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Toronto Mayor John Tory had been discussing with Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic on Tuesday morning about a regional transit hub, dubbed as Union Station West, at Pearson International Airport, media reports said.
Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTTA) agreed to this proposal of the hub as it would be similar to Toronto's Union Station and would serve as a downtown hub for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway, GO Transit and Via Rail in reducing commuting times to the airport, said Del Duca, CBCNews reports said.
Tory said the proposed hub was both exciting and much needed because the region was lacking in transit.
"The reality is that we have far too many people in this region that are spending far too long in cars, that are in cars to begin with as opposed to other forms of transportation, that are polluting the environment by doing that and that are taking time away from their families. It's just not healthy for the economy and for productivity either," he said, CBCNews reports said.
Tory said the city of Toronto (Governing municipal body of Toronto) was in support of the plans presented on Tuesday because they considered actual traffic patterns in the Toronto region.
For example, he said, not all traffic comes from west to east or heads downtown and added involvement of the public and private sectors and the airport authority was essential to make this project a success
Last year GTTA had said that it will fund the development and construction of the transit hub.
Proposed costs of the project were not provided on Tuesday.
The proposal of the transit hub was applauded by Duca, Crombie, Jeffrey and Vrbanovic, and was favoured by both public and private sectors, was considered a good economic development policy which would make the area more business friendly, would create more jobs for its residents considering the Pearson area is the second largest employment zone in Canada after Toronto.
An estimated 300,000 people work in the Pearson employment zone and the GTAA says 93 percent of those workers drive to their jobs, CBCNews reports said. .
The GTAA told the mayors and the minister that a transportation hub would benefit the Northern Arc, an area that extends across the top of the GTA to North Toronto and York Region and allow commuters to move from suburb to suburb without going through downtown Toronto.
If built, the centre would connect a number of transit lines, including the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Mississauga's bus rapid transit plan and a high-speed rail line to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, CBCNews reports said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Pearson International Airport: Wikipedia