Wonderful Waterloo Archive

This site is maintained by Sam Nabi as a record of the vibrant Wonderful Waterloo community, which was taken offline in 2014. This site is a partial archive, containing some posts from 2009-2013. To read more about the recovery effort and access the data in a machine-readable format, check out the GitHub page.

GO Transit

Post #320
01-03-2010 06:03 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
GO Transit
In Waterloo Region


Georgetown to Kitchener Rail Expansion - Environmental Study Report - GO Transit (July 13, 2009): http://www.gotransit.com/PUBLIC/en/n...ansion_ESR.pdf
GO Transit Strategic Plan - GO2020: http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/p...020_lowres.pdf

What is GO?: http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/aboutgo/whatisgo.htm

GO Transit is Canada's first, and Ontario's only, interregional public transit system, linking Toronto with the surrounding regions of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We carry nearly 55 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services that is one of North America’s premier transportation systems. Since we began operating in May 1967, over one billion people have taken the GO Train or the GO Bus. Officially known as the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA), GO Transit provides safe, convenient, and efficient transportation to the communities of the Toronto area.

GO Transit is Canada's first interregional transit system created and funded by a provincial government. On May 14, 2009, GO Transit officially merged with Metrolinx. This new, combined agency is known as Metrolinx.

A new Board of Directors has been appointed by the Province. The Minister of Transportation sets the strategy and policy framework for Metrolinx, and the Board provides business direction to staff.

Visit the Ministry of Transportation website for other information.

We recover most of our operating costs through revenue, consistently bringing in 80% to 90% of what we need to run our service from the farebox — one of the best financial performances for any transit system in the world. The Provincial government subsidizes any operating costs that are not recovered through revenue. It is also responsible for the base capital funding needed for rehabilitation and replacement, to keep our system in a state of good repair. For growth and expansion capital costs, the province provides one-third of GO’s capital funding needs, with the understanding that the federal and municipal governments will contribute the remaining two-thirds.

Our service area
GO Trains and GO Buses serve a population of seven million in a 10,000-square-kilometre area (approximately 4,000 square miles) extending from downtown Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo in the west; Orangeville, Barrie, and Beaverton to the north; Stouffville, Uxbridge, and Peterborough in the northeast; and Oshawa and Newcastle in the east. We connect with every municipal transit system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, including the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

The Greater Toronto Area consists of the City of Toronto and the surrounding Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham. GO Transit also serves the neighbouring City of Hamilton, and reaches into Simcoe, Dufferin, and Wellington Counties.

Our seven train lines are Lakeshore West, Milton, Georgetown, Barrie, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, and Lakeshore East. At peak rush-hour periods, train service is available at all stations.

In weekday off-peak hours, trains run only on the Lakeshore between Oshawa in the east and Aldershot in the west, and on the Georgetown line between Union Station in the east and Bramalea in the northwest. On weekends, trains run only between Oshawa in the east and Aldershot in the west. Bus connections extend our Lakeshore service to Newcastle in the east and Hamilton in the west.

Off-peak GO Buses between Union Station and other train stations (sometimes nicknamed train-buses) give passengers more choice when travelling to and from downtown Toronto before and after rush hour when the trains aren’t scheduled to run, even on weekends. More riders are choosing Union Station buses because they appreciate having the flexibility of travelling one way by train and the other by bus.

GO runs 185 train trips and 2,177 bus trips daily, carrying about 217,000 passengers on a typical weekday — 180,000 on the trains* and 37,000 by bus. Our ridership growth has continually exceeded expectations: The original GO Train service carried 2.5 million passengers in 1967, the first year of operation; today the combined rail and bus system handles nearly 55 million riders annually.

At least 96% of our train ridership is to and from Union Station in downtown Toronto, while about 70% of all bus passengers travel to and from the City of Toronto.

* Train service consists of trains and their related bus services — buses that meet the trains at terminus stations, and buses that connect Union Station with other train stations.

GO by the numbers

Train service
Lines 7
Stations 59
Route kilometres 390
Weekday train trips 185
Fleet size (number of trainsets) 41
Locomotives 56
Bi-level passenger railcars 470

Bus service
Terminals * 17
Route kilometres 2,819
Weekday bus trips, total system 2,177
Weekday Union Station bus trips
(included in total above) 471
Buses 401
* Plus numerous stops & ticket agencies

System Map: 2009Rev7 http://www.gotransit.com/publicroot/...le/sysmap.aspx
Post #321
01-03-2010 06:03 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Two cities vying for GO link
February 20, 2008

Regional councillors agree more must be done to persuade GO Transit to extend commuter rail here.

But if Ontario extends intercity transit to Toronto, should it come to Cambridge or Kitchener?

Coun. Claudette Millar of Cambridge wants commuter rail connected to her city.

"My priority is pretty clear," she says.

Other regional councillors are refusing to pick a favourite. Yesterday, they voted to pursue both the Kitchener and Cambridge options in endorsing a new plan that:

Asks the federal and provincial governments to consider diesel trains between Kitchener and Georgetown, to connect with existing GO train service.

Commits the region to spending $75,000 of its own money on a feasibility study for passenger rail service into Cambridge.

Asks the province to fast-track GO buses between Milton and the region, as an interim step.

Asks senior governments to consider a high-speed rail station within this region, as part of the latest study on high-speed rail between Windsor and Quebec City.

The 2001 census found almost 10,000 local residents who commute daily to Mississauga, Toronto and Halton.

Most would drive on Highway 401.

"We need to get people out of their cars, off the 401 and into trains," said Coun. Sean Strickland of Waterloo.

There are separate rail lines going through Kitchener and Cambridge that could, with upgrades, support commuter rail to Toronto.

However, planning for commuter rail into Kitchener is more advanced than plans for rail going into Cambridge, according to regional staff.

In 2006, Ontario pledged to look at the Kitchener route in considering improved commuter rail service.

The Kitchener route already has a business plan. It estimates startup costs for commuter rail at $78 million and operating costs at almost $4 million a year in 2004 dollars.

Meanwhile, GO Transit has launched a study into extending passenger service into Kitchener.

Despite this, Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says there's no reason why commuter rail should not come to his city. All it takes is stronger lobbying by local politicians. "It's all about politics. That's all it comes down to."

He said mayors from the Greater Toronto Area are the biggest barriers because they want GO Transit improved where it operates before it expands here.

Yesterday, he suggested GO Transit look at yet another option: Extending passenger service to a station that's closer to this region but not inside it.

Students would embrace GO train service
February 28, 2008
Stephen Krysak

Being a student at the University of Waterloo and, therefore, lacking the funds to buy a car -- or any luxury item for that matter -- daily GO train service would be much more cost effective then the current Greyhound bus or Via Rail system.

I often go to Toronto to see shows or friends and I know many students who do the same and would greatly benefit from this service, as well as the working commuters mentioned in the Feb. 20 article, Two Cities Vying For GO Link.

GO train service would also take hundreds if not thousands of cars off the road and would further promote the sustainability of the region.

As for where it should leave from, given that Grand River Transit services Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, I think the only deciding factor should be along the lines of space for commuter parking and the capacity for the trains. It's easy enough to get to and from anywhere using the GRT.

If the GO service does come to Waterloo Region, the students and residents of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo will embrace it.

Stephen Krysak

Craig takes action for city GO train service
Mayor doesn't want train service to end in Kitchener
Ray Martin Feb 21, 2008 - 12:00 AM

It's said where there is a will there is a way. And Mayor Doug Craig is now convinced that there is now the political will to bring GO train service to Waterloo Region. He is determined to find a way to bring it to Cambridge.

