Ontario’s coffers may be empty, but it will somehow scrape together millions of dollars to build the Hurontario LRT running between Mississauga’s Port Credit neighbourhood and Brampton.
Queen’s Park’s is firmly behind the $1.6 billion transit line.
Just after new mayor Bonnie Crombie took over, the LRT project seemed to be in jeopardy when she flatly stated that Mississauga had no money to contribute toward the project.
The LRT is among a list of Metrolinx projects that the Ontario Liberal government said last week it would work with Toronto region cities to deliver. Also on the list were a series of bus rapid transit lines, the Toronto relief subway and the Yonge subway extension to Richmond Hill.
Mississauga’s councillors are divided on the LRT project. Some believe the emphasis and need is for better connectivity from Mississauga to Toronto, West-East rather than North-South. Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish believes Mississauga would be better served by investing in a subway from Square One all the way to Union Station. ““We have thousands of residents travelling to the airport area and 40 per cent of the residents go to Toronto. I know the subway is more expensive but will be more cost-effective in the long run and will get rid of the traffic gridlock,” she said. in an interview with Can-India last December.
Questions remain as to who will be on the hook for the operational cost once the project is up and running.
The transit infrastructure is part of the investment Premier Kathleen Wynne said will flow from the sale of part of Hydro One and other provincial assets.
Much of that investment will go toward the GO regional express rail (RER) plan that would see much of the system’s tracks electrified to provide 15-minute frequencies on some key sections. On Friday, Wynne announced there will be 50 per cent more GO trains in five years.
There is no word yet on expanded GO service on the Milton GO line which is urgently required given Milton’s burgeoning population as well as Mississauga residents who are concentrated in the North of the city.