Durham Fact Sheet

Frustration. Gridlock again. You are going to be late. Getting around doesn’t feel easy. In fact, it feels unnecessarily difficult. 

But what if you had choices?

What if you could get on a bus in downtown Oshawa that had a dedicated lane? A bus that could bypass traffic and connect you to GTHA light rail and subway lines. Or if the GO Train stretched all the way to Bowmanville? What if the whole system was designed to make your life easier?

The average GTHA commuter spends 82 minutes trying to get to and from work every day. If we don’t take action now against congestion, it could grow to 109 minutes. That’s a Hollywood film! Imagine doing that five times a week.

Each day about one million car trips are made to and from Durham Region. If it feels to you like traffic is getting worse, you’re right. Durham Region is growing. In fact, the population is projected to grow by more than 50 per cent by 2031. That means there will be an extra person for every two people currently living in Durham. Do you notice that most cars only have one person in them? That’s a lot of added cars.

Want a solution? You aren’t alone. Over 88% of residents in GTHA have said that it’s important to reduce congestion and increase the frequency of transit to get commuters to their destination more quickly.

Metrolinx has a plan—a world class, award-winning plan. It’s called The Big Move, and it has already been approved not only by Durham Region, but every municipality in the GTHA.

What are some of The Big Move’s new initiatives that will make your life easier?

  • GO rail service will be extended to Bowmanville, and electrification of the Lakeshore lines will mean Express Rail on the Lakeshore East line, with quieter trains, increased speed and reliability and more transit options for Durham residents.
  • Dedicated bus lanes mean less traffic and less time between you and your destination. The Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit will completely change your morning and afternoon commutes. 
  • More two-way, all-day GO rail service, including expanding two-way, all-day service on the Lakeshore lines to new stations in Hamilton, Oshawa and Bowmanville. 

Metrolinx has already started with several projects under construction, including:

  • York Region and Brampton have already launched Viva and Züm express bus service. Along with Durham Region’s Pulse bus service, these networks will become BRTs (Bus Rapid Transit) with dedicated lanes.
  • Union Station is being revitalized to improve its quality and capacity and make your experience more efficient and comfortable.
  • The Union Pearson Express is on track and by 2015, will be offering 5,000 passengers a day quiet and efficient trains departing Union Station for Pearson Airport every 15 minutes.
  • Connecting between transit services has been made easier in Durham Region with your PRESTO card. 

Sounds good? Our economy thinks so too. We are losing $6 billion each year in productivity and 26,000 jobs to congestion. The Big Move isn’t just an investment in your quality of life; it will change the financial health of the region. With every $1 invested in transit, our economy expects a return of $1.19. That’s a 19% return on investment!