On Tuesday, regional councillors agreed that there is a need for GO train service here, but they're not sure whether it should come here or go to Kitchener.

"Up until now there has never really been much support for GO train at the region," Craig said yesterday.

"That's now changed."

Regional council has endorsed a plan that will look at both cities.

That plan: asks the federal and provincial governments to consider running diesel trains between Kitchener and Georgetown to connect into the existing GO train service; pumps $75,000 into a feasibility study for passenger rail service for Cambridge; asks the province to fast-track GO bus service to the region from Milton and asks the upper level governments to incorporate a stop in Waterloo Region into their high-speed rail plans for the Windsor-Quebec corridor.

Council's decision has catapulted Craig into action.

"I have ministry staff coming down here. I'm also forming a task force made up of local citizens to really work hard on this and I also want to get the chamber of commerce and prosperity council working on this," he said.

Meanwhile, the city's economic development advisory committee (EDAC) has set bringing the GO train to Cambridge as one of its 2008 priorities.

Craig Bailey, one of the members of a newly created EDAC subcommittee dealing with the issue, believes that if Cambridge wins a GO train connection it would tie in neatly with Waterloo Region's light rail transit plans and could cause Waterloo Region to rethink its priorities.

"We've got to get ourselves mobilized. This is something that would really help Cambridge."

Meanwhile, Cambridge residents will have their next chance to continue shaping the future of transportation in the region at the next public transportation master plan workshop.

The next public transportation master plan workshop will take place at the United Kingdom Club, 35 International Village Dr., on Feb. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

This is no way to run a railroad
March 01, 2008

The federal government's decision to fund a new train service from Toronto to Peterborough while ignoring far more urgent transit needs in Waterloo Region stinks.

For years, this region has built and argued a convincing case for federal help for better passenger and commuter trains to Toronto, as well as for light rail transit to connect its cities -- all to no avail. There was nothing, nada, not a flipping red cent for any of these essential projects in this week's federal budget.

But then, out of nowhere, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pledged to put a rail service through to Peterborough that will just happen to pass through his own federal riding of Whitby-Oshawa.

What gives? Flaherty denies that politics played any role in the project, which benefits not only his constituents but those in three other Conservative ridings as well as those in the Conservative provincial riding held by his wife, Christine Elliott. Flaherty may be right. But if he is, how else can his justify his bizarre decision?

It can't be sheer need. While Waterloo Region's population has topped half a million, Peterborough's is only 80,000. The federal census of seven years ago estimated that 10,000 commuters leave Waterloo Region each day -- most of them heading down the increasingly clogged 401. Surely at least some of those people would leap at the chance to go by rail. In comparison, the estimate -- and it is not necessarily a reliable estimate -- of the number of passengers who would use the Peterborough line daily is 900.

Flaherty can't have based his call on a business case either, because there really isn't one for the Peterborough line outside of a document cobbled together by Peterborough's Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro. In fact, a study by GO Transit, the provincial agency that serves Toronto-area regional commuters, declared two years ago it wasn't even worthwhile to extend a GO bus service to Peterborough. There just weren't enough riders and 70 per cent of the route's costs would have to be subsidized. Moreover, the area isn't growing that fast. So why is Flaherty willing to pay for rail upgrades, which Del Mastro estimated could cost $150 million?

So weak is the case for the Peterborough line that Flaherty's own department this week was unable to say how many passesngers would use it, what it would cost, or even who would run it.

In contrast, there is a documented business case for better passenger service on the north mainline that passes through Waterloo Region on the way to Toronto. Likewise, the case for some kind of rapid transit system within the region is so strong that the Ontario government has committed to covering two-thirds of its cost. And a GO commuter service to Waterloo Region would be far more feasible with federal help. But this need, too, is ignored.

As oil prices and environmental concerns rise, Canada needs better rail service. In theory, restoring the train links that Peterborough lost in 1990 is a good thing. However, governments need to set priorities and those priorities should be based on the needs of the people, not the politicians. Not long ago, Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig observed that transit funding went to the places that lobbied hardest for it because, "It's all about politics.'' Sadly, Craig may be right. But it is no way to run a railroad.
Post #322
01-03-2010 06:28 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
One voice stronger than seven
DOUG HUTTON, Guest Column - Mar 11, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Well here we go again; the train passes us by and goes to Peterborough while our politicians bicker internally within Waterloo Region about whether it should go to Cambridge or K-W, when both need it.

In the Feb. 20 edition of The Record, Claudette Millar is reported as pushing for a Cambridge rail link with Toronto, while Waterloo Region has a well advanced study to bring a similar service to Kitchener. We need to give our heads a collective shake.

Shouldn't our political leaders be working together to develop a transportation concept that would service all major population centres within the region rather than competing to get the benefit for "their town"?

Regional councillors have a responsibility to approve and implement projects that benefit the total region. Millar thinks her sole role is to vote for projects that benefit Cambridge only, rather than other municipalities in the region. Certainly a regional councillor should be vigilant to ensure his or her constituents are treated equitably but that is only part of the job. Regional councillors have a responsibility to look at the big picture and that big picture is Waterloo Region.

While we in Waterloo Region pursue local and sometimes conflicting agendas, Jim Flaherty makes a blatant pork barrel commitment to put a rail service through Peterborough and his home riding of Whitby-Oshawa.

The Record editorial of March 1 reported that the economics of this rail link are poor in comparison to a link from Waterloo Region to the Metro Toronto area. The Record is correct. The public transit needs of Waterloo Region (population 500,000) and Peterborough, (population 80,000) are vastly different.

Why this conundrum? Millar's comment, "My priority is pretty clear", on Feb. 20 regarding which city should get the rail connection to Toronto, typifies our problem in Waterloo Region. By pursuing parochial interests we miss a huge opportunity to gain not only provincial support but also federal support for important infrastructure projects that benefit all citizens of Waterloo Region. Both senior levels of government seem quite happy to ignore "seven small municipalities" in Waterloo Region that invariably shoot themselves in the proverbial foot through their self-serving antics. The losers are the citizens of Waterloo Region.

Some local politicians just won't admit that great things are accomplished for the citizens of Waterloo Region when they join together to pursue common goals that benefit all municipalities in the region. The recent hospital crisis provides an example.

This region has received less than its fair share of support for infrastructure, arts, culture and health care. The individual voices of our seven separate municipalities are simply not taken seriously by Queen's Park and Ottawa.

Yet, Waterloo Region has changed from a group of small towns to a significant mid-sized city and widely recognized economic powerhouse. We need to present our community in a manner that gains the respect and support we deserve from higher levels of government. It is not sufficient to send messages or requests to Queen's Park or Ottawa from single municipalities within the region. Instead we need a continuous united lobbying effort to keep important local issues on the provincial and federal agendas.

Citizens for Better Government promotes greater co-operation among the municipalities of Waterloo Region and exists with the sole purpose of "finding a better way" to structure local government.

Doug Hutton is the Citizens for Better Government vice-chair

Jim's chuffed with his train
Mar 15, 2008 04:30 AM
Bill Taylor, Toronto Star

In the hurly-burly of the political arena, so much gets done in the heat of the moment that it's always good to see cooler heads prevail.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who, in his recent budget, baffled many people by announcing a high-speed rail line between Toronto and Peterborough, has had time to reflect on what might otherwise be quite wrongly regarded as pork-barrelling at its most egregious; a Conservative crowd-pleasing anachronism.

