Metrolinx board members voted on Wednesday to green light the construction of four light-rail transit lines across Toronto.

Metrolinx, the planning body for transit in the GTA and Hamilton, has vote in favour of a construction plan for LRT projects along Eglinton Avenue, the Scarborough RT, Sheppard Avenue and Finch Avenue.

"Earlier today the Metrolinx Board recommended a plan to get shovels in the ground on four new public transit projects in Toronto," Ontario Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said in a statement. "This plan would see us deliver on all four projects by 2020, with Eglinton Crosstown and Scarborough RT moving forward later this year."

According to the construction plan, the transit lines would ease the burden on Toronto's overcrowded transit system and could be completed as soon as 2020.

The plan being considered would see:

  • Construction on the Sheppard Avenue light-rail transit line beginning as soon as 2014 and finished by 2018.
  • Construction on an LRT on Finch Avenue beginning in 2015 and finished by 2018.
  • Continued construction on the Eglinton Avenue LRT with a completion date of 2020.
  • Upgrades to the Scarborough RT to convert the line into a light-rail transit line starting in 2014, with a target completion date of 2019.

The Ontario government has promised an $8.4-billion investment into Toronto's transit infrastructure.

In approving the plan, the board has agreed to move forward with the transit plan already approved by Toronto City Council during meetings on February 8 and March 22, 2012.

During the March meeting, councillors voted in favour of the recommendations of an expert panel that deliberated on the best transit options on Sheppard Avenue East.

That decision went against the desires of Mayor Rob Ford, who wanted to use transit money allocated by the province to extend the Sheppard subway line.