Toronto transit plans move forward with LRT, PRESTO promises
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:08AM EST
Plans are formally coming together for the construction of four new Light Rapid Transit lines in Toronto, the same day transit users have been promised PRESTO fare cards are coming to the TTC.
Metrolinx announced Wednesday that it had signed a deal with the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto that "formalizes" the construction and operation of the new LRT lines.
Under the newly-formalized agreement, the lines will be owned by Metrolinx and run by the TTC.
"Metrolinx is pleased to be working together with the TTC and the City of Toronto to build and operate a light rail transit network that will allow residents to travel where they want, when they want," Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig said in a written statement.
Construction of the 19-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown LRT is underway with a projected completion date of 2020. The new Finch West LRT and the extension of the Scarborough LRT are scheduled to go into service that year as well, with the Sheppard East LRT due to open its doors the next year.
Commuters won't have to wait so long to use the PRESTO cards, however, as the agreement announced Wednesday promises they will work in all subway stations, buses and streetcars by 2016.
In her own statement, TTC Chair Karen Stintz hailed the smartcard as an advance toward "seamless regional transit" throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Commuters can already use the PRESTO cards -- which must be loaded at in-person customer service points, online, by phone or through pre-approved credit card deductions -- at all GO train stations and GO buses, as well as at 14 TTC subway stations.
TTC Chair and Toronto City Councillor Karen Stintz, left, speaks at the transit announcement on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (Keith Hanley / CTV News)