Transit is more than steel rails and rolling wheels. It’s also working with and within environments, including natural ecosystems. That’s what a renewed agreement between Metrolinx and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is all about, as it will help manage the upcoming portfolio of construction work that includes subways, rapid transit, new stations and GO Expansion.
Transit is growing in a lot of ways across Ontario’s most populated communities.
Metrolinx and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) have renewed an agreement that will help with the needed expansion and updating of public transit projects – as well as protect nature as that needed work gets done.
Building transit is like planting seeds for future generations to reap the benefits. With the amount of transit expansion infrastructure Metrolinx will be building over the coming years, tending to the natural environment is crucial to working across a vast landscape.
The new and improved transit systems will connect municipalities and communities across the region, but new infrastructure and new services also require space and easy access for customers and maintenance crews.
Metrolinx is building transit through some of the most densely developed areas in Canada. And although the transit agency is committed to minimizing impacts and going over and above in terms of compensation, some change in the land and urbanscape is inevitable.
The renewed agreement formalizes TRCA dedicating staff and necessary resources for technical support, detailed design and voluntary project review, as well as environmental assessment (EA) planning of Metrolinx applications related to environmental approvals and sustainability.
Want to see an example of this work in action? Take a look at this recent story.
With the anticipated increase in project requirements, TRCA will help deliver crucial a third-party review to make sure the transit the region needs, is built in a sustainable way.
“Metrolinx has a long-standing relationship with TRCA,” says Matt Clark, Metrolinx’s chief capital officer. “We have been leaning on their expertise in habitat preservation and restoration, as well as application of municipal regulations.
“The partnership has been instrumental in helping Metrolinx deliver infrastructure projects within the conservation agency’s jurisdiction and it will be more important than ever over the next few years.”
This agreement will ensure that Metrolinx is in the best position to deliver the new large-scale projects with the very best advice about sustainability in mind.
“TRCA is pleased to continue our important work with Metrolinx to help ensure that negative environmental impacts from transit projects are avoided to the extent possible, and if unavoidable, compensated for by restoration works including tree plantings and habitat creation in priority areas across our region,” said John MacKenzie, chief executive officer for TRCA.
“TRCA’s work with Metrolinx includes providing technical reviews based on our scientific expertise and knowledge of local watershed ecosystems to inform the planning, detailed design, and construction of specific transit projects. The Agreements we are putting in place today will allow TRCA to continue providing expert advice to Metrolinx on significant transit projects currently under review across our rapidly growing region for many years to come.”
Looking forward, Metrolinx will be working with communities along existing and future corridors to understand their needs, while planting seeds of transit expansion for the future.
While we have you, and if you’re interested in Metrolinx’s efforts to protect trees, take a look at efforts along the Hurontario Light Rail Train project.
Story by Robert Pasiak, Metrolinx communications senior advisor