With the Southwestern Ontario Transportation Task Force about to wrap up its work, Transport Action (TAO) has made a final submission. This is an update to our earlier briefing note (February, 2021) outlining the opportunities and needs to improve passenger rail in the region. Our new submission covered three areas:
Federal Announcement in July, committing the government to enhance and modernize intercity passenger rail in the region, working collaboratively with the Province.
Introduction of GO Transit service to London, by extending its Kitchener service. In our view, this development dramatically changes the playing field. It is increasingly difficult to justify two agencies attempting to share that corridor with similar stopping patterns. TAO recommends a transition to a clear separation of roles, with GO Transit assuming full responsibility for the London-Kitchener-Toronto route, while VIA Rail retains full and exclusive responsibility for delivering and enhancing service west of London and on the Brantford route.
Updated Recommendations on Rail Infrastructure Improvements. During the summer, TAO consulted with VIA Rail, CN, OWS Rail and other industry sources to upgrade our list of needed rail investments. We recommended short-term items, medium-term items for capacity and speed improvements, cross-border items and longer-term items.
Our full submission can be viewed below.