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A little retrospective .. and over in Waterloo, LRT wins.

By shost at 4:03 pm on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I remember back in 2006 when we started this site – we polled the municipal candidates in Waterloo, Guelph and Acton on the future potential of GO transit in this area  - posted the results here – and helped educate the public on the potential of GO transit in our region – at the time no one spoke of it or was aware it was even on the table. LRT was still in the early stages – and look how far we’ve come. I’m glad TRITAG has taken the cause for pro-transit in Waterloo region – and I’ll try not to duplicate what they advocate for – (check them out – a great effort!)

Speaking of how far some have come – I’ll also mention that my friend and former co-hort that helped drive GOKW.ORG in 2006 – David Graham – has won his name on the next Federal Election ballot in St. Agathe, QC by winning the Liberal Party nomination. Way to go David! David moved back out there years ago (and divides his time in Ottawa) to continue his political career with obviously great success. Good luck David!

So back to Waterloo – It’s full steam ahead for the Waterloo region LRT project – Ken Seiling wins by a comparable margin against the anti-LRT Aissa.  In an election that stood as a form of referendum on LRT versus no LRT – Waterloo region residents clearly chose the former – and I’m quite happy they did. LRT will funnel traffic to/from GO Trains in the city and provide a level of transit integration only equaled in Toronto (Until other LRT projects come on board).. Good job, Waterloo — now for the 4 years of construction pain and related road closures.

Most importantly – with Waterloo LRT proceeding with no political opposition – other LRT projects that are being considered – namely Hamilton, Missussauga (Brampton) can continue to look at Waterloo as the positive bellweather for what may be in store should they also choose the LRT path.

By the time LRT construction is completed there will be four trains/day in and out of Waterloo – what are the chances we’ll have reverse commuting trains to connect to the LRT from Toronto? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

At the end of the day – we still have major highway projects on the books, as well as major transit expansions. My goal is to see more balanced forms of transportation, including options for inter-city commuting and travel. We’re a far ways from achieveing our goal provincially, but in this region, we’re almost there!

- Steve

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Comment by Scott Ramsay

October 28, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

It is nice to see that the plans will go ahead. It was frustrating to hear candidates insist that this should be a referendum on the LRT. I thought we did that in the 2010 election.

I think the model we need to look at for the value of the LRT project is Calgary: their population was about half a million when the C-train was built in the 1980s; transit-friendly policies have meant that it has been well used. If Metrolinx is able to expand service on the Kitchener line, and extend the Milton line to Cambridge, the LRT will provide a fantastic transit spine linking local buses to intercity transit, especially if the GO trains bring workers into the region.

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Comment by Tom West

October 29, 2014 @ 11:40 am

Mississauaga, Brampton and Hamilton all elected pro-LRT mayors.
Toronto’s mayor-elect has supported the Finch and Sheppard LRT lines, but not the SRT conversion to LRT, so a mixed bag there.

(Of course, Ontario mayors are but one vote on their council’s – but it’s still significant).

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