Metrolinx Board of Directors approves purchase of vehicles for Air Rail Link

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - The Metrolinx Board of Directors met today to receive a status update on critical transportation priorities including the purchase of vehicles for the Air Rail Link (ARL) between Union Station and Pearson Airport.

The Metrolinx Board directed staff to enter into a contract with Sumitomo Corporation of America (Sumitomo) for the purchase of twelve Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) at a price of approximately $55 million, which includes capital spare parts, special maintenance tools and contingencies for Metrolinx design changes.

"We are excited to be taking the next step towards providing a link from the busiest airport to the busiest passenger rail hub in Canada, said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "This rail link is a vital transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, improving traffic congestion and providing passengers with more travel options across the region."

The ARL vehicle contract would also include an option to purchase an additional six vehicles. If the option is exercised, the total contract is $75 million. These unique DMU vehicles are new to North America and not manufactured anywhere in Canada. By following a competitively tendered process used by Sonoma-Marin County in California, Metrolinx was able to achieve significant cost per vehicle savings. The vehicles will be manufactured in the United States, but where possible, Metrolinx will work with the manufacturer to optimize Canadian content.

These vehicles will be Tier 4 clean diesel and will be convertible to electric propulsion. Metrolinx has received approval from the Province of Ontario to begin the environmental assessment on converting the Air Rail Link to an electric service.

The ARL is an express rail link that will connect Pearson Airport with Union Station in downtown Toronto - Canada's two busiest transportation hubs. The ARL service will be operational by 2015 and will offer a critical transit alternative to the five million car trips that take place every year between these destinations.

    <<
    At the meeting, the Board also:
    -   approved the Mobility Hub Guidelines which will help municipalities
        plan multi-modal transportation sites;
    -   received a report on GO Transit's progress toward fulfilling its
        Passenger Charter promises that showed on-time performance exceeded
        its target;
    -   approved the Urban Freight Study which provides strategic directions
        to improve the efficiency and capacity of the transportation network
        for urban goods movement focusing primarily on road freight, but also
        considering connections to rail, air and marine terminals; and
    -   approved the completion and execution of the York Viva Master
        Agreement that will guide the funding, implementation, ownership and
        operation of a $1.4 billion provincial investment in a bus rapidway
        program in York Region.
    >>

The final report, appendices and staff recommendations are available online at www.metrolinx.com.

Metrolinx is the province's regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). For more information, visit our website www.metrolinx.com.

Disponible en français

SOURCE Metrolinx

For further information: Vanessa Thomas, Metrolinx, Media Relations, 416-874-5974; Ian McConachie, Metrolinx, Media Relations, 416-874-5975

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