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October 9, 1998

The Honourable David Collenette

Minister of Transport

Government of Canada

29th Floor, Tower C, Place de Ville

330 Sparks Street

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0N5

Sir:

I am enclosing for your information and any attention deemed necessary, Clause No.1 contained in Report No.10 of The Urban Environment and Development Committee, headed "A Rapid Transit Connection Between Pearson International Airport and Union Station", which was adopted, as amended, by the Council of the City of Toronto at its meeting held on October1 and2, 1998.

May I draw your attention to the amendment by Council found at the beginning of the Clause.

Yours truly,

for City Clerk

J. A. Abrams/csb

Encl.

Clause sent to:Minister of Transport, Government of Canada

Minister of Transportation, Province of Ontario

Mayor, City of Toronto

Chair, Urban Environment and Development Committee

Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services

Chair, 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid Corporation (BIDCO)

President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Managing Director, GO Transit

Regional Clerk, Regional Municipality of Peel

City Clerk, City of Mississauga

City Clerk, City of Brampton

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Toronto

Chief Executive Officer, The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto

c:Manager, Public Affairs, Canadian National Railways

GTA Mayors and Regional Chairs Committee

Interim Contact, Urban Environment and Development Committee

General Secretary, Toronto Transit Commission

Mr. J. E. Terry, Planner, Urban and Regional Planning Office

Transportation Systems Planning Branch, Ministry of Transportation

Mr. John Stillich, Environmentalists Plan Transportation

CITY CLERK

Clause embodied in Report No. 10 of the Urban Environment and Development Committee, as adopted by the Council of the City of Toronto at its meeting held on October 1 and 2, 1998.

1

A Rapid Transit Connection Between

Pearson International Airport and Union Station.

(City Council on October 1 and 2, 1998, amended this Clause by adding thereto the following:

"It is further recommended that:

(1)the federal Minister of Transportation be invited to make a presentation respecting this matter to the next meeting of the Urban Environment and Development Committee to be held on November 2, 1998; and

(2)the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services be requested to submit a report to Council in November 1998, if possible, or in December 1998, with an update on whether there has been any movement from the provincial or federal governments with respect to the foregoing matter, so that Council can be informed on the progress of this project.")

(City Council on July 29, 30and 31, 1998, deferred consideration of this Clause to the next regular meeting of City Council scheduled to be held on October 1, 1998.)

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(Clause No. 1 of Report No. 9 of The Urban Environment and Development Committee)

The Urban Environment and Development Committee recommends:

(1)the adoption of the following report (June 26, 1998) from the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services, subject to Council's support being conditional upon the project including a portion of the financial cost of the required upgrades to the subway platform at UnionStation; and

(2)that Council support the addition of a $1.00 airport fee to be used for the proposed rapid transit connection between Pearson International Airport and Union Station:

Purpose:

To update Council on issues related to planning for a rapid transit connection between Pearson International Airport and Union Station and to recommend next steps.

Financial Implications:

The recommendations of this report do not require any additional funding.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that City Council:

(1)endorse the concept of a rapid transit connection between Pearson International Airport and Union Station;

(2)endorse the conclusions of Provincial and Federal studies that the corridor adjacent to Highways 409 and 427, as shown in Figure 1, should be protected for a rapid transit connection between Pearson Airport and the CN Weston rail corridor, and request the Province of Ontario, Transport Canada, the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel, and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to pursue measures to protect the corridor;

(3)support upgrading of the Weston rail corridor to accommodate a new station in the vicinity of the Woodbine Racetrack and all-day GO service from Union Station to the new station, and request GO Transit to advise on costs;

(4)support the extension of the internal airport transit system from the airport to upgraded GOrail service in the CN Weston rail corridor as the preferred rapid transit option in the five to ten-year time frame, and request Transport Canada (in conjunction with the City of Toronto, the Ministry of Transportation, GO Transit, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the Region of Peel, and the City of Mississauga) to conduct a physical, operational, and financial feasibility study for this extension;

(5)request the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to consider technologies for the internal airport transit system which would be capable of being extended into the CN Weston rail corridor for a transfer-free connection to Union Station;

(6)request the Province and GO Transit to ensure that the upgrading of the CN Weston rail corridor for all-day GO service to the airport is a high priority for GO Rail expansion;

(7)request the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to continue to plan for an internal airport transit system in a manner which serves passenger convenience, and to be prepared to build the transit system in conjunction with the upgraded GO rail service, or prior to, if demand warrants;

(8)request the Mayor and the Chair of the Urban Environment and Development Committee to meet with the Federal Minister of Transport to discuss Federal support for the feasibility study and for the early implementation of the rapid transit connection; and

(9)direct the City Clerk to distribute copies of this report to Transport Canada, the Ministry of Transportation, GO Transit, the Region of Peel, the City of Mississauga, the City of Brampton, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the Toronto Olympic Bid Corporation, the Toronto Board of Trade, and Tourism Toronto.

