Wednesday, February 10, 2016

So what happened at the Metrolinx board meeting today?! Go make a coffee, grab the cat and stroke the kitty because here it is!

Today, the Metrolinx Board of Directors met to hear a number of reports, including updates on the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program and quarterly reports for UP Express, GO Transit and PRESTO, including a demo of the new TTC subway station faregates.

Also in attendance at today’s meeting were two special guests, Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who listened in on the presentation on RER integration with SmartTrack.


John Jensen, Chief Capital Officer, and James Purkis, Executive Vice President, Regional Express Rail, presented information regarding grade separation and electrification work required to implement RER. The update spoke to the benefits of electrification and the work underway to efficiently deliver the electrification program.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Integrating RER and SmartTrack

Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, provided an update on the integration of GO RER and SmartTrack, noting that analysis is proceeding using the Metrolinx business case framework, that a range of integrated options were developed working with the City of Toronto, and discussed next steps, which include understanding the infrastructure requirements, costs, and impacts to communities.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Station Analysis 

Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, presented an update on the progress of our analysis of potential new stations, which included updates on the engagement and feedback we have completed to date. Leslie noted next steps, which include municipal and public engagement to help further refine the current list.

The full presentation can be viewed here.

Grade Separations

John Jensen, Chief Capital Officer and James Purkis, Executive Vice President, Regional Express Rail, presented on the need for a number of new grade separations across the GO system. Their presentation spoke to the four-stage process Metrolinx is currently undertaking to determine grade separations and outlined the proposed implementation approach for delivering the grade separations.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Fare Integration 

Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, and Eve Wyatt, Senior Manager, Applied Research & Corporate Monitoring, provided an update on our fare integration work, as we work toward implementing one simple approach to transit fares across the GTHA. They presented three ‘fare structure concepts,’ to the board, for their input.

The full presentation can be viewed here

PRESTO Progress 

Rob Hollis, Executive Vice President, PRESTO, provided the board with an update on PRESTO, including a demonstration of the new TTC subway faregate, which will be begin field trials this quarter. Rob Hollis noted that testing is now underway on TTC buses, and he introduced the PRESTO Customer Charter. Over the coming months, PRESTO will inform and engage current and potential customers about the charter.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Union Pearson Express 

Kathy Haley, President, UP Express, presented her quarterly report. Given the significant interest in UP Express and that the ridership volumes were released as part of the report, Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig also spoke to it during his opening remarks.

The report also noted how eight months after launch, UP Express continues to experience a very high level of customer satisfaction.  People who use UP Express love it, and our task is to think about the service in a broader context and in the longer term. UP is an asset and service that will be operating over decades.

Kathy Haley also discussed how she and the UP team continue to examine a range of potential measures on how to grow ridership, including pricing, and building upon current discounts and promotions, such as BOGO and the upcoming free Family Day weekend promotion. We are looking forward to providing more information on this at a later time.

See the UP Express quarterly report

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