“Railway has a great future in Ontario”


Gregory Percy, CEO of Metrolinx. Christopher Gauer, President of the Infrastructure Division, Ontario

Mafex: The use of public transport in Ontario continues to increase. How will they respond to this growing demand?

Gregory Percy: The Metrolinx transport agency registered 70 million passengers in 2016 and travels are expected to grow by 4%. There are new emerging challenges, as user expectations continue to grow. For this reason, an investment of 30,000 million Canadian dollars (€ 28,000 M) has been approved. This budget includes the extension of services (Go Transit Service); 74 new kilometers of light rail and the unification of the card system, among others. 13,500 million Canadian dollars (10,300 M €) will be invested in the regional railway network RER (Go Regional Express Rail) in the next 10 years. Therefore, the “Union Pearson Express” project will link Toronto’s “Union Station” to the international airport.

Mafex: And what about the light rail?

G.P.: There are two key actions in the capital. On one hand, there is the “Eglinton Crosstown”, which by 2021 will have 19 new kilometers, a section of 10 additional underground kilometers and 25 stations. On the other hand, there is the “Finch West”, an 11-kilometer network between Finch Avenue and the Finch West Subway Station. It is expected to be completed by 2021. Works are also being carried out regarding the modern PRESTO card system, which will unify the access to different transport means.

Mafex: What role does the government agency “Infrastructure Ontario” (IO) play in the extension of railway networks?

Christopher Gauer: Since 2005, IO has brought 100 projects to market using Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) valued at more than 40,000 million Canadian dollars (€ 38,000 M). IO is working with Metrolinx as procurement lead for a number of their Regional Express Rail and Light Rail Transit projects. Our work will help the government deliver on its promise of faster, more frequent and modern services in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area.