Background:

On July 30, 1997, the former Metropolitan Council requested the Acting Commissioner of Planning, in consultation with the Chief General Manager of the Toronto Transit Commission, to submit a report to the Task Force on Downtown Rapid Transit Access to Pearson Airport on:

(a)the Official Plan Amendment required to protect public transit access to Lester B. Pearson International Airport;

(b)the design of the new terminal in relation to its availability to accommodate public transit including rail:

(c)implementation options for rail and subway;

(d)interim rapid transit arrangements for access to Lester B. Pearson International Airport, e.g.,enhanced bus service; and

(e)negotiating arrangements with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for cost-sharing of rapid and public transit access to Lester B. Pearson International Airport, similar to the arrangements being made with the Provincial Government for improvements to road access to the Airport.

The Task Force on Downtown Rapid Transit to Pearson Airport was not reconstituted by the new City Council. Over the past year both the Provincial and Federal Governments have completed studies which specifically address a rapid transit connection to Pearson Airport. City staff have also been directed by Council to negotiate with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) on an accord on matters of mutual interest regarding Pearson Airport; the rapid transit connection is one of the issues to be addressed in the accord.

This report summarizes the findings of the recent studies, responds to the issues raised by the former Metro Council, and provides staff recommendations to pursue this initiative through the accord negotiations and through more detailed feasibility analysis.

Discussion:

Over the past several years Planning staff have been involved in transportation studies of the airport area and have responded to the directions and requests of the former Metro Council regarding support for a rapid transit connection between Pearson Airport and Union Station. The Metropolitan Toronto Official Plan shows a connection between the CN Weston rail corridor and the airport. Planning for the connection has become more prominent with the GTAA beginning its plans for the redevelopment of Pearson Airport.

The GTAA's plans for the redevelopment of Pearson Airport include both airside and groundside improvements to be made over the next ten years which will increase passenger capacity to meet projected demands from the existing 28 million to 50 million. Improved access to the airport is essential to accommodate these new demands. The principal component of the plans is the development of a new terminal to replace Terminals 1 and 2. Highway access to the new terminal will be via Highway 409 and will require extensive improvements to Highway 427 and Highway 409 including widenings and modifications to the Highways 409 and 427 interchange. A new cargo facility on the west side of the airport will be provided with a new interchange with Highway 401 for cargo traffic only as well as new access routes to the surrounding road system. The airport redevelopment plan includes an internal airport transit system to provide access between parking areas and various points within the new terminal, but the GTAA is not committed to build the airport transit system until it is warranted by demand.

The Georgetown GO commuter rail service (peak periods only) and VIA Rail service (to Sarnia) are currently provided in the CN Weston rail corridor which runs north-westerly from Union Station and passes within 1.5 kilometres of the airport property. The upgrading of the Weston rail corridor has been proposed by GO Transit to accommodate all-day commuter rail service to the high growth areas of Brampton and Georgetown. The cost of upgrading the entire corridor to Georgetown was estimated at $238 million (in 1994). The cost to provide all-day frequent service, every 15 minutes, as far as Pearson Airport, has not yet been determined. The Weston rail corridor was also identified as a possible routing for high-speed rail between Toronto, London and Windsor.

Union Station may be redeveloped to include remote terminal facilities for Pearson Airport and the Toronto City Centre Airport. The addition of the airport facilities would further enhance UnionStation as an intermodal transportation terminal.

The redevelopment of Pearson Airport, the proximity of the Weston rail corridor, the proposed upgrading of the Georgetown GO rail service and the possible redevelopment of Union Station present a unique opportunity to connect Pearson Airport to the regional rapid transit network and particularly to Union Station. Such a connection would be a valuable asset for the City's tourism and convention business and for hosting the 2008 Olympics.

Recent Studies:

In response to a request from the former Metropolitan Council, the Ministry of Transportation identified a corridor from the Weston subdivision to Pearson Airport to accommodate a rapid transit connection between the airport and downtown Toronto. The draft report recommends a new Woodbine GO Station between Highway 427 and Highway 27 adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack and a corridor for rapid transit from the new station, along the west side of Highway 427 and the north side of Highway 409 to connect with the airport property east of Airport Road (see Figure 1). The preferred corridor is entirely within the City of Mississauga. Given the regional significance of the corridor, the Province, Transport Canada, the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel, and the GTAA should use their powers to protect the corridor.

