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Transportation Minister Glen Murray proposes all day, electric train service

Aurora Banner
May 20, 2014
By Brea Bartholet

Are you a frequent GO Train user, or would you like to be, but you’re frustrated with limited service along the Barrie line?

A potential solution could be headed your way in the form of two-way electrified track service.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray spoke of the proposed service during a day-long visit with Newmarket-Aurora Liberal candidate Chris Ballard last week.

As Aurora and surrounding communities continue to grow, so do the demands for efficient transportation. Traffic congestion is already a widespread problem, Mr. Murray noted.

“We’ve been looking closely at other systems in London and New York,” he said.

“What happens if we use an electrified system? We could use low-cost, multi-unit vehicles every 15 minutes along the GO line. I think we can do that.”

The 10-year plan would involve service available from East Gwillimbury to Toronto on the Barrie line and throughout the GTA on other GO lines.

Mr. Ballard, on unpaid leave from his duties as an Aurora councillor while he campaigns for provincial office, said service every 15 minutes would be game changing for residents who rely on the system to commute.

“It will facilitate economic development and encourage businesses to locate in our communities, because employees will have better access to their workplace.”

More trains would unclog highways and help manufacturers get raw materials to factories and finished products to customers, he added.

However, Richmond Hill PC candidate Vic Gupta sees things differently when it comes to local transit.

“It’s another promise the Liberals have no intention of fulfilling,” he said during a phone interview.

“There has been talk on four separate occasions of all-day service and we still have inferior service in Richmond Hill and Aurora.”

Mr. Gupta explained the PC Party’s plan.

First, a PC government would take control of all major highways and railways in the GTA, he said.

The next priority would involve expanding the Yonge Street subway line to Richmond Hill, followed by an east-west subway corridor to alleviate capacity problems.

“The third step is to improve all GO services. I would like to see all-day trains, as well as extended service during rush hour,” Mr. Gupta said.

Though it is an aggressive plan, Mr. Gupta said transit is the party’s single biggest priority.