Flaherty, having looked up "anachronism" and its meaning and committed it to memory (and written it on his hand in case he forgets), is now vowing, "This will be the biggest and best anachronism Canada has ever seen, a monument to our far-reaching policies."

The civil servants tasked with making these words flesh are being given unprecedented access to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's personal library and his priceless collection of Thomas the Tank Engine original manuscripts.

(Tory insiders are cackling that this is one in the eye for the Liberals, given that deputy leader Michael Ignatieff's Gutenberg first-edition of Walter the Farting Dog is a literary wonder but seems unlikely ever to be of practical use to his party. NDP Leader Jack Layton, meanwhile, is repining a recent fire in his party's library that destroyed both books, one of which members hadn't finished colouring.)

A spokesperson for Flaherty, who pleaded not to be identified, told this column: "The minister has thought long, hard and deeply – well, maybe not deeply – about this and, in retrospect, believes that instead of having his shoes resoled for the budget, the money would have been better spent on one of those cool striped engine-driver's caps. But he believes now he's on the right track, ha-ha."

Flaherty's new trains will actually be old trains, powered by steam locomotives refurbished with no expense spared to the public purse. Though, says the spokesperson, the Tories "hope to kick in a few bucks by filing libel suits against mouthy opposition MPs. And having bake sales."

The engines will be named in honour of Thomas and his colleagues: Henry, Gordon, James, etc. There will only be two passenger cars per train – traffic on the line is not expected to be heavy – and each pair will be dubbed Annie and Clarabelle after the duo that are Thomas's customary followers.

Asked how this could be considered a high-speed line, the spokesperson, after fidgeting for a while, replied: "Compared to how fast a stagecoach could get you from Toronto to Peterborough, it'll be pretty darned quick."

The anticipated $150 million cost of restoring the track includes replacing welded rails with old-style short segments to give the train an authentic jolting ride and "biddly-bong, biddly-bong" sound to complement the "chuff, chuff, chuff." Station staff will be provided with pocket watches and steel-rimmed spectacles which, for employees with 20-20 vision, will have plain glass in them.

Anyone taking the train will be expected to enter into the spirit of the venture and wear period costume.

"This should bring at least two additional industries, corsetry and crinolines, to Durham Region," said Flaherty's flack. "There's likely, too, to be considerable resurgence in the sale of derby hats and button boots. An economic boom; everybody wins."

Also in keeping with the good old days, passengers will be required to smoke during their journey. This could be seen as potentially derailing the new line but, as the spokesperson pointed out, "We have to keep ridership down somehow. The trains will only have two cars, remember, and the Prime Minister is most insistent that he doesn't want poor Annie and Clarabelle overburdened."

GO studies Guelph-Toronto rail service
Trains could run as often as every 20 minutes during rush hour, GO Transit says
May 13, 2008 09:04 AM
Magda Konieczna, Guelph Mercury

GUELPH-GO rail service could be coming to Guelph.

GO Transit decided last week to start a study of what it would take and how big the customer base would be.

There could eventually be a train every 20 minutes during rush hour - heading to Toronto in the morning and back to Guelph and beyond in the evening - and every hour outside of rush times.

But it would take years to get to that point. For now, GO Transit has hired engineering consultant R.J. Burnside to do an environmental assessment, which could take until early 2009.

GO Transit could initially add two trains from Guelph to Georgetown, where passengers could transfer into the existing GO service, said Greg Ashbee, GO Transit's manager of rail expansion programs.

"It would be very significant" if Guelph got GO service, said Rajan Philips, a transportation planner with the city.

When GO Transit launched rail service to Barrie in December, the service was packed almost right away.

But Guelph is a bit different, Philips said, because we don't have the same proportion of people leaving for work. The bigger trend here is the double-income family with one person working outside Guelph, often heading down Highway 401 to get there, he said.

GO Transit offered rail service to Guelph from 1990 to 1993. It didn't do too well because it didn't offer commuters the option of staying at work later if they needed to, Ashbee said.

"When there were cutbacks, you lop off the ends of the lines, especially in corridors that don't have significant ridership."

It's unclear whether the city would have to pitch in for the service. None of the municipalities serviced by GO Transit pay operating costs, but they help pay for expansions to service. When GO came to Barrie, the city paid a third of the cost for the new station and for track improvements, Ashbee said.

In the meantime, all stripes of politicians seem supportive of the potential for new service.

"There's a huge pent-up demand for commuter rail service to Toronto," said Mayor Karen Farbridge.

"We're playing catch-up on work that didn't happen when it should have," Guelph MPP Liz Sandals said.

"It's something the provincial government should give serious consideration to given our population growth and the increasing number of people making the commute to Toronto," said Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott, who said it can take up to three hours for him to get to the legislature from his home in Fergus.

Notice of Study Commencement - Rail Service Expansion from Georgetown to Kitchener
Guelph Mercury May 28, 2008 Page A8
posted by waterloowarrior
Post #323
01-03-2010 06:38 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Committee wants to GO with Palvetzian's expertise
Ray Martin Jun 13, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Officials from the City of Cambridge will be assisting Waterloo Region's transportation planners put together a case for bringing GO bus and train service to the region.

At Wednesday's economic development advisory committee (EDAC) meeting, planning commissioner Janet Babcock told the meeting that three senior members of city staff will be joining a regional steering committee tackling the issue. Babcock said director of engineering Cathy Robertson, director of policy planning Dan Currie and director of planning operations Jim Kirchin would all be involved.

Craig Bailey, a member of EDAC's Go train subcommittee suggested the region also invite Lee Palvetzian to join the working group.

"I think he would be a real asset," Bailey said. "He has all the information they're looking for."

Babcock said the region is looking for city staff involvement and that opening the committee up with additional representatives might make it "unwieldy".

Committee member David Smart agreed with Bailey.

"He could be a real resource," Smart said. "It would be a benefit to the process to have Lee involved. He is uniquely qualified as he has been fighting for rail service here for more than 20 years."

The committee agreed and are now asking the city to request Palvetzian be included on the committee.

Monday, July 14, 2008 2:00 p.m
Page 434 - http://www.city.waterloo.on.ca/Porta...il_Meeting.pdf

as posted by waterloowarrior:
- GO Transit proposing extension to Kitchener with stops in Guelph and Kitchener... consider various spots for stations including existing VIA Stations.
- Long-term Goal is 20 min peak period service, 1 hour off peak including weekends
- Completion goal for EA and preliminary design report is March 09

GO will need provincial thumbs-up
Ray Martin Sep 12, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Getting the GO train to Cambridge is going to take a lot more than goodwill and a sound business plan before the proposition will even be considered.

A top Waterloo Region official says it will take an act of parliament and a big chunk of change from local government.

Graham Vincent, the region's director of transportation planning, told members of Cambridge's economic development advisory committee (EDAC) Wednesday that GO Transit can't come here without first getting permission from the provincial legislature to expand beyond the GTA. And then it will be up to Waterloo Region and Cambridge to cover as much as a third of the capital cost to get the service started.

Vincent told the advisory committee that's exactly what the City of Barrie is doing to have GO Transit extended there.

"It only makes sense that they'd do the same thing here," he said.

Before any expansion of the GO train system takes place, GO Transit has to address problems it has accommodating riders within the GTA. He noted that a track upgrade is needed from Union Station to Milton so that more trains can be added. Currently, the Milton trains are operating at 140 per cent of capacity and no more trains can be added.

Meanwhile, Waterloo Region officials are looking at two alternatives to bringing GO trains into Waterloo Region. The first option is to use the VIA Rail connection through Guelph and Georgetown to Milton, while the second option is to use the CNR line connecting Milton to Cambridge.

