> New Stations Analysis | Metrolinx Engage

New Stations Analysis

Objectives of New Stations


  • Improve service and add riders 

  • Minimize impact on trip time for existing customers 

  • Maintain appropriate station spacing for the vehicle technology 

  • Support existing regional and municipal plans 

  • Consider the different roles and needs of each 
location, adapt to urban and suburban context 

Considerations When Planning for New Stations

Transportation Connectivity 

  • e.g. connection with other transit modes that work together to improve overall service on the corridor

Plans and Land Use

  • e.g. proximity to urban growth centre
  • e.g. mix and scale of surrounding development, and potential destinations

Technical Feasibility

  • e.g. track geometry
  • e.g. property availability for appropriate station typology

Station Spacing

  • Locating stations too close together will reduce travel speeds

Journey Time

  • Each new station increases journey time by 2-3 minutes. However, electrification will reduce travel time. For example: an electrified train from Oshawa GO can reach Union Station 5 minutes faster, which could either save existing customers 5 minutes, or allow for additional stations and maintain the existing travel times. These impacts and benefits are analyzed across the network.

A Three Stage Process

Stage 1: 

We started with a system-wide analysis that looked at:

  • Site and network considerations such as:

    • station spacing
    • key transit connections and intersections 

  • Sites identified by Metrolinx, and listed in municipal and public documents
    • We identified over 120 possible locations. 

Stage 2: Focusing Analysis

How did we move from 120+ locations to 50+? We scored and compared the sites based on the three key site considerations: 

Transportation Connectivity


  • (Potential) connection to high order transit (subway, LRT, streetcar)
  • Connection to high quality active transportation route or facility
  • Highway connection
  • Good local transit connections

High: meets all criteria

Medium: meets at least 2 criteria

Low: meets only 1 or no criteria

Plans and Land Use


  • Proximity to urban growth centres, regional centres
  • Supportive land use and density
  • Number of destinations in proximity
  • Land availability

High: meets all criteria

Medium: meets at least 2 criteria

Low: meets only 1 or no criteria


High: few obvious difficulties in building a platform and connecting

Medium: some challenges constructing platform or adjacent connections, which may require higher than usual investment to overcome

Low: obvious challenges with platform location or connections, may require undue effort to overcome

This analysis was completed in March 2015 and 50+ sites moved forward for additional analysis.

Stage 3: Evaluation 50+ Sites

Of the 38 business case measures compiled, the following criteria differentiate stations from each other and are better predictors of location performance. These key criteria have been applied to all 50+ stations and the results are here for you to review.

Strategic/ Economic PlanningConnectivity and Ridership DriversHow many trips will start and end at this station?Sum of boardings + alightings
Does the station connect to other higher order transit modes and have potential to improve network and/or corridor service?Distance to existing and planned routes
Does the station connect to key destinations?Number of nearby destinations and places of interest
Travel Time SavingsWhat are the time savings associated with the new station?Ratio for time penalty of existing riders to minutes saved for new station users
Market PotentialHow well situated is the station in relationship to future market demand?High level assessment of market potential
Development PotentialCan the station support future development and intensification? What is the likely timing?Soft sites; number and scale of recent development proposals
Policy AlignmentDoes the station area align with Growth Plan policy?Location relative to urban growth centre, built up area, or rural area
Financial/ TechnicalAffordabilityWhat is the cost to construct the station?Relative expected cost
Ease of constructionCan the required facilities be constructed?Degree of site constraint

Tell us what you think.

As we approach the next step towards producing a short list of locations that will undergo a business case analysis, your comments on all of these potential sites are invited. Your views will help ensure that we have not overlooked any site-specific considerations, and will help inform the analysis as we move forward.

Click on any station name in the list below or on the interactive map and tell us what you think.