GO Transit expands bus service to the University of Guelph



    GUELPH, ON, Aug. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government, Ontario's
Government and GO Transit, today announced the start of extended GO Transit
bus service on the Milton Corridor to the University of Guelph.
    "This expansion reflects the commitment by Canada's New Government to
invest in transit infrastructure and provide Canadians with practical and
sustainable transportation alternatives," said Mr. Mike Wallace, MP for
Burlington on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities. "This service on the Milton Corridor to the
University of Guelph will help reduce congestion, cut commute times and clear
the air for residents of Southern Ontario."
    "This service will also assist the residents of Puslinch, providing
another opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and an alternative to
driving," said Mr. Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills.
    "By adding more service we are making buses a more attractive option for
both commuters and university students, therefore fewer cars will be on the
road," said Ms. Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph-Wellington.
    The expansion is part of the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO
TRIP), a billion-dollar expansion initiative funded by the Government of
Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the municipalities, through the Canada
Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
    As part of GO TRIP, GO Transit is offering two new bus routes that will
extend GO bus service on the Milton Corridor to Guelph. This expansion will
also make connections between Waterloo Region and the Greater Toronto Area
more convenient.
    One route will begin at the University of Guelph, and continue on to the
Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride lot, then to Square One Shopping Centre in
Mississauga, ending at the Cooksville GO Station, and returning back to the
University of Guelph.
    The second route will begin at the University of Guelph, and continue on
to the Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride Lot, ending at the Meadowvale GO Station, and
returning back to the University of Guelph.
    "This is a great service for travellers west of the Greater Toronto Area
and for University of Guelph students," said Mr. Peter Smith, chairman of GO
Transit. "Other GO Transit services we have launched to universities and
colleges have been tremendously successful. There is certainly a strong need
for these services, and GO Transit is addressing this need."
    This new service will cost $4 million, with the Government of Canada
contributing $2 million and the Province of Ontario contributing $2 million.
    Construction on this project began in July 2007, with both routes
beginning service on September 3, 2007. This new service is expected to serve
450 riders per day.

    For more information or updates on this project, call 416-869-3600
extension 5199 or visit the GO Transit website at www.gotransit.com.

    A backgrounder with information on the Canada Strategic Infrastructure
Fund, MoveOntario and the GO TRIP projects is attached.

    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                     CANADA STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
                     ------------------------------------

    The Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund supports large-scale projects of
major national and regional significance. Through this fund, the federal and
provincial governments agreed to provide up to $385 million each to support
major GO Transit rail infrastructure improvements over the next seven years.
Municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area will also provide funding.
    In Budget 2007, an investment of more than $16 billion in federal
infrastructure funding was announced, bringing support over the next seven
years to a total of $33 billion, including the funding provided in Budget
2006. The $33-billion Building Canada Plan includes the extension of the Gas
Tax Fund to 2014 and $8.8 billion over the next seven years for the Building
Canada Fund.
    Under MoveOntario, announced in the 2006 Ontario Budget, the Ontario
government is investing $1.2 billion in public transit and municipal roads and
bridges to help move people and goods faster, create jobs, and build a
stronger economy. Other initiatives to improve transit and ease congestion
include:

    - investing $838 million this year to expand and modernize public transit
      in the Greater Toronto Area;
    - establishing a Greater Toronto Transportation Authority to take an
      inter-regional approach to creating seamless and integrated transit and
      transportation; and
    - providing new streetcars, buses and routes by delivering more than
      $1.4 billion in provincial gas tax revenues for transit across Ontario.

    The Government of Ontario's MoveOntario commitments are in addition to
ReNew Ontario, a five-year, $30-billion investment in Ontario's public
infrastructure. ReNew Ontario includes investments of $11.4 billion for public
transit, highways, borders and other transportation infrastructure.

    GO Transit Improvements

    GO Transit carries over 165,000 riders an average of 32 kilometres per
passenger trip every day on its rail system. During rush hour, almost every
seat on all GO trains is filled. The improvements to the GO network funded
through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund will enable GO to accommodate
the more than 40,000 additional passengers forecast to use the system during
peak periods by 2011.
    The GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP) includes 12 GO rail
projects across the system and an expansion of the GO bus network. These
projects are underway, with completion expected in 2012. Below is an update
for each project:

    Stouffville corridor

    Construction began in May 2006 on a GO train rail underpass that will
allow GO Transit to avoid delays caused by freight train traffic. The project
is expected to be complete by mid 2008.