Vincent admitted the VIA Rail connection would do little to serve people in Cambridge.

As for GO bus service, Vincent said the region has been told that service could be implemented within the next year.

Craig Bailey, a member of EDAC's GO Transit subcommittee believes immediate action is needed.

"The city should be setting aside money now for a GO station and talk with GO, that way we'll be ahead of the competition," he said.

Vincent believes that GO bus service to the region will meet with only limited success because of growing traffic volumes on Highway 401. Without dedicated lanes the GO buses would face the same traffic delays as all other traffic heading to Toronto.

Dedicated bus lanes will be a big part of Waterloo Region's proposed rapid transit plans, Vincent explained. The region will soon make a decision on whether it will be going with a rail or bus system for its new rapid transit system. While that decision will be made before the end of the year, the region is also looking at its long-range transit needs and is developing a master plan to meet those needs to the year 2031.

After further discussion, members of EDAC have decided to investigate what it would take to have dedicated high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes instituted on Highway 401 in Waterloo Region. HOV lanes in the United States and cities like Toronto and Ottawa have helped reduce commuter traffic by making bus travel a faster, more reliable alternative.
Post #324
01-03-2010 07:04 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
GO wants trains to Kitchener by 2011
September 25, 2008

A GO Train crosses the Don Valley Parkway in Richmond Hill in this file photo from last January.

GO Transit wants to bring four passenger trains a day to Kitchener by 2011.

GO officials expect a study now underway will bolster the case for the commuter-rail link with Toronto. The recommendations should be ready by March, Bruce Sevier, GO's senior projects officer, said yesterday.

Design of a preferred route could start later in 2009 and, if financing comes through, construction of stations would start in 2010, he said. Trains could be running the next year.

It depends on money, however. Sevier estimated the expansion would cost $40 million to $50 million, since GO would have to upgrade tracks and buy trains.

"We don't know where the pot of gold might come from," he said in an interview, adding that this question hasn't been asked yet. But when GO extended rail service to Barrie last year, the capital cost was evenly shared by Queen's Park, the federal government and the City of Barrie. This could be the way financing is arranged for the Kitchener expansion, he said.

An environmental assessment now underway is looking at a route west from Georgetown along the former Canadian National tracks.

The GO train proposal for Kitchener is up for public comment tonight during an information session at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St. N. Doors will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ken Seiling, the Waterloo Region chair, cautioned yesterday that local residents shouldn't get excited about boarding GO trains anytime soon.

"It's not a given that it's going to happen," said Seiling, who has been lukewarm to the idea of expansion. "What GO is saying is they would like it to happen. It's in the very early stages."

In the past, Seiling has expressed concerns that GO train service would turn Waterloo Region into a bedroom community of the Toronto area.

The 2006 census found 10,665 people commute daily between Waterloo Region and the Toronto area. Another 12,480 region residents head to Wellington County to work, and 9,465 Wellington County residents head to the region to work daily.

Go officials are talking about adding bus service to Waterloo Region as early as next year.

The area under study for GO trains follows the Goderich and Exeter railway -- formerly Canadian National -- as far west as Baden. There is no suggestion passengers could board trains in Baden, however. Downtown Kitchener would be the station farthest west. The tracks to the west of the city are included because they might be needed for parking trains overnight, Sevier said.

GO service to downtown Kitchener would also link to the rapid transit system proposed for Waterloo Region. The Kitchener station is one of the likely stops on the rapid transit route, Sevier said.

Today, Via Rail offers the only passenger train service to the region -- three trains a day into Kitchener. Via is studying upgrading the tracks it uses between Kitchener and Georgetown, along with modernizing the "archaic" signal system, Sevier said. It is also looking at boosting the number of trains it runs through Kitchener, he said.

GO is talking to Via about the upgrades, which would allow more trains to travel faster, he said. Some stretches of track have speed limits of 16 kilometres an hour. By comparison, trains using GO's Lakeshore and Barrie tracks top 100 km/h.

While Kitchener's GO train expansion appears on the fast track, a long-proposed westward extension from Milton to Cambridge is less certain, Seiling said. Regional council has approved a business case study of using the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to run passenger trains into south Cambridge. The cost and ridership study is expected to be done next year.

Today, there's a bottleneck to expanding GO service west from Milton, Seiling said. The tracks between Milton and Toronto need to be upgraded to deal with today's demands. GO says Milton trains are running at 140 per cent capacity now; there's no way to handle more passengers without a huge capital investment.

The region's Cambridge-Milton study would lay the groundwork for such an expansion whenever the Milton crunch is resolved, Seiling said.

Looking at GO Transit
Updated Fri. Sep. 26 2008 12:21 AM ET
CTV SWO - http://www.swo.ctv.ca/news.php?id=2786

Residents have been asked to provide input on transportation in the region.

GO Transit is proposing to bring its trains to Kitchener, beginning in 2011.

The plan is to start with four daily trains running from here to Georgetown, with the addition of hourly trains to Guelph at a future date.

An environmental assessment is underway and should be completed by March.

If the project gets the green light, construction on GO stations would start in 2010.

GO expansion would put 3 stations in the region
September 26, 2008

GO Transit would build three train stations in the region -- at Breslau, downtown Kitchener, and the city's western edge -- under a proposed model revealed to the public last night.

It's part of an expansion plan that would eventually include commuter trains running from the region to Toronto seven days a week -- leaving every 20 minutes at peak times and hourly during slow periods.

The proposed plans would also make Petersburg GO's most westerly point, although it would be a maintenance and refuelling terminal not intended for passenger use.

GO Transit, which could be running trains here as early as 2011, has already mapped out prospective station properties it would want to buy if the western expansion goes ahead.

That includes a strip of land near Highway 7 in Breslau, which would become a park-and-ride station. The property, between Fountain Street and East Woolwich Road, is the site of the former Breslau Hotel.

The commuter line also proposes a downtown station running parallel to Victoria Street for about three city blocks, near the Via Rail station. This would be an urban station, with little parking space and intended for cyclists, pedestrians and people connecting from other public transit.

The downtown station plans could be changed, GO officials said, to create an all-in-one terminal linking up with the region's proposed rapid transit line connecting Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo. "That's definitely part of the plan," said Greg Ashbee, GO's manager of environmental assessment and planning infrastructure. "You don't want people walking for blocks to get from one to the other."

Under the GO proposal, the most western commuter station would be north of the existing tracks near Ira Needles Boulevard, along Glasgow Street. This would also be a car-friendly park-and-ride station like the one in Breslau.

Regional Chair Ken Seiling said council is fully behind the GO plans. An efficient intercity commuter service could be a boost for the local economy, he said.

Some local employers, particularly in the hi-tech sector, are struggling to find staff because there's no easy commute into the region.

"An improved rail service really helps employment opportunities within the region," Seiling said.

And the region's economy has grown enough that there are nearly as many people commuting into the region for work as those heading out, he said.

"We don't think we're as much at risk of being a bedroom community as we were 10 years ago."

GO's own passenger projections seem to support this. Based on population levels and job-related commuting statistics, the projections suggest that in 2011 there could be as many as 2,450 riders coming into the region on GO trains every day and about 2,600 going out.

By 2031 there could as many as 7,800 commuters taking GO into Waterloo Region and about 7,900 riders taking the trains east, according to projections.

The proposed expansion plans were welcomed by a mostly enthusiastic crowd at a downtown church hall in Kitchener last night.

"I think it just makes sense," said Kitchener's Scott Ritchie. "We're not a small city anymore. We need this."

