Metrolinx is thinking about the future — at least as far as 2041.
The board released their Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area at their Sept. 14 meeting, with the intention of gathering feedback over a 90-day public consultation period. The information they get will be considered for use in the final draft, which will be available in December.
By 2041, Metrolinx says over 10 million people will live across the Golden Horseshoe Area. The new transportation plan will move beyond The Big Move.
The report reads: “We need to plan for a future characterized not only by continued population and employment growth, but also by changing demographics (including an aging population), the changing nature of work, new transportation technologies and services, and the impacts of climate change. In short, we cannot stop.”
There are five different aspects of this new transportation plan.
- Completing delivery of current regional transit projects: Metrolinx is in the midst of increasing their Rapid Express Rail, working on the Hurontario, Eglinton, Hamilton, and Finch Light Rail Transit, as well as the York VIVA. Delivery is expected by 2025.
- Connecting more of the region with frequent rapid transit: The goal is to create 15-minute all day service so that people can get around the region without delay.
- Optimizing the transportation system to make the best possible use of existing and future transit assets: Metrolinx has determined that fares by distance is the most efficient structure. It also wants to ensure that more people take alternative modes of transportation on their way to use the transit system. Their goal will be to increase the number of people who bike, walk, or carpool from 38 per cent to 62-64 per cent.
- Integrating land use and transportation: This strategy will help create mobility hubs and new developments, with the goal of intensifying certain areas so that transit becomes more accessible. The designs wil encourage cycling and walking as primary modes of transportation.
- Preparing for an uncertain future: The plan encourages a regional approach to transit planning as opposed to municipal or private enterprises. Metrolinx will also continue to study new technologies to help reduce greenhouse gasses.
The public will be able to provide feedback at six regional roundtables prior to the final draft.