    Lakeshore West corridor

    A third track is being added on two sections to allow more GO train
service and reduce delays:

    - Port Credit Station (Mississauga) to Kerr Street (Oakville): The
      environmental assessment has been completed and approved. Construction
      began in April 2007.
    - Burlington Station to Bayview Junction (Hamilton): Construction of the
      third track is almost complete. All-day service to Aldershot Station
      will begin in September 2007. Completion of all construction on the
      corridor is expected later this fall.

    Milton corridor

    Construction was completed on a new train storage site to accommodate
longer 12-car trains near Milton Station. Trains will be stored just off the
corridor on which they run to minimize delays and reduce unnecessary train
trips. The new storage site has been operational since January 2007.
    Construction to accommodate the longer trains at the Milton corridor
stations is also underway. The new, 12-car trains will increase carrying
capacity by 20 per cent and construction at all seven stations is expected to
be complete by December 2007.

    Georgetown corridor -West Toronto Diamond

    Construction is underway on the West Toronto Diamond rail-to-rail grade
separation. This rail underpass will allow GO trains to avoid delays and
conflicts with freight trains. Construction at the West Toronto Diamond began
in November 2006 with a pile demonstration project and was completed in
January 2007. The utility relocation project is currently underway and is
expected to be complete in September 2007. Once the utility relocation project
is completed, construction of the grade separation of the railways will begin.
Work on the grade separation is scheduled to start in November 2007, and will
be complete by early 2010.

    Georgetown South (Weston corridor)

    An individual environmental assessment is underway to identify
improvements required to accommodate increased GO train frequency and options
for an airport transportation link between Union Station and Pearson
International Airport, including the proposed Air Rail Link project. This
study will address the associated environmental impacts and the need for
improved infrastructure for increased GO Transit service, as well as an
alternative transportation link to the airport. The Terms of Reference for
this study were submitted to the Ministry of Environment on Friday, October
27, 2006, and are now awaiting approval.

    Georgetown North corridor

    Construction began in Fall 2006 to improve track capacity along the
corridor, to accommodate two new rush hour trains and provide limited off-peak
service to the Mount Pleasant GO Station in North Brampton.

    Bradford corridor

    Construction of the Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the CN York
subdivision freight line started in February 2006, and was completed in
December 2006. This GO train rail overpass allows GO Transit to avoid delays
caused by conflicts with freight trains.
    GO Transit will extend service along the Bradford corridor to the City of
Barrie. The project will include upgrading the rail corridor and building a
new station and train layover facility. Construction on the rail corridor
began in February 2007, and service is expected to begin by late 2007.

    Lakeshore East corridor

    Improvements to accommodate three-track operations at the Danforth,
Scarborough and Eglinton stations, as well as the expansion of three bridge
overpasses, are underway. Completion of these projects is anticipated in
mid-2008.

    Union Station Rail Corridor Program

    GO Transit is anticipating that a contractor will be hired by October
2007, to begin work on the signal design project. The work on this project
will include a complete replacement of the 70-year-old track signal system at
Union Station over the next eight years.
    The Don Yard has also been purchased by GO Transit and is being
redeveloped for GO Transit's daytime train storage needs. Construction at Don
Yard is nearly complete, and the facility is currently fully operational.
Minor works will be completed by October 2007.

    Other service areas

    GO Transit is studying the feasibility of providing new and additional GO
bus service extensions to support Peterborough, Niagara Falls and
Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph region. Results of the study were tabled
at the September 2006 GO Transit Board meeting.
    On March 20, 2007, the GO Transit Board approved two new bus routes:

    1. One route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass through the
       Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride lot, and then on to Square One Shopping Centre
       in Mississauga, before ending at the Cooksville GO Station. It will
       then return in the opposite direction to the University of Guelph.

    2. The second route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass through
       the Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride lot before ending at the Meadowvale GO
       Station. It will then return in the opposite direction to the
       University of Guelph.

    These services will begin on September 3, 2007.

                                                                 August 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Jamie Rilett, Minister's Office - MTO, Toronto, (416) 327-9134; Nicole
McNeely, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Bob
Nichols, MTO Communications Branch, Toronto, (416) 327-1158; Transport Canada
is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport
Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.


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