Township lobbies for possible GO Transit stop in Rockwood

Cameron MacLean says any plans to expand GO Transit rail service to Kitchener should include a stop in Rockwood.

MacLean, chairman of Guelph-Eramosa’s environmen­tal stewardship com­mittee, has written a letter to GO Transit officials asking them to consider the village in their environmental assessment.

“Rockwood is not even iden­tified on any maps in this environmental assessment,” he said in his letter. “This undertaking essentially ignores the Township of Guelph-Eramosa, and the County of Wellington, in its entirety.”

As a designated urban growth centre in the province’s Places to Grow Act, Rockwood will likely double its population every 20 years, MacLean explained.

“As a provincially funded agency, GO Transit has an obligation to make planning decisions consistent with this pro­vincial direction,” he said.

Councillors offered their sup­port of MacLean’s letter on March 2.

“I’m just deliriously happy they’re considering it,” councillor Doug Breen said of GO Transit’s possible expansion to Kitchener.

And while he called the plan a positive thing for everyone, Breen said he does not agree with the portion of Mac­Lean’s letter that  favours a stop in Rockwood over one in Acton, which GO Transit officials have identified as a promising candidate.

Mayor Chris White agreed. He said GO Transit has historically considered Acton and not Rockwood because  Acton has a platform already in place at the Old Hide House location. And there would be buses running from Rockwood to Acton, so township residents could still access a station there, White added.

Councillor Roger Knapp noted it will take some “training” to get residents to leave their vehicles at home in favour of public transit.

White agreed, but said the expansion is a positive thing. He also commended the environmental stewardship committee for “trying to keep [Guelph-Eramosa] on the map.”