In September 2008, Metrolinx launched a regional transportation plan – The Big Move – a 25-year, $50 billion plan for coordinated, integrated transportation and transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). One of the first wave of projects currently underway is the Eglinton Crosstown, which represents an investment of $5.3 billion (2010$) toward better transit in Toronto.
The Crosstown is a light rail transit (LRT) line that will run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. This 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive.
The Crosstown is part of the $8.4 billion (2010$) investment from the Ontario government to expand transit in Toronto. The Crosstown project is the largest transit expansion in the history of Toronto.
Construction is currently underway and the Crosstown service will begin in 2020.
The speed of service is determined by the spacing of the stops and the speed limits of surrounding traffic, and the Crosstown vehicle will average 28 kilometers/hour.
Sample travel times:
|Current (via bus)||Crosstown LRT|
|Kennedy station to Yonge-Eglinton||40 minutes||26 minutes|
|Kennedy station to Eglinton-Keele||73 minutes||38 minutes|
|Eglinton-Keele to Eglinton West station||16 minutes||6 minutes|
The Crosstown will carry passengers in dedicated right-of-way transit lanes separate from regular traffic, as well as priority signaling at intersections. These two components ensure that the Crosstown is reliable and that travel times are more certain.
|A rendering of a typical surface stop arrangement.|
The Crosstown will have up to 25 stations and stops. It will link to 54 bus routes, three subway stations and various GO Transit lines.
|A rendering of the Eglinton station that will connect passengers to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.|
The projected ridership of the Crosstown is 5,400 passengers per hour in the peak direction by 2031. The capacity of an LRT is 15,000 passengers per hour, per direction. LRT cars can be removed or added easily, thus providing the flexibility to accommodate ridership demands.
The Crosstown vehicles will have multiple entrances and low floors to ensure fast and accessible boarding. In addition, each vehicle will use the PRESTO proof-of-payment system.
LRT is a proven technology that is used around the world, including cities with variable temperatures such as Edmonton, Calgary and Minneapolis.