Urban Services on Regional Rail: Local and Network-Based Methodologies for Evaluating New Stations in Toronto

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - rail, infrastructure - station, land use - planning, land use - impacts, planning - network design, planning - methods


New Stations, network performance, network analysis, Toronto


The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s regional GO Rail network is undergoing a substantive upgrade to provide a two-way, all-day, electrified, 15-min service. These investments have led to discussions about the nature of the service and calls to add new stations, particularly within the City of Toronto. This paper explores the methodology used to evaluate specific new station locations in the City of Toronto and beyond, along with a concurrent analysis of the impacts of a package of new stations on the network performance and hierarchy. Both assessments used a multi-faceted business case framework. Travel-time impacts, land use, costs, feasibility, and other factors influenced the recommendation of sites intended to optimize the substantial investment in network infrastructure, and address city-building objectives like encouraging development and providing access to underserved communities. Network analysis points to new stations within the city shifting the traditional three-tier network hierarchy comprised of regional rail, urban rapid transit, and local transit to a hybrid network in which regional rail serves some intermediate functions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.