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SouthWestern Ontario Transit Alliance – “action plan” cites Guelph prominently – provides a blueprint for the future of SWO

By shost at 8:00 pm on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guelph gets high marks for its integrated Transit Hub, Kitchener lauded for its forward thinking transit project, in this document which spells out, in detail, an action plan for the SW Ontario region for all transit (GO, VIA and otherwise) in South-Western Ontario. A good read if you are into details:

http://www.swota.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Network-Southwest-Report.pdf

However, this group claims the Acton-Guelph-Kitchener ridership of GO Train services is about 250 people daily (each way I’d assume).

Most telling is Page 7: see the dramatic drop in ALL bus service to many points in South Western Ontario – that’s right, many many cities near us have next to no intercity service of any kind. This is not good. Even Sarnia, with one train in and out per day is still not enough, departing at 0630 for Toronto is far from convenient. Should GO add bus service to our northern rural communities? I’d say… yes.

Niagara Falls weekend, seasonal GO train ridership is low? But have you see the QEW on weekends? It’s already way beyond capacity and turning into our next Gardiner/DVP – traffic jams all the time on weekends. ┬áCheap to add a train or few, ┬áBillions for a new highway. SWOTA quotes $1.2 billion to bring all-day train service to Niagara Falls – abnormally high due to an $800M tunnel required at the welland Canal. In 1974 our Government funded a tunnel in Welland, at the time used for one passenger train each way per day (for the New York-St. Thomas Ontario-Chicago Amtrak “Niagara Rainbow”), but has been a freight-only corridor since 1979.

The last interesting detail among many is the document also cites that an EA is in progress for all day Go Train service to Kitchener-Waterloo – to be released later this year. I expect this document to be a 10 to 20 year blueprint on creation of a dedicated GO corridor from Georgetown to Bramalea and continued improvement (elimination of crossings, bottlenecks (more sidings/double track) etc) to the performance of GO trains that will only be acquired from continued infrastructure changes.

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