GO plans to have a preferred design for the Kitchener expansion sorted out by the end of January.

By April, it wants to have an environmental assessment report submitted to the government, and start a 45-day period for public input.

Support GO link, then build on it
September 26, 2008

The news that GO Transit intends to give Kitchener a commuter-train link to Toronto by 2011 is fantastic.

Everyone who's ever been wedged between two transports travelling at 120 km/h on that asphalt pressure cooker known as the 401 east of here will have cause to celebrate. Every one of the 23,000 commuters who drive from Waterloo Region to Wellington County and the Greater Toronto Area each day can shout "Hooray.''

As for us, we say, good for GO. It's about time. And it should only be the beginning. GO trains to Kitchener will meet only part of this region's transit needs -- there's Cambridge and the south to think about as well as a rapid transit system within the region itself.

But let's start by accentuating the positive. This growing, dynamic community has needed better transit links to Toronto for years. Each day, 10,700 regional residents travel from Waterloo Region to Toronto, Halton and Peel regions to work. In addition, each day 12,480 people travel from Waterloo Region to Wellington County to do their jobs.

All that travel puts a huge burden on Ontario's already overstressed road system. It burns enormous amounts of gasoline. It pumps more greenhouse, climate-altering gases into the atmosphere. It exacts a toll, too, on the nerves of all those commuters.

It's true there are alternatives to automobiles: Greyhound runs 23 buses out of Kitchener to Toronto daily. Via rail offers three trains a day to Kitchener. But those buses spend too much time stuck in traffic on the 401 with all the other cars. And those Via trains simply don't cut it as viable commuter connections. Given all this, its hardly surprising that the latest studies seem to confirm the need for a commuter train to Kitchener.

At one time, the regional government's official policy opposed a GO link because it was feared it could turn Waterloo Region into a bedroom community for Toronto. The region has wisely abandoned that policy and currently supports a GO connection. That's good because the region will almost certainly have to back up its commitment with money.

And this, in fact, is the rub. The trains aren't running yet -- and will only start running in 2011 if and when various government treasuries agree to spend up to $50 million on the project. There should be no doubt, no hesitation, no equivocation that GO trains are the kind of safe, fast, reliable, economical and environmentally-positive way to move people that this region, this province and this country need to embrace.

It is imperative that people in this region speak with one voice in their firm support for this GO train. They should be able to look to the regional government to make a strong financial commitment to a GO project. They should look to their elected representatives in the federal and provincial governments to press for the money needed to make a commuting dream into a reality.

At the same time, no one should forget the even greater need for a rapid transit system connecting the region's three cities that would offer a better alternative to the car for the 190,000 people who live in the region and work in it each day. Nor can the needs of Cambridge be overlooked. That growing city, which has long harboured dreams of a GO train for itself, also has thousands of commuters travelling on the 401 daily. If those Cambridge residents and taxpayers are to be expected to financially support a GO train to Kitchener, they should in turn be able to count on continued regionwide support for a GO link to Cambridge. In addition, if the Kitchener link does come first, ways should be found to make it as convenient as possible for Cambridge residents to use.

The news this week is wonderful. There is still a huge amount of work to be done -- and miles to travel before that first rail commute.
Post #325
01-03-2010 07:14 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
GO Georgetown to KW EA PIC #1 Document: http://steve.hostovsky.com/14877_Kit...sion_PIC_1.pdf

GO Transit may get going via VIA Rail
December 02, 2008
Nicole O'Reilly, Mercury staff - GUELPH

Of the three proposed GO Transit sites in Guelph, city staff are recommending council endorse the downtown Via Rail station.

But parking concerns may turn out to be the thorn in its side.

The Via site was among the proposed locations brought forward at a public meeting held by GO Transit in September. The former Lafarge property off the Hanlon Expressway and at Watson Road in the east end are also on the table.

If all goes according to plan, trains could start stopping on the Kitchener to Toronto route in 2011.

But the ultimate decision where Guelph's stop or stops end up comes down to GO Transit, city engineer Richard Henry said.

"Places to Grow identified the downtown as one of the growth nodes," he said, adding the city is also looking at moving its downtown bus hub to the Via location from St. George's Square.

Because the station is already built, Henry said, the Via location has the least environmental impact and is the most cost-effective.

The GO Transit team is conducting an environmental assessment, with plans to hold a second public meeting to determine the preferred site in January or February. Although GO is considering two Guelph locations, Henry said the city has indicated that there will be one station for initial service.

Most fully functioning GO Transit stations have 800 to 1,000 parking spaces, Leonard Rach, the project manager from R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd. said during the September public meeting.

But starting with only four trains each morning and evening, Guelph is projected to need 210 parking spaces for the initial phase of service. While it is too early for details, Henry said the city is certainly aware that parking needs to be fully examined.

With the proposed Wilson Street garage set to be open before train service starts, the idea is that its public availability would open other downtown spaces for GO riders.

Whether this means riders will park on the street or use an existing lot, if it will be free for riders and even if the spots will be reserved is all yet to be determined with GO Transit, Henry said.

One of the resolutions would be to open a second station if downtown parking reaches beyond capacity.

But David Graham, a longtime advocate for improved rail transit, said it may be too late.

"The downtown is a wonderful spot, but it's not enough," he said, adding GO Transit should have used the Via location and former Lafarge property from the outset.

Graham pointed to the Barrie GO train service that restarted last December as an example of what will likely go wrong in Guelph.

"They expected 150 people, but on the first day 280 showed up . . . within three months the lot was full," he said, adding it is already planning expansion.

Graham thinks the Lafarge property should be snapped up now, before Silvercreek Guelph Developments sees the now vacant property developed into commercial outlets. "The boat on Lafarge is close to leaving," he said.

City on GO Transit’s radar
Ray Martin, Times Staff Jan 20, 2009 - 12:00 AM

Cambridge is a small step closer to getting GO Transit. During a meeting of EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Committee), member Craig Bailey said GO Transit is looking at creating a bus link to Cambridge using the commuter parking lot on the east side of Townline Road as a bus stop.
In talking with a GO Transit official, Bailey said a bus loop could be created from Guelph to Kitchener and then swing down Highway 8 to Highway 401 through Cambridge. It will then head back to Milton and connect with the existing GO Train service into that city.

Bailey said Waterloo Region officials have pushed for GO Transit, but not specifically for Cambridge.

“The only reason we are on the list is because the mayor and our committee have kept pushing for it,” he said. “And we will continue pushing.”

In mid-December, the provincial transit system unveiled GO 2020, a new strategic plan which includes the extension of bus or rail services to St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Brantford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and Peterborough. Trip frequencies to these urban growth centres will be driven by demand.

Vanessa Thomas, media relations and issue specialist for GO Transit, said her board of directors has endorsed the “vision” as funding becomes available.

“This lays out what GO wants to do to 2020,” Thomas said. “This is the direction the board wants to go and the projects it wants to undertake. As for when it will happen and how much it will cost has yet to be determined.”

Progressive Railroading - The Rail Professionals' Information Source
MOW 1/20/2009
GO Transit begins grade-separation project
GO Transit recently launched construction on the West Toronto Diamond grade separation project, which calls for constructing an underpass to separate commuter-rail and Canadian Pacific Railway traffic.

Under the $277 million project, GO Transit will lower Canadian National Railway Co. tracks along the Georgetown line to run below CPR's North Toronto line rather than across it. The underpass will eliminate scheduling conflicts between CPR and GO trains, and enable GO Transit to increase service frequency on its Georgetown line, according to the commuter railroad.