A 1997 Transport Canada study supported the Provincial study and also recommended that Transport Canada and the GTAA should protect lands for a station to accommodate a potential rail/airport transit system interface as well as a corridor from the airport south to possible future transit facilities on Eglinton Avenue.

Design of the New Terminal:

The GTAA redevelopment plan for Pearson International Airport protects a transit right-of-way within the access corridor that runs between the parking garage and the terminal building (Figures2 and 3). The internal airport transit right-of-way extends to a station north of the terminal complex which the GTAA intends to be the transfer station with the regional transit system as shown on Figure 1. The internal airport transit will be constructed when the need for the service is established. In the interim, bus service will be provided.

A terminal design which incorporates the internal transit system directly into the terminal building and as close to the terminal passenger facilities as possible would provide a more convenient connection for air passengers by reducing walking distances. An internal airport transit system, built with and integrated into the terminal, would provide the optimum arrangement for passenger convenience.

Options for Rapid Transit Connections:

The following broad categories summarize the various options for providing a rapid transit connection between Pearson Airport and Union Station: (Figure 4)

(1)Bring Regional Transit Service into the Airport:

(a) diversion of the Weston rail corridor through the airport to provide direct VIA and GO station in the airport; and

(b)spur line from the Weston rail corridor to the airport.

(2)Extend Airport Transit System to Connect to the Regional Transit Service:

(a)to upgraded GO and VIA services in the Weston rail corridor; and

(b)to the possible future Eglinton rapid transit line and Mississauga busway.

(3)Provide a New Regional Transit Service from Pearson Airport to Union Station:

(a)extend the airport transit service to Union Station through or adjacent to the Weston rail corridor;

(b)provide a subway in a separate right-of-way in or adjacent to the Weston rail corridor; and

(c)provide a busway in a separate right-of-way in or adjacent to the Weston rail corridor.

The preliminary estimate for the diversion through the airport (1a) is $1 billion (1994); for the spur (1b), $300 million (1994). Option 2a, extending the internal airport transit system to the Weston rail corridor, is estimated at $40 million (1997). All three of these options (1a, 1b, 2a) also require the upgrading of the rail corridor at least to the new station near the airport. The cost of the connection to the Eglinton line, Option 2b, has not been estimated; the cost of the Eglinton rapid transit line itself is likely over $1 billion. No estimates are available for a new transit service, (3a, b, and c), but these options could be $1 billion or more. Appendix 1 includes more information on the preliminary assessment of options.

Currently, passengers from downtown Toronto account for less than 15 percent of the total Pearson Airport passengers. It is unlikely that even the most optimistic ten-year forecasts of transit travel to Pearson Airport would justify the high capital and operating costs of a new rapid transit infrastructure, such as Options 3a, b, or c. These options would require a widening of the Weston corridor as well as new tracks or a road, in addition and parallel to upgraded GO service in the Weston corridor. To ensure that transit service to the airport is cost-effective, it should be integrated with the regional rapid transit services serving the growing commuter demands to downtown Toronto and providing access to Pearson Airport from all parts of the GTA. An airport transit service should be frequent all day while a commuter line generally focuses on peak period demand. Running both kinds of service on the same track requires flexibility in the type of vehicle and service provided, i.e.,shorter, more frequent trains to the airport outside the peak period. Further analysis is required to determine the operational requirements and costs of such a service. Assuming that GO service in the Weston rail corridor is upgraded to be compatible with the needs of the airport passengers, extending the airport transit system to the Weston rail corridor is the most promising option (2a) which could be operable within the next five to ten years.

The extension of the internal airport transit system to the Weston rail corridor (Option 2a) could be the first phase of a longer-term extension to Union Station via the Weston rail corridor (Option 3a) to ultimately provide transfer-free service. If the airport system could run on the same tracks as the GO rail service, the cost of new infrastructure would be significantly reduced. This type of mixed service on one set of tracks should be considered as changes to rail operating requirements are made. In order to protect for a transfer-free connection to Union Station, the GTAA should focus on technologies for the internal airport transit system which also have the capability of providing frequent service in the Weston rail corridor.

A detailed feasibility study is required to determine the operational, physical, and financial requirements for the extension of the internal airport transit system to the Weston rail corridor and all-day GO service in the corridor. This study should include preparation of more detailed ridership projections.

Costs and Cost-Sharing:

The costs to upgrade the corridor to provide all-day frequent service to Pearson Airport, or to extend the internal airport transit system to Union Station, have not been estimated.

