Metrolinx is new proponent of Georgetown Line



    Project to be Evaluated Under Transit EA Process

    TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Metrolinx announces it is the new proponent of
the expansion of GO service on the Georgetown GO Line to Etobicoke, Bramalea,
Brampton and Georgetown, including a rail link between Union Station and
Pearson International Airport. The project will be evaluated under the Transit
Environmental Assessment (EA) Process, which is expected to begin spring of
2009.
    "I am excited that we are taking on this project - it is an important
element of our Regional Transportation Plan. We will review the project and
meet with people to get their views before we begin a transit environmental
assessment process," said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx.
    Building on previous studies, Metrolinx will present a revised project
plan in the New Year. All interested parties will have opportunities to
comment on service improvements for travellers on the Georgetown Line and to
the airport.
    "GO trains on the Georgetown South rail corridor are at capacity. We need
more frequent rail service to meet the demands for public transit," said GO
Transit Board Chairman Peter Smith.
    Metrolinx is managing the EA portion of the project and GO Transit
(http://www.gotransit.com/publicroot/en/Default.aspx) will provide expertise
in rail service planning, in consultation with its transportation partners:
CN, CP, VIA Rail, City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.
    The Georgetown expansion is part of the GO Transit Rail Improvement
Program (GO TRIP (http://www.gotransit.com/gotrip/index.asp )) a $1
billion-dollar expansion initiative funded by the federal and provincial
governments and local municipalities through the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund. The Union-Pearson link component of the project will be
financed and operated by a private sector operator

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

    Disponible en français



    
    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Metrolinx Uses Ontario's Transit Environmental Assessment Process
    

    Improving public transit is a priority in Ontario - it's good for our
economy and our environment and the travelling public.

    HOW DOES THE TRANSIT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS WORK?

    The Ministry of the Environment
(http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/news/2008/062501mb.php) developed the Transit
Environmental Assessment Process. It is a rigorous review that maintains the
quality, depth, public involvement, and transparency of other assessment
processes.
    The Transit Environmental Assessment Process uses field and planning
work, community and government agency consultations, and engagement with First
Nations to determine if there are provincially significant negative impacts
and to identify mitigation measures that may be needed to address those
impacts.

    HOW IS THE TRANSIT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS DIFFERENT?

    Public transit is important for reducing traffic congestion and air
pollution, improving quality of life, managing sustainable growth, and
improving the business climate. Because it focuses solely on a transit
project, the Transit Environmental Assessment Process is faster and more
efficient, so Ontarians can have transit sooner.
    As the Georgetown GO expansion is receiving federal government funding, a
federal environmental assessment is required. The federal and provincial
processes will be coordinated.

    DOES THE TRANSIT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS ALLOW FOR PUBLIC
CONSULTATION?

    The Transit Environmental Assessment Process requires extensive public
consultation. As a first step Metrolinx will review previous studies and share
a revised project proposal at open houses to be announced early in 2009.

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

    Disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate, Public
Affairs and Media, Metrolinx, Phone: (416) 874-5923, Cell: (647) 289-4523,
Jacquie.Menezes@metrolinx.com, www.metrolinx.com

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