It was back in March that Premier Kathleen Wynne announced commuters would soon receive all-day two-way service between Kitchener and Toronto, but when that GO train service will begin remains a mystery.
Kitchener-Conestoga MPP and PC transportation critic Michael Harris said the government’s recent purchase of CN railway lines west of Georgetown is a step in the right direction, but answers aren’t coming quick enough.
“People in my riding are sure shaking their heads trying to figure out what’s really going on with GO service that links Kitchener into Toronto,” Harris said. “Clearly the premier was only here a month ago announcing the government would be committing to all-day two-way service and additional trains would be immediately running.”
He said he continues to ask without getting a straight answer from the government what all-day two-way is and when we’re actually going to get it.
Harris adds that it was Wynne in 2010 who as transportation minister scrapped the previously planned GO service between Kitchener and Toronto. He said the additional trains promised by 2016 are highly anticipated.
The Liberal government said that all GO train railways will be electrified within 10 years, something that will allow them to up their frequency. This is possible because electric trains can speed up and slow down quicker than the current diesel trains.
There are also plans to build a new layover facility for train commuters in Kitchener, and the land has already been bought by the province for it.
“I know our local high tech community and other employers are eagerly waiting for trains coming into the region in the morning as well,” Harris said. “I think folks are under the impression that frequent trains means going east and west all day, not just a few extra morning trains going into Toronto and a few coming back at night.”
Harris says some people estimate it could be a decade before we see trains coming into the region in the morning. Right now only two trains leave Kitchener for Toronto in the morning, and two depart from Union Station for Kitchener in the afternoon.
He said the provincial government said they would commence the increased service immediately, and to him that means now, but that’s clearly not the case.
“I’ll continue my work here to get those very answers from the government,” Harris said. “But they’re few and far between these days.”