The Ontario Government said Monday it will add an extra GO train between Kitchener and Toronto each day in the morning and evening.
“Starting on Jan. 7, we will be adding more trains from Kitchener to Toronto,” Transport Minister Jeff Yurek said Monday, noting that the change will represent a 25 per cent increase in runs between Toronto and Kitchener.
The new morning train will leave Kitchener at 5:40 a.m. and stop in Guelph and Acton before proceeding to Toronto.
A train that currently leaves Union Station in Toronto at 3:35 p.m. and previously finished in Georgetown will now continue through Acton and Guelph before finishing its route in Kitchener.
Yurek said the extra trains will cost taxpayers about $1.1 million.
The previous government had promised that all-day service between Toronto and Kitchener would arrive by 2024. Yurek said negotiations are underway with CN Rail for further use of the existing rail-lines. He hinted that all-day service may arrive sooner.
“I am hoping that we have a great announcement within 12 and 18 months with that will implement all-day, two-way transit,” he said.
Kitchener Mayor Barry Vrbanovic was pleased by the announcement but hopes there will be more to follow.
“Cutting commute times between Toronto and Waterloo region creates jobs, breaks down barriers to doing business and will further cement our reputation as a global leader in the innovation economy,” Vrbanovic said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is a welcome first step towards achieving these goals; we look forward to more progress towards establishing fast, frequent, two-way all-day transit across the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor.”
Area business leaders were also quick to suggest there needs more transit service along the corridor
“Faster, more frequent and two-way, all-day GO within the Toronto – Waterloo innovation corridor is a top issue for businesses, universities, and municipalities across the region,” Ian McLean, President and CEO, Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement
There’s more work to be done and we’ll continue to work with the government to deliver the transit service we need within the corridor.”
“Whether we meet with our scaling local companies or foreign multinationals looking to invest in Waterloo Region, the consistent message we hear is that convenient transit connectivity to the GTA population base is an expectation, not a nice-to-have,” Tony LaMantia, president & CEO of Waterloo EDC, said. For the benefit of all businesses across Southwestern Ontario, we are indeed pleased that some progress is being made on this important front, but it’s just an incremental step.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.