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Studies

Yonge Relief Network Study

Metrolinx conducted the Yonge Relief Network Study (YRNS), in cooperation with the City of Toronto, TTC and York Region, in order understand the crowding on the TTC’s Line 1 Subway and develop options to address it.

The study found that planned and funded projects, such as Regional Express Rail (RER) and Automatic Train Control on Line 1 will significantly reduce crowding on the subway and help accommodate new growth until around the year 2031. However, as growth continues past 2031, a new transit project that can relieve demand on Line 1 will be required in order to maintain the resiliency and effectiveness of a transit network that can continue to support growth.

The study reviewed short, medium, and long term options, developed from a long list of over 150 project concepts. No individual short or medium term option could address long term crowding, however it was found that a combination of the options may delay the need for a major new infrastructure investment.

Long term options, including a surface LRT, four subway configurations, and improvements to RER were developed and tested using the Metrolinx four-chapter business case framework. This analysis concluded that the current transit expansion program will significantly shift demand from Line 1 but that further improvements to the northern GO lines will likely offer little additional relief to Line 1. The LRT option, despite being lower cost, was found not to have significant crowding reduction potential. It was determined that a new subway option, which may be tunnelled or use surface running alignments/legacy infrastructure, would be the most effective solution for long term Line 1 crowding.

June 2015 YRNS Board Report
YRNS Technical Summary Document
Learn more about the City of Toronto's relief line at reliefline.ca
Learn more about vivaNext's Yonge Subway Extension at vivanext.com

Transportation Study for the Pearson Airport Area

Lester B. Pearson International Airport and the surrounding area are home to the highest concentration of jobs in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area outside of downtown Toronto. Pearson Airport itself employs about 35,000 people, while the surrounding area has about 245,000 jobs. This activity results in high traffic volumes and unique travel patterns, however, transit use to, from and within this area is low.

“High-order transit connectivity to the Pearson Airport district from all directions,” including a fast transit link to downtown Toronto, is one of nine Big Moves in the Regional Transportation Plan.

Metrolinx has completed a Transportation Study of the Pearson Airport Area in collaboration with municipal and transit agency partners.

The Study evaluates the current and future transportation needs of travellers, airport employees and employees of local businesses in the surrounding area, and aims to provide solutions that will improve the transportation network that serves this area.

Read the Transportation Study of the Pearson Airport Area – Executive Summary
See the March 3, 2015 presentation to the board

The full report available in PDF upon request.

Union Station 2031 Demand and Opportunities Study

With the population, employment growth and expansion of GO Rail service, the passenger traffic at Union GO Transit Rail Station is expected to increase by two to three times 2006 passenger volumes by 2031. To accommodate this, Metrolinx has considered options to provide alternative routes into downtown that could divert passengers from Union Station, and limit the amount of additional infrastructure and space required.

Each option was evaluated with the following criteria:

  • Ability to divert passengers from Union Station
  • Ability to serve GO rail market / downtown Toronto employment
  • Ability to integrate new TTC subway services providing system reliability and redundancy
  • Consistency with The Big Move and GO 2020
  • Ease of interagency coordination and approvals
  • Ability to promote new development
  • Magnitude of construction issues
  • GO/Downtown Rapid Transit capital costs
  • Risk / sphere of influence / control
  • Ability to maintain reasonable passenger flows on subway

Two options were shortlisted for further analysis:

  • Option 4B: Bathurst North Yard plus modified Downtown Rapid Transit. This option includes a Downtown Rapid Transit line that connects the Bloor-Danforth subway and Bathurst North Yard. GO Kitchener, Barrie and proposed Bolton GO train services would then terminate at Bathurst North Yard. Passengers would transfer to the Downtown Rapid Transit to further their trips to downtown Toronto.
  • Option 6B: Lakeshore GO tunnel to new station adjacent to Union station. The Lakeshore East and West GO train services would travel underground as they approach Union station, and connect in to a new underground GO station, located east of the existing Union station.

The Union Station 2031 Demand and Opportunities Study will help to inform further analyses on any future downtown rapid transit expansion. Please note that this study was completed in fall 2011.

Read the Union Station 2031 Demand and Opportunities Study Report
See the November 23, 2011 presentation to the board

GO Rail Station Access Plan

This document updates the 2013 GO Transit Rail Parking & Station Access Plan in response to the Provincial commitment to Regional Express Rail (RER), which will increase GO service and support the development of new stations throughout the GO network. The document updates the 2013 Plan to reflect these changes in service and stations, and the significant increase in ridership expected as a result of these upgrades.

The Plan recommends limited parking expansion and a shift towards investment in more sustainable modes of access (such as walking, transit, cycling, carpool, and pick up/drop off) to accommodate and encourage ridership growth in a sustainable and financially responsible way.

The 2016 Plan is a high level document intended to be used by Metrolinx to help inform decision making on capital investments, coordinate between stakeholders, support multi-modal access, and monitor the progress and success of investments and strategies over time.

The Plan includes:

  • Vision and Guiding Principles
  • Policy and Guidelines
  • Objectives for Station Types
  • System-Wide and Station-Specific Recommendations
  • Decision-Making Framework and a high level implementation plan

Read the 2016 GO Rail Station Access Plan
Read the 2013 GO Transit Rail Parking and Station Access Plan

Peterborough Rail Study

In March 2008, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario agreed to conduct a joint study for a passenger rail service from Toronto to Peterborough. The study was led by Metrolinx and was overseen by a steering committee composed of senior officials from Metrolinx, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Transport Canada.

The Peterborough Rail Study provides an assessment of the market potential and ridership, vehicle technology options, station locations, improvements to the railway track, bridges and road crossings, as well as capital and operating cost estimates for the proposed passenger rail service.

Upon completion, this study was submitted to the Federal and Provincial levels of government for their review and input on next steps for the project.

Read the Peterborough Rail Study
Read the Peterborough Rail Study appendices

Bolton Commuter Rail Feasibility Study

Metrolinx completed the Bolton Commuter Rail Feasibility Study in 2010.

The study is a comprehensive review of the technical requirements to implement a commuter rail service between Bolton (in the Town of Caledon) and the City of Toronto. The study determined that implementing rail service between Caledon, Vaughan, and Toronto was feasible, but that ridership would be modest and capital cost would be high, and did not recommended moving forward with the expansion in the short term. On February 12, 2013, the Metrolinx Board of Directors approved a technical update to The Big Move which included moving commuter rail service to Bolton from The Big Move’s 0-15 year plan to its 16-25 year plan, incorporating the findings of Bolton Commuter Rail Service Feasibility Study.

Commuter rail service to Bolton remains in Metrolinx’s long-term plans.

Read the Bolton Commuter Rail Feasibility Study
Appendices available upon request