June 27, 2002

York Regional Council signs historic agreement to develop the York Rapid Transit Plan


NEWMARKET The Regional Municipality of York will begin work with York Consortium 2002 to develop the York Rapid Transit Plan (YRTP) after York Regional Council today approved a contract with the private sector group of companies. The agreement pioneers a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to fast track an inter-regional rapid transit plan for the Region.

Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer joined Frank J. Wilson, President of AECOM Enterprises, and representatives from all members of the consortium, to sign the historic agreement.

"Establishing a rapid transit system is a priority for York Region. It is critical to managing our growth and preserving the high quality of life we all cherish," said Chair Fisch. "Our rapid transit plan supports the principles of Smart Growth: economic vitality, environmental responsibility and strong, healthy communities."

York Consortium 2002 is an amalgam of firms with extensive experience in the planning, development, engineering, financing, construction and operation of rapid transit and other transportation facilities around the world.

"York Region's approach to the development of rapid transit services is one of the most enlightened our industry has seen in North America," said Frank J. Wilson, whose firm is one of nine corporations that comprise York Consortium 2002. "The joint evolution of transportation and land use in an environmentally sensitive manner is the cornerstone of the York Rapid Transit Plan, and the hallmark of successful transit infrastructure programs."

Light Rail Transit, Bus Rapid Transit and subways are all under consideration for the YRTP. Decisions on technology will be made in consultation with all private and public sector partners. The transit plan will also complement an expanded GO Transit system.

The PPP is based on three distinct phases: Project finalization, design and construction, and operations and maintenance. Over the next 18 months, Phase One activities will be underway. They include project management, data collection, network confirmation, and financial planning and analysis. Full environmental assessments must be done on the corridors chosen.

The YRTP is a collaborative effort between York Region and its local municipalities. The YRTP complements Vision 2026, the Region's 25-year strategic plan, which focuses on creating strong, caring and safe communities.

The rapid transit plan has the potential to eliminate hundreds of thousands of car trips in York Region and beyond, and will contribute to a reduction in air pollution and smog across Greater Toronto.

The YRTP will focus on providing rapid transit on four corridors connecting four regional centres. They are:

Costs of the network are to be confirmed in Phase One of the PPP. Costs will range between $2.4 billion and $4.2 billion depending on the final choice of technology.

Beyond the contribution from York Region and York Consortium 2002, senior government funding is also needed. Transit funding sources include the Ontario Government's $1.25 billion Golden Horseshoe Transit Investment Partnership (GTIP) program. The Federal Government will soon announce details of its Strategic Infrastructure Foundation.

The Province has indicated that applications with an inter-regional component and PPP elements will be considered favourably for funding. York Region has submitted two applications for transit funding through the GTIP program, the first for rapid transit and another for short-term, inter-regional transit improvements, technology and service innovation.

A strategy to develop a rapid transit system is at the heart of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) for York Region a 30-year action plan approved this year that addresses transportation needs in the Region and, to a large degree, across Greater Toronto.

For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and the YRTP, including a Fact Sheet on York Consortium 2002, the YRTP and Work Schedule, plus Transit Fast Facts, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca

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

Fact Sheet

June 27, 2002 For Immediate Release

York Rapid Transit Plan: Work Schedule


Phase Two activities will include: implementation of the Quick Start Project; development of costs for all remaining projects upon completion of the EA process; execution of agreements for Design-Build projects; completion of project definitions; and the launch of all projects and execution of operating agreements.

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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