April 16, 2002

York Region and City of Toronto partnership could make inter-regional transit a reality

NEWMARKET Bill Fisch, Chair of the Regional Municipality of York, expressed optimism that approval of transit recommendations coming this week before the City of Toronto Council could lead to a new era in inter-regional transit.

"The recommendations facing City of Toronto Council address key concerns in both municipalities," Chair Fisch said prior to today's Toronto Council meeting. "York Region wants to work with Toronto to reduce gridlock and congestion in Greater Toronto. Inter-regional transit offers strong economic and environmental benefits on both sides of Steeles Avenue."

On March 25, Report #4 of the City of Toronto's Transportation and Planning Committee unanimously recommended:

The Ontario Government, through the GTIP program, has indicated that applications with an inter-regional component and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) elements will be favourably considered for public transit funding.

York is engaged in an innovative PPP to help fast track its inter-regional rapid transit plan. A first in Canada, the joint venture is a collaborative effort between the Region of York and the municipalities of Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.

York rapid transit plan focuses on four corridors:

The Spadina-York line would be an extension of the Toronto Transit Commission's subway from Downsview Station through York University and to the proposed York Region Transit Gateway at Steeles Avenue. It would serve the Highway 400/Highway 407 interchange, and ultimately go to the Vaughan Corporate Centre at Jane Street and Highway 7.

The proposed York Region Transit Gateway at Steeles Avenue would have the largest commuter parking lot in the GTA, with 3,000 parking spaces.

The subway extension is also critical to York University. The York University community consists of 39,578 students and 6,438 faculty and staff, with over 85 per cent with a home address in the GTA. York Region Transit, GO Transit and the TTC currently combine to deliver more than 680 bus trips to York University each day.

"Spadina-York is a key element for York Region," said Chair Fisch. "But the other corridors are equally important for us and for the City of Toronto. We hope this same spirit of partnership will be extended to undertaking joint environmental assessments on all corridors."

To review a Fact Sheet on the York Rapid Transit Plan, a Backgrounder on the York Region Transit Plan PPP, Fast Facts on York Region transportation issues, or for more information on the Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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