Coming to your region soon: getting around the GTHA without a car

Viva Rider

Some of us can still remember when a drive across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) took you through a mixture of urban and rural scenery. Hard to believe now, isn’t it? Much of our region is now one interconnected, pretty much seamless urban expanse, from Hamilton all the way to Oshawa and beyond. And people’s travel patterns reflect this regional reality; many residents travel all over the GTHA for work, entertainment, shopping and recreation. We are truly citizens of a great region, not just of one town or city.

Unfortunately, getting around the GTHA by transit is anything but seamless. With nine separate transit services operated by various local and regional municipalities, connecting from service to service might require multiple transfers and waits at each municipal boundary. For some commuters, the hassle of transferring might make it easier to drive, even with all the congestion on our roads. Given all the environmental reasons for reducing car trips, that’s really a shame – but until there’s a better option, we know lots of people will stick to their cars.

The good news is that a more coordinated rapid transit network is on its way, and our vivaNext plan is going to play a large part.

Looking at the map created by Metrolinx you can see how the future system will be a truly regional transit network. With multiple connection points linking various new services, this new network is going to make it easier and faster for commuters to take rapid transit – whether that means a subway, bus rapid transit, or light rail transit – from one end of the GTHA to the other.

And Metrolinx is currently evaluating a whole range of other rapid transit options, including extending the Yonge Subway up to the Richmond Hill Centre. So as these other projects are funded, the regional network will become even bigger and better.

At the same time as the physical connections are being increased, Metrolinx has also been implementing their new Presto card, which allows you to use one fare card on most GTHA transit systems.

We’re really excited about being part of this huge plan to extend continuous rapid transit all across the GTHA. We know that once this network is built, leaving your car at home and taking rapid transit will finally be a convenient, comfortable and fast option, no matter where you want to go.

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