May 16, 2002

York Regional Council selects private partner for York Rapid Transit Plan


NEWMARKET York Regional Council today approved York Consortium 2002 as the successful partner to join the Regional Municipality of York in an innovative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to fast-track an inter-regional rapid transit plan a first of its kind in Canada.

"Today marks an important milestone in the history of York Region," said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. "With the selection of York Consortium 2002 as our private partner, we are well positioned to move forward with an innovative rapid transit plan that will benefit residents and businesses in our Region and in neighbouring communities."

York Region conducted interviews with five consortia. All were interested in working with the Region to develop the York Rapid Transit Plan (YRTP), a rapid transit system across the southern end of York Region. The system provides for links to transit systems in the City of Toronto and the Regions of Peel and Durham.

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

York Region and York Consortium 2002 will now begin negotiations on a contract that should be ready for signing by the end of June.

"York Consortium 2002 brings with them a wealth of knowledge and experience," said Alan Wells, Chief Administrative Officer, York Region. "A successful rapid transit system will help York Region triple the use of transit over the next 30 years."

The consortium detailed in an attached Fact Sheet consists of the following partners:

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

The YRTP has the potential to eliminate hundreds of thousands of car trips in York Region and beyond. It will focus on providing rapid transit on the following corridors:

Public transit funding will be available through the Ontario Government's $1.25 billion Golden Horseshoe Transit Investment Partnership (GTIP) program. 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, please visit our Web site at For more information on the YRTP, including Fact Sheets on the YRTP and York Consortium 2002, a Backgrounder on the PPP, and Transit Fast Facts, please visit


Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the York Transit Plan

  • The Provincial announcement of December 20, 2001 indicated that Golden Horseshoe transit plans with inter-regional public-private partnership components would be "especially encouraged."
  • York Region is now engaged in a Public-Private Partnership on its rapid transit plan. This was developed in a collaborative effort between York, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
  • This is a unique approach to developing a rapid transit system. York believes that innovative rapid transit solutions that address transit efficiency, comfort, security and ridership targets will be the hallmarks of a successful system.
  • York's objectives for the PPP are: to fast-track the successful delivery of inter-regional rapid transit; to bring stakeholders (TTC, GO Transit, senior levels of government, other GTA municipalities) together to support the concept of the project; to use advanced transit technologies; to obtain all necessary approvals to move the project forward; to generate innovative funding solutions that leverage private sector investment; to select the best technical proposal with the best financial offer; and to design, construct and operate the project.
  • The Region has received submissions from five major consortia members include SNC-Lavalin Engineers & Constructors Inc., Ellis-Don Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada, Borealis Capital, Hydro One Connex and Bombardier that can provide services in planning, designing, building, financing and operating a Rapid Transit Network. One of the key requirements is demonstrated experience in building stakeholder relationships.
  • Our target is to enter into a partnership with the successful proponent by May 2002.
  • The Region's goal is to ensure that transit accounts for one-third of peak period trips to Toronto and to triple the overall transit share within the next 30 years.

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:

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

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