The RTP provides direction and sets priorities for decision-making on transportation in the GTHA. Embodied in the plan is the notion that all levels of government, as well as operators, stakeholders and users of the system have an important role to play in contributing to its success. The RTP proposes a broad range of actions and supporting policies. Some of these will require legislative changes; some will require the creation of new programs; others will need to become engrained in the policy framework that guides day-to-day decision-making across a broad spectrum of issues, from planning to infrastructure investment. In this section, an implementation plan is described that reflects the broad scope of the RTP and the many types of actions and decisions that are necessary to make the plan a reality.


The status that the RTP has in the decision-making process is central to its success. The recommendations of the plan are broad and far-reaching. Decisions relating to them will involve large numbers of decision-makers and stakeholders over the next 25 years. Each of these decisions, large and small, will need to support the implementation of the RTP. This includes decisions related to transportation planning, infrastructure investment, land use planning, transit operations, and more.

  1. Metrolinx will work with the Province of Ontario, municipalities and stakeholders to develop an RTP implementation strategy that identifies roles and responsibilities and key milestones for the Priority Actions identified in section 4.0.
  2. Metrolinx will work with the Province of Ontario, municipalities and stakeholders to establish a provincial transportation policy for the GTHA that is based on the RTP’s vision, goals and objectives and the Priority Actions and Supporting Policies identified in section 4.0.
  3. Metrolinx will work with the Province of Ontario to identify potential amendments to the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act to establish the status of the RTP in the decision-making process, to address:
    • conformity of municipal and provincial planning decisions to the provincial transportation policy for the GTHA and the relevant land use planning-related components of the RTP;
    • requirement for all municipalities to update their Official Plans to conform to the provincial transportation policy for the GTHA and the relevant land use planningrelated components of the RTP, and a timeline for achieving conformity that seeks to harmonize conformity exercises with regular five-year reviews;
    • requirement for municipalities to prepare Transportation Master Plans (TMPs) as part of their Official Plan development process that conform to the provincial transportation policy for the GTHA and that establish more detailed local transportation networks, policies and programs;
    • requirement for the GO Transit Strategic Plan to conform to the RTP;
    • provisions for addressing potential conflicts between the RTP and other provincial plans, and to reinforce the primacy of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe;
    • transition provisions to address planning processes and development applications already in progress; and
    • a review and amendment process for the RTP, including a requirement for a mandatory comprehensive review of the RTP at least every five years.
  4. Metrolinx will work with the Province of Ontario and others to ensure that public infrastructure planning and investment is co-ordinated to implement the RTP’s vision, goals, objectives and strategies, particularly with respect to the design and location of post secondary institutions, hospitals, government services, justice facilities and other major public sector trip generators.
  5. Metrolinx will work with the Province of Ontario to integrate the RTP’s directions as appropriate with other provincial plans, such as the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as part of the regular reviews of those plans.


The RTP is the first step in building a world-class regional transportation system in the GTHA, but further analysis is required before project scopes are finalized, projects are prioritized, and construction can begin on individual projects.

Figure 3: RTP Flowchart

The regional rapid transit network described in the RTP is conceptual only. Alignments and technologies will be developed during the project-level Benefits Case Analysis that Metrolinx will carry out in partnership with municipalities and transit agencies for individual projects. When it comes to making decisions on new transit projects, the costs and benefits of all reasonable alternatives need to be evaluated so that the best possible transit projects are built. The Metrolinx Benefits Case Analysis will provide decision-makers with a robust and consistent "triple bottom line" evaluation of the relative environmental, economic and social impacts of each RTP transit project. Each benefits case will evaluate the relative merits and costs of alternative project options, which may include variations in the alignment, technology, performance, stations and/or phasing of the project.

Transit projects in the RTP will also undergo evaluation for their potential for Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP), as required by the provincial and federal governments. Alternate Financing and Procurement has the potential to expedite the delivery of transportationinfrastructure and to ensure the most appropriate and cost-effective allocation of both private and public sector resources.

Following the Benefits Case Analysis and AFP evaluation, projects will be prioritized and included in the Metrolinx Annual Capital Program and Multi-Year Capital Plan that will cost, record and calendarize project and program expenditures.

  1. Metrolinx will subject transit projects identified in Schedules 1 and 2 to a comprehensive Benefits Case Analysis to inventory the social, environmental and economic benefits and costs resulting from the project, and determine the most appropriate technology, routing, phasing and station location. Depending on the size and scope of the project, Metrolinx will also assess the suitability of transit projects identified in Schedules 1 and 2 for Alternative Financing and Procurement.


The Metrolinx capital planning program flows from the RTP and the Benefits Case Analysis. It will identify the phasing, timing and financing for individual projects.

