The Importance of Integration

One of the major objectives of establishing Metrolinx was to improve transit service coordination and integration across the GTHA. Compared with construction of new rail lines, integration of existing services can be done relatively quickly and at relatively low costs. Yet in the six years since it was established, Metrolinx has not yet succeeded in integrating the many transportation systems in the region.

An effective public transport system is a “network,” and there are strong network synergies. Passenger numbers and benefits will be maximized if services are planned and coordinated so passengers can travel easily across jurisdictional boundaries. Services may be procured or delivered by different organizations, operating at national, provincial, regional or local levels, but there are large benefits if routes, timetables, fares, and information are coordinated.

In the 1950s, TTC was a world leader in this area, one of the first to offer an integrated fare (free transfer) between bus, streetcar, and subway modes. Since the 1970s, services across the region have developed in an uncoordinated way.