CEO Phil Verster’s Toronto Region Board of Trade speech highlights the benefits of adding new GO stations
While speaking to a room of business influencers on Monday afternoon, CEO Phil Verster was also directing his message about expansion toward transit customers.
“Stations are really the heart and the interface and the opening to communities,” Verster said during a lunchtime presentation at the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT). “That’s the first step in that customer experience.”
Twelve new GO stations are being recommended for full business case studies after the preliminary design business case showed $6.7 billion in positive benefits.
Changing the frequency of service on each of the lines is one of the possible changes highlighted since the initial business cases were presented. Some would run express to and from downtown Toronto. Others might make stops at each of the stations along the way, while increasing the number of trains.
The 12 stations include Finch-Kennedy and Lawrence-Kennedy on the Stouffville line, as well as one at the proposed East Harbour business centre on the former Unilever site and another at Gerrard and Carlaw.
Two stations would be added west of downtown Toronto, at Spadina, and another close to the Liberty Village community at King and Dufferin. Each would offer better connections to existing TTC streetcar routes.
In addition, Verster announced an additional stop would be studied. “Park Lawn is emerging as a station with a huge positive benefit,” he said. “We will continue to pursue the Park Lawn business case.”
Further planning for Bloor-Lansdowne and St. Clair-Old Weston stations could also see the benefits of stops in dense residential communities.
Elsewhere on the GO network, stations at Kirby, Innisfil, Breslau and Mulock will also be undergoing further study.
While expansion has its benefits, both the short and long-term impacts will be significant. “We need to go and very carefully think about how we consult and work with our communities,” Verster said. “We need to figure out how we can come up with options.”
The proposed new stations will move forward as part of the full business case for RER, which is expected by the end of 2018.