A pair of new Toronto subway lines will be part of the next wave of public transportation projects that Metrolinx intends to pursue in the years ahead.
On Thursday, Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig outlined the proposed projects for the second wave of the so-called Big Move — the regional transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
The proposed $34-billion list of projects includes a downtown relief line that would relieve pressure on Toronto’s subway system, as well as an extension of the Yonge Street line up to Richmond Hill.
Metrolinx also wants to invest in light-rail transit projects in Brampton, Mississauga and Hamilton, as well as rapid bus transit in Peel, Durham and Halton regions and in Toronto.
Improvements to the GO Transit rail network would also be part of the proposed projects, as well as "resources for local transit, roads, active transportation and other strategic transportation initiatives."
McCuaig said that with the plan in place, “it's now time for the big conversation about the best ways to pay for this $34 billion investment."
The Toronto Star goes into more detail.
Originally slated for the plan’s 15- to 25-year horizon, the DRL has been moved up into consideration over the next 10 to 15 years, Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig told about 300 business people at the Toronto Board of Trade. The rest of the “second wave” is to be completed within a 20-year window of the start of construction.
The DRL is deemed critical to relieving pressure on the Yonge subway line, already operating at crush capacity, which is expected to attract 25 per cent more riders by 2031.
“While the relief line will be geographically located in the downtown area, its purpose is to open up possibilities throughout the region, such as the extension of the Yonge Line to Richmond Hill,” said McCuaig.
The precise route isn’t known. But a recent TTC report showed it would likely extend south from the east end of the Danforth line, around Pape, then west along King or Queen to University Ave. It could be extended further west up to the Bloor subway and run as far north as Eglinton Ave.
The 13-kilometre line would serve 107 million riders by 2031.
The cost, unofficially estimated at $7.4 billion, would be part of the $34 billion price McCuaig suggested the second wave would cost.
The big problem with this, of course, is the 10 to 15 year horizon. Will these promises really be fulfilled?