Canada, Ontario invest in GO service improvements across the GTA



    TORONTO, April 3 /CNW Telbec/ - GO Transit riders will benefit from an
additional $213 million in service improvements as part of the $500 million
joint investment between the Government of Canada and the Government of
Ontario. These projects will reduce wait times for commuters and get more cars
off the road.
    "These investments in public transit will give people more time with
their families while also creating jobs and making a real difference to the
communities GO serves," said Canada's Minister of Transport and
Infrastructure, John Baird. "We're getting people moving, and the economy
going."
    "Ontario is investing in public transit to combat congestion and climate
change and make transit more convenient so more people leave their cars at
home," said Ontario's Transportation Minister, Jim Bradley. "Supporting public
transit creates jobs that help boost the economy."
    Today's announcement builds upon the $249 million in federal and
provincial funding previously announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and
Premier Dalton McGuinty for expansion of GO Transit parking facilities across
the Greater Toronto Area and the Hamilton Junction rail-to-rail grade
separation project, bringing the total commitment to date to $462 million. The
remainder of the joint Canada-Ontario commitment will be confirmed in the near
future.
    In addition to maintenance activities across the system, GO will
refurbish locomotives and purchase new two-level passenger rail coaches,
install snow-melt systems and build bicycle shelters using the federal and
provincial funding.
    A backgrounder with information on the GO Transit revitalization
projects, including a complete list of funded projects, is attached.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                 IMPROVING GO TRANSIT SERVICE IN THE GREATER
                 -------------------------------------------
                          TORONTO AREA AND HAMILTON
                          -------------------------

    Investing in infrastructure creates jobs, stimulates economic growth,
supports a cleaner environment and enhances the overall quality of life for
all Ontarians.
    On February 17, 2009, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced a
joint investment of $500 million for the GO Transit revitalization project,
which will improve GO Transit service and reliability. The initial
announcement included $249 million towards a series of parking expansions
throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Today's announcement confirms an
additional $213 million federal and provincial investment, which will support
the following GO service improvements:

    Milton Corridor
    ---------------

    - Streetsville Bus Storage:
           - The expansion of facilities to accommodate future bus service
             expansion. Construction will begin fall 2010 and be completed
             by spring 2012.

    Lakeshore West Corridor:
    ------------------------

    - Exhibition Station:
           - A pedestrian tunnel extension and new north tunnel entrance will
             be built, an elevator will be installed, the platform will be
             widened and a snowmelt system installed. Construction is
             expected to begin spring 2010, and be completed in winter 2011.
             These improvements will allow for improved customer access to
             train platforms with new and extended tunnels, as well as
             improved customer comfort with wider and snow/ice/salt-free
             platforms.
           - The track will be extended and realigned to create a fifth track
             through Exhibition Station to provide for improved reliability
             and peak period service. Construction is expected to begin fall
             2009, and be completed by spring 2011.

    - Clarkson Station:
           - The south platform at this rail station will be removed and
             reconstructed to include a snowmelt system and canopy. This
             project will begin once the north platform has been completed
             and track installed. Construction is expected to begin in fall
             2009, and be completed in spring 2011.

    - Burlington Station:
           - A new pedestrian bridge will be built at this station to connect
             the parking structure to the centre platform. This will provide
             direct access in an enclosed, weather protected structure.
             Construction will start in summer 2009, with completion in
             winter 2010.

    - Train Fuelling facility at Aldershot:
           - A new fuelling facility at Aldershot will reduce the need to
             divert trains to the main maintenance facility at Mimico for
             refueling, thereby improving reliability and adding operational
             flexibility. Construction is expected to begin in April 2009,
             and be complete in November 2009.

    Lakeshore East Corridor:
    ------------------------

    - Ajax Bus Satellite Maintenance facility:
           - The new facility will feature combined indoor and outdoor
             refueling, bus washing, light maintenance and bus driver lay
             over areas, as well as office space. Construction is expected to
             start in spring 2010, and to be completed in spring 2011. This
             facility will improve operational efficiencies to meet existing
             and future growth.

    Richmond Hill Corridor:
    -----------------------

    - Oriole Rail Station:
           - The existing pedestrian bridge, which connects the rail platform
             to the community to the west of the station, will be
             rehabilitated. Construction is expected to start in summer 2009,
             with completion in fall 2009.

    - Richmond Hill Centre Bus Terminal:
           - A third platform and two shelters will be built for the Hwy 407
             East service within the York Region Transit Terminal at the
             Richmond Hill Centre. Design is scheduled to begin in April
             2009, with construction from May 2009 to October 2009. This will
             improve the integration of bus services between GO Transit, VIVA
             and York Region Transit.

    Barrie Corridor:
    ----------------

    - Allandale GO Rail Station:
           - A second GO Transit rail station will be built in downtown
             Barrie to provide more travel options for GO customers in
             Barrie. Design is expected to begin in summer 2009 and
             construction will run from 2010 to 2011.

