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Community slams diesel plans at noise wall meeting

18 Sept. 2013: A packed community meeting meant to review GO Transit’s proposals for controversial noise walls on the Kitchener-Georgetown rail corridor turned into another opportunity for citizens and their representatives to loudly protest plans for more diesel trains.

Voters and elected officials alike decried the province’s plan to introduce carcinogenic diesel service on the new Union-Pearson Express, being rushed into service for the Pan Am Games.

“The decision not to electrify has resulted in the project as it is now which offers no benefits to the community, few stops and high ticket fares,” said Davenport MP Andrew Cash during the meeting, to loud applause.

“This infrastructure was not built for us, it was built in spite of us.”

Community members expressed their concerns about diesel soot, dirty noise walls, graffiti, lack of maintenance programs, the rejection of “living green walls,” and GO Transit’s unwillingness to listen to community recommendations for a “no wall” option until trains are actually running, especially with quieter electric trains.

There is talk of electrifying the line by 2017, but it is only talk and study. There is no funding plan or decision.

For reports on the meeting held last night in the Bloor West neighbourhood, visit Inside Toronto and CityTV.

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