Is a transit announcement coming? Mayor, minister attending Metrolinx meeting
Tory, Del Duca to address media after GO RER/SmartTrack integration presentation
Toronto's mayor and Ontario's transportation minister will appear at a Metrolinx board meeting on Wednesday, sparking speculation that the two may make a public transit-related announcement during or after the proceedings.
A media advisory from the office of Minister Steven Del Duca said he and Mayor John Tory will address the media following a presentation to the board by Metrolinx's chief planning officer Leslie Woo on the integration of the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) and SmartTrack programs.
The integration plan is designed to connect regional GO Transit corridors and municipal transit to give short-distance riders more options and boost service for long-distance travellers.
Tory and Del Duca may also get questions about an idea floated Tuesday by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne that the struggling Union Pearson Express be used as a downtown commuter relief line.
"While it wasn't designed for that, there are two stops — there's the Dundas West and the Weston stop — so, you know, there is the possibility for it to be used in some partial ways for getting downtown," Wynne said.
The key, she said, is to get more people riding a train that has fallen well under its ridership projections.
The $456 million train between Union Station and Pearson International Airport averages fewer than 20 passengers per trip, despite a capacity of 113 passengers, according to the most recent ridership report.
Monthly ridership peaked at 79,000 in October, dipped to 65,593 in November then rose to only 67,000 in December, generally a busy month for airplane travel, the report said.