    Georgetown Corridor:
    --------------------

    - Credit River Bridge:
           - The bridge over Credit River will be widened to expand capacity
             on this crossing and improve the efficiency of trains,
             particularly between Georgetown and Mount Pleasant stations
             along the Georgetown Rail Corridor. This upgrade will add a
             second track and provide for a third track. Construction is
             expected to start in summer 2009, with completion in fall 2010.

    Growth Projects outside the GTA:
    --------------------------------

    - GO Bus storage facility at Aberfoyle:
           - A new covered bus storage facility will be constructed at Brock
             Rd. South and McLean Rd in Aberfoyle. Phase I of construction
             will build a bus garage that will provide overnight storage for
             twelve GO Buses. It is expected to be complete by the end of
             2009. Phase II will build a joint-use bus terminal building for
             Greyhound and GO Transit. Subject to the negotiation of a
             service agreement with Greyhound, this phase of the project
             should be complete in 2010.

    Rail Projects:
    --------------

    - Bridge Rehabilitation on GO-owned Rail Corridors:
           - The Yonge Street Bridge in Aurora will be improved this year,
             with additional bridge repairs throughout the GTA the second
             year.

    - Track Rehabilitation - GO Owned Rail Corridors:
           - Starting in 2009, track maintenance and improvements throughout
             the GO Rail network will be undertaken over the next five years.

    Rail Equipment:
    ---------------

    - Locomotive Refurbishment:
           - Over the next four years, while GO Transit is waiting for the
             delivery of new locomotives, GO will refurbish its existing
             locomotives. This refurbishment will improve the reliability of
             the 45 older locomotives to ensure they are kept in a good state
             of repair.

    - Bi-level Coaches:
           - GO Transit will purchase 20 bi-level coaches over the next two
             fiscal years. These additional rail coaches will allow GO
             Transit to accommodate more customers.

    Station Projects:
    -----------------

    - Platform Snowmelt System:
           - Installation of snowmelt systems at GO Transit's Ajax and Bronte
             GO Rail Stations during the 2010-2011 construction season.
             Snowmelt systems ensure snow- and ice-free platforms, which
             enhance customer comfort.

    - GO Station Bicycle Shelter Program:
           - In the summer of 2009, 56 bicycle shelters included in this GO
             Rail network program will be built. These shelters are in
             addition to the 46 shelters already built through the program.

    - Computer Aided Dispatch / Automatic Vehicle Location System:
           - Installation of GPS systems on all GO Buses with connections to
             a central common server. This will provide more timely and
             accurate information to GO Transit's control centre staff and
             provide for more efficient allocation of resources to
             buses/trips/routes as needed. It will result in improved bus
             service and reliability and will begin in the summer of 2009.
             Implementation of this system is scheduled to be complete by the
             end of 2011.

    GO Transit revitalization:

    On February 17th, the Governments of Canada and Ontario announced funding
to support the construction of 6,800 additional parking spaces and structures
at twelve GO Transit stations.

    The parking improvements will be done at the following locations:

           - Ajax
           - Aurora
           - Mount Pleasant
           - Bramalea
           - Centennial
           - Unionville
           - Cooksville
           - Erindale
           - Oakville
           - Markham
           - Pickering
           - Rouge Hill

    Also announced was a rail-to-rail grade separation project that will
increase reliability and improve GO train service at the Hamilton Junction.

    Ontario-Canada Building Canada Fund Agreement
    ---------------------------------------------

    In the summer of 2008, the Government of Canada and the Province of
Ontario signed the Canada-Ontario Building Canada Plan Framework Agreement.
Under this agreement, $6 billion is available for investment in the province's
infrastructure. The federal government will be providing up to $3.09 billion
and the provincial government will be providing up to $2.91 billion
    Further, under the Plan, the Government of Canada will provide $25 million
in base funding annually, for a total of $175 million through to 2014 for core
infrastructure priorities in Ontario. A further $2.98 billion will flow to
Ontario municipalities through the extension of the federal Gas Tax Fund
agreement from 2010 to 2014.
    The Canada-Ontario Agreement outlines how the Building Canada Plan will
operate in the province. It also establishes a governance framework through
which the two governments will work together, in the spirit of open
federalism, to identify and address further infrastructure priorities. Federal
funding is conditional on the projects meeting all federal eligibility
requirements and the signing of a contribution agreement with the Province of
Ontario.
    In addition to the $6.2 billion of guaranteed funding outlined in this
agreement, under Building Canada, Ontario and its municipalities will also
have potential access to the Gateways and Border Crossing Fund as well as the
Public-Private Partnership Fund. Finally, with the full GST rebate and the Gas
Tax Fund, over fifty per cent of the Building Canada Plan flows directly to
municipalities to further strengthen local infrastructure priorities.

                                                                 April 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of Transport
and Infrastructure, Minister John Baird, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Nicole
Lippa-Gasparro, Office of the Ontario, Minister of Transportation, Toronto,
(416) 327-1815; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Bob
Nichols, Communications Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto,
(416) 327-1158; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest
from Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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