BIG BIG BIG NEWS! Waterloo Region’s $790M Rapid-Transit Proposal Unveiled, and GO Services announced

May 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm 1 comment

Wow, what a story! Waterloo Region has finally unveiled its rapid-transit proposal after so many years of planning. The ambitious proposal could be the biggest public works project ever undertaken here, in a community where almost everybody drives to work. Could this reshape the Region forever? Will it become the leader it wants to become on a national and international level? Council has proposed the rapid transit, not because regular transit is overwhelmed, but because it is seen as a planning tool to draw homes and jobs to the underused urban spine. It’s meant to help intensify neighbourhoods, ease pollution and help keep cities from spilling into the country, as the region heads to a population of 729,000 by 2031.
Rapid Transit Line
But, not everyone is happy. It seems once again that the City of Cambridge gets the shaft from Waterloo Region. Instead of having light rail like Kitchener and Waterloo, they will receive buses that leave from Fairview Mall, and travel to the Ainsle Street Bus Terminal. How hard is it to run a transit line down the 401? After all, it does have an extremely large right of way seeing as it’s MTO owned land… Mayor Doug Craig doesn’t think this city will ever have rail transit. “We will never see light rail in Cambridge,” Craig said. “It costs too much money for a system from Conestoga Mall down to Ainsile Street.” The reasoning behind the move is that Cambridge doesn’t have the population density to warrant light rail, Craig said. “When you put Kitchener and Waterloo together, there’s enough density. But it would work the same way if you put Cambridge and Kitchener together as well,” he said.

Grand River Transit would be realigned to work in cooperation with the new rail lines. Electric trains on dedicated tracks, displacing traffic between Conestoga Mall in Waterloo and Fairview Park mall in Kitchener. It would cost $710 million to build in today’s dollars. Fast buses driving in mixed traffic between the Fairview Park mall and the Ainslie Street transit terminal in the Galt core of Cambridge. It would cost $80 million to build in today’s dollars. The system would have 18 stations and would draw up to 22,500 daily boardings upon its launch, planners contend. That’s more than double today’s boardings for express buses on a similar route.

Public feedback will be sought at meetings this month. Be sure to join Waterloo Region at a public consultation centre this May to provide your input on the preferred rapid transit system.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 from 2 to 8 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St. N., Kitchener. Public parking is available at Queen and Ahrens streets and is free after 6 p.m. Please do not park in the church lot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the United Kingdom Club, 35 International Village Dr., Cambridge. Located across from Dunbar Road and the Cambridge Centre Transit Terminal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 from 2 to 8 p.m. at First United Church, 16 William St., Waterloo. Public parking is available off of Caroline Street. Please do not park in the church lot.

Council may endorse the proposal June 24, with final provincial approval by December. Construction could launch in 2012 and conclude in 2014.

GO Transit Bus
Another very important transportation decision was iniated this week as well and will immensely help the commuters who travel from the Kitcher and Cambridge areas. GO Transit buses will ferry local passengers to GO commuter trains in Milton and to a transit hub at Mississauga City Centre, but not directly to downtown Toronto. They will depart from park-and-ride sites that are not yet selected but are anticipated to be in Kitchener and in Cambridge. Rates, routes and schedules for the buses have not been finalized. A GO spokesperson said up to a dozen buses will operate daily along Highway 401, carrying 800 to 1,200 passengers a day within two years. The federal and provincial governments are spending $2.5 million to build four park-and-ride sites in and near this region.

Rapid Transit
Waterloo Region Rapid Transit Homepage

GO Transit

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Entry filed under: Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Waterloo Region. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Affordable Housing Forum Public input sought regarding new ward boundaries in London

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dryer Vent Cleaning  |  September 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

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