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.
In July 13, 2016, City Council approved (Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan to 2031 16.1) the following components which comprise the SmartTrack project scope, and requested the Province of Ontario and Metrolinx to partner with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission, to complete the remaining technical and planning analysis and undertake any required Environmental Assessment/Transit Project Assessment Process:
- SmartTrack/Regional Express Rail (RER) Integration scenario with up to six new stations located at Finch, Lawrence, Gerrard and Unilever on the Stouffville/Lakeshore East GO corridors and Liberty Village and St. Clair West on the Kitchener GO corridor; and Eglinton West LRT extension with between 8 to 12 stops between Mount Dennis and Renforth Gateway, and potential grade separations located at Martin Grove Road, Kipling Avenue and the Eglinton Flats as well as the potential grade separations at Islington Avenue and Royal York Road and a review of their associated costs.
- City Council request the City Planning Division and the Toronto Transit Commission, in partnership with Metrolinx, the City of Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) to further develop options for extending the Eglinton West LRT between RenforthGateway and Pearson International Airport and to examine opportunities to provide commuter parking for the LRT.
- City Council direct the City Manager and the Deputy City Manager, Cluster B to work withMetrolinx to consider further the feasibility of a Woodbine GO Station on the Kitchener GO Corridor to coincide and support potential future development in the vicinity, including development of more than 700 acres at Woodbine, and to report back to City Council as appropriate, including the identification of potential contributions for a new station from private partners.
- City Council request the City Manager and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission, to report to the Executive Committee in the fourth quarter of 2016 on the financial and logistical conditions imposed by Metrolinx that the City "provide accessible, weather-protected, pedestrian connection to Lansdowne Subway Station" and on the potential solutions to finance the investment needed to make this connection, as outlined in the City's Official Plan.
- City Council direct the City Manager to initiate discussions with Metrolinx and Transport Canada to identify best practices and possible solutions that avoids the use of train bells and/or whistles for trains entering and exiting passenger rail stations, and to provide a progress report to the Executive Committee by the end of 2016 on the status of those discussions and to include any steps or legislative requests which City Council can take in order to eliminate the use of bells and/or whistles at existing GO Train stations.
- July 12-15, 2016 - City Council endorsed report EX 16.1 Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan to 2031, directing City Manager Office to partner with Province of Ontario and Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission, to complete the remaining technical and planning analysis and undertake any required Environmental Assessment/Transit Project Assessment Process
- 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.
- October 20, 2015 - The City's Executive Committee received the report EX9.1 SmartTrack Status Update for information.
- April 2015 - The Ontario Legislature passed Building Ontario Up, the 2015 Ontario Budget
- 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.
- 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.
- July 24, 2014 - The Ontario Legislature passed the Building Opportunity and Securing Our Future Act (2014 Budget Measures), which included a commitment to deliver Regional Express Rail (RER) which envisions expanding GO Transit rail service across all seven GO corridors. RER will provide two-way, all-day, GO service as frequent as every 15 minutes through electrification of provincially owned GO rail corridors. The RER program will be delivered over the next ten years by the Province's regional transportation agency, Metrolinx.
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.