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Region of Waterloo

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

Region of Waterloo

Name Candidacy Contacted Replied
Robert A. Ross Regional chair Yes Yes
Ken Seiling Regional chair Yes Yes
J. Robert (Bob) Verdun Regional chair Yes Yes
Steven Cage Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Kurt L. Ditner Kitchener rep Yes No
Gary R. Ferguson Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Tom Galloway Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Daniel Glenn-Graham Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Jean Haalboom Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Jason Hammond Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Matthew Ichim Kitchener rep Yes No
Rick Moffitt Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Jake Smola Kitchener rep Yes No
Jim Wideman Kitchener rep Yes Yes
Mike Clancy Waterloo Rep Yes No
Mike Connolly Waterloo Rep Yes Yes
Jane Mitchell Waterloo Rep Yes Yes
Ed Spike Waterloo Rep Yes Yes
Sean Strickland Waterloo Rep Yes Yes
Bob McMullen Cambridge Rep Yes No
Jane Brewer Cambridge Rep Yes No
Claudette Millar Cambridge Rep Yes No
Uwe Kretschmann Cambridge Rep No
Glen Whetham Cambridge Rep No
John Florence Cambridge Rep No

Region of Waterloo – Regional Chair – J. Robert (Bob) Verdun

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

Effective rail service is essential on the London-to-Toronto line (the North Main). It is my highest priority. Properly managed, this underused single track can carry as many people as six lanes of 401, and is a much better public investment (particularly because it connects directly with Pearson Airport, the Bloor subway line, and Union Station). Limited GO train service is possible from Cambridge to Toronto, and could be expanded as usage justifies twinning this high-volume national freight route.

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?

With effective leadership in Waterloo Region, it would be easy to marshal the resources of all levels of government. The need and practicality are obvious; what is lacking is leadership. In fact, the current Chair of Waterloo Region has been quietly working against effective commuter rail service. I have excellent connections at the federal level, and worked for several years with the key officials of GO and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. It is our Regional administration that is standing in the way.

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?

Because of the failure of the Region to provide adequate arterial roads, we can’t even travel within the Region efficiently, let alone provide reliable transportation for employees, business people, and university students travelling to and from Waterloo Region. The situation on the 401 corridor is shameful. The Region has been freeloading on the province, causing unnecessary congestion because we are inappropriately using the 401 as a “regional” road. As well, the Region has never added any bridge capacity over the Grand River, which has become a serious barrier to essential movement within the Region and between K-W and the 401.

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?

My vision is to use the North Main rail corridor as the spine of the future public transit system within Waterloo Region as well as Guelph. A spur can be built from Breslau into Cambridge (to also serve the regional airport, industrial lands around Toyota, etc.) far more effectively than trying to create a rail line in the King Street corridor. We already have the spur line from the VIA station into Uptown Waterloo, past the universities, and on to St. Jacobs and Elmira. With a very affordable investment, we can have an effective public transit system serving a large percentage of the Waterloo regional population (as well as Guelph).

Additional note: The current Highway 7 between Breslau and Guelph is a deathtrap, more than 20 years overdue for remediation. It is being held up because the Region is insisting on a full four-lane highway into the Wellington Street interchange on the K-W Expressway. This is to provide bridge capacity over the Grand River at provincial expense, to make up for the Region’s neglect of its own duty. The key problem is that this plan requires a 4-level interchange at Wellington Street (a flyover above a flyover), and this cannot be justified in provincial priorities. Thus, people will continue to die unnecessary on Highway 7 because Waterloo Region is failing to provide basic levels of transportation within the region. As Regional Chair, I would take immediate action to make the highway safe between Breslau and Guelph — while pursuing my first priority of providing effective rail service.

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?

Bus transportation is futile because road access into Toronto is already congested beyond the level of reliability. K-W and Guelph can be easily served by removing the bottlenecks on the North Main Line. Limited GO train service can be provided on the CP main line, but Cambridge commuters can also be served from Breslau (with frequent bus service on Fountain Street until a rail spur is warranted on that route).

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?

The King Street corridor does not have sufficient passenger traffic potential to justify a Light Rail Transit system, and is unlikely to ever have the type of City Centre density of employment that makes rail-based transit viable in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. Frequency is the number-one factor in making public transit attractive. Trains would be much farther apart than buses on the King Street corridor, and this deterioration of service would likely result in a decline in passenger usage, not an increase. However, I am in favour of gradually increasing rail-based local transit when feasible, branching from the North Main Line as the principal spine.

