GO Train pilot pulls into London Monday
Just days before Go Train service arrives in London, there is still no indication when area residents can expect faster travel times.
Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney visited the VIA station on York Street on Wednesday to talk about the Go Train service in the London region. Go Trains will begin arriving and departing from the downtown station as of Monday. In announcing the pilot project nearly a month ago, it was revealed a one way trek between London and Toronto, which includes stops in St. Marys, Stratford, and Kitchener-Waterloo, will take four hours. The travel time estimate has not yet changed, Mulroney said.
“It is four hours and we got feedback that people are looking forward to faster service and we will be able to achieve that through partnerships with VIA and CN. So we are looking forward to future conservations with them as we look to deliver faster service,” said Mulroney.
In the meantime, she stressed Go Train’s arrival isn’t just about moving people from London to Toronto on a daily basis, but is about connecting communities in between.
“It is not just about the four hour journey from London to Union Station. There is an opportunity here for people from Kitchener-Waterloo to come work, have appointments, and meetings here in London and vice versa,” said Mulroney. “It unlocks additional economic opportunities for everyone.”
The trip between London and Kitchener can be made in half the time of the full ride to Toronto.
Being a pilot project, Mulroney added that Metrolinx, the company that operates the Go Trains, will be gathering feedback from riders to determine how best to improve the speed and frequency going forward.
“This is a big first step and it is important that we get it right,” said Mulroney. “So Metrolinks will monitor their services closely and seek feedback from the public as we look to introduce future phases. We encourage people to take the train and share their thoughts with us.”
The first phase of the pilot will see the Go Train leave from the VIA station in London early each morning from Monday to Friday, and return in the evening. This is the first time Go Train service has been extended past Kitchener-Waterloo. The multi-year commitment will cost Metrolinks $2.5 million annually.