Service Gaps in Guelph caused by Greyhound Closure
Jul 12, 2021
Dear Minister Mulroney,
On behalf of the City of Guelph, the University of Guelph, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, we write to raise interregional connectivity issues in our community that have been exacerbated by the recent closure of Greyhound. We are calling on the Provincial government to help fill in these serious connectivity gaps by increasing Metrolinx service. In particular, we recommend the creation of an express route between Toronto and Guelph to replace the loss of Greyhound.
Quickly evolving commuter trends and growing demand for interregional connectivity also highlight the importance of All-Day Two-Way GO as we recover from the pandemic, while pointing to a broader need for increased public transportation options in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and in Southwestern Ontario.
Gaps in interregional connectivity, widened by the closure of Greyhound, will prove to be challenging for our community as Guelph reopens this summer and as our student population returns to campus. Approximately 25,000 students attend the University’s main campus in Guelph and enrollment figures for 2021 are anticipated to be comparable to 2019. An estimated 60% of these students come from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and many rely on interregional transit to get to Guelph, as do University staff, faculty and other workers in our community. University of Guelph students are a key local economic driver, spending $370 million each year and generating over 5000 jobs. These economic benefits are at risk if students, faculty, staff and other workers are unable to commute from the GTA to Guelph. Public transit is also a greener transportation option to get students and workers into our City leveraging existing transportation hubs located at the University of Guelph and in our downtown.
The City of Guelph, University of Guelph and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce are deeply appreciative of the Government of Ontario’s leadership to date in advancing All-Day-Two-Way GO, including major recent announcements on track level improvements in the Guelph subdivision. Recognizing the infrastructure that still needs to be completed for All-Day Two-Way GO, we emphasize and support its development. In the medium term, we would welcome more transit routes between different communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Southwestern Ontario to address broader service gap and connectivity issues. Expediting the implementation of bus lanes along Highways 6 and 7 would also accommodate faster interregional travel and connect nearby municipalities.
Thank you for your leadership, collaboration with municipalities, and focus on enhancing interregional connectivity through important initiatives such as “Connecting the Southwest.” We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our request for immediate and medium-term interregional connectivity solutions for Guelph in the wake of Greyhound’s closure. City staff will follow up with your office to propose scheduling options.
Shakiba Shayani, President & CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce
Cam Guthrie, Mayor, City of Guelph
Dr. Gwen Chapman, Acting President and Provost and Vice-President (Academic), University of Guelph
Click here to read a PDF of the letter.