Ask Metrolinx Town Hall event answers wide range of questions about transit service and future planning

Several dozen people came out to the Ask Metrolinx Town Hall in Toronto on Wednesday to hear directly from the transit agency’s Senior Management Team. The event gave the public the opportunity to pose questions about Metrolinx services, regional transportation planning, or anything top of mind.

One commuter, who travels the Kitchener GO corridor, wanted to know why her line appears to get less attention when it comes to service expansion, adding the focus seems to be on the Lakeshore West and Lakeshore East lines.

Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster said he’s aware Kitchener line customers are eagerly awaiting service expansion news. Ultimately the ball is in CN’s court, he explained, as owners of the railway between Georgetown and Bramalea.

“We know the Kitchener corridor wants to know when service will come,” Verster said, adding he met with CN officials earlier that day to discuss the issue.

Verster also noted service to the two Lakeshore lines is easier because Metrolinx owns the rail lines, but Kitchener and Niagara are extremely high priorities for expansion.

Executive Vice President, PRESTO, Annalise Czerny and members the Metrolinx Senior Management Team address questions at the Ask Metrolinx Town Hall on Sept. 26, 2018

Questions from those in attendance also focused on Metrolinx’s parking strategy. Chief Planning and Development Officer Leslie Woo explained the agency was working with municipalities to come up with alternate parking solutions.

“Expanding parking is not sustainable,” she said, adding rideshare options are being tested out.

When the question of possibly uploading TTC subway operations to the province was raised, Verster said Metrolinx is being consulted but is not directly involved in the process or decision making. “We, like the TTC, are a contributor to those discussions,” he said.

Aside from those people in attending in person, the public was also invited to submit questions online. Topics ranged from noise mitigation to PRESTO and safety.

Acting Chief of Communications and Public Affairs Jamie Robinson said the plan is to take the Ask Metrolinx platform out to communities within the GTHA, to better connect with customers across Metrolinx’s system.

Answers to questions that weren’t addressed as part of the event will be made available on the Metrolinx Engage website.