A Toronto-area MPP endorses an initiative that would amalgamate two major east-end Toronto commuter hubs and help reduce commuter times into downtown.
Introduced in 2008, the “Big Move” was a 25-year plan from Metrolinx to develop and integrate elements of transit in the GTA to improve accessibility and commuting times.
Under the initiative, for example, commuters could use the Danforth GO Train station (located on the east side of Main Street south of Danforth Avenue) as a “Gateway Hub” or quick connection to the TTC Bloor-Danforth subway line (just up the street at the TTC Main Street).
MPP Michael Prue (Beaches-East York) said he likes the idea to better integrate the GO line and the TTC line considering both stations are so physically close together.
“The stations are only a few hundred metres apart, so why not connect them?” Prue said. “It’s an ideal location with many street-level businesses that can benefit. It could be an alternative feeder line from Union (Station), instead of it going to Pape or Woodbine.”
Prue said for years he has listened to commuters about the lack of an integrated station at Main and Danforth.
“All kinds of people end up using that GO line … Then, they have to walk over to Main (TTC) station to use the Bloor-Danforth line,” Prue said. “I used to stand out front of Main station … and talk to commuters … I kept getting asked why these stations weren’t connected.”
Some have suggested the Gateway Hub plan could also alleviate commuter congestion from the east end of the city to downtown, or even eliminate the need for the so-called relief TTC line from Bloor to Union Station. However, Metrolinx doesn’t see the Gateway Hub as a total solution to commuter congestion from the east end of the city. Malon Edwards is a media rep for Metrolinx.
“The level of congestion on the TCC’s Bloor-Danforth line is not something the Lakeshore East (GO Transit) line is built to handle,” Edwards said. “The proposed relief subway line is the best solution.”
Metrolinx’s Big Move plan is now into its fifth year. The $11.5 billon transit plan takes aim at traditional methods of transportation in favour of developing light rail transportation and local highways.
Prue still feels more forethought has to be given to transit alternatives when improving commute times.
“It’s cheaper and more efficient to connect rail and run buses than it is to build highways and bridges.” Prue said.