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Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 12:04 PM
WaterlooInvestor WaterlooInvestor is offline
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GO Transit

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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 10:25 PM
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I don't really think GO Transit should be allocating its limited resources to service this region when it can't get its own trains to run on time. Instead, Queen's Park should set up a separate rail company jointly funded by Ottawa and regional governments, to provide an Ontario-wide passenger rail service. We could have an hourly train from London to Toronto that stops in between and serve a bigger market more efficiently. There can be a two-hourly train from Kitchener that goes via Guelph and uses the short line to get to Hamilton and Niagara. The possibilities are endless.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 10:30 PM
GreatTallNorth2 GreatTallNorth2 is offline
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If they get GO rail service, what will they ask for next: a real downtown with real buildings? Btw, what's wrong with the horse and buggies?
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GreatTallNorth2 View Post
If they get GO rail service, what will they ask for next: a real downtown with real buildings? Btw, what's wrong with the horse and buggies?
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 2:12 PM
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a connected South-Central Ontario is needed.
GO needs to stop centralizing itself on Toronto. People in this region travel all over from every city to work... not just to "the big city".

Not to mention all the students that travel back & forth from Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, St Catharines, KW, London, Windsor, etc.

There's tons of potential to connect South-Central Ontario with GO. The GGHA (Greater Golden Horsehoe Area) is so unique and needs a unique commuter rail line to connect us all TOGETHER rather than just connecting us to Toronto. With this connection, the GGHA will prosper like non of us can imagine!
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC83 View Post
a connected South-Central Ontario is needed.
GO needs to stop centralizing itself on Toronto. People in this region travel all over from every city to work... not just to "the big city".

Not to mention all the students that travel back & forth from Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, St Catharines, KW, London, Windsor, etc.

There's tons of potential to connect South-Central Ontario with GO. The GGHA (Greater Golden Horsehoe Area) is so unique and needs a unique commuter rail line to connect us all TOGETHER rather than just connecting us to Toronto. With this connection, the GGHA will prosper like non of us can imagine!
This is what I've been saying all along. Now of course, since downtown Toronto is the largest and most important nodal point in the region, it will obviously continue to be the best serviced. But that isn't to say that the trains couldn't run a limited service to other downtowns along the train lines as well. For a downtown like Kitchener's, you wouldn't need frequent or extensive service. But you could run rush hour trains into it from Guelph and New Hamburg each morning quite viably I think (don't forget the LRT connection). And as you mentioned, DC83, students are a huge market and the universities are all over the place. I would also extend that beyond universities to festivals and special events as well. So when Toronto is having Caribana or a hockey game going on, run the trains, even if they're not going in for the 9-5 work commute. Same with Oktoberfest! And for the places not covered by rail, we can connect them by GO bus.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 7:05 PM
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It's a tough call all-around. It needs to be multi-nodal, and it needs to be fast. Those two things need no be answered by the same solution, but it's a multi-faceted approach.

Here is what I'd like to see.
1) GO becomes two systems: GO-TO which is Toronto-focuses transit across the GTA and to the outer-exburbs. And GO-ON..(just coming up with random names) but this would be regional inter-connectivity. KW to Guelph, Hamilton, London, etc. Slower and cheaper then high-speed.

2) Windsor-QC high-speed rail. Interconnectivity, but a single line, and fast.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by onishenko View Post
It's a tough call all-around. It needs to be multi-nodal, and it needs to be fast. Those two things need no be answered by the same solution, but it's a multi-faceted approach.

Here is what I'd like to see.
1) GO becomes two systems: GO-TO which is Toronto-focuses transit across the GTA and to the outer-exburbs. And GO-ON..(just coming up with random names) but this would be regional inter-connectivity. KW to Guelph, Hamilton, London, etc. Slower and cheaper then high-speed.

2) Windsor-QC high-speed rail. Interconnectivity, but a single line, and fast.
I think the two serve somewhat different functions. The GO-train system works well serving areas that have a large portion of their population making frequent trips to downtown Toronto (namely commuters). In the areas currently serviced, you're close enough to downtown Toronto that it will be quicker to ride the train than to sit in traffic, which starts way out in the outer burbs to begin with. And of course, the stations are frequent, so you generally don't have to drive that far to get to the nearest station.

