In an effort to receive more feedback from customers and be more transparent with upcoming plans, Metrolinx launched a series of Town Halls to do just that.
On March 4, the first town hall outside of Toronto was conducted in Kitchener, with various figures, such as Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster, from the company offering insight into service to those attending.
One of the more noticeable announcements was that Verster pledged to commit to offering more GO Train services between Kitchener and Toronto in the next year.
“Everyone in Kitchener wants services ago, and 18 months ago, I made it one of my three highest objectives to get Kitchener services sooner,” Verster said.
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“We are telling you that we are now increasing services. We’ve done the first increase, we had four trains in the peak, we now have five, and we intend to do more in the next couple of months, or within the next year or so,” he said.
Vertser said that initially, a solution to increased services came in the form a construction of a freight bypass, which will be negotiated with Canadian National Railway (CN).
Through subsequent negotiations, the freight bypass (a huge project estimated to be completed by 2025 which is a section of track between Georgetown and Bramalea owned by CN), doesn’t need to be completed for faster services to reach the line.
Metrolinx has negotiated a way in which construction of additional capacity can happen on that piece of railway, despite being owned by Railway, which will in service growing on the Kitchener GO line.
Shorter trips are also a top priority, said Metrolinx Chief Operating Officer Greg Percy.
“In no way should you interpret the current schedule as acceptable,” Percy said.
Percy said his objective iis to reduce trip length from two hours and five minutes to 90 minutes.
Currently, the Kitchener GO service runs from Kitchener to Union, with two Brampton stops along the way.
The information provided by Metrolinx at the town hall should come as a sign of relief to Brampton GO customers, who were left on the sidelines recently after the popular 4:50 express trip was scrapped and then re-implemented last month after much criticism.
“You can take comfort from this meeting that more services are coming within the next year-ish,” Verster said.
To see the entire town hall, click here to go to Metrolinx Engage.