Kitchener mayor supports new high speed rail line
Kyle Bowden, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:22AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 26, 2017 6:24PM EDT
The Ontario government is set to release plans for a high speed rail line connecting Toronto with southwestern Ontario, including Waterloo Region, CTV News has learned.
“High speed rail is something that those of us that have been promoting the Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor have been talking about for some time,” mayor Berry Vrbanovic told CTV on Tuesday.
Local politicians and business leaders have long pushed for improved transportation links within the tech corridor between the region and the GTA.
“High speed rail combined with regional rail for connectivity on the in-between stops would certainly go a long way to helping make this corridor the economic success that it can be both for the province and the country,” said Vrbanovic.
Former federal transport minister David Collenette authored the report, which puts forward a business case for the rail line that would help ease congestion along Highway 401.
"If we can improve that connectivity between Toronto and Waterloo Region where we have as many people coming to our community to work in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and so on as we have going into the GTA it would really help significantly,” said Vrbanovic.
The project is part of the province’s plan to invest $130-billion on transportation infrastructure.
Ontario transportation minister Steven Del Duca said on Tuesday that not all details of the plan are clear at this point.
“There are multiple definitions for high-speed rail depending on what you’re looking at,” Del Duca told CTV News Toronto. “Some of what we’re encountering in this part of Ontario, the corridor that we’d be looking at essentially does have some physical restrictions. There are specific recommendations in the report regarding the speed of the trains.”
It is believed that the federal government would also provide some funding for the project. The full details of the proposal are expected to be announced next month.