A recent GO train feasibility report update from the Region of Waterloo was well received by Cambridge council.
"My constituents are very excited about getting it eventually, since a high percentage of people I represent commute to jobs east of here in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)," said Coun. Nicholas Ermeta, adding he is a big supporter of the GO train system, which is operated by Metrolinx.
"We're also seeing that reverse commute as well. I think there will be benefits all around, everything from reducing our carbon footprint and greenhouse gases to increasing economic development to reducing the congestion on the (Highway) 401. It's promising what's being looked at."
The report suggests an option to connect Cambridge to the line would be to offer a new connection beginning in Guelph. Cambridge is the only municipality in Ontario with a population of over 100,000 people that is not serviced by passenger rail.
The report also suggests that the preferred location for the end point in Cambridge is at or near the Pinebush ION station, which would connect riders to the region’s light rail service.
Ermeta said depending on which side of Hespeler Road Metrolinx chooses, it could either fall in his ward or that of Coun. Donna Reid.
"I'm very supportive of having it come and very supportive of what it will bring to us as a city in terms of development," Reid said, adding she hadn't heard anything from her constituents that would make her withdraw her support for the proposed project.
Ermeta said he hadn't heard anything against the project from his constituents either.
"We've strongly advocated for it as a council. It's an issue that you need to keep front and centre," he said.
For the purpose of the report, a 2026 opening day was suggested for the Guelph to Cambridge connection, with two-way all-day service by 2031. The connection could bring in up to $4.2 million in revenue in its opening year, said the report, growing up to $15.3 million yearly by 2041.
Arrival and departure times would be aligned with trains at the Guelph Central Station that will continue to and from Union Station.