Metrolinx report says new Vaughan GO station not ideal
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:35PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 28, 2017 1:06PM EDT
A report released by Metrolinx this month suggests a planned new GO train station in Vaughan will actually put more cars on the road.
The Kirby GO Station was approved by Metrolinx’s board in June 2016 and is planned for a tract of land roughly half way in between the existing King City Station to the north and Maple to the south.
But an initial business case developed for the station found “that the benefits which could be realized by a Kirby station are not large enough to outweigh the anticipated negative impacts to GO Transit and the economy.”
Using a formula that translates delays into a certain number of riders opting for an alternative mode of transit, the study suggests the station would result in 188 fewer people boarding trains on the Barrie line each day, due to the “upstream” time delay caused by trains having to stop at the station.
The report says the additional stop and resulting delay would convince GO riders who begin their commute in the north to take their car instead, increasing overall congestion on GTA roads.
Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said that the station, to be located near Keele Street and Kirby Road, “ranked high for ease of construction, construction affordability and development potential.’
It also met the agency’s own requirements for planned residential density for the surrounding area and enjoys strong support from the City of Vaughan.
Ontario’s Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca represents the riding where the $98.4 million station would be built.
But the analysis also found that while the station could facilitate 5,100 trips per day by 2031, more than half of those trips would be made by riders who would otherwise use the Maple or King City GO stops.
While riders of the station would benefit from combined travel time savings of approximately 30,000 minutes per day, the additional stop would impact riders who boarded north of Kirby by approximately 91,000 minutes per day.
Construction on the station, which could include a 500-spot parking lot and pickup and drop-off area, could start as soon as 2022.
Aikins said the Metrolinx board could vote against building the station at a later date, as “all new stations planned are at the very early concept stage—and much more study and planning work is required before final decisions are made.”
The report was prepared for Metrolinx by IBI Consultants.