QUICK LINKS: GO Network Status | GO Arrivals/Departures | VIA Rail Arrivals/Departures | TTC Trip Planner (Unofficial)

Kitchener

GOKW.org has contacted all candidates in the city of Kitchener with a public email address. These are the responses we have received so far. This page will be updated as more responses are received.

Kitchener

Name Candidacy Contacted Replied yet
Janis Hedrich Mayoral Yes Yes
Jon Huemiller Mayoral No
Frank Kulcsar Mayoral Yes Yes
Carl Zehr Mayoral Yes No
Glen Bender Ward 1 Yes No
Jack Byrne Ward 1 Yes No
Julian Ichim Ward 1 Yes No
Richard Maass Ward 1 Yes Yes
Albert Norris Ward 1 No
John D. Smola Ward 1 Yes No
Len Carter Ward 2 Yes Yes
J.D. McGuire Ward 2 Yes No
Berry Vrbanovic Ward 2 Yes No
John A. Gazzola Ward 3 Yes No
Bob McColl Ward 3 Yes No
Fitzroy Vanderpool Ward 3 Yes No
Marjorie Brown Ward 4 No
Kelly Galloway Ward 4 Yes No
Mike Harris Ward 4 Yes No
Victor Herbert Ward 4 Yes No
Tony Kerr Ward 4 No
Randy MacDonald Ward 4 Yes Yes
Bill Poole Ward 4 Yes No
Mike Windley Ward 4 Yes No
Zyg Janecki Ward 5 Yes No
Geoff Lorentz Ward 5 Yes No
Raj Gill Ward 6 Yes Yes
Leszek Jankowski Ward 6 Yes No
Scott Piatkowski Ward 6 Yes Yes
Chris Weylie Ward 6 Yes Yes

Kitchener – Mayoral – Janis Hedrich

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

I definitely believe that our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our region. The volume of traffic on our major highways and secondary roads has reached the point of being dangerous, not to mention the effect of pollution on our environment and health.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

As Mayor, I will ask for input from GOKW regarding the best way to improve commuter service. Traffic congestion is not only a problem in the Region of Waterloo. Mayors and councils in large Ontario cities need to work together, and put pressure on the federal government to improve commuter train service.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

see next response

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

I think that this would be a great opportunity to solve some of the commuter problems.

Greyhound already has a presence in Kitchener. Kitchener commuters could take a Greyhound express bus to Cambridge, and transfer from Cambridge to Guelph.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

I don’t have enough information about the LRT to make an informed decision.

My initial reaction is that the LRT will be too expensive. Streetcars didn’t work because of their fixed nature. I’d prefer to work with the federal government to build and expand on the existing railway infrastructure.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

We need to find viable long-term solutions to ease traffic congestion, if our Region is to continue to grow and prosper.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my views with you.

Kitchener – Mayoral – Frank Kulcsar

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

YES

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

At present GO Train is the only option available to us and we need it as of yesterday not five or ten years down the road.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Already a problem and if continues at the present rate it will worse.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Would need more information as to cost and feasibility.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

This is only a band aid solution, GO Train is the answer.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

Light Rail is not suitable for the Region as it is not flexible, need more IXpress buses and change to the grid system as what we have now is not very efficient to convince the public to leave their cars home.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

Monorail would be my choice for improved rapid transit as it is off the roads and as such can travel at higher speeds.

Monorail connecting our four cities with the GTA would be my choice of transportation as it would utilize above ground vehicles which can travel at higher speeds and cut commuting/travel time considerably. The main drawback to this form of transportation is the higher initial cost to build the infrastructure connecting the major cities.

I would work to try and convince the province to gradually replace the GO Train with Monorail.

Kitchener – Ward 1 – Richard Maass

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

YES! GO service is more important right now than the LRT that our regional council is talking about.

Did GO not say some time ago that because of their aging infrastructure that GO service would be awhile coming because of the work they need to do in other area?

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

As a new council member I would work with and lobby the Regional Government to Lobby the Province to do this, before they plow ahead with an LRT inside our cities.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Commuting is a problem now, the reason it will get worse is that our Regioanl infrastructure is lacking, lagging behind our growth as a Region, Our roads need to be bigger, wider with more access to the 401. If the bus/GO infrastructure worked better together, more people would use the services. When it is faster to get around by car and parking is not a monetary issue then train service will not be a viable option. When it works in harmony with other methods and is more econmoically and time sensitive people will use it.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

I think that a study should be done to see how many people might ride buses from Guelph to K-W-C. The bus if it followed Hwy #7 should deposit and receive patrons without having to penetrate deep into either city.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

With no GO service, if Greyhound feels it is worth while then good for them, if it gets use its good for everyone. GO said they would not be here for awhile so Greyhound is the next best thing

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

In future maybe LRT would work. Our cities are too small to be pounding tracks down right now. I support the planning of said system. Toronto and area had 10 times the people before they laid down their subway etc. My experience with the Region and cities and their budgets on such large items is that they are clueless to the real costs and this $308 million LRT will be $600 million by the time its working. Our bus service does not run seemlessly as it is, how can such an inneficient system be intigrated with something more modern? Sure the LRT would intigrate with GO service eventually and two trains would work together. Once our area goes over a million people and there is intensity in the core areas then the LRT will be viable.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

