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December 5, 2012

Metrolinx announces next wave of Big Move projects

The next wave of projects for The Big Move, the regional transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), will include two new subway lines and an investment in the GO Transit rail network.

"The Big Move is our plan to tackle gridlock across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by building new transit and integrating our transportation system so that it's easier for everyone to get around," said Metrolinx president and chief executive officer Bruce McCuaig.

"We already have over $16 billion invested in projects from The Big Move that are now in progress, but we need to keep moving forward and that's why I'm pleased to unveil the next wave of projects."

Overall, the next wave includes 713 kilometres of enhanced transit, such as two new subway lines: a downtown relief line improving access to the regional core for residents from across the GTHA and a new extension of the Yonge subway line north to Richmond Hill.

Light rail transit (LRT) in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton, and bus rapid transit (BRT) in Durham, Toronto, Peel and Halton, will reduce congestion and serve as a catalyst for development across the GTHA, says Metrolinx.

The next wave also includes transformative investment in the GO Transit rail network, including line extensions, more two-way, all-day service, and electrification of both GO lines and the Union Pearson Express, formerly known as the Air Rail Link.

The proposed investment will also be allocated to local transit projects, as well as roads and highways, active transportation and transportation demand management throughout the region.

"With our plan in place, it's now time for the big conversation about the best ways to pay for this $34 billion investment," said McCuaig. "Together, let's look to what other world class cities have done to fund their transit plans and then get the job done here in the GTHA."

Over $16 billion from all three levels of government has already been allocated to a first wave of projects drawn from The Big Move, the largest financial commitment to transit expansion in Canadian history. Major projects in this first wave are now under construction, including the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT, the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, the Mississauga BRT, the Union Pearson Express and new dedicated bus lanes in York Region.

Metrolinx says the next wave of projects will create 800,000 to 900,000 new jobs between 2012 and 2031 and will promote a $110 to $130 billion growth to Ontario’s gross domestic product in the same timeframe.

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