GO Train service long overdue and half of what expectedNovember 25, 2011
KITCHENER — Nearly 9 years after the PC government committed to bringing GO Transit service to Kitchener-Waterloo, the McGuinty government has finally announced that trains will start rolling on December 19.
Plans to upgrade GO Transit have been under development since September 2001 when the former PC government declared it a priority and committed to making necessary investments.
As part of the March 2003 Economic Statement, the previous PC government made specific commitments to expanding GO service to Kitchener-Waterloo. Unfortunately, it has taken the McGuinty Liberals more than 8 years to make our commitment a reality.
Though today’s announcement is definitely a positive step for residents of Waterloo Region, a number of questions remain. Details on possible weekend service as well as the timeframe to meet a 2009 government report recommending “day 1 service of four eastbound trains in the morning and four westbound trains in the evening peak period” (Georgetown to Kitchener Rail Expansion Environmental Study Report, July 13, 2009; pg. 4) are still not known.
“Though long overdue, today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. The question remains how long until Mr. McGuinty agrees to provide the level of service recommended by their own government report.” ~ Michael Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga
“This is good news for residents and for our local economy. The need for GO train service has been well documented and first supported by a PC government nearly 9 years ago when plans for train service were first announced.” ~ Michael Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga
In March 2003, the PC government provided its Economic Statement which committed to reducing highway congestion by investing $1.2 billion over several years on GO Transit and York Region Transit. Specific commitments were made by the PC government of the day to provide new GO Transit service to Kitchener-Waterloo by bus and train. (Government targets rail transit. The Globe and Mail, March 27, 2003; pg. A21)
The Liberal government commissioned R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited to conduct on environmental assessment on future GO Transit expansion from Georgetown to Kitchener to create a direct line from Toronto to the Waterloo Region. The report, published on July 19, 2009, called for initial service levels of 4 eastbound and 4 westbound trains to Kitchener, citing the area’s need for increased public transit to accommodate its growing population.