From Vaughan to Union in 42 minutes: 'No traffic, no delays' when Line 1 extension opens

It's been more than a decade in the making and now the opening of the Line 1 subway extension is less than two months away — along with the promise of no delays.

Take a sneak peek inside some of the TTC's new stations, set to open in December

On Saturday, riders had a chance to get a sneak peek at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. (CBC)

It's been more than a decade in the making and now the opening of the Line 1 subway extension is less than two months away — along with the promise of no delays.

Six new TTC stations are set to open on Dec. 17 along the Spadina line, with a final stop in Vaughan. And on Saturday, riders had a chance to get a sneak peek at Pioneer Village, Highway 407 and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

People got to step inside the TTC's new Pioneer Village Station on Saturday. (TTC)

Gary Gladstone was one of them and has been counting down the days until he can hop on the train downtown, cutting his sometimes hour-and-a-half commute time down to about 40 minutes.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "Yes it was coming, it was coming, now it's here — 50 more days."

Joanna Kervin is the director of third-party planning and property with TTC and says the transit agency expects the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will bring in somewhere in the neighbourhood of 26 million new riders.

"We of course do some fairly conservative forecasts so we're certainly hoping that we exceed those numbers," she said.

Kervin says the trip from the Vaughan station to Union will take about 42 minutes — "no traffic, no delays."

That's thanks to a new signalling system on the line, called the automatic train operation system, that's being fully tested and operating when the line opens in December.

'Long time coming'

Construction on the project began in 2010, but the planning goes all the way back to 2004.

"It's been a long time coming," Kervin said. 

Denis Pasquali lives in Vaughan and normally drives to Wilson station to take the train downtown. The trip, he says, is "too long, but an hour and a quarter most days."

While he was told the trip could take about 40 minutes by subway, Pasquali admits he was skeptical.

"That's ambitious, I think... Time will tell."

A look inside the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station set to open in December. (CBC)

But when it comes to the design of the Vaughan station, he's impressed.

"I like what I see so far. The art's nice, it's airy, it's light"

Kervin says she's heard a similar refrain from most people coming in to see the the station.

Many of those who got a glimpse inside the new Vaughan subway station were impressed at its design. (CBC)

"They've really never had it before so it's terrific for them to see this really happening … and they can actually other areas that they were really only able to access via car before."

Gladstone, for one, is convinced.

"Now all we need is the Yonge Street extension and then we're in business."
The Vaughan subway station is one of six new stations set to open on Line 1 in December. (CBC)