Go Transit service is coming to the Niagara region, expanding service from Hamilton to Grimsby by 2021 and to St. Catharines and then to Niagara Falls by 2023. Work will begin in 2017 to extend the weekday GO train commuter service.
“The Ontario Liberal government will be adding weekday rail service between the future Confederation Go Station in Hamilton and the Niagara region starting in 2021,” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.
The 60-kilometre expansion of GO Transit’s regional rapid transit network will help support economic development in the Niagara region by expanding accessibility to the area, by increasing the labor market, increasing travel options for commuters, and helping manage congestion on area highways. Toronto residents will now have a convenient method of reaching key recreational areas like Niagara Falls, the south coast beaches, vineyards and fine dining, and a host of welcoming communities. For Niagara residents, it’s a much quicker commute into the city for work and special events like concerts or sporting events.
Initial estimates suggest a $100- $120 million investment, including $50 million in track upgrades. The government also estimated that new GO stations cost an average of $50- $75 million each, not including operating, maintenance, and energy costs. With the provincial expectation that local communities cover one third of the investment for GO expansion, the Region has committed $10 million in its 2016 budget and an additional $30 million is proposed for next year.
The rail service will help the 50,000 people who commute from Niagara to the greater Toronto and Hamilton area for work. “This is a positive first step and we eagerly await the details,” says Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. The rail corridor is owned by CN Rail who have agreed to allow four dedicated train crossings of the Welland Canal daily, confirming that there are no barriers to the proposal put forward by the GO team.