February 23, 2020

The board of Metrolinx will have to decide on a proposal with a price tag in the billions, following a report that could bring two-way, all-day Go Transit service between Kitchener and Union Station in Toronto.

If the proposal is accepted, the expanded service could be running by 2025. It is expected to help increase daily ridership to nearly 8,000 by 2030. Currently, average daily ridership on the Kitchener-Toronto route is just 282, according to Metrolinx.

According to a study, this project could take up to eight years to finish and will also require nearly $4 billion of capital.

 “It can be economic, financial, it could be investing in the province, the final impact,” Karen Redman, Waterloo Regional Chair said in an interview with CTV News Kitchener about the expansion plans.

The Metrolinx report lists two options for how service could be expanded. The first option is a freight bypass to be built along with Highway 407 which will allow GO trains to run along their tracks. The second option is that Metrolinx will stick to using the CN Rail line from Bramalea through Georgetown stations.

Now, trains run six times daily towards Toronto in the mornings and then come back to Kitchener during the evening. There are no services available on weekends.

If the proposal is accepted, GO trains will depart from Kitchener hourly during the week and once every two hours on weekends.

“We’re building a transportation system that puts people first by offering them more connections between major business and employment centres and communities across the GTHA and Kitchener,” Ontario’s Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma said in August during a meeting in Brampton.

Further discussions on the proposal will take place on Friday but construction is not expected to start anytime soon.

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