Because the North Main Line can provide ideal direct and reliable access to one of the best-connected airports in the world (Pearson), using the North Main as the spine of a regional public transit system has extra appeal beyond serving local needs and the requirements of commuters.

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

Nothing will change without a change of leadership in Waterloo Region. Ken Seiling has been in power too long and has too much power. Upgraded rail service could have been launched three years ago if he had not succeeded in misdirecting provincial priorities in favour of his Light Rail project. Everyone who cares about the environment and the economy should be pushing hard for a transportation and transit strategy based on seizing the potential of the North Main Line. It cannot fail, and after it has attracted thousands of satisfied daily users, it will be the example and springboard for high-speed and frequent passenger rail service in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle.

Region of Waterloo – Regional Chair – Ken Seiling

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

I have always supported the improvement of intercity connections, particularly into the GTA.

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?

We have worked on a number of fronts. The Region and Cambridge made a joint submission to GO transit for an extension of service along the Milton Line. We also met with officials to support this submssion. The Region has partnered with other communities along the North Line in an effort to save it for passenger service and increased VIA and GO service. We have also just complete a study of the North Line which costs out the necessary improvements to make increased intercity and commuter service possible on this line. It also suggests an alternative (Budcars) to full GO service while it builds. We are submitting this to the Ontario Government as well as MP’s and MPP’s. We are also supportive of GO and/or Greyhound efforts to provide enhanced bus commuter 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?

We are currently investing heavily in building up public transit in Waterloo Region. We are also pursuing a rapid transit system for the Region. We would hope to be able to expand bus service to our rural communities over the next few years. There would be opportunities to look at links with Guelph however I suspect that the private sector would also look to improve links if the market was sufficient.

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?

The Region has provided information to Greyhound and to Cambridge to asssist it finding an appropriate station. It is clear that the internal capacity of the rail system in the GTA will not allow for major rail expansion in the near future. GO has also indicated that its first option is to use bus service to explore and build the market. Bus service, whether Greyhound or GO will be the first to be put in place.

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 believe that a rapid transit system is the way to go in the Region. It will be a major land use planning tool helping to increase density and reducing sprawl, slow the growth of automobiles dependency, and help alleviate road problems in the Region. In the very first proposal, there was an integrated intermodal station proposed. This was dropped for a variety of reasons but there is every intent on integrating the systems on a complementary basis. It is interesting to note that the Province’s new legislated growth plan incorporates rapid transit in Waterloo Region.

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

Thanks for the oppportunity to respond. Anyone should feel free to contact me personally if you would like to discuss this further.

Region of Waterloo – Regional Chair – Robert A. Ross

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

Yes we need to address the problem of commuting to the GTA. A large portion of the region’s residents commute to the 905 and 416 areas, using the 401.Many are driving as the only occupant in the car. GO would take may out of the cars, thus reducing emissions and making for less traffic.

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 start is to get the GO bus to the area ASAP. We have bus terminals that are linked to the GRT in the 3 major cities.As well we could build mini stops at the commuter lots along the 401.Some of the commuters are not in the cities but travel past these lots .Commuting is not just a city issue.The buses would be an economical way to start, with little cost to taxpayers , and a way to prove to the province that GO train service is needed.

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?

They should not be integrated but as the hwy 7 expansion moves ahead,there is a possibility of a transfer point at Breslau, where the Guelph and GRT buses could meet and people change over.The costs would be shared by both systems and be beneficial to getting cars off number 7.

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 would rather have GO, it is a public system that reports to the users not to shareholders. Greyhound would have to pull out if the ridership was not up to its forecasts.

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 do not support the LRT. I feel that 300 million dollars can go along way in other areas.It will take too long to implement and be costly to maintain.

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

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Tom Galloway

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

commuter service outside our Region is an essential element in managing our expectant growth. We cannot forever keep expanding the highway infrastructure. Commuter bus, train, GO or other commuter services are part of the solution.

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?

GO service would be a prime objective. Lobbying the Province and local MPPs is essential but we also need to be prepared to participate financially at least in terms of stations. This is something we have already anticipated.

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 commuting will become a serious problem.

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 this is a great idea. Provincial licensing will make this difficult. Again we will need to work with Province and local MPPs to make this happen.

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?

It is good approach in the short term. Private enterprise will keep it going as long as it turns a profit but transit and commuter services do not typically make a profit. Subsidies are usually necessary to provide a comprehensive reliable service.

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?

