GTA mayors stress need for transit hub at Pearson International Airport
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017 11:41AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 4, 2017 12:41PM EDT
Mayors from across the GTA met with Ontario’s Transportation minister on Tuesday to discuss the need for a transit hub at Pearson International Airport.
The hub, dubbed Union Station West, would provide rail and bus connections between Canada’s busiest airport and destinations throughout the region.
Proponents for the facility say that it could bring together several rapid transit lines that are planned to service areas in the general vicinity of the airport, including the Eglinton West and Finch West LRT’s.
The same hub could also allow commuters to utilize several existing rapid transit lines that don’t currently connect with the airport. For example, GO Transit’s Kitchener Line has a stop at the Malton GO Station, which is located just past the northeast corner of the airport.
“We want to make sure this happens. This is such a necessary improvement to our transit infrastructure,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told CP24 on Tuesday. “You look at every major city in the world really and they have a transit hub. You think about London taking the train right into Paddington Station, same in Paris getting on the RER (Regional Express Rail). Every major international capital has a transit terminal that gives you access north, south, east and west. We just want the same.”
About 10 per cent of people accessing Pearson International Airport do so by taking public transit, which is far behind the international average for mega hub airports of 34 per cent.
In a report that was released in December, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said that a transit hub at Pearson is the “critical link” that is currently missing in the region’s transportation system.
The GTAA said that a hub could provide connections to a “network of buses, airport express trains, metro/rapid transit line and regional/national trains.”
“They is going to be a hub where all these lines come together to further connect people to opportunity which in the end is what we are all trying to do,” Mayor Tory said on Tuesday, in reference to the significant number of people who work at the airport and in the surrounding area. “Toronto will be an active and an enthusiastic participant in the discussions going forward to try to make this a reality.”
It is not immediately clear where the funding for an airport transit hub would come from but Crombie told CP24 that it is her hope that both the GTAA and the private sector would contribute funds.