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Metrolinx president addresses current projects in letter

Residents and local politicians alike have been waiting anxiously to find out the status of a planned GO expansion to Bowmanville.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Metrolinx President and CEO, Phil Verster has penned a letter to municipalities who are partnered with the company that details why current projects, such as the Bowmanville GO extension, are under review.

The letter notes Jeff Yurek, the provincial Minister of Transportation, addressed the Economic Club of Canada and announced that Metrolinx has been asked to assess the current status of transit projects, such as the proposed expansion to the Lakeshore East line to Bowmanville, as well as to assess the feasibility of “applying a market driven approach to delivering transit infrastructure, starting with new GO stations.”

Verster said this means there will be changes to the current delivery process for new GO stations, and they will work with municipalities to determine opportunities for third party investors to become involved.

“Metrolinx has consistently planned for the integration of transit and land-use,” reads the letter. “This new approach is an exciting opportunity to move this plan forward with each new GO station.”

Verster believes this new approach can save tax dollars, but will also grow transit ridership. “It will create and leverage the true value of transit and deliver much more than just transit stations; it will deliver local integrated built environments that offer the services people want at the doorstep of where people will live, work and play.”

The current GO expansion planned to Bowmanville is currently under review, and members of Oshawa council, and local MPP Jennifer French, are looking for answers.

French previously told The Oshawa Express when she had inquired about the expansion during Question Period, she was met with a non-answer.

“We want to make sure that [the Bowmanville GO expansion] is still on the horizon for our region, and it’s frustrating that I cannot get a real answer as to whether or not the project is on track,” French previously told The Oshawa Express.

However, Durham MPP Lindsey Park also previously told The Express the PC government fully supports the expansion.

“We are committed to delivering an all-day service expansion. We take that commitment made in our platform very seriously.”

While the Metrolinx website indicates that the expansion is scheduled to finish in 2024 the plan has yet to move forward.