They haven’t said how or when, but the provincial government has made a commitment to extend the Yonge St. subway into York Region.
Today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a number of transportation initiatives for the GTA, but the one that strikes home for residents of York Region is the subway news.
“We’re building the kind of integrated rapid transit systems that a growing exciting region like this absolutely has to have,” Wynne said at the announcement.
The Yonge subway extension had been at the top of the list of York Region transportation plans and comes at a time when local leaders have been demanding a commitment from Queen’s Park.
At today’s news conference, no official plans or guidelines were revealed but the funding is expected to be part of plans announced in March when both the provincial and federal governments promised more transportation funding across the GTA. Today’s news amounts to about $9 billion in costs across the board.
Further, with a provincial election next month, any sort of commitment by Wynne may not be guaranteed if her Liberal government does not hold on to power.
Still, the news is big for York Region because it is relying on the subway to be the background of the region’s transportation infrastructure by not only allowing commuters easy access in and out of Toronto, but also serving as the key connector for east-west transportation for Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Currently the subway ends at Finch Ave. in Toronto but plans for the extension call for an extra 7.4 kms up to Highway 7 in Richmond Hill with stations at Steeles Ave, Langstaff Ave. along the way.
Today’s announcement also calls for additional stations along the Stouffville GO train line, though not in York Region.
Although no start date for the subway extension has been announced, it expected to take 10 years to complete.