More media reaction to the announcement:
Further to the above and to the live report earlier today – it was mentioned that GO is interested in integrating Transit sytems using the Presto card. This is probably a whole new dicussion for city Governments, but we will have to see if Cities come on board to this idea. Integrating Presto cards would ensure a single pass transit/train integration not only at the source (such as in Guelph) but when you arrive in Toronto should you wish to go elsewhere that takes a Presto Card. The following shows the cities that currently use Presto (https://www.prestocard.ca/en/StaticContent/Gtafs/) and notably absent from the list is the TTC.
*UPDATE* I am told that Select subway stations in Toronto have Presto cards and are very well used.
Leanne Piper, councillor in Guelph reacted favourably to the announcement — and is excited over the possibilities of Kitchener/Waterloo commuters using the service to come to Guelph, as many presently do by car. As well, in discussion it was noted that tourists from Toronto can make an overnight weekday or weekend trip on an evening train, come to Guelph for dinner or some sightseeing, and depart on a future train.
Mentioned by Metrolinx president Gary McNeil is it appears GO has struck a deal with the Goderich and Exeter to add these two trains, while no doubt VIA continues to battle with Goderich and Exeter over the planned VIA improvements to the line. This phase 1 of the expansion is no doubt a ‘compromise’ in light of the fee dispute before the CTA and the Province’s promise to extend service by 2011, plus the balance of cutting expenditures in the Move Ontario 2020 budget.
Phase two would likely involve CTC and two additional trips, but the timing of this seems hung in the balance of the current negotiations.
Nonetheless, it is welcome news that service will start in 2011, and all readers of GOKW.ORG who supported the effort should be thanked for their dedication, very soon we will have the next step of a more integrated transit solution for our regions.