The capital planning program will begin by updating and verifying information about each project, particularly in terms of project status and state of readiness, estimated eligible costs, and planning, engineering and construction schedules. Individual projects will then be prioritized in accordance with the goals and objectives of the RTP. Projects will then be assembled into a multiyear program, taking into account such aspects as the project ranking, the anticipated scheduling (e.g. preparedness for tendering), project type and any seasonality considerations, appropriate phasing within and between corridors, equipment delivery outlook, hardware requirement, capitalization profiles, AFP opportunities, and so on.

The resulting array of projects, starting dates and anticipated duration will be matched with the anticipated annual funding envelope, and adjustments made to ensure that the aggregate annual cash flow/capitalization costs are contained within the anticipated provincial funding envelope.

  1. Metrolinx will develop a 15- and 25-year Capital Outlook, five-year rolling capital program, and annual capital program to identify the phasing of implementation for individual transit projects identified in the RTP.


The Investment Strategy is a critical component of the RTP. The Investment Strategy sets out a three-phased plan to finance the implementation of the RTP and allow the regional transportation system to be expanded, maintained and operated in a financially sustainable way both in the short- and long-term.

  1. Metrolinx will report back by 2013 on recommended revenue and financial tools to implement the 25-year RTP.

Metrolinx will not wait until 2013 to begin pursuing innovative and practical ways of funding the expansion of regional transportation infrastructure. Land value enhancement is one promising tool wherein a portion of the “value uplift” of lands adjacent to future rapid transit corridors, major transit stations and mobility hubs is dedicated towards the cost of rapid transit improvements.

  1. Metrolinx will create a task force on land value enhancement in collaboration with municipalities, the Province of Ontario, the development industry and other relevant stakeholders to develop policy recommendations for consideration by the province by the end of 2009.
  2. Metrolinx will consult with the Province of Ontario, financial services sector and investors, including the major public-sector pension funds, on the feasibility of establishing a dedicated Transit and Transportation Investment Fund as a new capital funding pool for transit expansion projects in the GTHA. The fund concept could potentially be expanded to support transit project investment opportunities in other major Canadian urban regions and cities.


The federal government has a critical role to play in building this transportation system that is vital not only to the competitiveness of the GTHA, but also to businesses throughout Canada that rely on goods travelling to and through our region reliably and expeditiously. By providing a long-term blueprint for an integrated transportation system, the RTP makes a compelling case for long-term, stable, predictable and sufficient funding from all levels of government. It also provides guidance to the federal government on the transportation priorities of the GTHA that will serve as an important strategic input to transportation issues under federal jurisdiction, such as airports, railways, marine ports, border crossings and VIA Rail services.

  1. Acknowledging the recent increase in federal participation in funding transportation projects, Metrolinx and the province will collaborate with the federal government, municipalities and other regional transportation authorities to develop a stable and predictable federal funding strategy for transportation projects.
  2. Metrolinx will work with the province to assist the federal government in aligning transportation issues under federal jurisdiction, such as airports, railways, marine ports, border crossings and VIA Rail services, with the vision, goals, objectives and priorities of the RTP.


Metrolinx has a responsibility to ensure that the value to travellers and the economy of all transportation investments is maximized. This means ensuring that all appropriate measures are put in place to support each investment, from land use provisions to social marketing. It also means ensuring consistently high levels of service are provided on all routes. This will necessitate the inclusion of performance standards as a condition of all investments.

  1. As a condition of funding for transit projects, Metrolinx will enter into agreements with municipalities and/or transit agencies that address performance standards, such as:
    • requiring transit priority and traffic management measures as well as transit supportive land uses to be in place;
    • requiring a TDM strategy, including social marketing where applicable;
    • ensuring seamlessness with other transit services; and
    • achieving minimum standards with respect to reliability, on-time performance, customer service, and other measures.
  2. When establishing its priorities for capital funding and determining the appropriate transit mode and level of service to be funded, Metrolinx will have regard for the RTP’s vision, goals and objectives, as well as the achievement and application of the actions and policies of the RTP and conformity with the policies of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.


The critical link between land use planning and transportation planning is highlighted throughout the RTP. The primary land use planning policies for the GTHA are the province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006, the Greenbelt Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. The RTP provides the transportation plan that conforms to, and helps implement, these provincial policy directions. The RTP also provides additional direction on land use planning that builds on these policies, and ties together the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s urban structure policies with the transportation system envisaged by the RTP.

