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NDP call for timeline on two-way all-day GO from Kitchener to Toronto


The much-promised, long-anticipated expansion of the Kitchener GO Line that would allow for two-way all-day service to Toronto was the topic of debate once again at Queen’s Park Wednesday.

NDP leader Marit Stiles introduced a motion calling on the government to provide a clear timeline and firm funding commitment for the project – accusing the Ford government of “giving the people of Kitchener-Waterloo the run around.”

It was voted down by the Conservatives 66 to 30.

Two-way all-day GO train service between Toronto and Kitchener was first promised by the Liberals in 2014, who pledged to deliver it by 2024.

In the lead up to the 2018 election, now-Premier Doug Ford promised his government would support the project if elected.

“They offer no timelines, no major updates, no firm funding commitment, no transparency, no accountability and now it’s impossible to see how this government can get this done, given how long they’ve been dragging their heels and how long it’s been delayed,” Stiles said, noting GO buses travelling between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto are sometimes so full they drive by people waiting at stops and the trip can take up to three hours.

“No one should be left behind on a platform or spend three hours just to travel 110 km,” she said.

Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife said “the 401 between Kitchener and Toronto has turned into 100 km parking lot.”

Meanwhile Kitchener-Conestoga Conservative MPP Mike Harris said he’s proud of the progress his government has made on the file.

“The Kitchener line had, in 2017, just before we took power in 2018, it only had eight trips per day. I’m proud to say we’ve increase that service to 19 trips per day,” he said, adding track improvements have also been completed to speed up travel times.

GO Transit operator Metrolinx is working towards two-way all-day service, Harris said, but it’s a massive undertaking made up of multiple phases.

Work on the first phase, which includes the construction of a second platform at the Guelph Central GO Station, a new storage track for maintenance vehicles west of Guelph and a passing track in the community of Breslau is currently underway, Harris said.

He provided no target date for when two-way all-day GO Service could connect Kitchener and Toronto.


"The GO train or the GO service, whether it's by bus or by train, is such an essential service," said Katie Traynor, vice-president of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association.

The decision will be felt most by local who live out of town.

"A significant number of our students commute from inside the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region to areas within the GTA," explained Traynor.

The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association said long commute times can strongly afffect a student's ability to attend classes or even visit family.

Traynor said added services would pay dividends down the road.

"It would not only benefit our region as a whole, but it would definitely benefit students in the long run."


Brantford, meanwhile, is pushing for an extension of GO Train services within the city.

"Brantford is poised on a great deal of growth over the next 30 years and having a reliable rail link to the GTA will assist in that economic expansion," said Mayor Kevin Davis.

The cost, he explained, would almost entirely be covered by the province.

Future discussions are planned to lay tracks to the Telephone City. Top Stories

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