With the population, employment growth and expansion of GO Rail service, the passenger traffic at Union GO Transit Rail Station is expected to increase by two to three times 2006 passenger volumes by 2031. To accommodate this, Metrolinx has considered options to provide alternative routes into downtown that could divert passengers from Union Station, and limit the amount of additional infrastructure and space required.
Each option was evaluated with the following criteria:
- Ability to divert passengers from Union Station
- Ability to serve GO rail market / downtown Toronto employment
- Ability to integrate new TTC subway services providing system reliability and redundancy
- Consistency with The Big Move and GO 2020
- Ease of interagency coordination and approvals
- Ability to promote new development
- Magnitude of construction issues
- GO/Downtown Rapid Transit capital costs
- Risk / sphere of influence / control
- Ability to maintain reasonable passenger flows on subway
Two options were shortlisted for further analysis:
- Option 4B: Bathurst North Yard plus modified Downtown Rapid Transit. This option includes a Downtown Rapid Transit line that connects the Bloor-Danforth subway and Bathurst North Yard. GO Kitchener, Barrie and proposed Bolton GO train services would then terminate at Bathurst North Yard. Passengers would transfer to the Downtown Rapid Transit to further their trips to downtown Toronto.
- Option 6B: Lakeshore GO tunnel to new station adjacent to Union station. The Lakeshore East and West GO train services would travel underground as they approach Union station, and connect in to a new underground GO station, located east of the existing Union station.
The Union Station 2031 Demand and Opportunities Study will help to inform further analyses on any future downtown rapid transit expansion. Please note that this study was completed in fall 2011.