Metrolinx has recently re-evaluated its list of proposed new GO stations in a Feb. 26 Technical Report (PDF 5mb). Park Lawn GO will now receive a “Preliminary Design Business Case” in the subsequent phase of study. This is excellent news for South Etobicoke, and thanks are due to our local representatives for their efforts at municipal and provincial levels of government.
The decision to apply a PDBC for Park Lawn GO is based on several considerations:
- The station spacing of less than 1.5 kms from Mimico is no longer being treated as an absolute impediment to servicing both Mimico and Park Lawn GO stations.
- With the delivery of 15 min. service to Lakeshore West, trains would alternate between servicing either Mimico or Park Lawn, but not both.
- Therefore, Mimico and Park Lawn GO would each receive 30 min. service, and ridership using those stations would remain schedule-bound.
- Level boarding at GO stations (platforms level with the lower step) is expected to reduce station dwell time, and is a source of additional time saving over the route.
Costs are projected to be lower than originally thought due to several factors:
- Platforms could potentially be located over the Park Lawn and/or Mimico Creek bridge structure, reducing the property implications of a new station.
- The station would incorporate side platforms specific to eastbound or westbound service (rather than an island platform serving both) which simplifies construction.
In the next phase of study, a more refined plan would be developed, and a clearer picture of where stations would be located, and how they would integrate with surrounding lands will emerge. This planning work would presumably have to take place in consultation and coordination with the ongoing Park Lawn Lake Shore Transportation Master Plan.
Note that Park Lawn GO would be an urban station – like Exhibition – and would include a pick-up and drop-off area, but no parking. To date, the owner of the Mr. Christie’s lands, First Capital, appears amenable to both a Park Lawn GO and a transit hub linking GO to TTC streetcar and bus service.
SETAC has long argued that GO service at both the existing Mimico and a new Park Lawn GO station is viable with electrification, GO-TTC fare integration, and alternating service. Although it is not widely recognized, Park Lawn GO is a benefit to the South Etobicoke community beyond Humber Bay Shores. Anyone who cannot access Mimico GO or Long Branch GO easily due to the number of surface route transfers, or distance westward (to Long Branch) would be able to take the 501 east to a Park Lawn transfer point.