Wynne announces high-speed rail between Windsor and Toronto
Published Friday, May 19, 2017 9:12AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 1:49PM EDT
Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne says the province is taking steps toward a high-speed rail corridor between Toronto and Windsor that will reduce travel times between the cities.
Wynne says the goal of Phase 1 is to have high speed service from Toronto to Guelph to Kitchener-Waterloo to London by 2025.
Wynne says seven million people live along the Toronto-Windsor transportation corridor and high speed rail will get them where they need to be faster.
“Whether it means accepting a job that previously seemed too far away, visiting family more often or having ready access to the innovators who can take your business growth to the next level - high speed rail will make a real difference in people’s lives and drive economic growth and jobs," says Wynne.
Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca says London to Toronto will be cut down to about 73 minutes.
"High speed rail will have a transformative impact on travel in Southwestern Ontario, helping people to innovate, connect with each other, and travel for work, study and play,” says DelDuca. “This is just one part of our plan to invest in transit across the province — connecting communities and supporting growth in jobs and the economy."
The government says Ontario is the first province to undertake a "rail transformation" on this scale.
“We decided that it was time to take a serious look at an idea that has been around for decades,” says Wynne.
Wynne says the high speed link could attract up to 10-million passengers a year.
Last month's provincial budget announced that the government would go ahead with an environmental assessment for the project and today the premier says the province is investing $15 million for that.
Preliminary design work is also starting and the government will establish a new body to oversee the project.
Trains on the planned rail link would travel up to 250 kilometres per hour, which is expected to cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to two.
The government released the Special Advisor's Final Report on Friday.
In 2015, the government tapped a special adviser on high-speed rail to assess the possibility of such a project, and David Collenette concluded there is a business case for it as well as opportunities to partner with the private sector for funding.
With files from The Canadian Press.