Vice-President Finance and Administration Gary Brewer has issued the following message to the York University community:
York University is actively working to ensure that the York University GO Train Station, located east of Keele Street, on Canarctic Drive, remains open. We are aware that Metrolinx, an agency of the Ministry of Transportation that is responsible for the GO Train Network, is proposing to close the station. This is a serious step that would eliminate essential transit access to the Keele campus for students, faculty and staff. It would also negatively impact employees working in area businesses.
While the University has not received official confirmation from Metrolinx regarding the status of the station, we remain very concerned about a potential closure. As such, we have been in communication with Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation to formally request that Metrolinx continue to operate the station as part of the development of a new Regional Express Rail Network that, once in place, will increase all-day train service north of the GTA.
York University’s efforts to keep the station open are being strongly reinforced by Seneca College, as well as the Duke Heights Business Improvement Area. In addition, Toronto City Council has passed a motion presented by Councillor Anthony Perruzza requesting that Metrolinx not close the York University GO Train Station and work with City of Toronto staff to improve access to the station.
The York University GO Train Station has been operating for 14 years and provides an important daily transit service to both York’s Keele campus and the large business area immediately surrounding the station. York University is already a major GTA destination and more than 53,000 students and 14,000 staff and faculty commute daily to the Keele campus. In addition, Seneca College has a community population of 6,000, and some 30,000 people work in the surrounding businesses.
The York University Secondary Plan envisages significant future growth, with up to 24,500 new residents and over 20,000 new jobs on the lands surrounding the University – growth that transportation infrastructure, including the existing GO Train station, should support.
Over the past two decades, York University has implemented initiatives to reduce the use of single-occupant vehicles and help community members adopt sustainable means of travel. The University has increased transit service to Keele campus and operated a dedicated shuttle bus service between the Keele campus and the York University GO Train Station. Our efforts have resulted in the unprecedented reduction in single-occupant vehicles accessing campus from 70 per cent to 20 per cent – continued access to a wide range of convenient public transit is crucial to sustain this trend.
As York University and its neighbouring communities continue to expand each year, the GO Train service is critical and must continue to play a key role in transporting community members, students, staff and faculty into and out of the area.
The University maintains that it is important that the York University GO Train Station remains open. Going forward, we will continue our efforts to demonstrate to Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation the significant mutual benefit associated with keeping the GO Train station open.
I will continue to keep you informed of any developments on this situation as they happen.
Vice-President Finance and Administration