CEO of Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) Howard Eng was in Brampton Tuesday to unveil the design for a multi-modal transit hub.
GTAA is looking to build the transit centre across from Pearson’s two main terminals by 2027.
The megahub would combine regional light rail transit, bus rapid transit, commuter rail, and the possible Toronto-London high-speed rail project under one roof.
Currently transit connections to the airport are limited to Union-Pearson Express and a few local transit routes, including Brampton’s 115 airport express.
The project is in a bid to not only increase connectivity, but also give employees and travellers alike alternative options to driving. It would be built on what is currently used as parking space.
Renderings show a transportation hub that will include connections to TTC subway stations, UP Express, GO Transit, and local transit.
There will also be a car drop-off loop, outdoor space and several buildings that could become shopping, offices and hotels.
Currently over 90% of the 300,000 people who work in and around the airport drive to work.
With car travel times set to increase by at least 25 per cent by 2043, GTAA is preparing by giving people alternatives means to travel.
Other major airports around the world see a larger percentage of travellers using transit to get to and from. Currently Pearson has about 10 per cent of its jet-setters taking transit, while London’s Heathrow sees 36 per cent and Hong Kong sees 60 per cent.
GTAA hopes to put Pearson in league with these major hubs across the globe.
The project would attempt to create a second Union Station of sorts and could support the hundreds of thousands of jobs, passengers, and trips generated by the airport and its surrounding employment zone in Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto.
Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey sees it as a “critical connection between Brampton and the rest of the world.” Business leaders in the city are excited about the prospects too.
While most of the development for the mixed-use hub would be in Mississauga, Brampton will also benefit.
“Toronto Pearson’s vision for a multi-modal transit centre will be an important driver for the development of our local economy,” says Todd Letts, CEO of Brampton Board of Trade.
In the coming months GTAA will be working with key stakeholders to foster stronger support and look at funding the project.