Currently there is no Light rail Project; it is called the Rapid Transit project. I am on the Project Team. The technology has not been determined. However, personally I support the light rail alternative. It performs best from a planning and transportation perspective. Whatever technology is used should be integrated in a multi modal fashion including GO, VIA, Greyhound, conventional transit.

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

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Daniel Glenn-Graham

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

As a former Toronto commuter, I can tell you that the traffic is getting worse and also that the answer is not more cars. In the short term, the region needs to get behind carpooling.

We should ask for a pilot to have GO buses in place (only since they will not move to the more badly needed GO trains until demand is proven). Then, we should ask for a review after one year and push hard for GO Trains.

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 studied transit options and participated in the transportation workshops- we need LRT for local travel, plus carpool lanes and GO trains.

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?

It already is, and adding more lanes is not the answer!

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?

They should look for efficiencies in their structure and ways to link routes to take pressure off highway 7.

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?

YES- encourage private firms to fill the gap since government should not be in the business of creating transportation hubs alone, but needs to do it in partnership with private industry.

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 and YES since I have seen this model discussed at the transportation workshops.

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

Yes- we can look at smaller and more frequent buses for low volume routes and also ensure that they are accessible to handicapped.

Use transfers given out for each trip as basis for weekly lottery with prize being a free month of transit.

Thanks for your civic minded interest!

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Jim Wideman

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

Yes the traffic on the 401 is not sustainable. We need a north and south route go train to the GTA and points in between

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?

See question one, I believe we need a northern route Waterloo Region Guelph Georgtown Acton route and a Warterloo Region ( Cambridge) route to Milton and GTA.I along with all of Regional Council have been actively lobbying to have this happen. I will continue that effort.

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?

It is a serious problem now not only to the GTA but within the Region. I have personally worked actively at bringing a variety of solutions including expanding Transit and expanding key road infrastucure.I am also presently working at creating park and ride parking areas to promote car pooling particularily KW to Guelph.

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?

This is an interesting idea it is worth pursing especially a dedicated route on hwy 7.

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 it is a good interm step to build ridership, my experience with other jurisdications however indicates that we will not build good ridership until we have a train that can bypass the car traffic and improve speed and timeliness.

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 have been an active supporter of LRT and have been on the Steering committee for the project since it’s inception.There is no question in my mind that one or several of the LRT stations would be at a GO Station.

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

Many people believe that we are ahead of our time in thinking of LRT I believe that this is one of those critical issues where we need to show leadership.We need to start now so we are ready for the demand ten years from now.

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Rick Moffitt

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

I sure do. We ought to already have GO Train service – at the very least Go Bus ought to have been started 5 years ago. It would give us a sense of what would be supported.

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 idea of building a Grey Hound Bus Stop in Cambridge can certainly be duplicated in Kitchener both at Hwy 8 and Homer Watson.

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?

We clearly have a large number of commuters in the region. Peple commute both to Mississauga and to Toronto. We don’t need to continue to overload our highways and pollute the air – there clearly are altenatives available.

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?

Absolutely, there ought to regular runs between the cities, service overlaps both across Hwy 7 for Kitchener and on Hwy 24 from Cambridge.

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?

It is only a start – an inadequate one but let’s build multiple stops Conestoga Mall, Hwy 8, Homer Watson all should be available for commuters.

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 am campaigning on the need for the Light Rapid Transit – again it should have started 5 years ago.Clearly it should be linked to an integrated transit system including Go trains, Go buses.

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

I am very disappointed in the response of governments to our regional growth.They have not anticipated the growth, nor planned for it. We are experiencing traffic chaos, unnecessarily polluting our atmosphere. We have not built enough access points to the 401, the expressway, Guelph and we still do not have adequate public transit which is clearly the solution to a large part of our traffic problems.

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Steven Cage

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

Absolutely. The traffic quagmire on Highway 401, especially during rush hours, is unnecessary. Not only is traffic congestion polluting our environment, it is having a negative effect on our quality of life.

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?

We need GO Train service to Waterloo Region, not only during rush hour, but also hourly during the day during non-rush hours. We need to work together as a Region to lobby the Province and GO Transit so that they see our Region as a priority for expansion.

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?

It is a serious problem, which will get worse if we don’t address it now.

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?

The Grand River Transit iExpress has been a big success linking Kitchener – Waterloo – Cambridge, as an interim step towards establishing the rapid transit system. Express buses to Guelph would improve commuter traffic flows.

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 should be considered a positive interim step until we can establish GO transit to the Region. It would be a positive interim step for Guelph, pending establishment of regular GO Transit.

