Ford government confirms GO Transit rail service to London being 'discussed'
LONDON, ONT. -- More Londoners could soon be on the ‘GO.’
A major development in Southwestern Ontario’s future transportation system was hinted at, and later confirmed by Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney in London on Friday.
In announcing the Connecting the Southwest transportation report, Mulroney confirmed that beyond a planned regional bus service, new rail service to London is on the table.
“Our plan commits to a plan to explore a range of options to improve the speed and the frequency of passenger rail service in Southwestern Ontario, and we are prepared to see what we can do, to get GO service moving in this region as well.”
Immediately after Mulroney’s brief mention of GO Transit as part of a larger address, CTV News questioned the minister about any plans to connect the service to London.
She confirmed talks with both VIA Rail and GO are underway, and have gone as far as “testing” to see how the current system will handle increased capacity.
“We are working with GO and with VIA, and I’m optimistic.”
She pointed to the ongoing expansion of the conventional rail service in other areas of Ontario.
“We’ve had success, in terms of expanding our GO service, and we are going to continue to do that and look at ways to do that to London.”
When pressed by CTV News the minister would not commit to a timeline but did say she will be back to talk about it again.
“I look forward to being able to announce something in the future about increasing capacities and service levels to London.”
London Mayor Ed Holder stated he has recently met with the CEO of VIA and with the federal transportation minister to discuss London’s rail transportation needs.
Currently, morning VIA trains are packed full of Londoners who commute several times a week to jobs in Toronto.
Enhanced VIA or GO service would add capacity and potentially reduce the costs of fares.