Ont. to provide $100M for GO Transit improvements
The Ontario government will announce $100 million in immediate improvements to GO Transit in its fall financial update on Thursday, CTV News has learned.
Sources say the funding plan includes:
- $60 million for 20 new bi-level passenger coaches to increase capacity on the busy Lakeshore line;
- $9 million for 10 double-decker buses to improve service on the Highway 407-403 corridor and to York University; and
- $20 million for new passing-track sections for GO's Bradford and Stouffville corridors.
The cash injunction will also be used to provide all-day, two-way service between Toronto and Markham, and Toronto and Newmarket, CTV's Paul Bliss reported.
News of the transit improvements came just a day after the province's auditor general said delays and cancellations at GO are getting worse.
Auditor General Jim McCarter said in his annual report that the transit system has failed to plan for an increase in ridership, which is the result of population growth.
McCarter said he took the GO Train on Monday and suffered the problems firsthand.
"Myself and several hundred people stood on the platform for 40 minutes waiting for the GO Train,'' he told reporters on Tuesday. "It is an issue. They've got some serious challenges that really need to be addressed.''
McCarter said trains are late an average of 13 minutes and are most commonly delayed by equipment failure.
The auditor general said some rail corridors are growing at 20 per cent.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, meanwhile, told reporters on Wednesday the fall financial update will deal with the negative impacts of the high Canadian dollar.
Sources tell CTV News the government is going to announce a plan to provide assistance to the manufacturing sector, which has suffered because of the strong loonie.
With a report from CTV's Paul Bliss