The City of Mississauga, City of Toronto, City of Cambridge and the Town of Milton are each requesting support from their Council Members to partner on a study that could result in a transformation of the rail network in the western GTA.
“Improving rail transit in the western GTA would provide long-lasting benefits for our city. It would stimulate economic growth by attracting new talent, businesses, employers and students to the city while increasing innovation, growth opportunities and prosperity,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We share the same vision as our municipal partners and Mississauga is taking the lead, to bring about convenient and effective transit solutions to move people across the GTA and beyond. Similar to Mississauga’s LRT, there’s a strong foundation that supports the need for a regional rapid transit system.”
The federal government has indicated its intent to invest in transit infrastructure, including rapid transit. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $2.6 billion in funding for Toronto’s SmartTrack transit plan, as a commitment ahead of October’s federal election.
Crombie adds, “The proposed study is called the Missing Link. It will play a crucial role in determining how our rail lines will be used to move people, goods and materials throughout the region in the future.”
The study will look at the feasibility and business case of constructing a new rail line that would connect the Milton GO line, west of Trafalgar Road in Milton to the CN Bramalea By-pass line in Brampton, beside Highway 407. This new line would relocate heavy freight rail away from the Milton and Kitchener GO lines in order to allow for two-way, all-day GO Train service on both of these lines. Another benefit would be that heavy freight would be relocated away from the most densely populated areas of the GTA, including central Mississauga.
Expanded GO service on the Milton line is a priority for Mississauga, with six of the eight Milton GO line stations (Dixie, Cooksville, Erindale, Streetsville, Meadowvale and Lisgar) located within the city.
“This is an important project that the City has a vested stake in,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “If it moves forward, there would be a lot of promising opportunities for the city. Cooksville Station is part of the Milton GO line that will eventually connect to the city’s LRT. This would make it easier for commuters to travel to, through and from Mississauga.”
The City is proposing that IBI Group be selected as the vendor to conduct the study. As the project lead, the City has tasked the IBI Group with determining the feasibility, cost and business case for the project with an eight-week turn-around time to complete reporting.
A Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) between the partnering municipalities has been drafted, outlining how resources and costs will be shared. The feasibility study and business case will be finalized by mid-August.
For more information about the project: June 24 Council agenda.