Tuesday, May 27, 2014

High-Speed Rail Link Between Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and London For As Low As $10

Glen Murray, who was Ontario's transportation minister until an election call earlier this month, has laid out an ambitious plan for rail expansion in southern Ontario - including money-making, low-cost high-speed rail. A transit expert is skeptical of the plan
A proposed high-speed rail link between Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and London would see 56 trains a day, or 28 each way, with fares around $40, according to Glen Murray, Ontario's Transportation Minister until the election call.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Murray said the high-speed rail service can be completed within 10 years, and would cost between $2 to $3 billion, which is part of the $29-billion infrastructure fund announced by the Liberal government in their spring budget

"For a lot of people it will be a $10, $20, $25 ride if they're doing it every day. If you're a frequent rider you pay a much lower fare, if you book early or in advance you get a lower fare and if you're an infrequent rider who rides it once or twice a month you're probably going to pay a higher than $40 fare," said Murray.

"If you're going to use it to commute it will be very inexpensive. If you're someone who's living in London who's going to the airport at the last minute it will be more expensive. The average fare will be $40 a ride going from London to downtown Toronto," he added.
Murray is basing his figures on a study by independent transit consultant First Class Partnerships, based in London, England. According to that study, the net cost to the government for capital investment on high speed rail would be about $500 million, once fare revenues have recouped the investment, though the total cost is not specified.

Murray was not able to release the report to CBC News because he can't access ministry materials during an election campaign and a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation said it was a pre-feasibility study that could not be released to the public because it contained confidential information.


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