Long promised, but with no idea about when or how it will be delivered, the demand for a two-way, all-day GO Train schedule has hung over the heads of the Ontario government in all its iterations for nearly 20 years. Now an NDP Member of Provincial Parliament is taking it into her own hands to apply more pressure to the present government to make it happen.
Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo gave notice Tuesday that it was her intention to push the Ontario government, and Premier Doug Ford, to make expanded rail service happen sooner rather than later.
“World class cities deserve world class transit. The Kitchener-Waterloo region is growing rapidly and we need our transportation network to grow with it, and provide people with easy, convenient access to work, school and opportunity,” said Lindo in a press release. As part of her efforts, she chronicled her trip from Kitchener to Toronto this morning taking the bus from Kitchener to Bramelea, and then getting the train to Union Station.
“Kitchener-Waterloo commuters have been asking for two-way, all-day go for decades, only to be let down time and time again. Families deserve a plan to finally get these trains moving,” she added.
Lindo’s plan will ask the Ford government to come up with a plan for expanded GO Service by June 6 of this year. In December, Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek announced the addition of two trains to the Kitchener Line, but there were some hiccups with implementation. At that same press announcement, Yurek told the media that it was his belief that that two-way, all-day GO service could become a reality in 12 to 18 months.
While it’s unlikely that Lindo will get a lot of support from the Ford government, she’s already gotten back-up from the MPP of another party.
“I wholeheartedly support MPP Lindo’s motion for the government to provide a firm funding commitment and clear timeline for all day, two way GO on the Toronto–Guelph-KW corridor,” said Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner in his own statement on Thursday.
“All-day, two-way GO Train service between Toronto and Kitchener is essential to realize the economic benefits from a connected innovation corridor,” he added. “It would reduce congestion and help Ontario meet its climate obligations. That’s why I’ve been pushing for two-way GO Service on the Kitchener line for years.”
“We can do so much more and so much better for families in the region. We can connect them with jobs and opportunities and bring more investment into Kitchener-Waterloo. But it’s going to take the political will to act,” Lindo said. “That’s why New Democrats are pushing the Ford Conservatives to stick with a timeline and get this done.”