Constrast that to somewhere like KW-Cambridge-Guelph, where the distribution of commuters is relatively sparse and it would probably take longer to take the GO-train to Toronto then drive on the 401 where you have 50-60 km past Cambridge where you can speed down the highway and not have to worry about traffic (for now). Logically, if you're going to get those people out of their cars, the service has to be fast and not have too many stops in between.

So what you need in order to make it work are 2 overlapping systems. For the Cambridge-to-Milton route, you don't really need a high-speed rail service, since there isn't much in between where you could put a station. But for the Kitchener-to-Georgetown route, there's a ton in between. Guelph will certainly want their own station. Rockwood and Acton likely will too, which adds more stops. So that route will definitely need a high speed, limited stop rail system.

My idea...

Kitchener-Toronto high speed line. (connecting destinations together)

Downtown Kitchener-Downtown Guelph-Downtown Toronto
________________________________

New Hamburg-Toronto GO-train line

New Hamburg-> Baden-> West Kitchener-> Downtown Kitchener-> Breslau-> Downtown Guelph-> Rockwood-> Acton-> Georgetown-> Other existing stations
________________________________

Cambridge-Toronto GO-train line

Electrified higher speed service from Cambridge to Milton. Continue on with normal route.

Note: All routes will connect to local LRT systems and local transit.

Of course, one thing I didn't mention through all of this is that people react to the infrastructure put into place. So if there was high speed rail service from Kitchener to Toronto, we'd get a lot more commuters living here and people would push their boundaries even further. In that case, if high speed rail went to London, it's foreseeable that London would become popular with commuters. So dealing with this issue is a tough one, since we still would prefer having people living close to their work.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2008, 1:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC83 View Post
a connected South-Central Ontario is needed.
GO needs to stop centralizing itself on Toronto. People in this region travel all over from every city to work... not just to "the big city".

Not to mention all the students that travel back & forth from Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, St Catharines, KW, London, Windsor, etc.

There's tons of potential to connect South-Central Ontario with GO. The GGHA (Greater Golden Horsehoe Area) is so unique and needs a unique commuter rail line to connect us all TOGETHER rather than just connecting us to Toronto. With this connection, the GGHA will prosper like non of us can imagine!
EXACTLY!!! The only problem with GO is that it's a Toronto commuter train. This is slowly changing though! The Metrolinx regional master plan is being created now, so be sure to e-mail them, suggesting they lose the Toronto-only service attitude, but rather more branching out (KW, Hamilton, St. Catherines, Barrie). Also, e-mail them with the suggestion that not every rail line needs to go to Union.

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Originally Posted by Cambridgite View Post
This is what I've been saying all along. Now of course, since downtown Toronto is the largest and most important nodal point in the region, it will obviously continue to be the best serviced. But that isn't to say that the trains couldn't run a limited service to other downtowns along the train lines as well. For a downtown like Kitchener's, you wouldn't need frequent or extensive service. But you could run rush hour trains into it from Guelph and New Hamburg each morning quite viably I think (don't forget the LRT connection). And as you mentioned, DC83, students are a huge market and the universities are all over the place. I would also extend that beyond universities to festivals and special events as well. So when Toronto is having Caribana or a hockey game going on, run the trains, even if they're not going in for the 9-5 work commute. Same with Oktoberfest! And for the places not covered by rail, we can connect them by GO bus.
Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by onishenko View Post
It's a tough call all-around. It needs to be multi-nodal, and it needs to be fast. Those two things need no be answered by the same solution, but it's a multi-faceted approach.

Here is what I'd like to see.
1) GO becomes two systems: GO-TO which is Toronto-focuses transit across the GTA and to the outer-exburbs. And GO-ON..(just coming up with random names) but this would be regional inter-connectivity. KW to Guelph, Hamilton, London, etc. Slower and cheaper then high-speed.

2) Windsor-QC high-speed rail. Interconnectivity, but a single line, and fast.
Like many people have said previous, this needs to happen .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambridgite View Post
I think the two serve somewhat different functions. The GO-train system works well serving areas that have a large portion of their population making frequent trips to downtown Toronto (namely commuters). In the areas currently serviced, you're close enough to downtown Toronto that it will be quicker to ride the train than to sit in traffic, which starts way out in the outer burbs to begin with. And of course, the stations are frequent, so you generally don't have to drive that far to get to the nearest station.

