Eli Ridder, News Reporter
Students, faculty and staff got their first look Tuesday at a mock-up of a new light rail vehicle (LRV) that’s expected to reach North campus within four years.
The new line will bring commuters from Finch West subway station to Humber College Boulevard.
The $2.5-billion light rail transit line, a Toronto first, will not be completed until 2023.
Gurjaspal Singh, a first-year business management student, was one of the first students to enter the mock-up vehicle.
He said he appreciated the speed and cleanliness of the LRV.
Singh commutes from Finch West station every day and for now takes crowded bus routes. He said he is among the few students that will benefit from the LRT four years from now as he plans to pursue postgraduate studies after his two-year diploma.
Sofia Fernandes, a CICE student at Humber, said although she would not still be on campus to use the new rail service, she appreciates the progress.
Fernandes wondered how snow will be cleared from the rails during winter.
The journey from the drawing board to the mock-up has taken a decade of community input and city planning, as well as delays from various levels of government.
However, construction is starting this year along Finch Avenue West, Metrolinx officials said.
Luiza Sadowski, senior manager of Metrolinx community relations, said the project is more than just a railway from one station to the next but the expansion of an “integrated system.”
The project is funded with $330 million from the federal government and the rest is from the province, Sadowski said.
Alstrom of France is building the light rail vehicles. The light rail service will be operated by the TTC and will use Presto.
Humber College’s communications department confirmed it has been working closely with Metrolinx during the planning and initial stages of construction of the Finch project.
The Humber College station will have an underground rail loop in the northeastern area of the college grounds at Hwy. 27 and Humber College Boulevard, officials said.
Sadowski said the LRT could be extended to Woodbine Racetrack where a GO Transit station will be built.