Provincial government announcements help advance GO Rail transit along Innovation Corridor

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Kitchener, ON – The Provincial government responded today to a call from municipal leaders along the Toronto-Waterloo Region innovation corridor advocating for improved transit connections. Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Steven Del Duca announced in Kitchener today critical components that will help improve commuter rail service within this vital economic region.

The Province has secured an agreement in principle that will allow GO Regional Express Rail to be built along the Kitchener GO corridor and begin the planning and technical analysis to build a new freight corridor that will allow CN to shift most of its freight traffic freeing up capacity for more GO service between Brampton and Kitchener.

They also announced an investment of up to $43 million to help fund the proposed Waterloo Region Transit Hub in downtown Kitchener. This integrated hub will make it easier for transit users to connect to GO rail and bus service, ION Light Rail Transit, VIA rail and local and inter-city bus service.

In the meantime, starting in September 2016 GO will add two train trips from Kitchener to Toronto in the morning and from Toronto to Kitchener in the afternoon (all stopping in Brampton, Acton and Guelph). GO is also starting a new express bus service running all day in both directions between the Bramalea GO station in Brampton and Kitchener – timed to optimize bus-train connections.

These announcements deliver on the government’s commitment in the 2015 Budget to improve commuter rail transit and create a much more level playing field that will allow the Province and our communities to better compete for global talent and innovative companies.

The Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor is the second largest innovation corridor in North America – next only to Silicon Valley. The government’s investment and support to improve rail transit that links Toronto to Brampton, Halton Hills, Guelph and Waterloo Region will help make the corridor a global centre of talent, growth, innovation and discovery.

The government understands that a strong Innovation Corridor is not only good for our communities, but is also a key economic driver for the Province. Two-way, all-day GO rail service linking Toronto to Waterloo Region is an integral component to creating stronger transportation links.  It not only moves people and goods, but is also a key driver of economic growth.

Quotes

“It’s great to see the government continuing to move forward on improvements to urban commuter rail across Ontario. More than 10,000 workers are commuting from the GTA into our community, and companies are chartering private buses to transport their staff.  This is not a sustainable model. The future prosperity of the entire corridor depends on strong commuter rail links, such as two-way all-day GO rail service.  There is high demand for this increased service, so this announcement is welcome news.” – Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, City of Kitchener

“The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is emerging as a global centre of innovation. Improving transit options along the Corridor through improved GO service will help drive investment, talent attraction, collaboration and growth in a vital centre of Canada’s new economy.” – Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto

“The improvements to GO services, both immediate and long term, show that the Government recognizes the importance of the Waterloo Region/Toronto Corridor to the economic vitality of this Province. At the same time, the Government’s support of the Waterloo Region Transit Hub supports Regional Council’s vision for an integrated transit system that moves people, prevents sprawl, and positions our community for future success.” – Chair Ken Seiling, Region of Waterloo.

“The City of Waterloo is happy to see the province moving forward on improvements to our rail system, allowing our southern Ontario communities to share and retain talent and technologies along the innovation corridor.” – Mayor Dave Jaworsky, City of Waterloo

“Improved regional connectivity is critical to Brampton’s ability to attract greater foreign and domestic investments to our city”‎ said Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey.  “I am grateful that the Provincial government understands the importance of Two Way, All Day GO rail to our regions. It is good to have a partner who makes ongoing meaningful investments in the service that connects our municipalities.” – Mayor Linda Jeffrey, City of Brampton

“We’re pleased the Province has recognized the need for extended GO train service in our Region that will include stops in Guelph. Enhanced transit will support job growth, innovation and businesses throughout the corridor.” – Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph

“On behalf of Halton Hills Town Council and our residents, I thank the provincial government for this great news. Our support and advocacy for expanded GO service is well known and supports our community’s Sustainability goals and the Mayor’s Community Energy Plan.” – Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

Background

For more information on the advocacy efforts to see improved commuter rail service along to Toronto-Waterloo Region innovation corridor, visit www.kitchener.ca.  

Other resources

Media Contacts:

City of Kitchener

Paul Grivicic
Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor & Council
226-749-3410
Paul.Grivicic@kitchener.ca

or

Colleen Collins
Manager, Corporate Communications
519-741-2200 extension 7935
colleen.collins@kitchener.ca

City of Waterloo

Megan Harris, Director
Communications and Marketing,
Corporate Services
519-747-8513
megan.harris@waterloo.ca

Town of Halton Hills

Mayor Rick Bonnette
905-873-2601 extension 2342
rickb@haltonhills.ca

Region of Waterloo

Linda Zavarella
Corporate Communications Specialist
519-575-4008
TTY 519-575-4608
LZavarella@regionofwaterloo.ca

City of Brampton

Jim Schembri
Director of Communications
905-874-2000 extension 47005
Cell 416-846-2423
Jim.Schembri@brampton.ca

City of Guelph

Cathy Kennedy, Manager
Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
519-822-1260 extension 2255
Cell: 226-821-3701
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

City of Toronto

Siri Agrell
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Mayor’s office
416-338-3217
Siri.Agrell@toronto.ca