I think that covers it, Thanks for the opportunity to share my views

Len Carter Ward 2 Yes YesKitchener – Ward 2 – Len Carter

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Comuter Transportation should be a priority. It is my experience that the idea of a bedroom community was the suburbs of mosat cities. Not any more. I live at the edge of the City of Kitchener and virtually no one in my immediate area works in Kitchener. They work in Cambridge, Guelph, London, Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto. That’s a lot of gas,rubber and Insurance used daily. Public transportation that was reliable and flexible would eliminate much of this use of resources and pollution.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

The design and building of a system is not something that I would be good at but I could and would be pleased to set certain criteria for such a service. I would also clearly support the sale of the idea of a transportation links between the partner cities mentioned above. Go trains and Buses are probably the first step but I think that construction of High speed rail systems and Transportation Corridors may well be required when the full ramifications and costs are known to Businesses and people of these cities.corridors

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I do feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem and that commuting will be the resolve of the problem in the very near future.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

I would like to see such a service be established, be supported by the cities and be subsidized to enhance the use of the service. At this point in time our citizens are happy to hop in their cars and go. If this type of service were available at a much more than reasonable rate the time to self feed the system would be much less costly and much more quickly be accepted and would be used.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Absolutely!! This is a start to the resolve of the problem.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

Of course the systems should be integrated for ease of access ease of use and to enhance the value to persons that would use it.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

This is an important initiative for the eco systems of our regions and a solution to the massive buildup of highways and highway usage both for commuters and for business product or resource transfers.

Kitchener – Ward 4 – Randy MacDonald

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

I think we need to first get people to want to use a commute system.If you stood on a corner close to on on ramp near a highway,i would be willing to put money on the fact that 75% or more vehicles have only one occupant in them.If most families have 2 cars, how do you think you are going to get them to use a commute service rather than their car? High gas prices did not do it. We nee to first get people THINKING more along the lines of car pools, commute systems.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

I have a few ideas as to promote car pooling. It involves advertising. I think most tax payers look at it as a provincial matter rather than municipal. In a nutshell, I think it would be hard to get municipal funds to advertise energy saving carpooling, Transit systems. We have a decent express system from Kitchener to Cambridge through Grand River transit. And the majority of people do not know about it.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Commuting has bee a problem as long as I can remember.Again,the love affair people have with their vehicles. Start with encouraging more carpools. The sooner it is encouraged to share a ride, we can progress to another method.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Yes,I think that is a great idea! We already have the express to Cambridge,Waterloo.It would have to be seen if it was needed to expand to Guelph.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

I think Grand River Transit would be a better choice for commutes to Guelph rather than Greyhound. And I choose that because GRT is more suited for those commutes between cities.And probably more beneficial to the regional taxpayer.(i think that is Cambridge’s way of saying they are not happy with the limited GRT service they receive)

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

At this time I do not support a light rail system. Why?…Because nobody hardly uses the GRT as it is.Really.Think about it, after the school rush hour, what is the average rider ship aboard these vehicles.also a lot of the stops are to far from most peoples houses,so they do not even want to walk to the bus stop in order to board a Bus. So if we have a rail system we better have enough money aside to build all the parking lots to accommodate all the cars driving to it. If we are going to spend that kind of coin the had better be decent demand for it, and I do not think we are at that point. Just by building a Light rail system between A and B is not going to get people out of their cars and use it. Not trying to be too much of a pessimist toward the idea, but we need to have a practical plan ahead of it. Lets first get people using the transit we have. When we hear” BOY these buses are jam packed all the time”. I think we can safely say it is time to invest in some upgrade system. Sorry if that is not what you wanted to hear,but,i will always be honest.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

My additional comments will not be too much out of line with what I have already noted. I support mass transit. WE need to encourage more usage for what we have. Expand what we Have. Plan for the future. I could go on, and hopefully I will, with all your support on Novemember 13!

Kitchener – Ward 6 – Scott Piatkowski

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes. If we’re going to be able to breath the air in the near and distant future, we have to cut down on the number of cars being driven. Affordable, efficient and reliable alternatives are the key to making that happen.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

As a Councillor, I’d want to serve on any committee struck to attract GO and other commuter transit to serve this area. I’d want to work with my fellow Kitchener Councillors and elected officials from other Regions to make such services a reality.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I do.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

There are provincial laws dealing with “inter-city” transport that would need to be changed. If that can be done, there is no reason that the two transit services should not offer routes along Highways 7 and 24 that connect the two urban areas. It would certainly be preferable to putting more cars on either route.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Go Train service would be preferable, as buses can get stuck in the same traffic jams that delay automobile commuters. But, as a short term solution, improved Greyhound service is a viable option for Guelph and commuties in Waterloo Region.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

Yes, I support the proposed LRT, and yes I think its service can and should be integrated with GO service in the future.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

If GO Service to existing train stations in Kitchener or Guelph is not seen as feasible, we should investigate the possibility of turning the former Breslau Hotel sight into a GO station that would serve commuters in both Waterloo Region and Guelph.

