GTAA, Metrolinx to study extending Eglinton Crosstown to Toronto Pearson airport

Dec. 2, 2019
The connection would be anchored by Union Station West, which is envisioned to be a regional transportation center at the airport.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Metrolinx intend to partner to advance the technical work necessary to extend the Eglinton Crosstown West from Renforth to the airport. GTAA committed an additional C$40 million (US$30.11 million) to the effort aimed at improving transit connectivity and establishing a second transit hub in the Greater Toronto Area, dubbed Union Station West.  

Union Station West would serve as a regional transit center for the Airport Employment Zone (AEZ), which is Canada’s second largest employment zone with more than 300,000 jobs across the municipalities of Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto, according to the AEZ Coalition.

GTAA is investing C$38 million (US$28.60 million) to support the GTAA-Metrolinx joint work program that is examining transit connections to the airport, such as a potential Kitchener GO rail corridor connection and improved LRT and bus connections. The proposed project to build the Eglinton light-rail line west was included in an agreement between the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto.

“As part of our Plan to Build Ontario Together, our government is making the single largest capital investment in new subway builds in Canadian history,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We welcome the GTAA’s multi-million-dollar investment to help connect the Eglinton Crosstown West Subway Extension to Toronto Pearson Airport.”

To support the role a future Union Station West could play in regional transit connectivity, GTAA released a whitepaper, “Union Station West, the second transit hub we need to keep the region moving.”

GTAA includes among the important findings of the report:

  • Municipal borders are meaningless to transit riders – workers, students, residents – who experience multiple unintegrated fares and uncoordinated transfers.
  • The region’s current “radial” transit system no longer supports connections between the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s economic and employment centers.
  • The goods movement sector is straining under intense road congestion, leading to increased consumer prices, lower profits and reduced productivity.
  • Efficient connections to Pearson are critical for all regional economic zones.
  • Coordinated ground connections to, from and between southern Ontario airports would provide convenience and choice for travelers.
  • The 300,000 plus employees in the AEZ need safe, efficient first- and last- mile solutions that reflect the 24/7 nature of the country’s second largest employment zone.

“Significant improvements to our regional transit system are required for our region to be able to compete globally, and that is why we are making this financial investment to advance this work,” said Howard Eng, president and CEO of GTAA. “We will continue to push for improved transit that connects to Toronto Pearson and the Airport Employment Zone as well as the creation of Union Station West.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.