Prof says Waterloo Region could support 2 GO Train stations
University of Waterloo's Pierre Filion says "over time the service would generate its own users."
An urban infrastructure professor at the University of Waterloo says Waterloo Region could support 2 GO stations, one in Kitchener and one in Cambridge located in downtown Galt.
Pierre Filion told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris Thursday that Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig's idea to bring a commuter rail link to Cambridge could work.
"The trains already go to Milton, the line is there to Cambridge," he said. "So allowing a few trains a day, maybe the same level of service that exists at the moment from Kitchener to Toronto would be a possibility."
Canadian Pacific Railways, the owner of the Milton Line, says while it has received no formal proposal from the City of Cambridge, the idea of commuter passenger service along the busy freight route could work.
The company says on average 17 to 20 freight trains pass through the area in a 24-hour period and through scheduling, the line could easily accommodate a number of commuter passenger trains from Cambridge.
Filion said what's less sure is if Cambridge has the number of commuters in order to make a rail link between Galt and downtown Toronto viable.
"It is true what Mayor Craig says that Cambridge provides a lot of commuters to the GTA," he said. "But the problem is not with GO Trains when the destination is downtown Toronto. GO Train doesn't provide a very good service for other destinations in between."
"Now I don't have the statistics in front of me but I would expect that a proportion that Cambridge commuters to the GTA that actually go to downtown Toronto would be a trickle," Filion said. "So the number of potential riders on the GO Train would be limited because of that."
However, Filion said that if the service existed, was convenient and well-funded, commuters would eventually embrace it.
"Over time the service would generate its own users," he said.