New link from Pearson to downtown Toronto

Post by Eric Mang in ,

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Bus at Pearson AirportBack in December, in one of my first posts, I complained about the absence of public transit linking Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto.

As the frenzy surrounding spending on new infrastructure intensifies, there are reports that construction on the airport-to-downtown transit link will begin by the end of this year. This idea has been seriously discussed for a decade, but has been mired in myriad process issues and community opposition (more on that in a second).

CBC reports that the link is part of a roughly $1 billion transit plan cost-shared by the three levels of government.

Unfortunately, the project will be privately operated. Does this mean that it will be a luxury link (it was reported earlier this year that one-way fares would cost $20) that blows past myriad neighbourhoods, ferrying businesses travellers to and from the airport while surrounding communities, drenched in diesel fumes, are denied speedy access to the downtown core?

Indeed, critics of the link say that it should do more than simply be a pipeline to the airport. For example, the line should have a few stops, particularly at Liberty Village to reduce the number of passengers on the King streetcar and at Humber College for commuting students.

Metrolinx, the province’s Greater Toronto Area transportation authority, has offered one stop with plans to add another. A good start, but for it to be a viable transportation option, more stops must be added.

I like any idea that lessens our environmental footprint, takes cars off the road and allows for efficient transportation to and from dense urban areas. But I take great umbrage with any project funded by tax dollars that is unaffordable to or cannot be used by any segment of the population or any community.

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