Currently, there is no obvious funding source for either the operating or construction costs of the connection of the internal airport transit system to the Weston rail corridor. The GTAA would fund the construction of the internal airport transit system within the airport. Funding of the Weston rail corridor upgrading for the GO rail service would be the responsibility of GO Transit, but financial constraints have put the project on hold indefinitely. A funding source for the link between the airport and the Weston rail corridor has not been identified. The City is requesting that the Province give the City and other GTA municipalities authority to establish new sources of funding, such as gas taxes and surcharges on parking revenues and vehicle licenses. Such revenue could fund or partially fund the connection between Union Station and Pearson Airport. Private sector parties may be interested in providing contributions toward the connection particularly owners of lands in the vicinity of the connection, such as Woodbine Racetrack, who could benefit through increased development potential. Another possibility is a public-private partnership for a design/build/operate arrangement. To date these funding options have not been investigated. A study to determine the business case and financial feasibility of the connection should be conducted. The potential for cost-sharing with the GTAA is an issue which is being addressed in the negotiations on an accord between the City and the GTAA on matters of mutual interest regarding Pearson Airport.

Conclusions:

A rapid transit connection between Pearson International Airport and Union Station will be a valuable asset to the City, its tourism and convention business, and its bid for the 2008 Olympics. The extension of the internal airport transit system to connect with the Weston rail corridor and all-day frequent GO rail service is the most cost-effective option for providing the connection within the next five to ten years. The further extension of the internal airport transit system through the Weston rail corridor would provide a direct transfer-free connection to Union Station in the longer-term.

The Pearson Airport redevelopment plan is a unique opportunity to ensure that the rapid transit connection is integrated into the airport in a manner which is convenient and attractive to passengers and which will influence travel to the airport to be more reliant on transit. The new terminal at Pearson International Airport is now being designed and site preparation work for the redevelopment plan is underway. Transport Canada should take the lead in conducting a feasibility study, consistent with environmental approval requirements, to determine the type of technology, operating requirements, capital and operating costs and funding sources for the connection between the Airport and the Weston rail corridor and the future extension through the Weston rail corridor to UnionStation. The GTAA should only consider technologies for the internal airport transit system which can be extended through the Weston rail corridor to Union Station in the future. GO Transit should conduct a review of the requirements and costs for upgrading the Weston rail corridor for all-day GO service to the airport.

Contact Name:

Ms. Anna Pace, Metro Hall, 392-8117, Fax: 392-3821.

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Appendix 1

Options for a Rapid Transit Connection between Pearson Airport and Union Station:

(1)Bringing Regional Rapid Transit to the Airport
(a)Diversion of the Weston rail corridor through the Airport

(b)Spur line from the Weston rail corridor to the Airport

-implications for the operation of commuter rail and intercity rail services

-passengers require a transfer to the airport transit system

-(1)(a) estimated at $1 billion (1994)

-(1)(b) estimated at $300 million (1994)

-requires upgrading of the Weston rail corridor

(2)Extend the Airport Transit System to Connect to the Regional Transit System
(a)To the GO and VIA services in the Weston rail corridor -passengers require a transfer to the airport transit system

-requires upgrading of the Weston rail corridor

-estimated $40 million (1997)

(b)To the possible future Eglinton rapid transit line and Mississauga busway -requires construction of Eglinton subway

-access to the airport from more locations within the City

-long travel times and many stops from Union Station

-passengers to and from Union Station require at least two and possibly three transfers

(3)Provide a new Regional Transit Service in the Weston Rail Corridor from the Airport to Union Station
(a)Extend the Airport transit service to Union Station

(b)Subway in a separate right-of-way

(c)Busway in an exclusive right-of-way

-could be compatible with Options (2)(a) and (b)

-long-term possibilities

-(3)(a) would be transfer-free for passengers to and from Union Station

-Option (3)(b) would require a transfer for passengers to and from Union Station

-(3)(b) possible cost greater than $1 billion

The Urban Environment and Development Committee reports, for the information of Council, also having had before it a communication (June 19, 1998) from the GTA Mayors and Regional Chairs Committee submitting a copy of the following motion which was adopted by the GTA Mayors and Regional Chairs Committee on June 19, 1998:

"Moved by:Mayor Peter Robertson - Brampton

Seconded by:Councillor Doug Holyday - Toronto

THAT the GTA Mayors and Regional Chairs meet with the Federal Minister of Transport to discuss the Federal Government's participation in funding with public transit, particularly with GO Transit and the link to the Airport and including UnionStation."

(City Council on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998, had before it, during consideration of the foregoing Clause, a communication (July 21, 1998) from the President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), clarifying that the GTAA does not levy a passenger fee at Lester B. Pearson International Airport; advising that the GTAA has been working to develop revenue generation with cost-savings to delay any imposition of a passenger facility charge; and stating that in the event that the GTAA does have to impose a passenger fee, it is committed in its agreements with government and airlines to ensure that all funds raised through this fee would exclusively fund airport capital projects.)

 

   
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