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GO Transit electrification study

Metrolinx (Toronto, ON)

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Go Transit, Electrification Study, The Big Move, Metrolinx, Regional Transportation Plan

In late 2008, Metrolinx (the transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region) published a Regional Transportation Plan – The Big Move – a multimodal vision for regional transportation to strengthen the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The Big Move sets out a fast, frequent and expanded regional rapid transit network as a key element of the plan, which also included establishing Express Rail and Regional Rail services at speeds and frequencies that could be enhanced by system electrification.

Our role

Metrolinx initiated a study of the electrification of the entire GO Transit rail system. The Study considered the potential benefits and costs associated with replacing diesel with an electric propulsion system for the GO trains.

As a member of the multi-disciplinary consultant team undertaking the Study, Steer Davies Gleave was responsible for the Multiple Account Evaluation and strategic planning elements.

How we did it

The Electrification Study examined and compared a full range of future technologies, including diesel and electric options. Factors considered in assessing these technologies included: reliability and service; environmental and health impacts; community and land use impacts; and economic and system-wide impacts, such as funding and financing.

We were responsible for:

  • Developing the decision making framework to assess the technology and corridor options, to ensure  transparent, auditable and justifiable processes
  • Created custom spreadsheet model to estimate journey time benefits
  • Manage the economic appraisal to determine the transportation efficiency case for electrifying the shortlist of six options
  • Coordinate information from a large number of organisations who specialise in various disciplines (environment, community evaluation)
  • Assisted in the strategic direction of the Study, including implementation considerations

How we did it

The Study involved extensive public stakeholder engagement, which we co-ordinated and reported in a concise manner to a non-technical audience. This enabled Metrolinx to communicate the findings and conclusions of the Electrification Study more effectively.

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