The Regional Municipality of Durham has announced that Ontario has passed Bill 131, which enables the GO Transit Station Funding Act, 2023.
This is a significant milestone in the journey to expand rapid transit across Durham Region and beyond. The act introduces an innovative revenue tool that will enable municipalities to support the building of new stations along GO train routes, said a region statement.
It pointed out that rapid transit stations that spur transit-oriented communities help meet the needs of growing communities, bringing new development, particularly housing opportunities.
“This legislation will allow Durham to consider assuming upfront station costs—with costs recovered through a Station Contribution Fee—guaranteeing new stations without taxpayers paying the cost,” the statement said. (see below). It did not mention how the region would raise the funding for the upfront costs, or if it already has an allocation for it considering the project has been pending for decades.
The plan to build four new GO stations for the Lakeshore East GO Extension will provide frequent, reliable and accessible transit; it will open opportunities to new and existing residents and visitors to explore all that Durham has to offer.
Metrolinx, the operator of GO, has started on the process to expropriate land needed for the GO train extension (see below).
Two new stations are planned in Oshawa and one each in Courtice and Bowmanville (see map below).
“Bill 131 takes us one step closer to enriching the lives of our residents and will connect people and communities more than ever before. The GO Lakeshore East Extension will positively impact the lives of residents and visitors and we look forward to the work ahead in building vibrant, transit-oriented communities,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and CEO.