Kitchener one step closer to all-day, two-way GO trains to Toronto
Published Tuesday, June 14, 2016 10:40AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 14, 2016 6:37PM EDT
It will still be several years before Waterloo Region sees the long-promised ‘all-day, two-way’ GO train service to Toronto – but a positive sign and a number of interim steps were laid out Tuesday.
The biggest of the announcements made by Premier Kathleen Wynne at the Kitchener train station is that a new rail line will be built east of Georgetown to carry most existing freight traffic.
With many freight trains moving onto that line, the exiting line will be freed up for GO train service.
“We will never realize your potential if the way in and out of the region continues to be a congested stretch of highway,” she said.
Although no exact timetable was provided, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the new line should allow all-day, two-way service to begin by 2024.
Also announced were a series of short-term measures, all of which will begin in September.
They include additional GO train service during the morning and afternoon commutes, and an all-day GO bus service between Kitchener and the GO station at Bramalea, in Brampton.
The new train trips will also include stops in Guelph.
Opposition MPPs said they’re glad to see more transit connections for the region, but chided the news as a “reannouncement” of commitments made previously.
“There are 15,000 commuters that come into the region from Toronto every day. Today’s announcement does nothing to (help them),” said Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife.
For his part, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris called the announcement an “insult,” given it falls short of the all-day, two-way trains local officials have long pushed for.
“All they heard was that you can jump on a bus and head into Brampton,” he said.
Additionally, the premier announced that the province will put up to $43 million toward the future transit hub and King and Victoria streets.