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 am a very strong promoter of a rapid transit system between KW – Cambridge. I am leaning towards Light Rail Transit, but will review the Environmental Assessment currently underway. Not only will rapid transit reduce traffic congestion, pollution and greenhouse gases, it will focus development along the transit corridor, putting less development pressure on our farmlands and water catchment areas. We must absolutely link the transit system with GO Transit…to do otherwise would be foolish.

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

Please review the ongoing web blog commentary on my website at www.stevencage.ca Thanks

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Gary R. Ferguson

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

Yes. We need Rail and Go Transit service.

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?

Best solution would be Better Leadership and Lobby the Governments.

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 believe commuting is now and will to be a serious problem in the future and this alone warrants Governments working together.

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 would encourage through effective lobbying bringing Express bus or Go train services.

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?

Yes.This I see would be a temporary service but I believe linking the areas by Go Transit Rail or express bus.

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, if ridership warrants. This service should link with Go Train service.

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

We presently have a rail line from Galt to Elmira. This line provided passenger and freight service in the 1950′s. This was known as the Grand Trunk Railway. This current rail line should be utilized or taken in consideration for our commuting service within the Region as well as expanding to Guelph.

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Jason Hammond

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

Absolutely. I have heard complaints from drivers that they have seen other cars from our area with the same Mississauga-area parking passes (same employer), travelling alongside them on the 401. Thousands of our citizens travel along the corridor in this commuter cascade every workday morning, and they need more sustainable options. VIARail and GO Train service are important contributions to this mix, along with carpooling and telework.

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?

GO and VIA trains must fight for every second of track time with the freight companies that own the railway lines. In the light of our projected population growth in Waterloo Region and the GTA, increasing fuel prices, and the recognition of the climatic and air quality impacts of our automobile addiction, we must work with the railways, and all levels of government to add a second rail right-of-way on the Kitchener-Guelph-Georgetown line, which would more than double our capacity to take trucks and passenger vehicles off of our roads and highways. The Kitchener station, as well as a potential Cambridge GO station, must be well served by Grand River Transit and improved bicycling access and storage.

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?

I think that there should be greater cooperation between Guelph Transit and Grand River Transit, including conversations with Stratford and Brantford, to address cross-boundary needs. The connections between Guelph and GRT are especially important if we are to reduce peak traffic and avoid the fiscal and environmental costs of a new Highway 7. Area transit systems should support one another in our local planning process and in approaching other governments for investment.

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?

Greyhound buses are an essential part of the transportation mix, able to feed rail routes and supplement rail service off-peak. The new Greyhound terminal should be a full-service facility, with higher order (eg: iXpress and future LRT) transit connections, facilities for bicycles, taxis, carsharing, and carpooling, as well as food service and high quality day care.

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?

We must bring the proposed Light Rail system into service as soon as we can. Light Rail is much more attractive to both new riders and core area developers, and remains cost effective when compared to elevated or subway systems. Surface right-of-way separation also provides a critical corridor for emergency service vehicles. The Kitchener and (potential) Cambridge rail stations, along with the bus station / carpool facility at the 401, should all be connected directly along the GRT’s rapid corridor service.

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

I have professional-level training as a transit planner, and as a Regional Councillor, I could provide staff and engaged citizens with the support they need, moving smoothly between professional and general language and understanding. I am a regular GRT customer, and have been an active transit advocate in our region and elsewhere in the world. I have participated in the Youth Summit on Sustainable Urban Transportation during each of the three sessions since 2002, most recently as a speaker and mentor. Transit service is my first priority as a Regional Council candidate, and I believe transit service is one of the very best investments we can make as a municipality. For in-depth information on my transit views and the rest of my platform, please visit www.jasonhammond.ca!

Region of Waterloo – Kitchener Representative – Jean Haalboom

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?

VIA Rail service; lobby VIA Rail

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 and will remain a serious problem.

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; politicians and transit staff of each municipality need to meet to discuss how best a solution could be realized.

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?

No for Cambridge, no for 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?

Light Rail is a possibility. It is not the sole solution for commuter congestion. It should be integrated with Via Rail.

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

Commuter sevice from Kitchener to Toronto must be fast,efficient and comfortable. It must offer a ride of 60 minutes or less. VIA trains could do this.HWY 401 is packed with vehicles at any time of the day. VIA Rail service is not limited to morning and evening commuter service. I believe VIA Rail service will make the maximum impact on 401 traffic and on greenhouse gas production.

If you are promoting commuting, you are impliedly demoting office locations within this Region.The ultimate goal should be to live close to your place of work.

