The City of Brantford is gearing up for a transformation to change the South Western Ontario transportation landscape with a compelling pitch to the Province of Ontario for the establishment of a GO Transit Rail Station extension in Brantford.
The proposal, titled “Brantford on Track: Paving the Way for GO Rail Extension,” comes in response to the pressing need to address the region’s growing population, increased economic activity, and the evolving transportation demands of the community.
The City of Brantford’s population is projected to soar from 106,000 in 2021 to 165,000 by 2051. This growth, nearly double its current population, reflects the dynamic and vibrant nature of this community. Additionally, the 2017 Boundary Adjustment added 1,830 acres of future Employment Lands and 4,993 acres of future residential lands to Brantford’s boundary. As a result, the need for efficient and sustainable transit options has never been more critical.
A rapidly growing population adds pressure to the transport network, contributing to increased congestion and pollution. Neglecting this issue will make the 403-corridor a less attractive place to live and do business, ultimately reducing regional prosperity. The growth in jobs and the changing nature of work, particularly due to automation and communication technologies, is increasing the demand for public transit. Failing to improve the transit network may hinder the region’s ability to accommodate expected job growth and foster productivity and economic development.
Below is a sampling of the most compelling reasons behind Brantford’s proposal for a GO Rail extension:
- The extension of rail services to South Western Ontario is a priority project within 120 km of the fastest-growing area in the province. Neglecting to extend rail services threatens existing provincial housing and employment growth objectives.
- Currently, the City of Brantford is served primarily by GO buses, with the closest GO Train station in Aldershot, where parking is consistently at full capacity. Expanding rail service to Brantford would alleviate congestion and offer residents a convenient alternative to personal vehicles, reducing traffic congestion at critical points like the 403 and Lincoln Alexander Parkway merge.
- Without an alternative to personal vehicles, Brantford residents will continue to rely heavily on their cars, increasing congestion on the 403 between Brantford and Hamilton, contributing to emissions, urban sprawl, and inefficiencies in the transportation infrastructure.
- Rail service provides commuters with more capacity and higher speeds than current transport options. Expanding GO Train Service to Brantford has the potential to further increase ridership due to its convenience and capacity.
- Longer travel times on regional roads are reducing reliability and affecting residents’ quality of life. Failure to address this issue will lead to increased travel times, limiting economic opportunities, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and affecting overall quality of life.
- Neighboring municipalities, such as Woodstock and London, have also identified this rail extension as a priority, highlighting the importance of this project for regional transit planning. Without GO Rail stations, municipal and provincial policy statements regarding growth targets will be compromised.
“Brantford is on the cusp of an exciting transformation, and the extension of GO Rail service is a crucial part of our vision for the future,” said Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford. “As our population grows and economic opportunities expand, we must invest in efficient, sustainable transportation options. This proposal not only aligns with our community’s needs but also supports broader provincial objectives. We look forward to working closely with the Province of Ontario to bring this project to fruition and ensure that Brantford and South Western Ontario are positioned for success.”
“The City of Brantford’s proposal for a GO Rail extension is not only a matter of convenience but a pivotal step towards fostering a sustainable, prosperous, and vibrant South Western Ontario. The proposed project aligns with provincial goals, enhances transportation options, and supports the dynamic growth of the region. Brantford is ready to work hand in hand with the Province of Ontario to make this vision a reality,” concluded Davis.