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Mayor, MPP react after province leaves out Guelph in GO train service expansion

Metrolinx announced an expansion of GO train service in five corridors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

It is not exactly the good news representatives in Guelph were hoping to hear from the province.

The Ford government announced on Monday that GO train service is being expanded along the Lakeshore West, Lakeshore East, Milton, Stouffville and Kitchener lines.

The service expansion on the Kitchener line, which runs through Guelph, would see weekday train service outside of rush hour increased to every 30 minutes between Bramalea and Toronto’s Union Station. But that expansion of service does not mean there will be more trains going in and out of the Guelph and Kitchener area, which has limited weekday train service and no train service on weekends and holidays in that part of the corridor.

“It is disappointing that the province isn’t going to expand its GO train service from Bramalea to Kitchener,” Guelph MPP and Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said.

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He adds there has been an increase in the demand for all-day, two-way train service on the Kitchener line and that there were two different governments making that promise to the residents of Guelph and Kitchener. Schreiner said it is not a “one-way deal” where those who take the GO train out of Guelph are commuters who go into work in Toronto in the morning and come back home in the afternoon or early evening.

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However, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie reacted a little differently than Schreiner, saying work is already underway and needs to be completed before there is any talk of service expansion. Guthrie mentioned the construction of a new track and platform at the Guelph Central station downtown that is expected to be completed later this year.

“There is eagerness but I don’t think there is in no way shape or form anyone from the province ignoring the Guelph perspective when it comes to two-way, all-day GO,” he said. “We all wanted it today, we all wanted it yesterday. But I still think they are committed to getting it done.”

Both Guthrie and Schreiner share the belief that having all-day GO train service between Kitchener and Toronto will have a tremendous impact in the Guelph area.

“Local businesses, the chamber of commerce, the universities have all made a compelling business case,” Schreiner said. “I know that the preliminary work has been done but we just need the government to make that commitment and finalize that work and deliver the service that the region deserves.”

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“I think it will open up quite a bit of not only economic opportunity but also a tourism opportunity,” Guthrie said. “It is a no-brainer that people will choose the rail service and not the 401 to get back and forth where they need to.”

Meanwhile, riders who take the GO train on the Milton line will see one trip going from Milton to Union in the morning and one going from Union to Milton in the afternoon each day Monday to Friday.

The service changes on the GO will take effect on April 28.

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