The community benefits of building transit can start before the new service begins. We recently entered into an agreement with government agencies, business, labour and the local community to provide apprenticeship opportunities during the construction phase of the Eglinton Crosstown project. The Apprenticeship Declaration sets a goal that 10% of all trade and crafting hours for the project will be completed by apprentices and journeypersons from historically disadvantaged communities.
While we work toward building major new infrastructure to support the massive growth of the GO system over the next decade, we are making incremental improvements to GO service when and where we can that give GTHA travelers more (possibly life-altering)
options. Early in December, Gormley GO Station opened, extending the Richmond Hill corridor further north. At the end of the year, weekend GO Train service along the Barrie corridor was extended to run all year round (previously, Barrie weekend service was primarily only offered during the summer). Stouffville commuters were welcomed in the new year with additional weekday trip options: one more in the morning, and one more in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, procurement is ramping up on the infrastructure projects that will support the extensive transit growth we keep talking about.
Cooksville GO Station is one step closer to getting an update. The Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued to select the team that will ultimately design, build and finance the station project. Two stops east along the Milton corridor, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued in November to pre-qualify teams who will then have the opportunity to bid on the project to design, build, and finance the Kipling Bus Terminal. The new terminal will improve connections between TTC subway and bus, GO train and bus and MiWay bus service.
The RFQ for the Hamilton LRT was issued today, an early step in the procurement process to secure a vendor to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the light rail transit project in Hamilton. The LRT will now connect to a 16-km bus rapid transit route, which will link the lower city with the Mountain community in Hamilton.
The Don Yard train storage and maintenance facility, just east of Union Station, will be getting some capacity upgrades to keep up with (say it with me) all the growth and expansion, particularly on the GO system.
A year ahead of schedule, PRESTO devices are now installed on all TTC streetcars, buses, Wheel-Trans vehicles and at all subway stations. Sixty-plus Gateway Newstands in TTC stations are now selling the cards in addition to the usual suspects. Also, an insider tip: set up Autoload – it’s a game changer.