Evaluate and compare areas of suitability from the model and to those proposed by Metrolinx.
Metrolinx has released tentative plans for new RER stations, and it is expected that they will design more. The currently proposed stations are shown on the map (Figure 4) in green. The census tracts that were selected by the model differ quite substantially. There is little reasoning given by Metrolinx as to the deciding factors for their analysis, beyond socioeconomic & biophysical. There are often politics and significant social pressures when designing new stations, and these cannot be quantified or included in models such as these.
It can also be assumed that they have more information for certain planning aspects that could not be included in this model. As a planning agency, they have more knowledge and consideration of the cost associated with expanding the railway, such as adding track or widening corridors. If the agency accounts for the same socioeconomic factors as the MCE, they may have acquired that knowledge on a different scale, or different ridership statistics that would produce different results than those from this study.
Figure 4. Comparison of proposed Regional Express Rail stations by Metrolinx and suitability of areas for station placement based on socioeconomic criteria and physical constraints
The stations proposed by Metrolinx do not fall within a single census tract that is above our base standard of suitabitlity. This is likely due to data that Metrolinx has access to that were not available for the period this study. It is also possible that Metrolinx's proposed locations are politically motivated, as the agency is a division of the Government of Ontario, and several of the proposed stations are located in close proximity to dense neighbourhood development areas.