The Canadian province of Ontario’s environment minister has conditionally approved transport operator Metrolinx‘s plan for transit expansion in the Greater Toronto Area.

The approval is for the proposed Georgetown South Service Expansion, part of the C$1bn GO Transit Rail Improvement Program and for the new Union-Pearson Rail Link project, which is part of the Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The minister has placed 18 conditions on the project that include a requirement to conduct further studies on the health effects of increased rail traffic and requirements to monitor air quality.

The trains are also required to use Tier 4 engines that meet tough emission standards.

The project, which is aimed at encouraging people to use the diesel trains over their cars, targets a 90% cut in particulate matter and 80% cut in nitrogen oxides emissions over current engines.

The improved Georgetown line service is expected to begin in 2015.