Third-party utilities, the Dupont Street bridge, train signals and a major water main have been relocated in preparation for construction. The project is scheduled to be complete by spring 2011.

A portion of the project is being funded through the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program, which is governed by the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and Toronto-area municipal governments via the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
Post #326
01-03-2010 07:27 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Georgetown to Kitchener Rail Expansion

The Study:
GO Transit, the Province of Ontario’s inter-regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, is undertaking a Preliminary Design Study and Class Environmental Assessment to epand rail services from Georgetown to Kitchener. The Study will identify passenger demand for the extended service, track improvements, stations and storage facilities, park and ride facilities and integration with local transit. The study area is from the Mount Pleasant GO station in west Brampton to the Kitchener/Waterloo Region, as shown in the map below

The Process:
The project will follow the planning process for a Group “B” project under GO Transit’s Class Environmental Assessment Document (2005). A key component of the study is consultation with interested stakeholders (public and regulatory agencies) at Public Information Centres (PICs). PICs were held in late September and early October 2008 to present the proposed rail expansion project and alternative station and layover sides being considered. Baseline environmental studies were conducted and preliminary preferred alternative stations and layover sites have been identified.

A second set of PICs will be held to review the baseline study results, preliminary preferred alternative stations and layover sites and to receive public comments. Following the PICs, the preferred stations and layover sites will be finalized taking into consideration the comments received. Upon completion of the study, an Environmental Study Report will be prepared for public review and comment.

Thursday, February 5, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
54 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON

Thursday, February 12, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Evergreen Seniors Centre
683 Woolwich Street, Room 4
Guelph, ON

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Halton Hills Cultural Centre
9 Church Street
Georgetown, ON

All locations are wheelchair accessible.

For further information, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact:

Mr. Leonard Rach, P.Eng.
Project Mnaager
R.J. Burnside & Associates
15 Townline
Orangeville, ON L9W 3R4
Tel: 1-800-265-9662 ext 302
Fax: 519-941-8120
E-mail: http://news.therecord.com/article/481937

GO Transit is poised to unveil proposed train stations in Kitchener under a plan to extend commuter trains from Georgetown. The meeting is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St. N. in Kitchener. Display boards will include preferred station sites and infrastructure improvements.

GO Georgetown to KW EA PIC #2 Document: http://wwuploads.googlepages.com/148...rds-final-.pdf

GO proposal calls for two train stations
February 06, 2009

GO Transit would have two local train stations, not three, in a revised proposal made public last night.

The latest plan to extend commuter rail to Kitchener from Georgetown calls for:

A park-and-ride station east of Breslau, on Greenhouse Road near Highway 7.

A station in downtown Kitchener, where parking is constrained. GO would at first use the Via Rail station, then relocate to King Street to join with local rail transit.

Commuter rail to and from Toronto could arrive by 2011, but only if the provincial government agrees to fund the proposal. No cost estimate has been released.

"It can't come soon enough for me," said Teresa Maziarz, frustrated by her daily commute to Toronto on Greyhound.

"I like the fact that we're so close to getting the GO train," Maziarz said.

Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy said he will press to get GO Transit here. But he cautioned that his government would have to weigh the cost against other priorities. "The timing is tied to dollars," said Milloy. "You could see buses as an interim step."

GO has dismissed buses in its proposal, calling them less attractive than trains and inefficient without dedicated transit lanes.

The latest plans were released at a Kitchener information centre.

GO proposes four trains in the morning rush and four trains in the afternoon rush. Getting to Toronto would take 90 minutes. Fares are undetermined. Buses would run in the middle hours at first. Eventually, trains would run every 20 minutes in peak times and less frequently in-between.

The latest plan differs from a preliminary proposal last year. GO has incorporated feedback and studied environmental and property impacts. Among the changes:

The agency no longer favours a park-and-ride station in Breslau, due partly to traffic concerns.

The agency no longer favours a park-and-ride station on Ira Needles Boulevard in Kitchener. Instead, it proposes to park trains overnight at the Ira Needles site.

This favoured option depends on approval from the adjacent Hydro One transformer station. Plan B would be to park trains at Baden, near Sandhills Road.

Plan C could see trains parked overnight at Petersburg. It's no longer seen as the best site, due to concerns about bothering rural neighbours and use of farmland.

This was welcomed by Petersburg resident Ron Weber, alarmed by the prospect of trains parked near his home.

GO estimates that in 2011, 950 people would ride trains from Kitchener in the morning while 700 would ride into Kitchener.

By 2031, it's estimated 3,110 people would ride trains out of Kitchener in the morning while 1,980 would ride into Kitchener.
Post #327
01-03-2010 07:40 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
GO trains may be long time coming
February 14, 2009
Jeff Outhit

A proposal to launch commuter trains by 2011 sounds promising but may not happen that soon.

Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy certainly seems to be ramping down expectations.

Milloy says he wants GO Transit service extended to Kitchener. But he also warns that the Liberal government, which has the final say, will have to weigh the undisclosed cost against other priorities.

Milloy does not decide transit spending. He is minister for colleges and universities. But when cabinet ministers talk about spending choices, it's wise to listen.

"The idea usually is to begin with buses and then build up the capacity," Milloy told me at a public meeting on GO service.

"So that would be the next logical step."

He then said: "The usual route would be to go with the bus service as an interim step."

This was followed by: "A potential interim step would be buses."

Finally, he said: "Between now and trains, you could see buses as an interim step."

Let me speculate. Perhaps the province will send buses rather than trains. Perhaps this will be billed as an interim step.

GO has done this elsewhere. It's also a way for governments to let people down easily. We can't afford trains, but here's some buses to show we still care.

Problem is, it's pointless.

The GO study that's looking at Kitchener does not recommend buses as a logical interim step. It recommends against them.

Increased bus service is part of solution, but less efficient and attractive than rail service for specific downtown Toronto-oriented commuter market. Will not be efficient without dedicated transit lanes. Not recommended.

We already have commuter buses to Toronto. They're called Greyhound. They run all the time from downtown Kitchener and from a park-and-ride station near Highway 401.

Disgruntled Greyhound passengers may want the competition. Perhaps GO buses would offer cheaper fares, subsidized by taxpayers.

But it's hard to see how GO buses would be a big step forward. Do we really want to spend public funds to compete with a viable private service?

GO trains are more promising. The proposed schedule (four morning trains and four evening trains) is far more commuter-friendly than Via Rail, which has a poor schedule.

GO buses would do little for commuters. My advice to the province is, extend rail service to Kitchener or do nothing. GO trains or go home.

Harper, McGuinty announce $500M boost for GO
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | 12:44 PM ET
CBC News (With files from the Canadian Press) - http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/sto...7/transit.html

GO Transit is getting a $500 million boost as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's economic action plan.

Harper told reporters about the funding at a press conference held with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in Toronto Tuesday.

The money appears to be a reannouncement of funding previously committed in 2008 under the Building Canada Fund, which critics say the government has been slow to spend.

Ontario has been hit hard by the economic downturn and such investments will create jobs and prepare the province to maintain its place as the "bastion" of the national economy, Harper said on Tuesday.

The money will cover more than a dozen projects across the region and help the GO Transit system "handle the huge increases in ridership that are projected throughout the Golden Horseshoe during the next decade," Harper said.

Some of the money will go toward improving parking at 12 GO stations, from Mississauga to Markham and to Pickering, said McGuinty.

The Hamilton GO junction, which has been a major site of congestion, will get a $75 million upgrade, he added.

Improved transit means less gridlock, and less gridlock means a stronger economy in the long run, said McGuinty.

