Work has begun on the $1bn Sheppard East Light Rail Transit (LRT) in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Canada.

The 14km light rail line will run along Sheppard Avenue East between the Don Mills Subway Station and Meadowvale Road and will eventually be integrated into the existing Toronto transit system.

The project, carried out by transport operator Metrolinx, is expected to be finished by 2013 and estimated to carry nearly 20 million passengers annually.

The line is part of the Transit City initiative to expand rapid transit to all neighbourhoods throughout Toronto and is first of seven rapid vehicle lines planned to build a 120km network on major routes such as Finch Avenue, Eglinton Avenue, Jane St and Don Mills Road.

The project is funded by nearly $633m from the Province of Ontario and up to $333m from the Government of Canada.