The Toronto Port Authority (TPA), doing business as PortsToronto runs the popular Billy Bishop Airport at the foot of Bathurst. Right now, you must take a ferry to get to and from the airport.
PortsToronto is currently building a pedestrian tunnel under the Western Gap to give passengers a second, reliable and easy access route to the Billy Bishop Airport.
The tunnel is being funded privately, not by taxpayers. Construction will be complete in early 2015.
The Tunnel News section provides updates on the latest status of the pedestrian tunnel.
Wondering how the project is being funded?
There are many ways PortsToronto could build a tunnel. The most effective was deemed to be a public private partnership.
A public private partnership is one between a public sector authority and a private entity to deliver a public infrastructure asset and its related services. Highway 407, north of Toronto, was built as a public-private partnership project.
The idea behind a public private partnerships is simple: rather than having PortsToronto manage a complex construction process, a private sector company – with the right skills and technical knowhow – takes responsibility for the project, including the financing and associated risks. In exchange, it receives a long term ‘revenue stream’ from the property that includes payments from PortsToronto.
In the case of PortsToronto, the pedestrian tunnel's construction will be financed over time by passengers who use the service, through the Airport Improvement Fee of $20 included in their flight cost. The public sector, and the taxpayer, would not pay for the construction of the tunnel under this public private partnership process.