Today, Toronto Mayor John Tory agreed to support Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s transportation vision, originally released in April, in exchange for maintaining control of the city’s transit systems. The Conservative government’s plan commits to delivering a $28.5 billion program to advance four key priority transit projects, including:
- The Yonge-North subway extension
- The Eglinton West Crosstown Extension
- An improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; and
- The all-new Ontario Line, which will be developed in place of the previously proposed downtown Relief Line, running 15-kilometres from the Ontario Science Centre at Don Mills & Eglinton to Ontario Place on the lakeshore near the Exhibition GO Station.
The program, still subject to approval by Toronto City Council, will rely on provincial and federal funding only, leaving city money to invest in repairs and upgrades to current transit systems.
OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force has been calling on all levels of government to retain expert engineering input on transit infrastructure to guarantee short and long-term transportation planning that best serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for several years. As preliminary design work and discussions continue around the development of the Ontario Line, engineers look forward to being at the table to provide engineering expertise.
“The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) welcomes commitments to invest in much needed transit in the Toronto core,” said Anna Gkalimani, P.Eng., chair of OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force. “Engineers believe new transit options that help relieve the existing overcapacity of the Yonge-University-Spadina Line and create economic opportunities and development potential are crucial. At the same time, OSPE urges the government to publicly release its entire costed Ontario Line plan and consult with engineers when it comes to transit development.”
Richard Keimel, P.Eng., senior systems engineer and member of OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force, calls on the government to look at transit infrastructure as a larger all-encompassing policy file. “Federal, provincial and municipal governments should consider sharing resources between all three Toronto transit expansion projects (Ontario Line, Yonge North Extension and Line 2 East Extension), while moving forward with an integrated systems approach to ensure all aspects of the lines/extensions function correctly together, and are delivered on time.”
What do you think of the proposed Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership? What technical expertise and considerations can engineers provide in advance of project development?