March 26, 2003

York Region welcomes $50 million investment from the Government of Canada for rapid transit


NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York and York Consortium welcome the announcement today of a $50 million investment from the Government of Canada as the initial commitment to help fund the York Region Rapid Transit Plan (YRTP) and its Quick Start program.

The federal government has committed these funds over the next three years through its Federal Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

The funding announcement, made jointly today by David Collenette, Transport Minister and Minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, and Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, matches the $50 million contribution York Regional Council approved on October 17, 2002.

"We appreciate this investment in our transit plan by the federal government. Their partnership is crucial now and in the years to come in order to meet the transit needs of one of Canada’s fastest growing communities," said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO. "This is terrific news for the residents and businesses of York Region."

Chair Fisch also recognized the invaluable support received from federal MPs both in York Region and across Greater Toronto regarding the YRTP.

The YRTP is focused on a state-of-the-art rapid transit network across four York Region corridors, with key connections to the City of Toronto and the regions of Peel and Durham. The plan will help focus urban development in York Region and alleviate road congestion throughout Greater Toronto. The YRTP is also critically important to the continued economic growth and vitality of York Region and the GTA, as well as to the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and the environment of the Region.

"Today’s funding commitment from the Government of Canada helps signal the beginning of rapid transit in York Region," said Frank Wilson, President of AECOM Enterprises – one of 10 private companies that form York Consortium, the private sector partner for the YRTP. "Hours of hard work have already gone into the York Region Rapid Transit Plan. This Plan addresses the problem of gridlock with a solution that will help sustain economic growth."
York Region continues to work with the Ontario government regarding funding from the Province for the YRTP. The Region has applied for $50 million for Quick Start through the Ontario SuperBuild Corporation to match the federal and municipal commitments.

YRTP will roll out in three stages, the first being Quick Start. Quick Start involves priority projects that can be launched over the next three years. These include road improvements, new transit stations, the purchase of rapid transit vehicles and the installation of a high tech fare system. This approach will provide short-term, but important tangible benefits in the four Regional corridors.

The full rapid transit network will be implemented in Phase 2 of the program. Phase 3 involves growth-related expansions and upgrades in response to changing development patterns. The rapid transit plan has the potential to eliminate hundreds of thousands of car trips in York Region and Greater Toronto, and will reduce air pollution and smog.

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

Costs for full implementation of the YRTP range from $2.4 billion and $4.1 billion over the next 30 years, depending on the choice of technologies and the extent of system facilities.

The YRTP is a collaborative effort between York Region and its local municipalities. It is the heart of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) – a 30-year action plan York Regional Council approved last year to address transportation needs in the Region and, to a large degree, across Greater Toronto. The TMP is a key part of Vision 2026, the Region’s 25-year strategic plan, which focuses on creating strong, caring and safe communities.

For additional information on the York Region Rapid Transit Plan, including a series of Fact Sheets on rapid transit, please visit the YRTP Web site at www.region.york.on.ca/yrtp

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

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

(905) 830-4444 ext. 1235 or After hours at 905 252-7789

E-mail: patrick.casey@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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