Is Toronto’s SmartTrack Coming to Mississauga?

Toronto Mayor John Tory's higher-order transit plan SmartTrack is undergoing some tweaks and changes, but Tory's proposed station at Mississauga's Airport Corporate Centre is still part of the ambitious project.

Originally, Tory's vision saw heavy-rail transit running from Kitchener Go to Pearson. He planned for a GO Train-esque journey between Toronto's Mount Dennis neighbourhood and the airport, but it looks like that's no longer on the table. Two studies released yesterday revealed the plan needs some massaging, as the heavy-rail line will suffer from high costs and low ridership.

According to a recent article in the Toronto Star, Tory has decided to revert to a Metrolinx plan to extend the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail line west from Mount Dennis. In that scenario, SmartTrack riders who need to reach the airport will have to take a transfer to reach their destination.

“Because of anticipated costs and lower ridership numbers, I accept that heavy rail is not the best option for the western leg of SmartTrack,” Tory told reporters on Tuesday, as reported by The Star.

Mississauga City Council discussed the SmartTrack plan yesterday and Mayor Bonnie Crombie seems pleased by the city's inclusion in Tory's lofty transit plan.

"Yesterday's announcement signals that Mayor Tory is willing to find solutions to ensure transit connects across the Greater Toronto Area, including Mississauga's Airport Corporate Centre and Pearson International Airport, two of the largest employment hubs. The SmartTrack plan now calls for connecting Toronto's Mount Dennis neighbourhood, to Mississauga's Airport Corporate Centre and Pearson International Airport, using light rail. Strengthening public transit between Mississauga and Toronto will open a world of possibilities, new economic development, and greater access to jobs and talent for our cities and our region," Crombie said in a press release.

According to a report cited by the The Star, the LRT will attract over 105,000 riders a day at cost of roughly $1.3 billion. Tory's heavy rail option was projected to attract about 87,000 daily riders at a cost of approximately $7.7 billion

Mississauga City Council seems content with how the plan is moving forward, as it looks like Mississauga residents will get an LRT that links them directly to TO.

The city's Hurontario-Main LRT project (the other major LRT that everyone's talking about), which is fully-funded, will run north and south and connect the city to Brampton.

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