"With better service, people can pursue new job opportunities or training opportunities because they have a transit connection that gets them there," he said.

"When transit is more convenient, more people leave their car at home, and that means cleaner air and a healthier environment for all of us."

About 200,000 people in the Toronto area use GO Transit's network of buses and trains daily.

GO Transit layover station on the move again
By Doug Coxson, Independent Staff - Mar 18, 2009

GO Transit will wrap up its year-long study to expand service between Georgetown and Kitchener next month, but not before going back to the public with a new location for a train layover station.
The commuter rail service is now proposing a layover facility just north of the Wilmot Recreation Complex on Nafziger Road.

A public information centre has been scheduled at the WRC on Tuesday, March 24 from 6 p. m. to 9 p. m. for residents to drop in, see plans and voice an opinion.

Previous layover station sites were proposed in Petersburg and on Sandhills Road in Baden, but both those ideas are now off the table, said GO Transit’s manager of infrastructure expansion planning Greg Ashbee.

Ashbee said GO Transit became convinced the new site fits in better with their plans because of it lies within the township’s designated industrial area, the site is easily accessed from Nafziger Road and there are no immediate neighbours of the facility.

Alpine Plant Foods Corp is directly across Nafziger. A home and barn is about 300 metres to the north of the tracks.

“It fits in with with overall plans of the township and the region,” he said.

Layover stations provide a compound and shelter where trains are parked and fueled overnight, and on weekends. The compounds typically feature an above-ground fuel tank and pumps, electrical hook ups for the trains, as well as floodlights, several cameras and alarms to deter vandalism.

Trains are set to idle about an hour before the train goes into service in order to bring it up to operational speed.

In light of the possibility of adding a future boarding station on the west side of Kitchener, Ashbee said GO Transit would likely want to reserve the right to expand the layover facility to build service bays and a below-ground walkway, allowing workers to move underneath the trains to perform regular maintenance and repairs.

Ashbee said potential issues for neighbours of the facility are the noise impact from idling trains in the morning and light pollution from the yard at night.

Despite hearing concerns throughout the EA process, positive response to the expansion plan has come from various members of the community.

Wilmot Township’s director of development services Harold O’Krafka was one of the first to endorse GO Transit’s initiative last June, urging the transit service provider to consider building a station in Wilmot to serve the growing community while catering to residents living on the west side of the cities.

“A Go Transit station in the vicinity of Nafziger Road would provide significant opportunity to reduce vehicle traffic on both Highway 7 and 8 and also the 401 corridor by improving access to public transit without having to drive to downtown Kitchener or Stratford to access those stations,” O’Krafka wrote in his report to council.

Although he’s still concerned that GO’s plans not to build a station on the west side of Kitchener will prevent local commuters from using the service, he’s hopeful the new location of the layover facility will increase the potential for a west-side station in the future.

It could also mean a future passenger boarding station in Wilmot.

“It has the potential to be a really important thing for the community,” he said.

For the most part, Ashbee agrees.

“If Kitchener develops the way I think it will, a few years from now we’ll probably be adding another station on the west side of Ki t c h e n e r,” Ashbee said. “But the way I like to think of it is — it’s a big leap for us to get to Kitchener, let’s get there first.”

The possibility of one day converting the layover station into a passenger boarding station is not in the forecast, but Ashbee doesn’t want to rule the idea out.

GO Transit does have layover yards next to stations but it requires much more space and track infrastructure. He said it’s also preferable to provide layover facilities beyond the last passenger station because of potential impacts to train schedules in relation to the time it takes to switch controls as train directions change.

The Baden layover station does provide potential for other stations to come online between Wilmot Township and downtown Kitchener, Ashbee said.

The current service model for GO Transit has the majority of riders from outlying cities traveling to Toronto and back with very few getting off at stops in between.

But previous public information centres throughout the EA study made it clear to GO Transit officials that local riders will be making more trips between Kitchener and Guelph than anticipated.

“For GO that’s a new market,” said Ashbee. “A local commuter market is something we haven’t really satisfied before.

I think it’s going to be a real success story but time will tell.”

Ashbee said the proposed expansion is still dependent on Ministry of Transportation approval and provincial funding.

The optimistic timeline for that to fall into place is 2011.

GO Transit mulls overnight layover site outside of city
March 23, 2009

There's a new development in a study to extend GO Transit commuter trains to Kitchener by 2011. Planners now favour parking trains overnight at Nafziger Road, west of Kitchener. It's the fourth layover site they have considered.

"It's a great spot . . . (with) very limited impact on any residential neighbours," said Harold O'Krafka, director of development for Wilmot Township. The site is industrial, far from residences but close to New Hamburg's new recreation complex.

GO Transit has also looked at parking trains in Petersburg or Baden, but some neighbours were concerned. Ira Needles Boulevard in Kitchener has been ruled out due to lack of space.

The transit service is considering two stations in Kitchener -- one downtown, the other near Breslau. The plans require provincial approval and funding.

GO Transit is not planning a station at Nafziger Road, spokesperson Ed Shea said. "It would be a great place for a station," O'Krafka said. But he accepts that stations in Kitchener are a higher priority.

GO Transit wants feedback March 24 on the layover site. A public information centre runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the recreation complex at 1291 Nafziger Rd.
Post #328
01-03-2010 07:56 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Feds and Ontario detail $213 million in improvements to GO Transit
April 03, 2009

TORONTO - The federal and Ontario governments have announced details of another $213 million in improvements to GO Transit.

The latest projects include a new GO rail station in downtown Barrie, which is expected to be completed by 2011.

GO Transit will buy 20 new bi-level train cars over the next two years to accommodate more riders, and will refurbish 45 locomotives while waiting for delivery of new ones.

The money will help pay for five years of track maintenance and improvements throughout the GO rail network.

There will be improvements and upgrades throughout the GO system, including new and expanded bus storage facilities, new pedestrian tunnels and bridges, wider platforms and snow-melt systems.

GO will also install another 56 bicycle shelters at its train stations, adding to the 46 already in use.

The work is part of a $500-million package of transit projects unveiled last month by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Dalton McGuinty, with details of another $38 million in spending yet to come.

The first announcement of $249 million was mainly for expansion of GO parking lots and for GO's Hamilton Junction grade separation project.

Monday, April 6, 2009 - 6:30 p.m.
Page 232

GO Transit acquires important CN rail line for expanded commuter rail service in the Greater Toronto Area

TORONTO, April 8, 2009 /CNW/ - GO Transit and CN announced today that the Toronto area commuter rail agency will acquire CN's Weston Subdivision for expanded GO service between Union Station and regions northwest of the city.

This strategically important rail line runs from a point near Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street West in downtown Toronto, northwest through the city to CN's main east-west freight line near the intersection of Steeles Avenue and Bramalea Road. The purchase is valued at C$160 million.

GO currently runs its Georgetown commuter rail service over the line, which also accommodates VIA Rail trains running between Toronto, Kitchener, and other points in southwestern Ontario. In total, the two passenger carriers operate 46 trains per day over the line, while CN operates three daily local freight trains along this corridor.

Under its agreement with GO Transit, CN will continue to serve its freight customers on the Weston Subdivision. VIA will also continue to operate trains on the line.

By owning the Georgetown rail corridor, GO is better positioned to add more service, build new infrastructure, and expand its operations along that line. This acquisition aligns with GO Transit's Strategic Plan, GO 2020.

"This is a major step forward for future growth and expansion along this already busy corridor," said GO Transit Chairman Peter Smith. "This purchase sets the framework for future GO rail corridor purchases, and we look forward to continuing our strong, long-standing partnership with CN."

