Local municipal leaders are hailing Wednesday’s budget announcement by the Ontario government as a giant step forward for two-way, all-day GO Train service along the Kitchener line.
“Two-Way All-Day GO rail service on the Kitchener Line will be an economic game-changer for Kitchener, the region and the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
Read more: Ontario 2021 budget highlights
“In the post-COVID economy, we will need these strategic, significant long-term transit investments to create jobs, reduce our carbon footprint, and to foster our continued economic growth.”
Waterloo Region says the budget includes a significant package of infrastructure works along the Guelph subdivision from Georgetown to Kitchener.
It says the work, combined with other projects, is a significant move in making the trains a reality by 2025.
“This is a transformative project,” Regional Chair Karen Redman said. “Keeping us well connected ensures that the economic benefits accrued to this region can be shared with the rest of the province.”
The City of Kitchener also pointed to several other areas of Tuesday’s budget announcement which will help municipalities, including a $1-billion top-up of the 2020 Safe Restart funding, $400 million for the tourism, hospitality and arts and culture sectors, a $200-million fund for larger strategic projects, and $10 million for the Digital Main Street platform.