News Local

Go-ing South?

Cheryl Browne

By Cheryl Browne, Barrie Examiner

Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig (left), Mayor Jeff Lehman, Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth announce year-round weekend service to Toronto beginning Dec. 31. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig (left), Mayor Jeff Lehman, Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth announce year-round weekend service to Toronto beginning Dec. 31. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

GO-ing to Toronto to shop or see a ballgame will be easier beginning New Year’s Eve.

Metrolinx, the parent company of GO Transit, announced it is extending Barrie’s summer weekend schedule to roll year-round into the Greater Toronto Area.

“This is terrific news for the people of Barrie and throughout the region,” said Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth at the Barrie South GO Station Monday morning.

“Our community has asked for more GO Transit service and we are thrilled to provide more options to help people get where they need to go.”

The new train service will kick into gear Dec. 31 with three trips from Allandale GO Station southbound to Toronto’s Union Station in the mornings and three return trips northbound in the evenings.

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca said he expects the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas’ populations will grow to nearly 10 million by 2041.

“We must ensure that we are expanding transit with the future in mind. Today’s announcement is further proof of our government’s commitment to giving you more GO service – service that will help keep the region moving for generations to come,” Del Duca said.

Barrie isn’t the only market benefitting from the provincial government’s $160 billion transit infrastructure spending over the next dozen years.

Metrolinx is also introducing new year-round weekend and holiday GO train service between Aurora and Union Station, with trains running all day in both directions.

GO bus service from Barrie will be extended to meet train service at Aurora GO Station throughout the day.

And, GO train service began running at the new Gormley GO Station in Richmond Hill on Monday. 

Since 2013, the government has assisted Metrolinx in building three new GO stations – including Gormley - renovating 10 existing stations and adding 7,000 parking spots.

Together, they purchased 220 new GO buses, 69 new train coaches and 10 new GO train locomotives.

The provincial government is making the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history.

“The dozens of new GO train trips we’re rolling out serve as proof of our commitment to expand and transform GO rail service,” said Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx president and CEO. “Every new trip we run gives thousands of people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area another reason to take transit, ultimately making this a more connected and prosperous region.”

During the next 12 years, the province plans to maintain more than 110,000 jobs through construction projects on roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals.

CBrowne@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1