6 March 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced up to $962 million in partnership with the Province of Ontario and five municipalities to generate a combined investment of close to $4.5 billion in public transit and highway infrastructure projects in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Today’s announcement is part of FLOW, the federal government’s new long-term transportation action plan for the GTA. FLOW is designed to reduce gridlock, improve the environment and increase economic growth in one of the fastest growing areas in Canada.
FLOW is about ensuring the free flow of people, traffic, and goods right across the GTA," said the Prime Minister. "It’s about cutting the commute, improving the economy, and cleaning the air."
"Today's announcement is good news for Ontario's economy and environment and a great example of what can happen when we work together to build up our greatest strength - our people," said Premier McGuinty. "Working together, Ontarians are building growth that's green, and growth that lasts."
The transit projects to be funded through today’s announcement include:
the extension of the northern section of the Spadina subway line to Vaughan Corporate Centre, with the federal and provincial governments committing up to a maximum of $1.3 billion;
the development of the Brampton AcceleRide, with both governments committing up to a maximum of $190 million;
the construction of a Mississauga bus rapid transit corridor, with both governments committing up to a maximum of $173 million;
the enhancement of the York VIVA rapid transit system, with both the federal and provincial governments committing up to a maximum of $170 million; and
funding to develop regional rapid transit in the Regional Municipality of Durham.
Along with its joint investment with the Government of Canada on the public transit system, the Province of Ontario has agreed as a part of today’s announcement to invest in three key highway projects: Highway 407, Highway 404, and Highway 7.
FLOW will improve Ontario’s competitive advantage and attract new businesses to the GTA by creating a seamless transportation system with improved access to highways and more public transit options.
The province’s role in the partnership builds on its commitment to infrastructure, as first announced in the 2006 provincial budget under Move Ontario, a major, one-time $838 million investment in the province's public transit systems. The Ontario government has allocated an additional $400 million under Move Ontario, which municipalities may use for improvements to municipal roads and bridges.
Investments in highways and transit play an important role in moving people and goods across the GTA. The growth of the region’s transportation network will also support economic sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and trade.
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FLOW is an initiative of Canada’s New Government designed to reduce traffic gridlock, improve the environment and strengthen the economy in the Greater Toronto Area.
FLOW consists of key transportation infrastructure projects to be funded and built in the short- to medium-term. In most cases, the projects would be cost shared by the three levels of government.
The projects included in this initiative were selected following consultations with the Province of Ontario, mayors in the Greater Toronto Area, regional chairs, municipal councilors, and various community groups.
FLOW was developed to help enhance the quality of life for families and help businesses increase efficiency in the Greater Toronto Area by keeping people, traffic and goods FLOWing in the largest metropolitan area in Canada.
This initiative will focus on three main ideas:
Cutting Commute Times
By making investments in transportation infrastructure, the Government of Canada is helping to create a seamless and affordable transportation system that will reduce traffic congestion and help reduce commute times.
Clearing the Air
The transit projects included in this initiative will help reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions and will encourage people to leave their cars at home and use public transit.
Driving the Economy
In today’s highly competitive global economy, projects such as those included in FLOW could help area businesses improve their productivity and efficiency, thereby ensuring goods get to market on time.
The transit infrastructure projects announced today as part of the FLOW initiative include:
The existing Spadina subway line will be extended by 8.6 kilometres through York University to the Vaughan Corporate Centre.
The Government of Canada is committing up to $697 million towards the eligible project costs. The Province of Ontario has already provided $670 million into a trust for this project. The City of Toronto and Regional Municipality of York previously committed their contributions and will be responsible for the remainder of the project costs.
Federal funding commitments to this project are conditional upon the completion of a due diligence review, the negotiation of a contribution agreement and the proponent’s adherence to conditions put forth by the federal Ministers of Finance and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
Along with funding by all three levels of government, the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York will be exploring opportunities for alternative financing and procurement, such as public-private partnerships.
The project is expected to be completed by 2015.
This project involves the construction of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system along Brampton’s key transportation corridors and link the downtown to the north and west areas of the city, as well as to the City of Mississauga and the Regional Municipality of York. The Government of Canada is committing up to $95 million, while the Province of Ontario has already provided $95 million. The City of Brampton will be responsible for the remainder of the project costs.
The project will be constructed in two phases, the first expected to be complete by 2010, with ultimate completion anticipated in 2021.
A separate bus right-of-way will be developed to provide local and inter-regional connections to communities along the Highway 403/Eglinton corridor between Oakville and the City of Toronto. A total of 11 stations will be constructed along the route.
The Government of Canada is committing up to $83 million. The Province of Ontario has committed $88 million in support of the project. The City of Mississauga and GO Transit will be responsible for the remainder of the project costs.
The project is expected to be completed by 2012.
York Region VIVA Phase 2, Part 1
The VIVA rapid transit system will be enhanced through the construction of dedicated bus rapid transit systems along Yonge Street, from the Finch subway station to the Richmond Hill Centre, and along Highway 7, from the Markham Centre to Yonge Street.
The Government of Canada is committing up to $85 million towards eligible project costs.
Federal funding commitments to this project are conditional upon a matching financial contribution by the Province of Ontario, the completion of a due diligence review, the negotiation of a contribution agreement and the proponent’s adherence to conditions put forth by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
The project is expected to be completed by 2010.
Durham Region Rapid Transit Project
Funding will be provided to the Regional Municipality of Durham to help them further refine their transit service strategy and bus rapid transit implementation plans. This will include demonstrating how best to support anticipated urban growth, assess transit options and their integration with other services, develop detailed ridership projections, and cost-benefit analyses.
The Government of Canada is committing up to $2.5 million and the Province of Ontario up to $2.5 million. This rapid transit project is expected to start this year.
The highway infrastructure projects announced today as part of the FLOW initiative include:
Extension of Highway 407 east to Highway 35/115
Highway 407 will be extended eastwards by 67 kilometres from Brock Road in Pickering to Highway 35/115 in Clarington, and will include two north-south connections to Highway 401: one from Ajax/Whitby, and one from Oshawa/Clarington. A provision for a future dedicated transit right-of-way is also included.
The Province of Ontario is responsible for determining the appropriate financing and delivery for this project. The project is expected to be completed by 2013.
Widening of Highway 7 in Durham Region
Highway 7, in the Regional Municipality of Durham, will be widened from Brock Road to Highway 12. This project could help alleviate traffic congestion in a rapidly growing area of GTA and will improve links to Highway 407.
The Province of Ontario is responsible for funding this $55 million project.
Construction is set to begin in 2009 and is expected to be completed by 2012.
Extension of Highway 404
This project involves the extension of Highway 404 north from Green Lane to Ravenshoe Road. This extension could help reduce travel times, support economic development and help take long-distance commuter, and recreational traffic off local roads in the Regional Municipality of York.
The Province of Ontario, which is responsible for this project, is committing $250 million.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2012.