with the Province of Ontario.

In addition to the $6.2 billion of guaranteed funding outlined in this agreement, under Building Canada, Ontario and its municipalities will also have potential access to the Gateways and Border Crossing Fund as well as the Public-Private Partnership Fund. Finally, with the full GST rebate and the Gas Tax Fund, over fifty per cent of the Building Canada Plan flows directly to municipalities to further strengthen local infrastructure priorities.

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