ONTARIO will provide up to $1 billion to build a new light rail transit (LRT) line in Hamilton as part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the funding on Tuesday while in Hamilton. The province will cover 100 per cent of the capital costs of building the LRT, which will help grow the economy, reduce travel times and connect people to jobs and to other transit systems.
New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer speedy service from McMaster University through downtown Hamilton to Queenston Circle. The LRT will connect directly to the new West Harbour GO Station, which is now under construction, and protect for a future, high-order pedestrian connection to the Hamilton Centre GO Station. The LRT will ultimately extend to Eastgate Square. Procurement for the LRT will start in 2017, with construction starting in 2019.
In the 2015 Budget, the government committed to investing in rapid transit in Hamilton as part of the Moving Ontario Forward plan. Through this plan, Ontario will invest $31.5 billion over 10 years in public transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects across the province. The Hamilton LRT project aligns with the government’s priority of investing in rapid transit projects that will connect to GO Transit and other transit systems across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
The premier also announced an additional expansion of transit service in Hamilton. The province will extend GO rail service on the Lakeshore West line from the West Harbour GO Station at James Street North to a new GO station at Centennial Parkway in eastern Hamilton. Construction is expected to begin in 2017, with completion in 2019.
Investing in priority transit infrastructure is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Construction is currently underway to build the new West Harbour GO Station to be open in time for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
- To ensure that every region in the province benefits fairly from Moving Ontario Forward, the government is allocating dedicated funds to the GTHA and outside the GTHA based on their relative shares of the population using census data from Statistics Canada.
- The Moving Ontario Forward plan is expected to support more than 20,000 jobs per year, on average, in construction and related industries over the next 10 years.
- Over the next 10 years, weekly trips across the GO rail network will grow from about 1,500 trips to nearly 6,000. The government is working with its agency Metrolinx to bring Regional Express Rail service to the GO rail network.