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Mayor Craig? What are you smoking? – Waterloo considering cancelling LRT?

By shost at 9:27 am on Friday, September 20, 2013

Places to Grow – MoveOntario2020 – these are the studies and buzzthiungs that pushed Ontario and Metrolinx to move quickly to add many transit options in GTHA and KW. An updated study by the Province paints a picture, that ignoring mass transit needs for ALL Ontario urban centres would be tantamount to a disaster in the making.

People – this report is a “wake up and smell the coffee” kind of moment – how are we going to transport, house, feed, entertain and employ all these people? We have a choice: Sprawl cities to twice current size and build hundreds of billions of $ in roads to match (sprawl approach) – or build up and build billions in transit systems and billions in road improvements to match (Balanced approach)

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/

From the “Ontario Population Projections Update” published in 2013:

“Ontario’s population is projected to grow by 28.6 per cent, or almost 3.9 million, over the next 24 years, from an estimated 13.5 million on July 1, 2012 to almost 17.4 million by July 1, 2036.”

“The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is projected to be the fastest growing region of the province, with its population increasing by 2.5 million, or 39.1 per cent, to reach over 8.9 million by 2036. The GTA’s share of provincial population is projected to rise from 47.6 per cent in 2012 to 51.5 per cent in 2036.”

“Net migration is projected to account for 71 per cent of all population growth in the province over the 2012–2036 period, with natural increase accounting for the remaining 29 per cent. ”

The population of (Kitchener-)Waterloo is expected to grow by 36.4 percent by 2036.

Mayor Craig, forever upset that he didn’t get GO Trains in Cambridge (which will still happen, eventually) or Light Rail Trains (Just bus, but again,trains will happen, eventually) is now pushing hard for Waterloo Regional Councillors to come up with the numbers to cancel the LRT system.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/cambridge-mayor-wants-formal-report-on-cost-of-cancelling-lrt-1.1703714

Mayor Craig – what are you smoking here, buddy? An extra 200,000 people are going to live in Waterloo Region (including Cambridge) by 2036 and 30, 40 years from now those numbers will only be substantially higher. One must invest in the future if population growth is to grow in a sustained, and orderly manner.

I shutter to think if the Waterloo LRT ‘Ion’ is cancelled, 20 years from now some politicians get together and admit the mistakes of the 2013 council and re-build a mass transit system at a substantial increase in costs all because ‘Places to Grow’ was right. Without the LRT Waterloo Region sprawl would quickly reach St. Jacobs and Elmira – can you imagine? You’d be like Mississauga is today (never-ending sprawl! ha ha ha!)

Cambridge – Now is not the time to get cold feet!

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Kitchener/Waterloo GO Train an obvious success

By shost at 8:32 am on Friday, September 20, 2013

I managed to be in Kitchener for the arrival of GO 207 last night (First GO train to arrive at Kitchener) – and to say the least the crowd that got off the train was quite substantial. If I was to guess i’d hazard about 200 people got off the train and the platform crowd was quite full. Combining this with the crowds at Guelph and Acton, it seems safe to me that we’re well over a thousand people a day using all three stations, or 260,000 people per year per direction. I believe the true numbers to be higher than this.

There will always be nay-sayers ( more on Waterloo naysayers later ) but the truth of the matter is the GTHA needs MORE transit options, not less, and if you build it, indeed, they will come. Our highways are continually congested at rush hour and transit avoids the need to build or expand our highway network to unreasonable levels – while saving taxpayers oodles of money on costly road expansions. Remember it only cost $18M to remove 500,000 cars a year off our area highways and these numbers will continue to increase.

More condos are coming online in Guelph and Kitchener by the GO station and if Guelph is any bellweather – all the condo projects downtown sold out in mere weeks. Certainly GO transit had something to do with this..

Now, if you believe Places to Grow and the future of population growth in the GTHA – the call for more Transit (GO Train, Light Rail) would be heeded by the municpalities involved. The next post will make you cringe..

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