Light rail transit gets boost from province

Photo by Ryan Hueglin

The vehicle for the LRT system was officially unveiled in the summer. (Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

The Region of Waterloo’s light rail transit system is seeing yet another milestone.

On Friday morning, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Glen Murray reaffirmed the provincial government’s contribution of $300 million to the project.

During his speech at the Region of Waterloo headquarters in Kitchener, Murray emphasized the relationship between transportation and economy, and said jobs are seeing an incline in the province.

“We have to fill these jobs,” he said, believing the LRT and GO systems to be important for bringing young people to the region.

Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling said the new LRT service will improve on the existing transit service for students, giving more opportunities for employment around the region.

“One of the things we’re trying to address is how do we maintain a vibrant economy here so there’s job creation and job growth, and part of that is making sure we have a good transportation system,” he said.

In addition to this funding, Murray discussed the upcoming GO train expansion, which is expected to come to the region in 2016. The provincial government is currently buying up track in preparation.

Details for the upcoming service are to be included in the spring provincial budget, which will include a ten-year transportation plan.

“The idea is we need to get more frequent service, and the idea is eventually to get to hourly and half-hourly service on that line.”

 

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