Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry was joined by Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster at Union Station in downtown Toronto to announce that Ontario is moving ahead with the next phase of work to build the province’s GO Regional Express Rail (RER) system.
“This is a momentous time as we get set to quadruple weekly train trips, electrify the network and connect the people of our region to where they want to go better, faster and easier,” said Verster. “We are eager to engage with a field of world-class partners for this new chapter of unprecedented transit building that will set our region up for success for generations to come.”
Ontario will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a proponent to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain GO RER. This contract will integrate rail operations and maintenance with the infrastructure and vehicle upgrades required to deliver electrified rail service on the GO rail network.
Ontario will also issue RFQs for six new GO stations, 22 existing GO stations, and six new City of Toronto SmartTrack stations. GO RER, will provide the foundation for Toronto’s SmartTrack project, which includes integrated rail service on Stouffville, Lakeshore East, and Kitchener GO rail corridors, and the Eglinton West Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension between Mount Dennis and Renforth Gateway. The station upgrades and improvements will include major renovations to station buildings, new bus loops, digital signage, and other enhancements. The province will also move forward with the procurement of new maintenance facilities, trains, tracks, and other infrastructure necessary to increase GO service.
Ontario has already increased GO train service by more than 70 per cent, adding approximately 800 more train trips every week across the GO network than there were in 2013.
Ontario’s GO RER program is the largest rail project in Canada. Weekly trips across the entire GO rail network will grow from about 1,100 in 2013 to nearly 6,000 by 2025, with more all-day, two-way, 15-minute electrified GO service for commuters and families across the region.
Ontario is investing $21.3 billion to transform GO Transit from a commuter transit service to a regional rapid transit system.
GO RER includes more than 400 separate projects across more than 40 municipalities, and is the largest single investment in rapid transit in Canada.
The new SmartTrack stations will be financed in partnership with the City of Toronto.