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Consortium to help ease Greater Toronto Area gridlock

Two Toronto consulting engineering firms are on the consortium selected to fast-track a rapid-transit system for Yo...


Two Toronto consulting engineering firms are on the consortium selected to fast-track a rapid-transit system for York Region north of Toronto. The fast-growing sprawling suburban region encompasses several commuter centres such as Richmond Hill and Vaughan that are currently huge contributors to the region’s gridlock. The plan for a rapid transit network in the region is aimed at reducing the heavy vehicular traffic.
Delcan of Toronto and IBI Group are part of York Consortium 2002 which was invited to join the regional municipality in a public-private-partnership for the project. Also on the team are AECOM Enterprises of the U.S., which is the largest transportation firm in the world. Peter Kiewit Sons, Ellis-Don, Simmons Transportation are also involved, along with three other companies.
Delcan has been involved with the Toronto Transit Commission expansion plans, and it has designed rail transit in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. IBI Group is well known for its planning expertise.
York Region considered five consortia for the job before announcing their selection Friday last. Its plans for a rapid transit system would create a link across the Greater Toronto Area between Peel region in the west, Durham in the east, and Toronto to the south. The initial five-year plan is to concentrate on four main corridors: Yonge Street between Highway 7 and Finch subway station; Highway 7 between Durham and Peel regions; the Jane Street corridor linking York University and the Spadina Toronto subway line, and a Warden Avenue corridor linking Markham Centre to the new Sheppard Toronto subway line.
They are considering subways, bus rapid transit, light rapid transit or a combination thereof. Full implentation of the region’s Transportation Master Plan is expected to cost between $2.4 and $4.1 billion over 30 years. The region is applying for initial funding through the Ontario government’s $1.25 billion golden Horseshoe Transit Investment Partnership program.
In recent weeks there have been growing calls of alarm over the state of Toronto’s infrastructure, with a report from the Toronto-Dominion Bank just out that says there must be immediate government support for transportation in the region if the area is to survive and prosper.