The Government of Ontario has released its first draft plan to build a better regional transportation system in southwestern Ontario.
“People in southwestern Ontario deserve access to a safe and reliable transportation network that gets them to where they need to go,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney. “Our plan for southwestern Ontario includes real, practical transportation improvements that will connect our cities, towns, villages, and hamlets by improving our roads and highways, improving accessibility, and ensuring bus, rail, and local transit services are as seamless as possible.”
Ontario’s plan, Connecting the Southwest, contains more than 40 advancements and strategies, including options for improvements to existing rail corridors and private-sector partnerships to optimize passenger and freight rail. It also includes improvements to southwestern Ontario’s highway network and intercommunity bus services.
“People in southwestern Ontario deserve better transportation that gives them safe and reliable access to jobs, their family and friends and the region’s many tourist destinations,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “Our government will continue to put forward smart solutions that respect the value of southwestern Ontario to our province, to our economy and to our quality of life.”
The southwestern Ontario transportation plan marks the beginning of comprehensive regional transportation planning for the province, and will be informed by engagement with municipal leaders, Indigenous communities, community leaders, businesses, and transportation experts.
The province is also consulting the public to gather feedback and explore strategies to implement actions in the plan. Ontarians can participate by completing the online survey until March 17, 2020. Connecting the Southwest is a living document that will evolve throughout the consultations and as new and innovative technology advances.
Ontario is developing regional plans across the province, starting with southwestern Ontario. Regional planning is also underway for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Northern and Eastern Ontario.
As part of the plan, the province will establish a task force with municipalities and Indigenous communities that will look at better integrating rail, bus, and local public transit across southwestern Ontario to provide people with a seamless travel experience.
Click here to download a copy of the plan.