What is SmartTrack?
SmartTrack consists of two components:
1) increased service, new stations and lower fares along 41km of existing GO corridors between the planned Mount Dennis Station and Unionville Station in York Region by way of Union Station in Toronto, and
2) the Eglinton West LRT, an 11km westerly extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Mount Dennis to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre and beyond to Toronto Pearson.
Critical to the success of SmartTrack is that it be well integrated into Toronto’s transit network extending the
usefulness of SmartTrack to more people.. This includes an integrated fare that makes the cost comparable to
Toronto’s transit fares. The benefits of SmartTrack have been evaluated from a strategic perspective using the Principles and Criteria established
through the City’s “Feeling Congested?” process.
- December 11, 2014 - City Council endorsed report EX1.12. Request for Report on SmartTrack and Regional Express Rail Plans and directed the City Manager to work with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the Provincial Government and its agencies to provide an accelerated work plan for a review of the SmartTrack and RER plans.
- February 2015 - City Council endorsed report EX2.2 SmartTrack Work Plan (2015-2016) approving the work plan for the initial planning phase of the SmartTrack project to assess feasibility and develop business case. Council requested a report in fall 2015 that will provide requested analysis to inform Council’s decision making process with respect to approving and funding the next phases of the SmartTrack project.
- April 2015 - The Ontario Legislature passed Building Ontario Up, the 2015 Ontario Budget
- October 20, 2015 - The City's Executive Committee received the report EX9.1 SmartTrack Status Update for information.
- March 31, 2016 - City Council endorsed report EX13.3 Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan: Phase 1, directing the City Manager to
- finalize the technical and planning analysis phase for SmartTrack and prepare background studies required for Transit Project Assessment Processes (TPAPs), by completing the following:
- review the approved environmental assessment for the Eglinton West LRT extension from Mount Dennis to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre (MACC) and Pearson Airport to optimize design, and remove the heavy rail options on the western corridor from further consideration;
- complete the analysis for SmartTrack/GO RER integration options C and D, and remove from consideration the Separate and Parallel SmartTrack option, option A and option B, as defined in table 3 in the report (March 3, 2016) from the City Manager, the Deputy City Manager, Cluster B, and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning; and
- that the St. Clair West Station being recommended in the integrated GO RER/SmartTrack Options C and D be further considered within the context of the ongoing employment growth in the immediate area, and the purpose of the St. Clair Avenue West (EROW) and St. Clair Avenue Study; and
- report to the June 28, 2016 Executive Committee and June 28, 2016 Metrolinx Board meetings with the recommended SmartTrack concept.
On March 31, 2016, City Council directed the City Manager to finalize the technical and planning analysis phase for SmartTrack and prepare background studies required for the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). Further details can be found in the report EX13.3 Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan: Phase 1.
Western Corridor Options Analysis
As directed by City Council, staff have assessed opportunities for a heavy rail corridor between Mount Dennis and the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre (MACC). The services of HDR were retained for a technical feasibility review. HDR's review included an analysis of seven corridor options through five lenses: technical, regulatory, service concept, land use planning, and financial/costing. The City received the final report from HDR which was released in January 2016.
Based on this assessment, City Council directed staff to remove all heavy rail options from further consideration and review the approved environmental assessment for the Eglinton West LRT extension to optimize design. Further information can be found beginning on page 18 of the report.
SmartTrack/GO RER Integration
Metrolinx and City staff have been working together to develop a range of SmartTrack and GO RER integration options on the Kitchener & Stouffville/Lakeshore East GO Corridors. Four integration options were developed. The base case for the assessment is the Province's $13.5 billion GO RER program.
Based on an assessment of the various integration options, City Council directed staff to remove the separate and parallel option, Option A and Option B from further consideration. Further information can be found beginning on page 21 of the report.
Work Plan (2015-2016)
On February 10, 2015, City Council considered the report (EX2.2 SmartTrack Work Plan (2015-2016) and directed City staff in partnership with the Province (Metrolinx) to carry out the accelerated SmartTrack Work Plan. Specifically, Council:
- Requested the Province and Metrolinx to include the additional SmartTrack elements in the design and review of RER on the Stouffville/Lakeshore East GO Corridor and Kitchener GO Corridor, including:
- a service frequency of better than 15 minutes;
- all-stop service in both directions;
- accelerated electrification of the entire SmartTrack line;
- transit service integration;
- integrated fares between GO Transit and the TTC;
- seven additional stations on the Stouffville GO/ Lakeshore East GO Corridor; and
- four additional stations including one south of Bloor Street between Queen St and Dundas St west, plus the already planned new station at Mount Dennis on the Kitchener GO corridor.
- Directed the City in partnership with Metrolinx and TTC to undertake a feasibility review of SmartTrack options on the Eglinton Avenue West corridor (Mount Dennis to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre), including
- at least 3 stations;
- integration with the Kitchener GO corridor/RER plan;
- public consultation to inform the study; and
- to prepare the feasibility review as a background study for a future Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), subject to further Council direction.
City Council directed staff to include in the feasibility review a further option which would continue SmartTrack north from the Mount Dennis station to the airport area, including the existing Weston GO station, and two additional stations at Islington Avenue and in the vicinity of Woodbine Racetrack, and then connect to the Airport Corporate Centre by way of a new heavy rail link.
- Requested the City Manager in collaboration with provincial officials and other funding partners to develop a strategy for the sharing of the capital costs of implementing the SmartTrack enhancements to RER; and a strategy for financing the City's share of the capital costs.
- Requested the Province and Metrolinx to work in partnership with the City and other affected municipalities on the RER public outreach and engagement strategy, and include SmartTrack as a component of the strategy.
- Directed the City Manager to report in the Fall 2015 on the following:
- Kitchener GO and Stouffville/Lakeshore East GO RER/SmartTrack Service Concept, Infrastructure Plan and Business Case analysis
- Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Review findings and options for rapid transit on the Eglinton West Corridor
- High level costs estimates and planning analysis for all three corridors
- Capital cost sharing and City financing strategy
- Plan for additional Environmental Assessments that may be required on all corridors
- Update on public consultation activities
- TTC service integration plan that highlights connections to proposed SmartTrack stations.