Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the groundbreaking for the latest milestone in the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line, the largest transit project under construction in Canada.
Work is beginning on Laird Station, located near the midpoint of the 19-kilometre Light Rail Transit (LRT) line. Construction began in March on Keelesdale, the first underground station. By the end of the summer, more than half of the underground stations on the 25-station line will be under construction.
“Station construction is the most exciting phase of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project, as the project progresses more actively above ground along the corridor,” said Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO, Metrolinx. “However, we know that this phase can also be more disruptive for drivers, pedestrians, transit users and neighbours. Metrolinx is working closely with its contractor and local stakeholders to deliver this key transit project that will expand and improve transit connections and transform the way Toronto and the region moves.”
Ontario has invested $5.3 billion toward the capital costs of the LRT line. New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people along the busy Eglinton corridor. The Eglinton Crosstown will also help lower greenhouse gas pollution, improving air quality and fighting climate change.
The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is expected to begin service in 2021. By 2031, it is expected to carry about 5,500 passengers per hour during peak travel times and have an annual ridership of about 50 million.
As well as 25 new stations and stops, the LRT line will also link to 54 bus routes, three TTC interchange subway stations and GO Transit. It will help move people across the city more quickly, reliably and conveniently, with service operating up to 60 percent faster than the existing bus service on Eglinton Avenue.