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Ontario's government announced last week it will set aside $17.4 million (in Canadian dollars) to open a second track on GO Transit's Barrie line.Part of the government's plan to bring Regional Express Rail service to the network, construction of the new track is slated for completion in 2017, with grading, bridge and culvert work underway.The new 3.7-mile section of track will run adjacent to existing track between the York University and Rutherford GO Transit stations. The line is expected to provide 15-minute two-way service to Aurora, Ont., government officials said in a statement."We are transforming the GO rail network — the backbone of regional rapid transit in the [Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area] — to give people a faster, more convenient way to connect to the things that matter," said Bruce McCuaig, president and chief executive officer of Metrolinx. "Adding a second track to this section of the Barrie GO line is an important first step in bringing frequent, two-way service to communities along the line."The government also increased its own financial commitment for the Moving Ontario Forward transit plan to $31.5 billion. By optimizing public assets, the province gained $2.6 billion more for the project, which is aimed at building rapid transit projects to connect GO Transit to other systems in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area. Under the plan, Ontario's government plans to spend more than $130 billion in public infrastructure over the next 10 years — the largest infrastructure investment in the province's history, officials said.
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