(TORONTO, ON) – Through its Moving Ontario Forward plan, the government is investing in improvements across the GO Transit network to increase transit ridership, reduce travel times, manage congestion, connect people to jobs, and improve the economy.
Yesterday, Ontario moved ahead with its plan to unlock the value of certain public assets. The net gain provides Ontario with approximately $4 billion, which will go to Trillium Trust, where every dollar is set to build new transit and other priority infrastructure projects through Moving Ontario Forward.
Together with other asset optimization strategies, this would provide Ontario with $5.7 billion, or about $2.6 billion more from asset optimization than previously assumed. This increases Ontario’s total commitment to Moving Ontario Forward from $29 billion to $31.5 billion.
This is part of the province’s plan to invest more than $130 billion over 10 years in public infrastructure, which represents the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history.
The government is working with its agency, Metrolinx, to bring Regional Express Rail to the GO rail network. Regional Express Rail is the province’s 10-year initiative that will give people throughout the GTHA new travel options, with faster and more frequent GO rail service, and electrification on core segments of the GO rail network.
Under Moving Ontario Forward, around $16 billion is being allocated to projects in the GTHA. Transit expansion and improvement projects already underway in the GTHA include Union Pearson Express, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, York VIVA Bus Rapid Transit, and Union Station Revitalization.
Construction of a new, second track on a section of GO Transit’s Barrie line is part of the broader Regional Express Rail initiative. Grading and bridge and culvert work is already underway on this second track, with construction expected to be complete in 2017.
Adding the second track on the Barrie line will cost approximately $17.4 million. Planning and design work is also underway to bring more train trips and two-way service to the rest of the Barrie corridor.
“We are transforming the GO rail network to give people a faster, more convenient way to connect to the things that matter,” said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “Adding a second track to this section of the Barrie GO line is an important first step in bringing frequent, two-way service to communities along the line.”
Regional Express Rail will allow for 15-minute two-way, all-day service to Aurora, and new two-way hourly service to Barrie during the midday, evenings, and weekends.
The new six-kilometre section of track will run adjacent to the existing track between York University GO Station and Rutherford GO Station.
Currently, there are 70 weekly trips on the Barrie line. Over the next five years, that number will grow to more than 200. Over the next 10 years, weekly trips across the entire GO rail network will grow from approximately 1,500 trips to nearly 6,000.