The CBC is reporting that the provincial government announced an ambitious new project today to revamp Kipling Station and turn it into a major transit hub for Etobicoke and Mississauga. The announcement came from Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield and Environment Minister Laurel Broten early this afternoon.
The new station, which will be owned and operated by GO Transit, is set to have an inter-regional bus terminal and will connect Mississauga Transit and GO buses with TTC and GO trains. The station revamps are targeted at encouraging suburban families to use transit to get in and out of the city and are scheduled to be completed in 2010. Not unlike Finch Station, which serves thousands of commuters from the northern suburbs, the project includes the addition of more passenger pick-up areas,
This pre-election initiative is meant to be seen as an eco-friendly move by the provincial Liberals, another attempt to improve the party’s eco-cred. The new Kipling Station is going to be LEED certified and built with renewable construction materials. The money for the project isn’t coming from the city at all—$30 million over three years is coming from the province and $5.5 million is coming from Mississauga. The move is also an attempt by the Liberals to woo western Toronto and Mississauga ridings; in the Iast election they won numerous ridings by a slim margin, so targeting suburban families is a move that may help sway voters in Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, and Etobicoke towards voting Liberal in October.
Considering the recent troubles that the TTC has been facing, we’re a little conflicted. On the one hand, this should help encourage suburban commuters to leave their cars at home, and the project itself won’t cost the city anything. On the other hand, a new influx of suburbanites using the TTC to get into the city will further tax the system and add to operations costs. The Liberals keep on pledging money to environmental cause, but why not put some money towards TTC operating costs to help alleviate the TTC’s own budget crisis? Toronto’s own station-renovation plans have been put on hold because of the lack of funds. From our recent interview with TTC Chair Adam Giambrone, it’s pretty obvious that the TTC is in need of some provincial cash.
The election is still months away. We’ll soon see what else the government—and every other party—has to bring to the transit table.
Photo by inventor_77 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.