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What’s happening for Regional Relief?

Metrolinx is building transit today that will transform the way the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (GTHA) moves. Progress is being made on The Big Move’s First Wave projects – a $16 billion investment that will deliver valued, everyday results for commuters.

The Big Move, Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan

Metrolinx has an ambitious plan to continue to build and invest in transit.

The Metrolinx Board of Directors adopted the Next Wave of projects – including the relief line – at its meeting in December 2012. The Big Move’s proposed Next Wave of projects will create over 400 km of new and enhanced transit and transportation infrastructure across the region at a cost of $34 billion. These projects are not currently funded and require an investment strategy.

Working Together to Relieve Congestion

Transit congestion is a major issue. As part of that Next Wave of projects, Metrolinx, the TTC, City of Toronto and York Region are working together to address crowding on the Yonge Subway Line. Progress to relieve regional transit congestion is being made in many different ways. Our Ongoing Work section below has more detailed information about each of these initiatives.

This important work can’t be done in isolation. We believe we can get further, faster by working together – and that’s just what we’re doing.

Relief Line Assessment Project and Yonge Relief Network Study

Metrolinx’s Yonge Relief Network Study is looking at regional network options for relieving crowding on the Yonge Subway, while The City of Toronto’s Relief Line Project Assessment is reviewing preliminary route alignments and station location opportunities for a downtown subway, with support from the TTC. York Region is supporting both of these initiatives.


The timeline below highlights key milestones for these two studies.

To learn more about each project and to find out where they are in the process, please visit their websites at:
Yonge Relief Network Study
Relief Line Project Assessment

Progress is Already Underway

Metrolinx, the City of Toronto, York Region and the TTC have already initiated a number of projects and studies to provide relief. Even with the improvements these projects and studies will bring, we need to do more to continue addressing subway crowding.

Related Initiatives – Building on Evidence Based Work

Below are the initiatives that are underway and will support the Regional Relief Strategy. While these initiatives don’t directly address Yonge Subway crowding, they will help improve transit and mobility across the region.

The Big Move Legislated Review (2016)

  • The Metrolinx Act (2006) lists requirements regarding the preparation and updating of the Regional Transportation Plan. Metrolinx is in the preliminary stages of the review, to be completed in 2016.

Union Pearson (UP) Express Electrification Environmental Assessment (EA) (June 2014)

  • Based on findings from the Electrification Study, UP Express has been identified as the first phase of a potential electrification program. We expect that the Environmental Assessment, along with the preliminary design work, will be completed in 2014.

Transportation Study of the Pearson Airport (Winter 2014)

  • Evaluating the current and future transportation needs of travellers, airport employees and employees of the surrounding area that will support the development of a transportation plan for the Airport Area, including short-term service optimization and a long-term strategy.

Lakeshore Express Rail Study (Ongoing)

  • Develop options for the long-term evolution of GO Rail, with a focus on the Lakeshore corridor, particularly the exploration of new markets for GO rail service and faster and more frequent service.

Fare and Service Integration (Fall 2014)

  • Creating a framework for regional fare and service integration, identifying short and long term strategies, with measurable deliverables, and implementation to follow.