An unlikely alliance of councillors who want Metrolinx to rethink plans for the Union-Pearson Air Rail Link.
“Instead of running diesel trains for a business class premium fare express service between Union Station and the airport, we should maximize the impact of the provincial investment in the air-rail link…. We must build the air-rail link from the start as a healthy, affordable and sustainable electric transit line that stops in our neighbourhoods so Toronto can use it.”
—Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston) and Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), co-authors of an op-ed in the Star today. The two have worked together on a motion calling on Metrolinx to revise its plan for the Union-Pearson Air Rail Link. Currently, that plan calls for two stops along the line, at Weston Road and at Bloor Street; the councillors want the regional transit authority to add eight more stops along the route, in the hopes it will provide more useful service to a greater number of passengers. City council has no power to force any change in the plans—it can only request that Metrolinx do so, and rally public support—and will be debating the motion this afternoon at its monthly meeting. The motion is also backed by the Clean Train Coalition, a community group advocating that the diesel line in the current plan be replaced with electrified rail.
By a vote of 40–2 city council has voted in favour of this motion.