Ontario’s Transportation Evolution: Revolutionizing Commutes and Communities

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In the dynamic landscape of Ontario’s transportation system, exciting developments and innovative projects are underway to revolutionize the way people move around the province. From expanding GO Train and subway services to the introduction of e-scooter rentals, Ontario is committed to providing convenient and efficient options for its commuters. These advancements not only enhance mobility but also have a significant impact on various aspects of various sectors, including housing and rental opportunities.

Landscape of Toronto

Maple GO Station: Elevating Commuter Experience

New infrastructure is being implemented at the Maple GO to enhance future GO Train services along the Barrie line. The GO Expansion program includes improved GO Train services, offering customers service intervals of 15 minutes or more between Union Station and Bradford GO, and 30-minute intervals up to Allandale Waterfront GO.1

Toronto Go Train arriving at Union station

Future commuters arriving at the station by bicycle, bus, car, or foot will have the opportunity to utilize newly constructed southeast and northeast platform structures for access to the west platform. The southeast structure will include newly constructed stairs and an elevator.1 These enhancements will make traveling through the Maple GO Station more efficient and systematic.

Aurora GO Station: Paving the Way for the Future

Significant transformations are currently underway at the Aurora GO Station. Metrolinx and the Ontario government have been working together for the past several years to enhance commuter services, expand transit connections, and pave the way for future two-way, 15-minute all-day service connecting Aurora Go Station and Union Station in Toronto. The Aurora GO Station plans to add an additional platform and track, construct a new pedestrian tunnel that includes elevators, create extra parking spaces, and enhance the rail signal system.This initiative is also part of the broader GO Expansion program on the Barrie Line to better serve communities like Aurora, East Gwillimbury, and Newmarket. 

This is in response to the rapid expansion of the York Region and the escalating demand for GO transit services. By 2041, the Aurora GO Station is estimated to serve over 5,000 commuters each day. Moreover, the long-term vision is to establish GO rail as one of the busiest railways in North America, with over 200 million annual riders anticipated by 2055, with the growing population and business developments in the area.

As transportation options become more accessible and efficient, these areas may see an increase in demand for housing, leading to the development of new residential properties and rental units.

TTC: Real-time Information and Payment Convenience

Modern tram in Toronto downtown at sunset. There is no traffic in the road, and nobody on the platform. Travel and transportation concepts.

Great news…taking the TTC just got easier! Commuters can now check the TTC website at ttc.ca for real-time arrival updates in addition to their app for the next three busses or streetcars at your stop, as well as the volume of passengers on those vehicles.3

Here’s how you can access this info:

  1. Visit ttc.ca
  2. Click “Routes & Schedules” from the top navigation menu
  3. Select “Bus Routes”
  4. Choose or search for your desired bus route
  5. Select the stop for which you want real-time arrival and occupancy details

This may assist the planning of your next trip using the most up-to-date information.

Toronto TTC Metrolinx Presto machines at a busy Bloor and Yonge station.  A contactless smart card is used to gain access to public transportation.

The Ontario government has simplified the payment process for Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) riders by offering more payment options. In addition to using your PRESTO card to pay for fares, riders can use their credit or debit cards, including cards on a smartphone or watch. In addition to the TTC, riders can now use credit or debit cards for fare payments on the GO Transit and UP Express. Approximately 4.7 million customers actively use PRESTO and the introduction of credit and debit payments on the TTC enhances convenience for many.4 This may save time for loading funds into your PRESTO card, avoiding lines and wait times during rush hour.

TTC Subway Safety: Ensuring Commuters’ Security

cctv security camera system inside of subway

The TTC is also committed to enhancing customer safety. They plan to achieve a minimum of 90 percent camera coverage in all subway stations (excluding Line 3 Scarborough) by the close of 2024.5 Currently, 19 stations have at least 90 percent camera footage and the remaining 51 stations will undergo security footage enhancements in the next two years.5 The 19 stations include:

  • Bathurst
  • Bloor-Yonge
  • Broadview
  • Castle Frank
  • Chester
  • Christie
  • College
  • Donlands
  • Dundas
  • Dupont
  • Eglinton West
  • Greenwood
  • Keele
  • Landsdowne
  • Main Street
  • Sherbourne
  • Warden
  • Woodbine
  • Yorkdale   

With easier payment options and an increase in security, individuals have the flexibility to commute longer distances to their workplace, as the daily commute is now a more feasible and appealing choice.