Regional of Waterloo – Waterloo Representative – Ed Spike

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

Yes.

The Province should be developing a high speed service.

Also see my web page about the Region of Waterloo: http://espike.myftp.org

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?

High speed from Windsor to Montreal/Quebec City. I would push to bring it into the plans.

I will also encourage the voters to make their thoughts known. It requires the voters to be heard in a very loud way.

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?

We can only build in certain areas. We only have a limited fresh water resource. There are two work spouce families south and north of us with one willing and qualified to work in the Region of Waterloo. They need the transportation services to get into 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?

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?

The old north-south rails were taken up. Can we get a reasonable replacement? I hope so. The Greyhound bus may be a short term approach. But bus routes and terminals can move and leave.

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. See my web page.

It should be integrated with all the transportation services. Voters need to make themselves heard. I’ll make myself heard for them!

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

My web page has more and longer notes.

Region of Waterloo – Waterloo Representative – Jane Mitchell

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

Absolutely and also within our four cities. Today (Sunday, October 29) I took the Greyhound Bus to Toronto in the morning for a very quick and relaxing one and a half hour ride. After watching a musical, my girl friend drove us home. We were stuck in traffic for an hour and a half just to get out of Toronto. It was a tense ride.

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?

We need GO or VIA rail transit to our area. Via could do this if the rail lines were upgraded and trains went hourly instead of twice a day. The cities along the rail line have sent a report to GO outlining the need for GO transit through Guelph and into Breslau in Kitchener.

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 ALREADY a serious problem.

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 do not even have buses to Ayr, Elmira, or New Hamburg at this time. I would like to see GO or VIA hourly back and forth between Guelph and Kitchener with terminals at each end linked to the respective transit systems.

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 a good approach for Cambridge and Guelph. Greyhound goes every hour and can accommodate commuters. I am totally against GO buses because we already have Greyhound!

That being said, we also need GO or VIA rail transit. The 401 is only getting worse and buses get stuck in traffic too. Rail avoids all the delays, can carry more passengers, is faster, and frankly, is more comfortable.

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?

Right now we are deciding what kind of rapid transit we need. Due to the cost, I am waiting to see the cost and differences between reticulated buses (two buses with an accordion type pleat in the middle)on a dedicated lane and light rail before I make my decision.

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

It is very frustrating that despite extensive lobbying, we have to wait for the province and the federal government to move on commuter rail.

Region of Waterloo – Waterloo Representative – Sean Strickland

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

Absolutely. This is a major quality of life issue for the thousands of local residents who commute outside of our area on a daily basis. Over the past three years I have traveled extensively to Toronto from my north Waterloo home and depending on what time I leave the house the trip to downtown could take anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 hours. Train and bus service to Toronto in the morning is OK but there is little flexibility with the return train schedule. This needs to be improved.

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 support a higher order of transit for the Region and believe that whatever model is decided upon needs to be integrated with improved GO or Via service into Toronto. (as an aside a rail line and commuter service is also required from Toronto airport to Union station) Intense lobbying of the province is required to make this a reality and I would use my voice in Toronto and Ottawa to help make this 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?

This is already a serious issue. According to recent health reports being delayed in traffic jams is a major contributor to increased anxiety, stress and related health problems. According to recent economic reports lost time on our Highways costs the Ontario economy close to $2 billion a year in lost productivity.

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 the systems should be integrated. However I believe that there are certain Highway and Traffic Act restrictions that prevent this. If this is the case local politicians need to work to overcome these barriers and implement an express bus to Guelph and back.

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 a start. It is also an initiative that should be supported by both cities.

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. See question 2 above. To my mind there is little point in building a higher order of transit in Waterloo Region unless it is integrated with GO service and/or expanded train service into the GTA.

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

In terms of transit itself I also support progressive measures such as free bus passes on smog alert days and bus passes that are transferable and can be used by multiple users.

Region of Waterloo – Waterloo Representative – Mike Connolly

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

Most definitly, pressure the Government to act.

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?

Increase Bus service (Greyhound) while we wait.

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?

It is a serious problem now! We also need another exit to the 401 now!

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?

Is this a priority now? I do not think so – we have to first make our own Transit system work to meet our needs, which it is not doing now. Later we can look at intergrating or co-operating more.

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?

Makes sense to me.

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 am not sure that Light Rail is the best system. I need more information ( i.e. completion of part 2 of Transit study).

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

Transit is a most important factor for further growth and needs to provide an alternative to City car use. It has to be frequent and provide the right routes. We have a long way to go.