Claude Mongeau, CN executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said: "CN is pleased to have reached this line-sale agreement with GO Transit. GO is a valuable CN customer - the vast majority of its services in the Greater Toronto Area operate over CN's rail network - and we believe this transaction and our continuing partnership with GO will help to advance commuter rail and its clear environmental benefits to the Toronto region. At the same time, our line sale - reflecting CN's tight focus on asset management - will also generate value for the company."

GO Transit plan hits snag with planned parking site
April 17, 2009

GO Transit wants to bring commuter trains to Kitchener by 2011, but is struggling to find a place to park them overnight.

Three locations have been rejected. Now, a fourth site is drawing fire from Baden residents who fear the trains will be noisy and smelly.

The latest plan is for trains to park, refuel and warm up at Nafziger Road, between Baden and New Hamburg. There would be no passenger station.

"I'm concerned and a little upset," said Marc Duggan, who lives two kilometres away. "It seems awfully close to residential communities to me."

Duggan supports commuter trains but figures trains to serve Kitchener should park in Kitchener.

"There would be no advantage to Wilmot Township," said Tracy Jackman, whose home is about 800 metres away.

Project manager Leonard Rach, a consultant for GO, has told residents the Nafziger site is being refined. In emails to concerned residents, Rach has said:

The fuelling operation will be well away from Brenneman Drive-area homes.

Idling trains will be quieter than the government allows.

Efforts will be made to further dampen noise and limit the impacts of outdoor lighting.

Alternative layover sites at Stratford and elsewhere have been ruled out.

Nafziger Road the preferred location, GO spokesperson Vanessa Thomas said.

GO has proposed stations in downtown Kitchener and near Breslau. The plan is not finalized and is without provincial funding.

Wilmot Township supports parking trains at Nafziger Road and hopes the industrial site may eventually become a station. "If they're going to locate in Wilmot Township, we feel that's the ideal location," said Harold O'Krafka, Wilmot's director of development.
Post #329
01-03-2010 08:06 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Existing Conditions - Natural and Social Environments (April 2009): http://www.gotransit.com/PUBLIC/en/n.../N-Figures.pdf

Mayor won't take 'no' on GO
Stratford Beacon Herald - April 2009

Stratford isn't in the defined study area for a GO Transit terminal, but Mayor Dan Mathieson plans to meet with Minister of Transportation Jim Bradley about parking GO trains here.

"It's in our best interest, our long-term connectivity of the region and of course on to Toronto, that we look at attaining the rail yard within our community," the mayor said.

He has already requested a meeting with Mr. Bradley, he said, and has made the city's intentions known to Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson.

Mayor Mathieson was reacting to a letter from Andreas Grammonz, project leader for the study that is currently mapping out an expansion plan that will add Kitchener to GO Transit's route.

"It is important to note that GO must operate within the scope of the current environmental assessment, which is limited to the study area west from Georgetown to Kitchener, and precludes evaluation of any sites outside of the study area," said Mr. Grammonz in his letter.

The mayor said he understands Stratford will have to approach the transportation minister.

He declined comment on a news report that some Baden-area residents have been voicing opposition to the study's preferred Nafziger Road site for parking and warming up trains that will serve Kitchener.

Mayor Mathieson has been arguing the case for making use of Stratford's existing rail yard for parking and refuelling GO trains rather than investing in new rail infrastructure in the Baden-New Hamburg area.

City pushes to bring GO yard to Stratford
Tori Sutton, Staff Reporter - Stratford Gazette
April 2009

Mayor Dan Mathieson said the push to bring a GO Transit train layover yard to Stratford is gaining steam.

In an interview earlier this week, Mathieson said his office has received plenty of positive feedback since last week’s public information session was held in Baden.

But it’s not just locals who are keen to see Stratford rail yards used as the layover site – those in the Baden area are also supporting the move.

“We’ve had a number of (Baden) residents contact our office saying they support it and they don’t want the rail yard in their community,” Mathieson told the Gazette. “They feel it’s appropriate to use existing yards that are already in place and they’ve offered their support where necessary.”

GO Transit is proposing a trail layover site be established on the south side of the main line track between New Hamburg and Baden, at Nafziger Road. The site is part of a plan to expand GO train service from Georgetown to Kitchener.

As well, the mayor said many people in the agricultural community – especially those who have been following the Highway 7/8 corridor study – are happy to see the city advocating other modes of transportation.

Though GO Transit has publicly stated Stratford was not included in its study area and therefore could not proceed with a layover site here, Mathieson disagrees.

“I would say while that sounds like a very good answer, it’s not true,” he said. “Baden was never included in the original study area either, and they expanded it when they ran into resistance in the City of Kitchener.

“They’ve shown a flexibility to revise their study area when necessary.”

The city has requested a meeting with GO Transit senior officials and Ministry of Transportation (MTO) strategic planning staff, though a date has not yet been set.

“At the end of the day, senior officials at the MTO are responsible for the decision and that’s why we’re taking a two-pronged approach,” he explained. “We’ll work with GO where necessary and we will definitely be pointing out to the officials at the MTO what we think is a flawed system.”

GO should consider Stratford
Letters - Apr 15, 2009
New Hamburg Independent

This letter was sent to GO Transit officials last week:
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to provide effective transit service to communities in southwestern Ontario.

I would like to comment on the current question of where to park the GO Trains overnight when the Georgetown to Kitchener service begins.

I am aware of the current plan to park the trains just north of the Wilmot Recreation Complex between New Hamburg and Baden, and also of the residents’ concerns about this plan.

I realize that such concerns are not unusual in transit development, but I think that under the circumstances there are other options that GO planners might consider that would have short and long term benefits across an area from Baden west to Stratford.

I am referring of course to the Stratford Mayor’s invitation to GO Transit to park their trains overnight on an existing rail yard in Stratford. Given the existence of this facility and the fact that it needs only modest upgrades, the cost saving against a site in New Hamburg with no pre-existing facilities would appear to be substantial.

Of course, if there is no clear evidence of likely ridership in the Stratford-KW-Toronto corridor, then parking overnight in Stratford would make little economic or planning sense.

However, as you are aware, highway-use data on the 7 and 8 corridor

between New Hamburg and Stratford is being presented as sufficiently high to warrant a major expansion of that highway. It is hard to conclude that at least some of that traffic could not be diverted to a public transit option if it was affordable, frequent and convenient.

For the above reasons, I am encouraging you to consider the Stratford overnight option with the possibility of offering actual GO passenger service in Stratford, Shakespeare and

Baden/New Hamburg in the near future. I think the support from the local communities for such a venture might prove to be surprisingly strong.

Thank you for your consideration of these ideas.

Rick Cober Bauman, Shakespeare
Post #984
01-22-2010 11:52 PM

Junior Member
Date Jan 2010 Location Waterloo, ON Posts 27
The minister only just signed off on the EA. A few weeks ago GO Transit actually solicited tenders for engineering of the layover facility in Baden -- which certainly indicates some confidence in the expansion. The province hasn't yet announced funding, nor would you expect that to have happened yet. But Jeff Outhit of course needed to spin this good news as actually being bad news. There is no reason to be pessimistic about this! However if funding commitments aren't forthcoming in the next week or so, it's not a bad idea to contact MPP's and other provincial officials to let them know why this is important to fund.
Post #993
Yesterday 08:41 AM

Urban Issues Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Posts 473
Its funny you mention contacting MPPs as I emailed John Milloy last week. I think that's important too. I sure hope we don't have to pick between GO and LRT for funding right now.