Constrast that to somewhere like KW-Cambridge-Guelph, where the distribution of commuters is relatively sparse and it would probably take longer to take the GO-train to Toronto then drive on the 401 where you have 50-60 km past Cambridge where you can speed down the highway and not have to worry about traffic (for now). Logically, if you're going to get those people out of their cars, the service has to be fast and not have too many stops in between.

So what you need in order to make it work are 2 overlapping systems. For the Cambridge-to-Milton route, you don't really need a high-speed rail service, since there isn't much in between where you could put a station. But for the Kitchener-to-Georgetown route, there's a ton in between. Guelph will certainly want their own station. Rockwood and Acton likely will too, which adds more stops. So that route will definitely need a high speed, limited stop rail system.

My idea...

Kitchener-Toronto high speed line. (connecting destinations together)

Downtown Kitchener-Downtown Guelph-Downtown Toronto
________________________________

New Hamburg-Toronto GO-train line

New Hamburg-> Baden-> West Kitchener-> Downtown Kitchener-> Breslau-> Downtown Guelph-> Rockwood-> Acton-> Georgetown-> Other existing stations
________________________________

Cambridge-Toronto GO-train line

Electrified higher speed service from Cambridge to Milton. Continue on with normal route.
As nice as this proposal is, the funding would never come for this project, unless Budd cars would be used .


PS. Contact Metrolinx, and give your input!
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2008, 3:25 AM
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I'm currently photoshopping a map of limited stop transit stops including intercity rail travel, local commuter rail, and express bus routes. I'll hopefully have it up by Saturday. I do have to agree with Cambridgite in many respects. Running a frequent stop commuter train from Kitchener to Toronto is definitely a stretch and I believe Kitchener should be the northern terminus of such a route. Cambridge is pretty much a no brainer as the terminus of the GO line from Milton as mentioned. Much of the express stuff that was mentioned could be easily covered by VIA rail service on their northern route (hopefully electrified if we get High Speed Rail here). But in order for ANY of this to happen the infrastructure needs to be there. This means building double track along the entire length northern corridor to allow for higher speed and frequency of all rail service.

However, as our population grows, there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to run our own commuter rail lines to our regional extremities: Elmira, St. Jacobs, Baden, New Hamburg, Breslau, Guelph*, Ayr**. These services could be easily implemented on existing track and should be considered in the RTMP.
(*Guelph is not technically in the region, but there are numerous cross-commuters. **Not sure how many people would use this service, furthest from CTC without additional stops)
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2008, 2:36 PM
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Craig takes action for city GO train service
Mayor doesn't want train service to end in Kitchener

By Ray Martin

News
Feb 21, 2008

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.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 9:10 PM
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http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/316793

This is no way to run a railroad

March 01, 2008
THE RECORD


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.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 4:20 AM
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http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/opinions/article/120121

One voice stronger than seven

By DOUG HUTTON, Guest Column

Columns
Mar 11, 2008

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
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 4:28 AM
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Ah, CFBG--take a problem that the region is facing and say "No, this isn't the problem, this is." Great solution. What would an amalgamated government do that regional council can't? We can easily make the case for both stations to receive service, no merging of city governments necessary. Even better if we get Guelph on board. After all, Mississauga has about half a dozen GO stations at least, and their population is less than Waterloo and Wellington Counties combined according to the last census.

If you ask me, there isn't going to be a chance of GO train service around here until they solve the parking problems at both Kitchener and Galt train stations. Galt is easy; CP wants to build a new yard in Ayr, so they could just shift all their shunting there and use the vacated space for parking. Kitchener's a bit harder; too many buildings would have to be moved.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 4:37 AM
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/\ Parking should be underground or stacked... no question. Room could be accomodated with a new station. As per GO... integrate it into the downtown fabric and connect it with the future LRT.