I have prepared a detailed environmental platform that deals with transportation and many other pressing issues. I’d invite people to visit www.scottpiatkowski.ca in order to read about it and the rest of my platform.

Kitchener – Ward 6 – Raj Gill

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Definitely. The gridlock on the 401 shows that thousands of Kitchener and area residents travel daily outside and across the region. Southern Ontario is an integrated economy and we need to make it possible for people and goods to regularly travel by train – for the sake of our air quality, our health, and our productivity. A key problem is not only the limited train service provided by VIA, but the fact that many commuters are not traveling from downtown-to-downtown core. It needs to be easy, affordable, and comfortable for Kitchener residents to travel to Cambridge, to Mississauga, to North York, to downtown Toronto, etc. without using a car.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

The best long-term solution is to invest now in improved train service, such as GO transit and VIA Rail, coupled with strong local transit service and supplemented by an inter-regional bus service that covers more destinations. We need train and bus service to be affordable, accessible, and convenient. Inter-regional train and bus service should be seamlessly integrated with other modes of travel, especially cycling, walking, car-sharing, and local transit. For example, currently it is not possible to take a bicycle on either the Greyhound or VIA Rail from Kitchener, and the Kitchener VIA Rail station is not located on a frequent or direct bus route.

As coordinator of the Waterloo Interest Research Group (WPIRG), I have been working for many years on sustainable transportation initiatives to improve local air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. WPIRG developed carpooltool.com, a national web-based carpool matching service. I provided project support for One Tonne-Challenge – Waterloo Region, which included promotion of the Commuter Challenge. I help organize the annual Local Motion festival in Victoria Park, Kitchener, and at the University of Waterloo, to promote walking, cycling, and transit use. I regularly meet with city and regional staff to improve the infrastructure for healthy transportation. Most recently, as part of the Waterloo Region Concerned Cyclists, I approached the Kitchener Environment Committee to support bicycle parking in the city. Our proposal was adopted by Kitchener City Council on Monday, October 30th, 2006.

As a councillor, I will continue to work with city staff, as well as local businesses and institutions, to support and improve transit services, carpooling, carsharing, walking, and cycling. I will also work with the region, province, and other area municipalities to develop better in-town transit and regional train service for Kitchener residents.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I think commuting is a serious problem in the region.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

We should be able to travel seamlessly from one transit system to another, and from one mode of travel to another. We also need to expand the destinations our transit systems reach – both within and outside the region. Integration of the two bus systems is not necessarily a top priority. Let’s start by having Grand River Transit offer more frequent service, more direct routes, dedicated bus lanes, and better information (e.g. bus schedules at bus stops). The Greyhound service to Guelph should have pick-up and drop-off points along Victoria Street that connect with Grand River Transit routes and have bus shelters and secure bicycle parking.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

There is also a proposal for a new Kitchener terminal near the 401. I would support this development, but not at the expense of the Kitchener downtown terminal.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

A top priority for Kitchener is better affordable in-town transit and inter-regional train service. These needs shouldn’t wait for an LRT; we need to invest now in improved bus service: more frequent service, more direct routes, dedicated bus lanes, etc. Better bus service is the most cost effective and quickest way to improve public transit. This can and should be done while we explore and develop an LRT project, which should be integrated with any future GO train service.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

I’d like air quality, health, and climate change issues to be a more prominent component of the discussion of our transportation options. I elaborate on my background in these areas on my website: www.rajgill.ca.

Kitchener – Ward 6 – Chris Weylie

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

-Yes, improved, reasonably priced access to commuter services, particularly non road dependent such as GO and Via Rail, would reduce commuter car travel, related emissions and possibly reduce the need for more capital investments in more roads!

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

- The quickest initial solution would be to increase use of our existing rail infrastructure in the Region and to combine efforts with other communities in the Region to persuade the higher levels of Government to provide the support and leadership required to achieve these changes. We should also do our part in ensuring that both current and future transit services in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are aligned so as to make access to commuter rail stations easy and effective.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

- I believe that commuting, both within the Region and with other employment centers, such as Guelph, Milton and the overall GTA is already an issue requiring increased effort and improvement.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

- Wouldn’t improved rail service from the existing Kitchener Rail Station to the GTA through Guelph be equally beneficial, less costly and more environmentally friendly?

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

- Anything that gets commuters out of cars into more efficient alternatives is a positive step.

6. Do you support the creation of the proposed Waterloo Region Light Rail Transit system? Do you believe such a service can or should be integrated with any future GO train service?

- I believe that a long term plan for effective, fuel efficient and environmentally sound movement of people through the Region is critical. However, I support a careful approach the will allow a graduated introduction of more public transit usage by our citizens without committing today to a single plan. For example, a rapid bus system such as used in Ottawa, utilizing both the existing roads as well as dedicated transit corridors on Hydro easements, retired rail lines, alongside roads where feasible would appear to be a good start to increase ridership above the current 5% of the population.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

- This is an important topic that will require ever more focus if we are to deal effectively with a growing population and to reduce urban sprawl. It will also require a great deal of co-operation within the region as well as from the province.