Metrolinx will participate in local, regional and provincial land use planning exercises, where necessary, to ensure that land use planning and transportation planning decisions are fully integrated. This includes reviewing key local land use and transportation planning proposals and decisions, as well as providing advice and guidance to provincial ministries to help them align their plans, priorities and programs with the RTP (for example, decisions related to the siting of major public facilities such as universities and hospitals).

  1. Metrolinx will provide input regarding major local, regional and provincial planning exercises, including significant development applications, that may have a significant effect on the performance of the regional transportation system, and will work with the Province of Ontario to identify the appropriate mechanism for this, potentially using the province’s one window planning service.
  2. Metrolinx will give appropriate consideration to established provincial plans, priorities and programs in implementing the RTP.


Implementation of any public sector transit project identified in the RTP will have to fulfill the requirements of Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act. The RTP provides important background information for transit Environmental Assessments (EAs), and sets the context for transit projects, including those which are assessed under the new streamlined EA process. When those projects are being considered in the future, the RTP will provide a solid foundation for meeting the requirements of the new six-month assessment process or the requirements under the GO Transit Class EA, the Transit Chapter of the Municipal Class EA, or an individual Environmental Assessment.

  1. The RTP should be recognized as a Master Transportation Plan, addressing the early planning principles for transit projects and serving as the basis for Environmental Assessments for individual transit projects identified in Schedules 1 and 2.

In addition to being subject to Ontario’s new six-month EA process, many of the transit projects identified in the RTP will need to satisfy the requirements of the federal government’s Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Metrolinx is committed to working closely with the federal government and with project proponents to dovetail the Ontario and federal EA processes to limit duplication and overlap, and expedite project approvals.

  1. The province and Metrolinx will work with the federal government and with project proponents to dovetail the Ontario and federal EA processes to provide a seamless process that eliminates duplication and overlap, and expedites project approvals.


One of the most important aspects of an integrated transportation system is choice. The individual decisions of the millions of residents of the GTHA will be at the heart of the RTP’s success or failure. Whether it is around the block, or across town, people should be able to take transit or ride a bike just as easily as they can drive. While having the infrastructure in place to offer that choice is important, just as important is that people choose to use it. That is why public outreach and social marketing will be a vital component of the RTP’s implementation.

Today, transportation users are not receiving appropriate signals that would allow them to adapt their demand to the available supply of transportation services. Better travel planning can eliminate some trips, or make others more efficient. Using transit or regional rail rather than a car will reduce one’s impact on the environment, as would carpooling or working from home. Short trips can be made on foot or by bicycle. Supported by new options, as well as more incentives and clearer price signals, public outreach and education will be an important and integral part of the RTP’s implementation, and will help to shape travel behaviour, guide travel choices and transform travel patterns across the GTHA.

  1. Metrolinx, the Province of Ontario, municipalities, transit agencies and non-governmental organizations will work together to engage the public in the implementation of the RTP and in implementing social marketing strategies to change travel behaviours.


Effective implementation of a long-range plan such as the RTP will require ongoing monitoring of the overall performance of the transportation system and the impacts of actions taken. This will be done through the tracking of key indicators. The results will be compiled and reported publicly as part of a Mobility Index for the region. Reporting will include benchmarks comparing the GTHA’s performance to other jurisdictions around the world. The Mobility Index will help inform the development and review of the RTP, and also provide a means to review and assess the return on the investments made to support the RTP.

Wherever possible, the data that are used to develop the Mobility Index will build on existing information sources and data that are already being collected, such as the Urban Transportation Indicators reports produced by the Transportation Association of Canada and Transportation Environmental Indicators published by the Centre for Sustainable Transportation. The Mobility Index will be coordinated with monitoring of other provincial plans including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Greenbelt Plan and Provincial Policy Statement. This will be augmented by an enhanced modelling capacity that Metrolinx will develop in collaboration with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation.

  1. Metrolinx will develop a Mobility Index for the GTHA to track progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the RTP, and publicly report on progress at regular intervals.


As the lead agency responsible for the implementation of the RTP, Metrolinx requires authority to address several critical issues, and to undertake the actions described above. In doing so, Metrolinx understands the necessity of cooperating with all regional stakeholders, including municipalities, the province and the federal government. Examples of areas where new or refined authorities may be needed include project and program management and delivery; authority to enter into long-term, performance-based agreements with project partners; ability to draw on sustained financial resources and the flexibility to deploy those resources as needed, similar to funding models that already exist in other regional Canadian jurisdictions, such as TransLink in Greater Vancouver, and the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport in Montréal; service and technology integration and coordination; dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration; establishment of development corporations; and fare integration.

  1. Metrolinx will work with the province to identify the necessary areas of authority and responsibility that Metrolinx requires to fully implement the RTP, including the roles described above.
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