Metrolinx to build, own and operate Air Rail Link

Key transit project to be complete for 2015 Pan Am Games

TORONTO, July 30, 2010 /CNW/ - Metrolinx, the province's regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, has been asked by the Ontario government to build, own and operate the Air Rail Link (ARL) from Union Station to Pearson Airport.

Metrolinx will assume responsibility for the project including design, construction and operations and will incorporate the work that has already been done to date. Metrolinx's operating division, GO Transit, has a 40-year track record of running a successful passenger rail service.

The ARL will provide a premium express rail shuttle service between Union Station and Pearson Airport. The ARL will be an important link for business people and travellers and will be ready for the 2015 Pan American Games.

While the province and the Union Pearson Air-Link Group (UPAG), a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, were able to make significant progress negotiating, financial market conditions prevented acceptable terms. The government will continue to work with UPAG to build on the design and development work that has been completed to date.

Construction is already underway on the GO Georgetown South Corridor to support the Air Rail Link connection. This project is expected to create approximately 10,000 jobs in the design and construction stages over the next five years.

Each year, more than five million people travel between downtown and the airport and that number is expected to reach nine million by 2020. The ARL will help meet the tremendous demand for a direct service by connecting the busiest airport in Canada with the busiest transit and passenger rail hub in the country and will take 1.2 million car trips off our roads in its first year of operation alone.

QUOTES

"Metrolinx is well positioned to deliver the Air Rail Link service. Our government is committed to opening the Air Rail Link from Union to Pearson in time for the 2015 Pan American Games. The Air Rail Link will offer a quick and convenient transit option to reduce congestion, and as part of our Open Ontario plan it will create jobs and boost Ontario's economy."

- Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Transportation

"Metrolinx is excited to be asked to deliver this transformational transit project connecting Union Station and Pearson Airport. The Air Rail Link is a signature project for this region that will provide a great new transportation option between our nation's two busiest transportation hubs. Metrolinx is looking forward to capitalizing on the important work already done to deliver this vital service to Toronto and the GTHA in time for the Pan Am Games."

- J. Robert S. Prichard, President and CEO, Metrolinx

"The Air Rail Link is an essential part of our Pan Am Games infrastructure and we are very pleased Metrolinx will be delivering the service in time for the Games. We look forward to working closely with Metrolinx to put in place this important new transportation link."

- Ian Troop, President and CEO, Pan Am Games

"Toronto has a world-class airport and connecting this facility to the downtown core will make a dramatic difference to passengers. The ability to travel quickly between the airport and downtown is an important piece of the transportation puzzle for the city and the region. We look forward to working closely with Metrolinx to make this project a reality."

- Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Metrolinx is an agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit our website www.metrolinx.com

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For further information: Media enquiries - Vanessa Thomas, 416-874-5974 or Robin Alam, 416-874-5975