This summer, Metrolinx held the second round of public consultations online from August 18 to September 1, 2020, to get community feedback on the GO Expansion program. During the second round, more than 10,000 users visited the GO Expansion Program webpage and Metrolinx received 65 submissions from the public. This participation and feedback is a crucial part of the process and directly informs Metrolinx’s work.
Public consultation is a cornerstone to modern transit planning.
When it comes to transit projects, Metrolinx’s GO Expansion program is enormous. It’s the largest transit project in Canada and will impact millions of people across the region. But it can’t happen without the input of the communities and industry partners that will build and use the system.
While the transit agency would normally hold in-person consultations, they had to be moved online due to COVID-19 precautions.
What people had to say
The second round of GO Expansion virtual open houses ran from August 18 to September 1, and participants shared a range of feedback including:
- Support for GO Expansion and more service
- Questions about future plans, final designs, and proposed noise and vibration mitigation
- Concerns about local construction and environmental impacts.
- Questions about property impact timelines
- Vegetation removals along the GO corridors
Those that shared support for the GO Expansion Program liked that Metrolinx is increasing service across the network. Participants were interested to learn more about GO Expansion, the schedule for service increases, and the timeline for faster and more frequent electric train service.
Others commented that more service is good is for students and for distribution of benefits and employment opportunities along the corridor; and that the proposed grade separations can improve safety in the neighbourhood.
The information for each Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) is still available on Metrolinx Engage, if you have any questions our Community Relations team is available to answer your questions at any time.
The most recent round of public meetings concludes the pre-TPAP planning and consultation phase. On September 8th, Metrolinx issued the Notice of Commencement for the three TPAPs, beginning the up to 120 days review period while the transit agency work towards completing the Environmental Project Reports (EPR). This is a regulated process under the Ontario Regulation 231/08, Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings.
During this phase of the TPAP there will be a third round of public meetings this fall. To participate in this next round of public consultations, register online, and we’ll send you an email when round three of public consultation for GO Expansion is underway this later this fall.
Next Steps for GO Expansion
There is no precedent for the GO expansion program – it is a highly complex project unlike anything before in Canada. The procurement of this project must also respond to current market conditions (i.e. rely more heavily on and be more responsive to market feedback), and at the same time deliver a sustainable operational model for GO Transit well into the future.
In response to changes and new challenges in the global economic climate, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are working closely with bidding teams and are listening carefully to market feedback. This feedback has informed how we adjust the procurement to make sure we have the right structure and team to deliver this project.
GO Expansion remains a single innovative, fully-integrated contract to run more and better service. The winning proponent team will be responsible for operating trains to a world-class standard and selecting and delivering the right infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion. The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently two remaining teams are completing the bids that will close in early 2021. The winning team will design, build, operate and maintain the new infrastructure and trains for 25 years, a massive, multibillion-dollar undertaking. Construction will get underway in 2022.
Story by – Patricia Pytel, Manager Capital Communications, GO Rail Expansion