GO train service top priority for Cambridge, Mayor Doug Craig says

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says he's been advocating for GO train service to his city for more than 15 years.

‘We have been advocating for GO train service to Cambridge and right now, we’re on nobody’s radar’

(GO Transit)

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says he's getting fed up with the province, which keeps ignoring his city's transit needs.

GO train service is a top priority for the city, Craig said Thursday ahead of his state of the city address.

"I'm getting very discouraged by the fact that over a 15-year period, we have been advocating for GO train service to Cambridge and right now, we're on nobody's radar," Craig told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris in an interview.

He said in speaking with the province, "We're nowhere and that's the whole point."

He has been in talks with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz because both of those communities want improved GO service.

"We're not happy, none of us, in terms of what is happening. We want to see improved service, we want to see all-way, two-way service to those communities," Craig said. "We want to see the beginnings of service to the city of Cambridge."

GO bus service expanded

The province expanded GO bus service between Cambridge and the Milton GO station last fall. It added four buses during morning peak periods and another four in the afternoon, as well as two early homebound and two late evening homebound trips from Milton.

At the time, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the investment will "help to better connect people to school and jobs and strengthen our communities."

Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry said that announcement was evidence of the government listening to local needs and on Thursday said there needs to be evidence of the city's need before the province can bring GO trains to Cambridge.

"The direct GO bus service to Milton GO station is a first step towards building ridership to strengthen the business case. Cambridge joins with other municipalities along the Milton GO line to call on CP to continue the conversation," McGarry said in a statement to CBC News Thursday.

"We encourage people who are traveling from Cambridge to utilize the GO bus service that travels to Milton GO Station."

A spokesperson from Metrolinx said there are no further updates beyond improvements to service announced last fall.

'It's just a matter of doing it'

In his state of the city address, Craig also discussed how Cambridge is growing and changing. New developments, like the Gaslight District, are exciting, but they also bring challenges.

Transportation is highest among them – that includes both GO and the region's LRT, which is currently in the planning stages.

Craig said he does not support a proposed LRT route through Preston and the region needs to look at alternatives.

As for why GO train service hasn't come to Cambridge, Craig said it's all political.

"They could bring GO trains to Cambridge in the next three months if they wish and they had the motivation to do so," he said. "It's just a matter of doing it."

He said the track is empty most of the day, so there's really no reason not to bring the trains to his city.

"It's a political issue," he said. "Everything in life is political."


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