The Ontario Line: A Game-Changer for the GTA

Get ready to embrace the Ontario Line, a significant upcoming addition to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). This exciting development is bound to transform your daily commute into a breeze. Covering a total distance of 15.6km, this exciting new line will stretch from Exhibition Station to the Ontario Science Centre, seamlessly weaving its way above and below ground. The Ontario Line will accommodate nearly 400,000 daily trips and will bring much-needed rapid transit to more communities across the GTA! 5

The Ontario Line will play a pivotal role, supporting about 4,700 jobs annually during construction over the next decade. Beyond the job opportunities, it’s set to reduce commute times and connect more people across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond.5  Residents can experience a new level of convenience and improved transportation infrastructure.

Yonge North Subway Extension: Connecting Communities

Yonge North Subway Extension is set to undergo transformation with this new project. The Ontario government has recently issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Advance Tunnel Contract, a significant step towards minimizing congestion and improving community connectivity.6

Imagine hopping on the subway and quickly reaching major employment centers in places such as Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and beyond, especially with its recent technological hub developments from major companies. This extension will do just that, providing access to reliable public transit and linking people to robust job opportunities.

A smiling woman is holding a suitcase and waiting for her train.

This extension isn’t just about convenience; it’s a job creator, with thousands of jobs in demand for construction and billions of dollars circulating the new businesses and enterprises. Ontario is investing $70.5 billion over the next decade to transform public transit in the province, including projects like the Ontario Line and the Yonge North Subway Extension.6

The availability of efficient transportation options can make it more feasible for individuals to consider living in areas with lower housing costs while still maintaining access to job opportunities in more central locations. This can promote a more balanced distribution of housing options across the province, alleviating inventory shortages in densely populated urban centers and fostering growth in suburban and rural communities.

Revolutionizing Ontario’s Highways

highway 11 middle of the road

The Ontario government is taking bold steps to enhance road safety and traffic flow with the introduction of a unique 2+1 highway on Highway 11, just north of North Bay. This innovative project, a first in North America, promises to reshape our highway systems efficiently and cost-effectively. A 2+1 highway is a three-lane highway design with a passing lane that switches direction every few kilometers. This approach not only improves traffic flow but also increases safety. 

Additionally, the Ontario government is allocating nearly $624 million to repair and expand provincial highways and bridges in northern Ontario.7 This investment demonstrates their dedication to improving transportation across the province. This project is a significant part of Ontario’s transportation plan for northern Ontario, comprising more than 60 actions aimed at improving travel options, supporting economic growth, and making transportation in remote communities more efficient.7 It’s a step toward a safer, better-connected Ontario for all. 

The E-Scooter Pilot Program: A New Way to Commute

Full length side view of environmentally aware professional in work attire, safety helmet and backpack, beginning her commute home.

A new method of transportation is in town! Mount Pleasant, Brampton, and Bramalea GO Stations have become home to SCOOTY e-scooter rentals. Commuters now have access to electric scooters for their journeys to and from these stations. Customers can download the SCOOTY mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to unlock their own SCOOTY e-scooter at any SCOOTY parking hub. Busy working professionals will have an eco-friendly and convenient solution to getting around downtown and the city. The e-scooter pilot program will be effective until December 31, 2024.8

The future of transportation in Ontario is exciting, with these initiatives promising to make commutes more convenient, efficient, and sustainable. These projects will play a vital role in connecting communities, boosting housing and rental opportunities and improving the overall quality of life for residents and commuters alike. These exciting developments will shape Ontario’s future in more ways than one.

Stay tuned for more updates on Ontario’s transportation transformation!

  1. Ko, T. (2023, August 22). Construction progress continues at Maple Go. Metrolinx. https://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/construction-progress-continues-at-maple-go
  2. Krizman, I. (2023, August 21). Metrolinx upgrades Aurora GO Station for go expansion work. Metrolinx. https://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/metrolinx-upgrades-aurora-go-station-for-go-expansion-work
  3. Real-time bus arrivals and occupancy info now available on ttc.ca!. TTC.ca. (n.d.). https://www.ttc.ca/riding-the-ttc/Updates/real-time-next-vehicle 
  4. Ontario Launching Credit and Debit Payment on TTC. Ontario newsroom. (2023, April 16) https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1003363/ontario-launching-credit-and-debit-payment-on-ttc
  5. Ontario Advancing Contracts for Ontario Line Subway. Ontario newsroom. (2023a, March 4). https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002898/ontario-advancing-contracts-for-ontario-line-subway
  6. Ontario Advancing Contract for Yonge North Subway Extension. Ontario newsroom. (2023a, April 27). https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002983/ontario-advancing-contract-for-yonge-north-subway-extension
  7. Ontario Starting Work on 2+1 Highway. Ontario newsroom. (2023d, July 14). https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1003276/ontario-starting-work-on-21-highway
  8. Metrolinx announces the e-scooter pilot program with scooty mobility. Metrolinx. (2023, July 14). https://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/metrolinx-announces-e-scooter-pilot-program-with-scooty-mobility

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