Catherine Fife, the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Waterloo, is looking to increase GO train service between Kitchener and Toronto.
“There’s been some modest increases in trains from KW to Toronto in the mornings…If you’re an employee in Toronto, and you’re trying to get KW for nine o’clock, there are no train options,” Fife said.
The question of two-way, all-day GO was first brought up to Fife in 2013, when the community once again expressed how essential it was to their quality of life and the prominent post-secondary education sector in Waterloo.
“The push is twofold,” Fife said, explaining that one goal is to expand the available trains, and another is to get at least one weekend train running between Toronto and KW.
Fife stated that support for the push has been substantial, with recent student petitions quickly amounting to over 2000 signatures, with parents, community members, and business owners also expressing interest. Fife highlighted the student issue in particular, stating that a three-hour ride from KW to Toronto, even without delays, is not efficient or conducive to increasing ridership.
“Our transit options need to work for the people that we’re elected to serve. And that includes students,” Fife said.
Last Tuesday, the Waterloo Regional Council voted to send a letter to the provincial government urging them to take action, which will be done imminently, according to Fife.
Fife also expressed the importance of continual community support to the initiative before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario reconvenes in the fall.
Jiawei Fu, a graduate ECE student, expressed support for the initiative, citing issues that his friends had encountered due to insufficient transit options between Kitchener and Toronto. “I have some friends who are doing jobs in Toronto and they have to order a carpool everyday,” Fu said, explaining that particularly in winter, this caused them to return as late as 2 am.
Uma Balbahadur, a first year legal studies student, also expressed her support, stating that such a service would make things easier for students living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to commute to Waterloo, as well as for students looking to see friends and do other activities in the GTA.