Metrolinx partners with Greater Toronto Airports Authority on linking transit customers to planned air travel hub – Agreement now signed

The provincial transit agency and the GTAA have reached an important step in a project that will make getting to and from area airports easier.

Before a plane takes off, and after each one lands, someone has to make a terrestrial transit plan.

And even those who work around Canada’s largest airport have to get in and out of the busy area as efficiently, and as conveniently, as possible.

Metrolinx and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) have reached a new stage in a project intended to give people more options as they set travel plans to and from area airports.

Children stare out the window toward the airport, and planes moving about.

In this file photo, from warmer months, children riding on an UP Express train look at airplanes at Pearson International Airport. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

In April, 2018, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster and GTAA President Howard Eng agreed to move forward on a shared goal: improve transit access to Canada’s largest airport, while prioritizing transit use by airport passengers and workers.

This work is progressing and Metrolinx has announced the partnership has reached an important milestone this week with the signing of an official cost sharing agreement between the two organizations.

Together, the GTAA and Metrolinx are studying:

  • A potential connection from the Kitchener GO rail corridor to Toronto Pearson’s planned Regional Transit and Passenger Centre.
  • Possible connections from Eglinton Crosstown West, the Finch LRT, Mississauga’s Bus Rapid Transit and various local and regional bus services into Toronto Pearson
  • Improvements to ground transportation to/from the airport and airport employment area
  • Phasing considerations related to the above.

Recently, the GTAA announced its intention to commit $40 million to advance technical work to extend Eglinton Crosstown West from Renforth station (at Commerce Blvd.) to the airport, extending the partnership even further.

Pearson Airport not only attracts travellers, but also employers and employees. The area around the airport is home to about 300,000 jobs, in addition to those employed within the airport itself.

The people working in the airport area come from communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, and beyond.

A lot of planes fly in and out of Pearson each hour. But for those on the ground – in and around the airport – travelling means trying to match the ease of those moving above.

Story by Leona Hollingsworth, Metrolinx senior manager, Community Relations.