The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) on November 29 announced its intention to partner with Metrolinx to advance the technical work necessary to extend the Eglinton Crosstown West from Renforth to the airport. This $40 million commitment represents another step toward transit connections to Canada’s largest airport and to build a regional transit network, anchored by a new regional transit centre (RTC) at Pearson – called Union Station West.
GTAA explain this commitment follows the Ontario-Toronto transit agreement and Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s announcement of four priority transit projects, including the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. “As part of our Plan to Build Ontario Together, our government is making the single largest capital investment in new subway builds in Canadian history,” said Ford. “We welcome the GTAA’s multi-million-dollar investment to help connect the Eglinton Crosstown West Subway Extension to Toronto Pearson Airport.”
The GTAA will pursue these additional works for the Renforth-Pearson portion of the line in partnership with Metrolinx, which will build on the GTAA-Metrolinx joint work program announced in April 2018. The GTAA is already investing $38 million in work currently underway, and this additional announcement will bring the total investment to a potential $78 million.
The current GTAA-Metrolinx joint program is designed to improve rapid transit access to Pearson Airport. This includes exploring potential ground connections to the future Union Station West and surrounding Airport Employment Zone, a potential Kitchener GO rail corridor connection, and improved LRT and bus connections.
In line with this development, the GTAA also released a white paper outlining discussions with stakeholders across the region regarding the importance of connectivity for regional airports, economic zones, and the last-mile within the Airport Employment Zone, and how Union Station West can support these connections.
The GTAA points to the following key findings from the report, including:
• Municipal borders are meaningless to transit riders – workers, students, residents – who experience multiple unintegrated fares and uncoordinated transfers;
• The region’s current “radial” transit system no longer supports connection between the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s economic and employment centres;
• The goods movement sector is straining under intense road congestion, leading to increased consumer prices, lower profits and reduced productivity;
• Efficient connections to Pearson are critical for all regional economic zones;
• Coordinated ground connections to, from and between Southern Ontario airports would provide convenience and choice for travelers; and
• The 300,000-plus employees in the AEZ need safe, efficient first- and last-mile solutions that reflect the 24/7 nature of the country’s second largest employment zone.
The full report is available at torontopearson.com/transit.