Canada’s largest and fastest growing metropolis, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), is at a crucial point in its history. Several decades of rapid growth have outpaced the supply of transportation, and particularly transit infrastructure. Vital improvements to the region’s transit system are needed to ensure that transportation contributes to, rather than detracts from, our quality of life. The future of transit, within a bold vision for the GTHA, offers exciting opportunities for transforming urban form, society and the environment.
An immediate priority for Metrolinx is the creation of a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), a long-term strategic vision for a coordinated multi-modal regional transportation system. Within the RTP, specific goals will guide transit design. These goals will be integrated within the RTP along with objectives set out in the province of Ontario’s Places To Grow – A Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2006) in order to transform transit’s role as a key delivery mechanism of this Growth Plan in the context of people, the environment and the economy.
Transforming how transit services are provided, as well as how transit is perceived, are important elements in achieving the GTHA’s overall vision. Modest changes will not enable transit to compete effectively with the automobile. Nor will it be enough to provide more frequent transit service or to build a few more subway or commuter rail lines.
Achieving sustainable mobility will mean developing significantly stronger cross-regional transit that serves inter-municipal trips and long-distance trips within each municipality, local transit services within municipalities, and for transit-supportive land use.
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