Increased transit access to York University became a reality with the today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a bus rapid transit route that will operate between Downsview subway station and the University.
Jim Flaherty, minister of finance and minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities; George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure; Jim Bradley, Ontario minister of transportation; David Miller, mayor of Toronto; and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) chair Adam Giambrone attended theceremony.
“York University has become a centre of unparalleled growth and activity, resulting in traffic congestion that is getting progressively worse,” said Flaherty. “While we all know designing and building the Spadina subway extension will take time, the additional six kilometres of dedicated bus lanes are an interim solution that’s both practical and efficient.”
“Riders, and in particular students of York University who have been frustrated with crowded, irregular service to campus, will see a real improvement in the reliability of the service they count on between Downsview Station and York University,” said Giambrone.
The BRT route is part of a two-phase project to improve access to York University. The first phase, known as the York University Busway, will provide six kilometres of dedicated bus-only lanes from Downsview subway station to the heart of York University. The second phase is the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension to Vaughan Corporate Centre. Construction has now begun on phase one and the busway project will be completed in time for the 2009-2010 school year.
The federal contribution of $9.7 million to the City of Toronto for the bus rapid transit project comes from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), and is part of an overall commitment of $350 million to the TTC and the City of Toronto for improvements to subways and subway infrastructure; streetcar infrastructure and dedicated streetcar lanes; buses and bus infrastructure; and the PRESTO farecard system for the GTA. The City of Toronto is contributing $18.4 million, and the TTC has allocated $9.7 million in provincial funding for this project.