On January 16 I had the opportunity to take part in an important announcement at the Danforth GO Station. On that chilly morning, my colleague, the honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, announced that Metrolinx’s GO train service will be partnering with the TTC to deliver a fare integration pilot program. Andy Byford, CEO of the TTC, Bruce McCuaig, CEO and chair of Metrolinx, and Josh Colle, TTC Chair, were also on hand for this event.
Now, for an additional $60 per month, commuters in Beaches-East York can purchase a sticker for their TTC Metropass which allows unlimited travel on the GO Train between Danforth, Union and Exhibition stations. Stickers can be purchased at all three GO stations and represent savings of 65 per cent for users traveling between both systems.
If you’re a daily commuter to the downtown core, you could save 15 minutes each way traveling from Main and Danforth to Union Station, compared to using the TTC. While the City of Toronto determines the future course of our city’s transit, we are delivering relief for commuters with a simple solution.
This project is part of our government’s commitment to get commuters moving in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Since 2003, nearly $20 billion have been invested in transit in our province. An additional $29 billion will be invested over the next decade, nearly half of that in the GTHA. This year the Pearson-Union Express will be launched, finally connecting our downtown core to Pearson by rail. The Eglinton Crosstown is under construction and new streetcars funded by the province will continue rolling through the city over the next few years.
With increased densification in the Beach and along the Danforth, we will need expanded transit options, but there isn’t much room for transit to grow in our part of Toronto. The fare integration pilot is a simple solution by marrying two transit systems that cross our city. That’s why I advocated for this kind of integration during last spring’s campaign, and continued to push for it with the Minister of Transportation since the summer.
I am pleased that our government is moving forward with this project and I am hoping it will be successful. A permanently integrated regional transit system would bring greater investment to Main and Danforth by making that intersection a vital transit hub for East Toronto. With more commuters traveling between both stations and increased bus service to Danforth GO Station, we should see increased retail and restaurant opportunities sprouting around that intersection.
I’ve committed to supporting a thriving east Danforth for our community, and greater integration between TTC Main Street and Danforth GO Stations is an important start. I look forward to working with our local councillors, TTC, and Metrolinx officials to ensure that this pilot is a success and becomes a permanent feature of our city’s transit options. If you’re traveling downtown by TTC from the East End, consider getting off at Main Station, crossing to the Danforth GO Station and get moving!
On March 17, we will be hosting our first community skate at the East York Memorial Arena from noon to 3 p.m. If you have any skates to donate, please drop them off at our constituency office at 1821 Danforth Ave.