I mean, look at the commuter train station in Henglo, Netherlands. I know, not even comparable to the suburban Waterloo region, but interesting none the less. (Just reading about the town today...that's why.) Pedestrian-only streets nearby, next to no parking, good integration into the urban fabric... and walkable (or bikable I guess) to a large portion of this town of 80k. Off topic, but interesting.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 1:26 PM
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After all, Mississauga has about half a dozen GO stations at least, and their population is less than Waterloo and Wellington Counties combined according to the last census.
The population of Waterloo/Wellington counties combined may be higher than Mississauga, but Mississauga has MANY more people living closer together, as opposed to Wellington county. Wellington has a more dispersed rural population, which doesn't really help with luring GO to our area.

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If Kitchener's a bit harder; too many buildings would have to be moved.
Not necessarily. Who says parking needs to be surface parking?

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Originally Posted by onishenko View Post
/\ Parking should be underground or stacked... no question. Room could be accomodated with a new station. As per GO... integrate it into the downtown fabric and connect it with the future LRT.
I agree.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 2:02 PM
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What would an amalgamated government do that regional council can't?
Not a whole hell of a lot. I've heard in amalgammated megacities, rather than the cities fighting each other, it just becomes the dozens of wards fighting each other instead.

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After all, Mississauga has about half a dozen GO stations at least, and their population is less than Waterloo and Wellington Counties combined according to the last census.
Well, Kitchenerlrt already mentioned the disconnect between Guelph and the tri-cities, plus the fact that part of those populations is rural (especially in Wellington). But even more important is the fact that Mississauga has A LOT more downtown Toronto commuters, which is what GO is still completely oriented towards. We're not going to have as many stations as them.

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Originally Posted by DHLawrence View Post
If you ask me, there isn't going to be a chance of GO train service around here until they solve the parking problems at both Kitchener and Galt train stations. Galt is easy; CP wants to build a new yard in Ayr, so they could just shift all their shunting there and use the vacated space for parking. Kitchener's a bit harder; too many buildings would have to be moved.
I've always thought of using the Delta as Cambridge's GO train station. Maybe if the parking isn't enough, they could put an above-ground garage there. It would be the intersection between LRT and GO. As for Kitchener, they could have a downtown (King and Victoria) station with limited underground parking and a Breslau station as well (tons of surface parking).
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 8:23 PM
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And if they've got more commuters to our greater population, we should be able to support three stations. Plus there are the occasional commuters to consider; we should at least be able to support three trains a day in each direction if nothing else.

I don't think the Delta would be a good place for it; traffic is bad enough there with the mega-intersection. Samuelson would be a good location because of the existing station, two intersections to provide access, and the potential to expand into Ayr if there's a big enough market potential later on. Save the service within Cambridge for the LRT system.
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2008, 1:24 AM
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PETERBOROUGH RAIL LINK NIXED

http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canad...36431-sun.html

Quote:
PETERBOROUGH -- Peterborough residents will get GO Transit bus service to Oshawa, but a proposed Peterborough-Toronto commuter rail link will have to wait, the province and federal government announced this week.

The province put the revival of a Peterborough-Toronto commuter rail link on the back burner, diverting federal funding towards projects such as GO Transit rail service to Bowmanville and bus service to Peterborough.

Instead of upgrading the rail bed to handle commuter trains, the province and federal government will pay for a study on the proposed link.

Initial releases referred to the commuter rail study as a "feasibility study." That reference was later changed on both the prime minister's website and Ontario premier's website to a "joint study."

The provincial government has said it needs details before it can commit to the Peterborough-Toronto rail service announced in the federal budget last month, Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of a public transit capital trust with $195 million in funding for Ontario yesterday.

Among the provincial commitments from the fund will be a study for a Peterborough commuter rail line, the acceleration of the extension of the GO Transit line to Lakeshore East to Bowmanville and the establishment of regular GO bus service to Peterborough, the Prime Minister's Office said in a release.

The federal government is setting aside money in the Build Canada Fund -- a $33-billion federally controlled program -- to ensure the Peterborough-Toronto commuter rail link gets built, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

"The province has some priorities in different parts of the province and different parts of the (GTA)," the MP for Whitby-Oshawa said. "I found over the years that we really had to push the province to look east of Toronto."
If you'll excuse my brief moment of schadenfreude, nyah!
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2008, 3:12 AM
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rapid_business rapid_business is offline
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Good news.
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