May 22, 2019 5:00 pm

Metrolinx town hall to present options for Bowmanville GO train extension project

WATCH: Metrolinx is once again looking into ways to extend GO train service beyond Oshawa.

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Metrolinx will be holding two community meetings this week to present four options for bringing a GO train to Bowmanville.

“We will work very closely with our municipal and freight partners to test which options are most advantageous, balancing both the benefits and the costs associated with each option to achieve this very important rail extension. This will include identifying how we achieve this extension as quickly as possible,” Metrolinx told Global News in a statement.

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The Crown agency will also “work closely with all the parties in the region to find ways to ensure local stations will be served by local transit, active transportation (such as cycling and walking solutions) and other innovative options (such as autonomous vehicles).”

READ MORE: Durham MPP pushes for Bowmanville GO extension

In 2016, the Liberal government of former premier Kathleen Wynne promised to bring GO service to Bowmanville, but no progress has been made since then.

“It looks like, with Metrolinx, we’ve just got that conversation restarted. Metrolinx is obviously very worried about the cost,” Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster said Tuesday.

Durham MPP Lindsey Park sent a letter to the current provincial government in March, outlining how the Wynne Liberals’ extension plan would cost twice as much as previously estimated.

In the letter, she said other flaws in the plan included how the project “would take years longer than the stated timelines” and would not result in full-day service but, rather, four peak trains.

“My motivation is to find an option that will respect taxpayers, that will get the GO train to Bowmanville in a timely manner and will result in all-day service,” Park said Tuesday.

READ MORE: Ontario offers no cost estimate to extend GO train service to Bowmanville by 2024

There is currently GO bus service to Bowmanville, but commuters say the buses can get crowded, especially at peak times.

“It’s bad during peak hours, like five to six, even early in the morning,” one commuter said.

Elizabeth Jose also isn’t happy with her daily rides to work.

“It’s super frustrating. You’re trying to do the best for the environment and getting a car is expensive … Insurance is a lot, and gas is a lot so you’re trying to save money but you’re wasting time,” she said.

Residents can attend a community meeting on Wednesday night to see the options Metrolinx will be presenting at the Oshawa Civic Centre from 6 to 8 p.m.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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