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Ontario Unveils $17.5 Billion Transit Expansion Plan To Woo Voters

In an unprecedented move Friday, the Liberals came out with a cutting edge $17.5 billion proposal for the largest transit expansion in Canadian history. But some worry they’re being taken for a ride.

What does the McGuinty government promise?

  • Extending the Yonge subway into Vaughan
  • Making GO trains run faster and more frequently
  • Expanding the light rail system as far as Hamilton
  • Getting more cars off the road

Under the plan, the subway would extend to Highway 7, joining the previously announced new stops in York Region along the Spadina line. GO‘s busy Lakeshore trains would be electrified, allowing them to move faster and cut 15 minutes from an average trip between here and Hamilton. “Life is busy enough without sitting on a highway when you need to get home to get the kids to soccer or to help them with homework,” explains Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Also on the agenda: more transit in York, Durham and Peel Regions, two light rapid transit lines in Hamilton and more express buses along Highway 407. The price tag for what the Grits hope is just down the road is pegged at $17 billion-plus, but by the time two generations pay it all off in 50 years, it will be double that. “Something in the range of $30 billion long-term but again we’re losing $2 billion today in the way of lost productivity,” McGuinty explains about the cost.

MoveOntario would not only ease congestion and get you to where you want to go a lot faster, but it would create some 175,000 jobs before it’s fully finished in 2020.

But all this is riding on two key factors:

  • The federal government will have to kick in $5.8 billion of its own
  • The Liberals have to be re-elected after the October 10th election

And the latter is what has the opposition up in arms, accusing the Grits of orchestrating a campaign style event they should have attended to years ago. But the mayors of the cities involved believe it will proceed no matter who wins.

CityNews went to the streets to find out what you think of the idea. Here’s what some Torontonians had to say:

 “I think it needs to be cheaper, especially the GO Train because it’s pretty expensive; $11 to $12 for two ways.” – Francis Masse, student.

 “I think it should definitely run later, past 1:30am.” – Carlie Sacs, student.

“I think they should extend the TTC right to the heart of Mississauga, right to Square One.” – Roger Dunn

See the list below for all 52 transit projects in the pipeline and to view a map of what it’ll all look like when it’s finished click here.


MoveOntario Transit Plan By The Numbers

2008: First report
2015: 66 percent of all projects completed
2020: 95 percent completed
300 million: cars off the road at completion
10 megatonnes: estimated reduction in C02 emissions
175,000: number of jobs created
50 Years: How long it will take before it’s all finally paid for.

Full List Of Planned Projects

GO Transit

1) GO Lakeshore West rail line capacity expansion by adding a third track from Port Credit to Oakville
2 )GO Lakeshore West rail line capacity expansion by adding a third track from Burlington to Hamilton
3) GO Lakeshore East rail line capacity expansion by adding a third track from Union Station to Scarborough
4) GO Lakeshore East rail line extension from Oshawa to Bowmanville
5) GO Lakeshore rail line electrification (SuperGO)
6) GO Milton rail line capacity expansion from Union Station to Milton
7) GO Georgetown rail line capacity expansion from Union Station to Georgetown
8) GO Bradford rail line capacity expansion from Union Station to Bradford
9) GO Bradford rail line extension and capacity expansion from Bradford to Barrie
10) GO Richmond Hill rail line capacity expansion from Union Station to Richmond Hill
11) GO Richmond Hill rail line extension to Aurora Road
12) GO Stouffville rail line capacity expansion from Union Station to Stouffville and extension of the line to Uxbridge
13) New GO Crosstown rail line between Weston Road and the Don Valley
14) New GO Crosstown rail line between the Don Valley and Agincourt
15) New GO rail line from Union Station to Bolton
16) New GO rail line on the Havelock line from Agincourt to Pickering
17) New GO rail line on the Seaton line from Agincourt to Brock Road in Pickering

GO Bus Rapid Transit

18) GO Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 403 from Oakville GO rail station to Mississauga
19) Mississauga Transitway west of Mississauga City Centre to Winston Churchill Boulevard
20) Mississauga Transitway east of Mississauga City Centre to Renforth Drive
21) GO Bus Rapid Transit northwest Toronto link from Renforth Drive to York University
22) GO Bus Rapid Transit on Markham Road from Highway 407 in Markham to Highway 401
23) GO Bus Rapid Transit on Highway 401 from Markham Road in Scarborough to Pickering GO rail station
24) GO Bus Rapid Transit connector on Highway 427 from Renforth Drive to Highway 407
25) GO Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 407 from York University to Langstaff (Yonge Street) and on to Markham Road
26) GO Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 407 from Burlington to Highway 401
27) GO Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 407 from Highway 401 to Highway 427
28) GO Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 407 from Highway 427 to York University
Subway and Other Rapid Transit

TTC Expansion & Other Projects

29) Yonge subway line extension north from Finch station to Highway 7 (Langstaff)
30) VIVA Markham North-South Link from Markham Centre to Don Mills station
31) Pearson Air-Rail link to Union Station
32) Hamilton east-west rapid transit on King/Main Streets from Eastgate Mall to McMaster University
33) Hamilton north-south rapid transit on James/Upper James Streets from Rymal Road to King Street
34) Brampton Acceleride on Queen Street from Main Street to Highway 50
35) Hurontario Light Rail Transit from Queen Street in Brampton to Lakeshore Road in Mississauga
36) Eglinton Avenue Light Rail Transit from Renforth Drive to Kennedy Road in Scarborough
37) Yonge Bus Rapid Transit busway from Finch station to Steeles Avenue
38) Dundas Street West Light Rail Transit from Kipling station to Hurontario Street
39) Scarborough RT extension from McCowan station to Sheppard Avenue
40) Sheppard Avenue Light Rail Transit from Don Mills Road to Morningside Avenue
41) Finch Avenue West Light Rail Transit from Highway 27 to Yonge Street
42) Don Mills Road Light Rail Transit from Steeles Avenue to the Bloor-Danforth subway
43) Jane Street Light Rail Transit from Steeles Avenue to Jane station on the Bloor-Danforth subway
44) Malvern Light Rail Transit from Kennedy station to Malvern
45) Waterfront West Light Rail Transit from Union Station to Long Branch
46) VIVA Yonge Street from Steeles Avenue to Highway 7 (Langstaff)
47) VIVA Yonge Street from Highway 7 (Langstaff) to 19th Avenue in Richmond Hill
48) VIVA Yonge Street from 19th Avenue to Newmarket
49) VIVA Highway 7 from Highway 50 to Yonge Street (Langstaff)
50) VIVA Highway 7 from Yonge Street (Langstaff) to Cornell
51) Durham rapid transit line on Highway 2 from Oshawa to Pickering
52) Spadina subway line extension north from Downsview station to Highway 7 (Vaughan Corporate Centre)